Thirteen things about preparing for Pennsic


Pennsic is a two week long medieval encampment where people can take classes, fight in battles, just have all sorts of fun.  It’s hard to describe because there is so much to do that every Pennsic is different…you have the people who relax and read or nap all day and party all night, the people who get up early to spend the day shooting archery…everything.


And, since I fight rapier and chatelaine for a local group, I’ve been distracted from what I should be doing by what we call Pennsic Panic.


1.  Make a list of everything that you will need to sew (since, well, you have to wear “period” garb) early in the year.

2.  Lose list and make it up again, much larger, in May.

3.  Procrastinate by printing out a Pennsic themed day runner and writing down all the classes you would like to take but never will remember to.  Extra points for coordinating activities by color.

4.  Remember that you were going to make a silk banner, dig out stuff, realize you do not have the right size silk.  Order.

5.  In a flurry of productivity, wash fabric and cut out things you want to sew, and put each project in a different bag so you don’t lose the pieces.

6.  Several days later, you will make yourself a pair of pants and yes, you will have lost the leg cuffs.  Put back in bag and promise to re-cut them later, then run out of time, sew the pants, and decide that since your boots are really tall you can skip the cuffs until after Pennsic.  Know the cuffs will never get added.

7.  Clean living room thoroughly.  Then ruin your hard work by piling stuff you will need to take to Pennsic in it.

8.  Dump fabric out of the plastic tub(s) you use for garb, put in the living room so you can pack your garb in them as you finish (ha, ha) sewing them.  Also go through the closet and check your regular garb for repairs, and try on your yearly Pennsic-standards-only stuff to see if it still fits.

9.  Use Pennsic as an excuse to buy more books, since you will need things to read during your downtime.  Ignore the fact that even though you are an avid reader you will be lucky to get through one book, let alone five.

10.  Realize that Etsy is starting to look really good as an option for garb getting.  Wonder if you have time to get a new bodice for Pennsic.  Decide that there are about three things you absolutely have to have two weeks before Pennsic…and they are things you cannot make or buy locally.  Wonder how much the merchants will hate you if you order now.  Worry constantly until the items arrive.

11.  Go shopping several times.  Buy more food, Tiki fuel and propane than you will need, ever.  Remember when you get home that you had left over Tiki fuel from last year, but keep it all because “It will last and you may need it.”

12.  Print packing lists.  Compare and contrast.  Walk obsessively through your house and randomly add things to the packing stack…pack like the Zombie Apocalypse might hit while you are gone and you may never return home.

13.  Get to point where you realize that you didn’t have it last year, and you survived without it then.  Kick back and drink and ignore the mess you’ve made.

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