Recovering From Empire Events

E1 is fast approaching. I’m very aware that E3 last year took me at least a week to recover from, and what with colder weather this will likely be even more demanding.

What are the steps you take, or are thinking of taking, before during and after to minimize the vast post empire energy depletion that comes after events?

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I usually go for a good breakfast, lots of water and showers in the morning during the event, then when I get back I have a bath and go to bed as soon as possible. The next few days I will try and take it easy and eat well.

Honestly? I always used to book a few days off work after the event.

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Try not to leave all the cleaning up and putting away for too long. It doesn’t get any better, and in some cases (mould on damp fabric things) gets a lot worse, and it will keep niggling away at the back of your mind, (and/or you’ll keep falling over it in your house!)

If you can sort when packing down, put any remaining food in one bag, laundry in another as it makes it easier to deal with the more urgent things when you get home.

Once you’ve got a load of laundry on take some time to care for you, lots of warm water, moisturise everything, eat a decent balanced meal and then sleep. (hanging the laundry up can wait until the morning.)

Prepping before you leave so you have clean sheets on your bed, and something in the fridge/freezer to make your first at-home meal will make the above easier.

Also to some extent managing your energy levels at the event will make that easier. Make sure you eat, drink enough water, try and get a decent amount of sleep, and sit down when you can, and so on. If you’re personally rubbish at managing this, ask your group to keep an eye on you, and take their advice when they remind you!

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I always book a recovery day off if I can.

I no longer fight. Much as I miss it, it has meant I don’t completely trash myself.

I give myself permission not to get up in the mornings (although I usually do anyway).

I drink a lot of water and squash, and when I switch to alcohol I alternate with non-alcoholic drinks or mixer them right down as appropriate. Rum and dilute apple cordial is remarkably good. In the same vein I try to eat well.

I have a good system of kit packing which means as the end of the event I can throw my stuff in a box and be ready to get it in the car at short notice.

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What has worked best for me is to take better care of my self on site. A proper breakfast, regular meals, taking it easier on the drink.
A day off after the event to clean up and pack away takes a lot of the stress away. Maybe leave £20 on the fridge for Take Out when you get back.

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Before event:

  • Know how to put up your tent. It might be minging weather, and it’ll be easier if you know how to do it beforehand.
  • Sort out your kit bag/kitbox, only take stuff that you know you are gonna use. Happens to everyone: You have 1 bag or box at home that all your larp gear goes into, and you just chuck it in the car. Nah, Takes half an hour to go through the box and take out all the bits you don’t need, and fit in the bits you do.
  • Wash your gear. You may be the cleanest person in the world, but please please wash your larp shirts and trousers between events.
  • Plan your meals for your shop trip, and NEVER shop hungry. Get stuff easy to eat and store. Keep in mind stuff like washing up and needed equipment - I’ve ended up down the route of ‘Add Hot Water’ pots (Porridge, Noodles, Cous Cous) and then I only need a stove, kettle and a spork. Although Bacon, egg, soss and a fried slice are nice, you can really only keep them overnight once in an insulated bag.
  • Liquids! Water is a good shout, you don’t NEED the huge 5l bottles as the standpipes on-site are drinkable. Have a smaller bottle aswell with a sports cap for easy drinkage. Sugary drinks and thinks like powerade can be useful too.
  • Carrier bags. Ok, they are 5p, but they are still relatively disposible. It’s worth having a few to hand ready to role-play as a bin or Muddy-stuff holder.

So what you’ve done, is engineered a situation where everything is minimised as much as possible, so during event it’s easy to keep tidy and at the end, its easy to pack and then unpack at home. The Meal tickets can also be great for helping with this.

During Event:

  • Keep hydrated. It’s more than avoiding a hangover. It’ll keep you from feeling tired, sooth your throat ready for a battlecry, and cool you off. Pretty much EVERY group will hook you up with a cup of water if you ask nicely and it is NOT considered rude nor a political or social faux pas. Even Brass Coast will hook you up.
  • Know your drinking limits and stay within them. Be aware that it’ll probably hit you more subtly and a bit harder than in real life, as you are moving around more and eating less.
  • Drink so much water before sleep. Like, So much. Maybe even a painkiller if you think you might have a headache in the morning.
  • Adjust clothing to the weather, Layering is your friend here
  • Stay on top of tidying the tent. Everything is either in-use (Mattress, Sleeping bag, IC kit), in the bin, or not-in-use. Not in use stuff gets put into a box or bag. Sunday morning, it’s worth taking half an hour to deflate the mattress, pack away bedding and leave out OC clothing. Personally I leave the tent up so’s I can get changed. This makes pack-down so much easier.
  • If it’s gonna be a muddy event sort out your shoes. Have your larp shoes ready to go, and take off your OC shoes as early as you can and put them in a carrier bag.
  • Muddy stuff in carrier bags
  • Rip a carrier bag (Or black sack) and lay it on the floor just inside your tent. No shoes pass this point.

After Event:

  • Stay Hydrated with water and powerade (Or other thing that gives you minerals)
  • You can justify a greasy burger on the way back, and is great.
  • Hopefully unpacking the car should be ok with all your stuff in boxes/bags.
  • Muddy stuff get them out of the bag as early as reasonable, and leave them in a garage, shed or other outside/inside space to dry out. It’s much easier to scrape off dried mud than wet and stops stuff from rotting.
  • Time your sleep schedule. It might be tempting to go straight to bed when you get home, but if you get back early, you will get minor jetlag and wake up at stupid am in the morning. Bedtime should be close to your normal bedtime, maybe an hour before to get a little extra.
  • If needed, take the next morning (Or day) off work. Radox bath or hot shower with Mint Showergel with relax the F out of your muscles.

Other than that, it’s a can-do attitude and a bright smile :smiley:

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For after the event, I go relatively simple: get the car unpacked and the stuff just dumped in the kitchen. A nice long warm shower. Order takeaway and crash out.

I always book the Monday off work to do the actual sorting of kit, washing, washing up, etc. It’s still knackering, but having the whole day off means I can take my time and do things in little batches with breaks inbetween.

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Before the event:
Pack a complete set of clothing to travel home in a waterproof bag.
Make your bed.
Have a ready-meal in the fridge or something frozen so you can just nuke and eat when you get in.

During:
Eat regularly and drink plenty of water.
Rest when you can. Naps are good.

After:
When packing up put clothing that needs to be washed in a separate bag to clean stuff - one less job to do when you get home.
Take your time over the journey home.
Eat, sling dirty stuff in the machine, shower, bed.
If you can (and I appreciate it’s not an option for everyone) take an extra day off work to have a lie-in and sort out the rest of your kit.
In addition to all this, FOR ME a dose of ibuprofen taken before bed and then another in the morning helps head off the next day fatigue. This won’t work for everyone and obviously only try it if you know you’re OK taking it.

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Before/during:

  • clear weekend before event to pack & prepare
  • detailed packing lists
  • pre-packed food and drink for set-up
  • earlyish night Thursday
  • one of my group makes breakfasts :heart:
  • every day, the MORNING CURE: pint of water with 2 x Solpadeine, Berocca orange fizzy vitamin tablet, and sachet of rehydration salts.

After:

  • pre-packed take-down bag with food & drink including sweet and salty food
  • two empty days off work (on day 1 I go back to bed after dropping off the hire van)
  • clear weekend post-event to unpack and clean and put everything away

Basically, everything needs to be planned beforehand and then run on rails.

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Anything that I can do to alleviate anxiety, I try to do.

  • The week before, I start getting everything together, then pare out through that week of what’s critical, what’s nice to have, and ‘yeah, that can stay home’. Build a checklist. Make sure it’ll all fit in the vehicle (don’t get to Thursday to discover it’s not going to fit).
  • Check the weather in the area one’s going to be at and adjust costume/gear/etc.
  • Any last minute repairs or kit checks, fix those loose buttons, retie that strap, etc.
  • If one got any new kit, try it out at least two weeks out from an event, make sure it’s broken in, comfortable, not going to chafe, bind, etc. One doesn’t want to find out in the field that something one’s relying on is actually unreliable.

We are lucky enough to have the privilege to arrive on Thursday afternoon; doing this alleviates my anxiety, I have time to set up my tent, decorate it, check in with friends and align my mind to being in the field, my character, the world of Anvil and Empire. I can practise some of the songs and that also helps my alignment with my character.

I try to clean up and pack loose stuff every morning and evening; it helps for when I get to Sunday afternoon, with the takedown and vehicle packing. I also clean up my rubbish and dispose of it. Then I touch the ground my tent laid upon, and say thanks for hosting me. This helps me ground after the event, and reminds me to appreciate the farmer, the field, PD, etc.

I’m the driver, so I natter with my travel companion about what happened in game. I drop them off, then get home and unpack vehicle. Laundry is in a clear plastic bag. Hug the spouse, toilet, eat, and drink, shower, moisturise, then a cuddle on the couch until bedtime.

On the next sunny and dry day, take the tent to a park, set it up, and let it dry for a couple of hours. Pack it down, then store it until the next event.

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Most of my points have already been made. Don’t over-exert yourself packing and unpacking loads of kit you won’t use. Bring stuff to stay warm and dry, but not endless tat you might want.

Try to have a system for organising things through the weekend and at takedown. Put anything you will need to deal with very soon after getting home (e.g. washing, anything which got wet) somewhere you can easily unpack it. Anything else like dry props can then be categorised as a problem for another weekend. Do not muddle these up so you have to spend hours while already exhausted going through everything you brought the event in case it’s in the first category.

Something not mentioned - what you eat and drink can be as important as how much. Get plenty of salt. Are you missing out on something else like energy or protein? It might be taking your body a while to recover from that.

Make sure your sleep quality is as good as it can be. Have a mattress you find comfortable. If you’re too hot or cold, fix that. Hat and socks can be very good for too cold. I always bring earplugs and an eye mask, because camping can mean bright light waking me up at 6am even if I went to bed at 3. If sleeping conditions are really bad I sometimes take melatonin as well.

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YES! That stuff is Future Pennys problem, Let her deal with it, While current Penny recovers :smiley:

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