Warm Weather Camping
1. Get a fan. Hand held fans were very “period” and both ladies and lords may have them. Many people have folding paper fans, which are readily available at oriental groceries. Fancier fans, made of wood or ivory, are available as well. I have seen fans woven from reeds and grass. Being able to gently fan yourself while sitting by the lyst field or in a class is essential in hot weather.
2. Get a sun hat. Both men and women wore broad brimmed hats to shade their eyes and faces. A comfortable hat is another essential.
3. Drink water. Come to the event prepared to have something to drink at hand at all times. You can disguise a modern water bottle in a little cloth bag. A water bottle bag is easy to make but you can also find many suitable bags already made. I use a bag intended to use to dress up a bottle of wine to hide my water bottle. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times and stash some extras in your basket. It is very easy to get dehydrated at a warm weather event.
4. Buy a portable fan. I have several 10 inch battery powered fans. You can get them at drug stores and discount stores. I don’t use them in public but they really help cool you down when you are in your tent. I find that I can use my fan for many hours on one set of batteries.
5. Make a “summer weight” sleeping bag. I took a queen size flat sheet, folded it in half and sewed it across the bottom and halfway up the open side. The resulting sack makes a neat, cool bed for camping.
6. Bring your bathing suit. Camp Ocala has a lovely sand beach and swimming area on the lake. Bathing suits aren’t period but no one will comment if you take a dip to cool off.
7. Take it easy. When wearing layers of clothes more appropriate to the mini ice age of Medieval Europe in muggy Florida, you will be much more comfortable if you move slowly. Don’t hurry. Relax and enjoy sitting in classes, talking to friends, doing handwork, or watching the lyst. You will feel much cooler if you stay calm.
8. Adopt a “summer” persona. Some people become Egyptian, Greek, or Roman when the weather gets hot. Celtic personas can wear a “bog dress” which is basically a tube with arm openings that fastens over the shoulders. It is much lighter than typical Celtic garb. Other people wear t-tunics and “breeches”. They wear what are essentially shorts under a t-tunic during hot weather.