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More Than You Ever Needed to Know About Preparing for Your First Camping Event

by Moogie

If you are getting ready for your first overnight Amtgard event, this guide will have you as prepared as the veterans. In an attempt to be thorough, I've really gone overboard You can probably get along without quite so much preparation and equipment as I've listed here. However, many of these things are absolutely essential, and many will make your first event far more comfortable and enjoyable. If you are going to your first event in the company or more experienced Amtgardians, many of these items can be borrowed, some may not be necessary depending on circumstances. Use this as a guide, but ask around and see what the people in your group suggest. Most of all, get involved in the activities at your first event, and have a great time!


Before you pack or prepare for the event, it's important to find out what kind of site the event will be held at. The most common types of sites are tent camping with running water and tent camping without running water, or primitive camping. There may be sites with access to cabins, heated or unheated. A site with running water may have water faucets, flush toilets or showers, or any combination of these. A primitive site will most likely have outhouses or port-a-potties, but you will want to bring extra water for drinking.

Information to check in advance

There is some information you will need to get before the event. Try to obtain the following before you get on site, some of this information may be provided at the gate.
  • Directions
    If you can get the phone number of the site or someone who will have a phone on site, this can be handy if you get lost.
  • Event fees
  • Site rules
    Check to see if the site allows alcohol
    If you plan to bring a pet, be sure to find out pet policies from an autocrat or monarch before the event, or you may find yourself turned away at the gate if a site does not allow pets.
  • Waiver requirements
    Many events require a special form or waiver to be filled out and signed by the legal guardians of a minor. This form may be required regardless of previous waivers you may have on file. Be sure to check in advance if you are a minor, to see if this is required.
  • Medical facilities
    Some events have a first-aid station or "med tent". If you have a medical condition or are taking medication, it is a good idea to inform the med tent in case there is an emergency. If there is not a med tent, it might be wise to alert those you are camping with, or security or a monarch. If there should be an emergency, that information may be life-saving.
  • Check the weather
    This helps a lot in knowing what to pack.

Packing lists

Identification / Cash

  • Driver's License / ID card
  • Medical Insurance

Keep all cash and valuables locked in a car or carefully hidden, and don't bring valuables that you don't need for the event. If you are driving, you might bring an extra set of car keys, I've seen more people at events lock their keys in the car than I can count. If it's a long drive, you might want a cell phone for safety.


  • Several changes of clothes
  • Extra socks
  • Warm weather/cool weather change of clothes
  • Cloak/Foul weather gear
  • Comfortable shoes
    (bring an extra pair in case they get wet or muddy)

You will be very thankful for the extra socks.

Amtgard Equipment

Camping Gear

  • tent
  • sleeping bags/blankets/pillows
  • folding chairs
  • flashlight

Personal Items

  • Stuff you usually bring, make-up, hairbrush, toothbrush, etc.
  • Toilet paper
    (Bathrooms or port-a-potties may not be adequately stocked)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Medications
  • Birth Control


  • Wet Wipes
    (Quick cleanup of scrapes and cuts, and an impromptu shower)
  • Chapstick
    (This seems like a luxury item until you need it)
  • Fingernail clippers / file
    (In case you break a nail fighting, not just vanity, a broken nail can scratch you up and hang on everything)
  • First Aid kit
    (or just band-aids, alcohol, etc.)
  • Dental floss
    (Squeak says: I hate feast staying in my teeth and it's usually stringy meat)
  • Qtips
  • Towels, shampoo, soap
    (If there are showers available. Warning, they may not have hot water)

Food/ water

  • Water
    Definitely bring plenty of drinking water. It's easy to get dehydrated at an event.
  • Cooler
  • Gatorade
  • Sodas /Alcohol

If you plan to eat on site, bring food of your choice, the following are prepared foods that are great for snacks or with meals

  • Applesauce
  • Jello pudding snacks
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Beef jerky
  • Hot Dogs
  • Slimfast Shakes (Squeak says: these are a great way to get a meal on the ditch field and they can go in the cooler (and are cheap). When I remember them I love them, how many times have you gone out to ditch and forgotten lunch? This is a good solution)

If you want to cook on site, you may need the following:

  • Matches
  • Firewood
  • Lighter fluid, a fire log or fire starters
  • Grill / Skewers

Getting along and having a good time

It helps to know what's going on at an event. If you are fairly new to Amtgard, you may want to find out more about the social structure of the game.

  • Learn to identify knights, squires and the crown
  • Identify companies, major households and their camps
  • Bring a rulebook to look up any questions about rules of play

To make finding a campsite and setting up easy, camp with friends. If you don't know anyone, find an empty campsite, or ask permission to camp with another group.

If drinking is permitted, don't overdo it. Use your common sense. Getting too drunk among people you don't know well is not safe, and is not a way to win their respect.

This article was written by Moogie with suggestions by Sir Squeak and Sir Lady Esuom. If there is anything you think should be added, or you have any questions or comments, email Moogie.

This page last updated 03/27/01

This site is owned and maintained by Moogie of House Lionesse and House Morrigan. All works copyrighted Laura Brashear 2000 unless otherwise noted. To request  permission to reproduce any works on this website please send email to moogie.