Easter - survival tips

What are your top tips for surviving cold events?

Here’s a few I was thinking of today for someone on a different part of the internet:

]Wearing waterproofs underneath kit (but on top of thermals). You may have to cut off hoods and cuffs, but it’s worth it for wet events or where you expect to fall in mud./:m]
]Having multiple warm layers between me and the ground (yes, I have a caravan now but the same rule applies even in there). /:m]
]Hats. Even while sleeping./:m][/ul]

Do not skip meals! You will burn more calories than normal in the cold, and LARP is very very good at encouraging people not to eat because they are busy.
Eat breakfast, ideally a good hour before the battle!

I echo what has been said already about layers, thermals, hats and eating.

Additionally and obvious as it sounds;-

  1. Keep warm - hot drinks, sitting by fires
  2. Keep dry - if you are wet then change as soon as you can
  3. Sleep warm - have a good sleeping bag and again as Laura said layers between you and the ground. Also keep bed warm, keep your sleeping bag zipped up it will be cold enough already when you get into it, without having been exposed all day as well

Drink less alcohol. If you have been drinking alcohol, do not trust your perception of being warm: make sure you are actually wearing plenty of clothing and have consumed plenty of food.

Wear a scarf or other such piece of neckwear.

Go to bed warm. 20 jumping jacks or similar light cardio once you’ve shed most of your kit and set up for sleeping is a really good way to make going to bed more pleasant.

Make friends. People are really good heaters. If you’re sleeping alone in a small tent, and your friend is as well, then why not both set up your sleeping stuff in one of those tents, and pack all your kit in the other one? You will both be much warmer as a result.

There’s some other good advice on sleeping here.

I’d suggest a mini hot water bottle for under/between layers.
Also getting an emergency foil blanket (relatively cheap) or 2, for under sleeping mats/over sleeping bags. They do make crinkly noises, but definitely work.

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when you pack your sleeping bag away, don’t roll it neatly into the carry bag: stuff it in randomly.
when you get home, take your sleeping bag out of the carry bag and store it loose.
each time you unpack it in your tent, shake it around a bit before laying it out, and shake it each morning or each evening as well.

basically, sleeping bags work because of the air trapped in the insulation, which ‘traps’ the warmth. If you roll your bag the same way every time you pack it away, or store it packed, you are compressing up the insulation inside, making it less warm over time.

A hotel room is likely my plan…

Now is a good time to buy outdoor gear, because sales, and boring people don’t like being outside in January.

Put warm things on as soon as you sit down. Do not wait until you get cold to put warm things on - aim never to be cold in the first place, whether through movement or layers. If it is getting dark, or the weather is turning, or you are sitting still, put more clothes on now, not later once you’ve already lost heat.

Merino thermals, if you are okay with wool, are safer around fire. Synthetic fabrics are like wearing petrol, and will melt into burns, whereas natural fibres will just singe and fall off you.

Warm hat, scarf, gloves, socks - Sealskinz waterproof socks will keep your feet dry in most circumstances, though they can be a bit sweaty.

Try to make sure that every single thing you have brought with you can be worn at once if it’s really necessary. Hopefully you won’t need to, but it’s better to have seven layers on and be feeling like the Michelin Man than to be cold and miserable.

Warm lower half is important too. For some reason people seem to pile on jumpers, then just wear one pair of trousers. I’m expecting to be wearing at least fleece lined trousers (£15, good for monstering and running around in as they are) under my kit for everything. If it’s really freezing, I’d be wearing thermals, tracksuit bottoms, fleece lined trousers, waterproof trousers, kit trousers, kit thick leather skirt, all at once.

Warm bottoms are particularly important if you will be sat on the floor, for example in Conclave. In Guides we’d make camp sitting mats out of newspapers wrapped in plastic bags - to make these IC you could stick an old pillowcase around them. Bits of Karrimat or carpet tiles also work.

Look after your friends. If you see someone else is getting cold, do something about it. Do not let them sit curled up getting more and more cold and demoralised, because in a few hours you could have a more serious problem. If you can bring spare warm things for lending to other people, that’s good. If you can’t, see if you at least know of someone who can, so you can send cold people to them.

The biggest risk I have to say is alcohol. Living in the lake district I’ve been involved in and seen many more cases of exposure at all times of the year which occurred only because the casualty had gotten very drunk.

The same person sober would have recognised their situation and been able to rectify it.

Keep an eye on your mates and anyone else who wanders drunkenly into your area of the game, and if you think they’re not likely to be able to keep themselves safe, and there’s no one with them you trust to… grab a Ref or Crew and get them out to the first aid tent.

Mostly echoing everyone else…
Something insulating between you and the ground is a must when you’re sleeping. I use an air bed with a good carrymat on top for comfort and insulation. And pile (dry) cloaks, clothes etc on top/around if you are cold when sleeping.
Thermals, extra layers, a scarf, gloves (at least 2 pairs if one pair gets wet) and a hat (altered to fit around horns if needed). I don’t have a good coat or cloak that would be IC so I made my kit larger and have layers underneath. Wool is great as it’s both warm and repels water naturally.
Larger boots so you can fit in an extra pair of socks, with enough space that there is a little bit of air to trap the heat.
Stay dry, if it’s raining find somewhere to shelter, quickly.
Eat plenty of (warm) food, you need the energy.
Avoid too much booze, even if you don’t get drunk it draws the blood to the surface so you lose heat quicker.
Something insulating to sit on is very helpful.
Keep active, but not so much that you sweat. If you sweat you’ll cool down very quickly when the activity stops, unless you have a wicking layer that draws the moisture away.

If compatible with your character, leather trousers can be good: windproof and almost waterproof, and you can wear a warm layer underneath. (My League character has some fairly close-fitting ones in red leather.)

Others have mentioned the importance of insulating legs. I think the reason people often don’t is that the obvious thing is to insulate the parts of you that feel uncomfortably cold, and that tends to be extremities and torso but not legs… but I think that’s only because legs are less affected by being cold. Legs have a big surface area (about a third of the total) through which they lose heat, and that cools the rest of the body.

I’ve found that some kinds of toothpaste become too stiff to squeeze out of the tube when cold.

I used to have a shooting jacket which had a kind of waterproof and thin but firm sitting mat which press studded into the back so that when you sat down your butt stayed dry and comfy!

I reckon that a similar thing could be incorporated into costume

If it’s really cold (like the very first event was) remember that butane burners don’t work below a certain temperature, so bring cash to get hot drinks/food if your stoves can’t get up to pressure.

Solid fuel stoves, open fires in braziers and propane stoves get around this issue.

Lots of good advice here.

If the weather is properly miserable; cold and raining a lot.
Make sure you keep your bedding and the area imdiatley around it dry.
Soaked outer clothing and boots come off just inside the tent entrance, and get left there. Any damp layers come off a bit further in, and go in a seperate pile/bag/rack.
I advise stripping down to nothing, towling off, putting on dry sleeping togs and then going to bed.
If you are in damp clothes in the tent during the day, stay well away from the sleeping area.
If you run out of dry clothing, consider going home. :frowning:
But if you try to sleep in damp bedding in a tent in the cold you will be miserable.

And remeber to enjoy E1

Yes, it can be enjoyed! I don’t want to put anyone off from attending - E1 can be cold, and wet, but with OOC considerations dealt with it can free you up to have a lot of fun, even in the dark or the rain.

I know I do.

In case it should chance to be muddy:
larphacks.tumblr.com/post/124248 … ve-the-mud