Beltane IL post-mortem

Boob hatThis last weekend was West Kingdom Beltane. This is the beginning of the 49th year of the SCA and the West Kingdom.

We camped. This is the first time we have camped at an event since our son was born. He’s now 5 1/2 months old.

The good:
– We camped! The whole weekend! We didn’t chicken out and run home even though home was only 1 hr away!
– Bob used his new propane powered coffee maker. I was having much love for coffee on Saturday and especially on Sunday morning.
– Scotch eggs are yummy. These are a GREAT option for Sunday morning breakfast. Easy and filling. I plan to make a bunch and freeze them.
– Babies in medieval garb are stunningly cute. Friday afternoon, just before I left the house, I whipped up a wool hood for The Monster. OMG SO CUTE!
– Two friends gave us hats for Erik. Maat gave us another boob hat (I accidentally shrank the last one) and Sæunn gave us a lovely blue/white knitted cap. Unfortunately I only have pictures of the boob hat.

The bad:
– I never made it to the Saluminati meeting. I hadn’t made anything to contribute.. and just as it was time to head over The Monster needed a change and then a feed and then a nap. So I just never made it. I’ll have to try harder next year.
– I also never really made it to court. Well that’s not true. I made it to evening court on Saturday but mostly I was so far back I couldn’t hear or see anything. Either courts happened when The Monster was sleeping.. or he was just starting to fuss.. or it was “all the way down there” and I just couldn’t muster up the umph to get all the way down there.
– My phone battery died on Friday night. I need to remember that the site is just barely outside of cell service so it sucks my battery down to nothing searching for service. I reset Fearghus’ phone to “airplane mode” and it kept a charge all weekend. This is important because we use a phone app to set off alarms to tell us when it’s time to feed. At this point I could probably muddle through without the alarms.. but it’s a safety blanket I would have sorely missed on our first attempt at camping.
– Evenings at Beltane were cold. Miserably cold. Luckily our bedding is very warm (feather mattress, feather comforter) so once we went to bed we warmed up quickly but socializing before that was a bit miserable.

The tweaks:
Overall it went great. In specific there are a few things I’d like to tweak.
– I need to be sure to always pack a “quick run to the priv” outfit. I’m thinking my Kentish Anglo-Saxon outfit fits the bill. It’s quick to get into, warm and can then easily be shrugged out of to do the rest of my morning prep.
– I -can- breastfeed in my waisted kirtles and I do that during the day.. but before I put on my kirtle in the morning I like to brush my teeth and put on sunblock. It doesn’t sound like much but The Monster likes to be changed and fed promptly in the morning so I tend to do that in whatever I wore to bed the night before. This feeds back into my needing a “quick run to the priv” outfit.
– I need to make up a “cold weather” bag and have that ALWAYS live in the trailer. Nights at Beltane were cold and we completely neglected to pack ANYTHING warm. This made for miserable evenings. The plan is for the bag to include an unassigned rectangle of wool which could easily be used for a cloak, our coats, a couple of hoods, a couple of fuzzy hats, and a couple of pairs of sweat pants.
– I want to convert our firepit to be a propane burning firepit. I prefer sitting around camp and chatting over wandering the event site. With The Monster sleeping in the tent I didn’t want to wander too far from out tent. This meant, since we didn’t have fire and it was a couple of fairly cold nights that we sat around and chatted in a fairly miserable setting. I like the ambiance of a fire but after years of having a fire.. and then fighting about who had to stay up with it and who had to clean up the ash.. I really find I prefer burning propane which has no cleanup.. and can be turned off with the flick of a switch. This is high on my project list.
– We need to get a nice-ish outdoor 5’x7′ carpet to serve as the area for The Monster to roll around on. Over this weekend we had a tarp.. but that looked a bit bare.
– The Monster needs a bigger, thicker long-sleeved sleeping sack. We put him down in his sleep sack.. but one layer of polar fleece didn’t feel like it would keep him warm enough. So then we piled blankets on top of him which felt dangerous. Finally we pulled him into bed with us which kept him warm enough but Fearghus then had a restless night worrying about potentially crushing or smothering our son (and since he had a restless night I also had a restless night).

Our next camping event will be Cynaguan Coronet May 23-26. It’s up in Quincy so I expect it to be cold there in the evenings. Plans are afoot to deal with the cold a bit better.

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8 comments to Beltane IL post-mortem

  • It was a Beltane on that same site that caused me to ALWAYS to have my Cuddle Duds, a warm hat and extra socks. No matter how prepared I thought I was for the cold these were better to have. Didn't take up a lot of room and just stayed in my garb bag all year.

  • Yeah.. normally we're prepared.. but with making sure we had everything for The Monster we neglected to check that we had packed our coats (which ended up in the garage instead of in the trailer). I will fix that before our next camping event.

  • Eric Thomas Black

    We had the same problem with the cold at Town Faire. He did pretty well in the evening when we had him in his pack and play, but when it got later we pulled him into bed with us as well. The other downside to the cold was that Chris didn't want to get out of bed to breastfeed because it was pretty cold outside of the covers so there were some interesting yoga poses while she did it under the covers.

  • Farleigh Greyerbiehl

    We will ne camping at Coronet and will have a firepit, if you want to camp with/near us (we will be on the Eric and part of the autocrat team) you are always welcome to share our fire!

  • Thanks! I am hoping to get our firepit converted to propane by then.. but it's good to know that we have options if that doesn't work out.

  • Yeah.. stripping down to my skivvies and baring breast at 10pm and then again at 8am was.. trying. Luckily we're no longer doing 4am feedings otherwise I'm sure I would also have attempted the yoga positions.

  • Krysta M. Scott

    been there, done that…

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