June 2006


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Pardon me while I get a little windy

Grau asked, and the answer started getting long-winded, so I made a post.

When in need of a warm place to party the proper way to go about it is to dig a firepit the size of an open grave for a very fat man, insert half a cord of wood, and light ‘er up :)

All joking aside, it sounds like a good time. How much leeway do you guys have for campfires and the like. I’ve heard that a lot of SCA events are idiot proofed to the point of being ridiculous.

I replied to Grau via email and forgot one point, then elaborated on others:

Most SCA events are held at public parks / campgrounds, so we have to deal with Fire Marshals and State / Local ordinances, which usually boils down to above-ground fires only. (Parks Depts really bitch when they see you digging that grave-sized pit…) The SCA itself only has common-sense fire regs, as in if you have a fire, you should also have at hand two means with which to extinguish it. Considering our camp shower has a battery-powered pump, we have a small fire hose plus all our camp cookware to use as shovels :)

There have been a couple of late-summer events where the FM stated “no open flame” due to extreme fire danger, which can really get irritating for lighting issues. (We used to surround our main pavilion with tiki torches.) If it’s that hot we’re thankful for the cooler nights and don’t light a fire anyway.

Really. You think you get hot and sweaty running around in a Great Kilt? Try it from inside a pot-bellied stove made of plate armor!

We do have a decent foldable fire pit in my camp, but we also have as much other gear as we can stuff into our rigs already, so getting any wood to the event is sometimes an issue. Then there’s the whole Great Wet PNW factor that often causes problems. (We went to the tavern at 40-year because we couldn’t keep the wood dry enough at camp to burn reliably.)

In the past, we have found that the most reliable way to keep warm at night is t get a big party going under our main pavilion – 10 or 15 jovial adults produce enough body heat to make it comfy, and if you get enough booze flowing, you may just end up with a Gypsy Pig-Pile. It’s difficult to think about little things like the weather when you’re being nibbled on by half-naked Gypsies!

One reply to “Pardon me while I get a little windy”

  1. Graumagus Says:

    Hmmm most of our events are sponsored by the park districts and they let us dig fire pits…

    As for “Too wet to burn wood”, there is no such thing. I missed this event, but check this ummm… “embelished” account of an event where my clan mates were pretty much in a flash flood so they used firewood to build a raft, staked it down, and built a fire on top of the raft…


    (BTW, if you check out the “Legend of Bucktooth Billy” campfire tale in there, that’s about when I smashed my teeth back in 2003. That story has made me a legend in the midwest reenactors circle)

    As for the gypsy pile, you win, hands down. Most of our reenactors are hairy fat guys that smell like bacon, blackpowder, and ass…