It’s that point of year – where the nights are drawing in and the temperature drops significantly whenever the sun ducks behind a cloud or sets at night. Last year I wrote my thoughts on preparing your LARP kit for winter, but thought a quick revisit, reshuffle and rewrite wouldn’t do them any harm.
I love LARPing through the autumn and winter – partly because the nights are much more atmospheric on night sites and the colours of the trees changing from summer greens to barren winter just makes me feel warm and fuzzy; but also winter is when I started LARPing with Fools and Heroes so it holds a special place for me.
But enough of the writer’s fuzzy feel-good stuff. Onto the actual content – an overview of suitable layers, winter health and a quick guide to camping in winter.
Dressing appropriately for winter LARP
As I said, last year I put up my first general guide to preparing your LARP kit for the winter season, and whilst I recommend you go read the original post, I wanted to summarise my key points here as a gentle reminder. The last couple of weeks have seen the daily and nightly temperatures drop noticeably (the OH has started putting the heating on for points during the day, a sign that things are getting cooler), and after our last night and day event I decided a quick refresh might not hurt.
The key to keeping warm during a winter LARP session is to layer up – either by adding outer layers to your ic kit such as cloaks or shawls or hats, gloves and scarves, or by layering up your under layers such as investing in ooc thermals or long and short sleeved tops or adapting your ic kit.
If monstering try to wear a hood or hat and have gloves in a pocket just in case. I have found that monstering can mean you spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen (as the players debate or prepare etc) and periods of time spent standing still or sitting down can cause the body to get chilled very quickly. If you’re concerned about wearing lots of layers and getting too warm, don’t forget you can always take layers off to accommodate the conditions.
Looking after your health during winter LARP
The risks to health during the winter months and cold night sites are minimal, however they can develop into something more serious that can result in requiring medical treatment. Slips, trips and falls are more common due to the freezing conditions that develop so having a pair of decent walking style boots (or combats) with sensible grip are advisable.
Loss of body heat can be prevented by wearing a hat and gloves and wearing layers, but the body has ways of trying to conserve body heat, which leads through the different stages of hypothermia. Having some food or fast acting sugars can help fuel the body’s internal processess. Shivering is a sign your body is trying to warm itself up, and adding another layer or avoiding sources of heat loss and is something that can be looked after by oneself. However, if you find you cannot get warm or someone is beginning to look pale or slightly blue as their body shuts down their extermities to protect the core, then proper medical help should be sought.
Camping in the winter LARP season
Many of you will know that I am not a gracious camper. This means I am probably biased in seeing camping more as a trial than an enjoyable part of my LARPing experience, but I think it also makes me more aware of the things that should be considered when going camping, particularly over the autumnal / winter / spring months. I stumbled upon a couple of blog posts which covers this topic and rather than paraphrasing these articles, the links are included below. Having read these posts I would think the advice is still valid even into the Spring or Summer to some degree given that nights can get quite cold if clear in the Summer. But definitely still valid in May for the first big event of my LARP system.