How Much Will This Cost?

Fortunately, Dark Age reenacting is on the cheaper side of living history. That is not to say that it is always cheap. Depending on what you want to portray or to do, you might find that you want to purchase a lot of goods, such as a sword, mail armor and lots of wool and linen. Over a period of time, you may find that you have a fair amount of money wrapped up in this hobby. But then is there any hobby out there that does not require that expenditure? If you want to ski, you have to purchase ski equipment and clothing and often pay fees for access to sites. If you want to play tennis or golf, the same. Living history is no different.

Cost will vary according to a number of different factors. Will you purchase your kit ready made? Can you purchase used kit? Will you make it from raw materials? How much kit will you acquire? How specialized will the kit be? Do you shop around for bargains?

There is a minimum amount of kit that is required to participate at public events. There is an optimal amount of kit. You do not have to possess a full kit before you can come to an event, but what is worn and displayed must be accurate! We do not expect perfection from the get-go. In fact, living history kit is evolutionary. As you learn new things and acquire new interests, you will probably find that your kit is never “finished”!

You should certainly consult with the Authenticity Officer before buying anything; newcomers should especially ask around before making purchases. You may find that you can easily make some items, such as shirts, camp furniture or even mail, but that it is prudent for you to buy a sword. As mentioned above, you will not immediately need everything on list below. Parcel out purchases and acquisitions. In fact, there are a number of items on the list which are optional that you may never need. Concentrate on those items which will serve you best and which will be most difficult to borrow from someone in Micel Folcland.

The bare minimum of kit needed is:

MEN
A generic Anglo-Scandinvian over-tunic, with wrist length or longer tight sleeves and a full skirt that is at least knee length
A shorter (or hidden) undertunic
Trousers or hose tight to the leg
Belt (less than an inch thick, with a buckle; there was no tail)
optional
A Hood
A Cloak (rectangular)
Shoes (barefoot is perfectly accurate)

WOMEN
A generic Anglo-Saxon overdress, with wrist-length tight sleeves and a skirt of approximately ankle length
A tighter underdress with long, tight sleeves and a skirt of approximately ankle length
Head Covering (cap wimple, depending on ethnicity)
optional
Belt or waist tie (leather or woven fabric, less than an inch thick. Belts have buckles; there was no tail)
A cloak (rectangular)
Shoes (barefoot is perfectly accurate)

Please note, these are minimums, and we have not include detailed information. Requirements may differ from culture to culture and certainly from rank to rank. For more detail and information, consult the Basic Clothing Guide at http://members.regia.org/basclot.htm. Keep in mind that much of the kit for one culture may be used for another culture. Often, the differences are only hats or something else minimal.

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