Where to begin
Wondering where to begin? Here's a few hints to get you started.
Who Do You Want to Be Today?
You might like to think about what you are interested in.
Are you interested in:
- certain activities, like:
- a particular culture, such as:
- a particular time, such as:
- 5th century BC
- 4th century BC
- 3rd century BC
- 2nd century BC
- 1st century BC
- 1st century
- 2nd century
- 3rd century
- 4th century
- 5th century
- 6th century
- 7th century
- 8th century
- 9th century
- 10th century
- 11th century
- 12th century
- 13th century
- 14th century
- 15th century
- 16th century
- 17th century
- 18th century
- 19th century
- 20th century
Any of these reasons are good. You might choose a period basely on the fact you fancy the way you'd look in a doublet.
Well since you've decided one, it's time to decide the others. You may find that you will take up other aspects later on.
Talk to the Animals
Here's where a little bit of research comes in. Look around, in books, online and talk to people about these different times (the category Starting Out at the bottom of this page may help here) and find out where you feel most at home. When listening to others, you will probably find that they will be very keen about their own period so they may seem to very persuasive, but in the end, you need to be comfortable with what your doing.
Waaargh! These Guys Aren't Any Fun
If you want to be a Viking and the group you found only does Tudor court-like activities or is a World War II infantry unit, then you will need to seek out other recreationists who are more in tune with the way you think. They are out there. Sometimes they might not be very local, but sometimes that's just they way it is.
Go here to try and find a group for you. A bit of effort here, can save you grief later one.
...My Kind of Scum
You found a group who do what you think you'd like to do. You've checked out their website and think they'll be fun.
So go and talk to them. Recreationists, in general, will be some of the nicest people you will come across. Since they know that some people think their hobby a little odd, they may be a little quiet at first, but let them know that you are interested in what they are doing and they tend to become chatterboxes.
I Haven't a Thing to Wear
Don't worry and don't rush out and buy or make something straight away. Most groups have club kit that they can bung you in so that you don't look out of place. If you want to have a go at fighting they will probably have something there too. This is not always the case, but it is quite common.
Now is the time to see if this is really the period you want to do. Does it turn out that to be a 95th Rifler you'll need some very expensive kit and it turns out it wasn't quite what you expected?
Find this out now before buying heaps of stuff.
You definitely have found the group you like. They look how you would like to look, behave the way you would like to behave and do the activities that you want to do.
What now? Nows the time to buy or make sure gear. I would recommend a basic, servicable outfit. Nothing too fancy, but make it out of the appropriate fabric. Some people never get out of this first outfit, so you'd best do it reasonably well. You will find that you make some small (or large) mistakes in the beginning.
Your best defence against an expensive mistake is knowledge.
- Talk to the others in the group and find out what they recommned. They might have patterns you can use, a helpful soul to guide you or a specific supplier of ready made goods.
- Keep researching. New information surfaces all the time and what was right fifteen years ago, may have been re-interpreted a little later on.
Dances with Wolves
You have your basic outfit. What now?
Whatever you like. Look at who else has similar interests. Get together and work on a project. They might have resources that you will find very interesting. There might be others doing something you had not thought of and find that that activity is really good fun, or you might have an interest none of the others in the group have looked into yet. You can never have enough knowledge and finding the information can be a source of both frustration at time and great satisfaction.
Just keep having fun.
Some friendly words of advice:
- You don't have to have the poshest kit, to look great.
- Don't make the uncommon, common.
- Sometimes, less is more.
- "Insert Tab A into Slot A". This means you should attempt to ensure that you theme your outfit.