: As Azelin mentioned, the Turkish and Persian encampments are often : potrayed with cloth walls around them. : There are also some German ones from various woodcuts of seiges which : seem to illustrate cloth walls as well. : References upon request. I found my German reference. The German Single Leaf Woodcut 1500-1550 Volume II Revised and Edited by Walter L. Strauss Hacker Art Books, Inc. 1974 ISBN 0-87817-125-8 Yours in service, Merlynfon>

Another data point on the subject comes from a 16th century Italian sketchbook (published as "Il Libro del Sarto" that includes over a dozen drawings of various tent designs including elaborate encampments that use mock "walls". They don't appear to be fabric but are obviously some sort of thin, flimsy substance supported at intervals by posts set into the ground. The "walls" generally stretch between tents set at the corners of the enclosure, sometimes with a larger "main" tent in the center of the enclosure. Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

The 16th c. Italian "Libro del Sarto" shows some very interesting temporary encampment wall designs. Not all of them are practical for SCA purposes, but several are. One of the practical ones (in a somewhat unexpected fashion) is the system of placing main pavillions at the corners of the encampment layout and then creating encampment "walls" by connecting the pavillions with what are essentially elongated "pup-tents" with an upside-down V cross-section. (Presumably the tension of the walls is sufficient for stability.) I could see a design like this providing plenty of out-of-sight storage space for incidentals.Another design found in several of the illustrations is a mock "castle wall" complete with crenellations. The walls are supported at intervals with upright posts (presumably driven into the ground) which correspond to each crenellation (i.e., supporting the part that sticks up). The material of the walls is not entirely determinable from the sketches, but fabric would be one reasonable interpretation. The walls are decorated (presumably painted) either with a large-scale checkerboard pattern, or with lines representing masonry.Caveat: I have not attempted to create either of these designs -- these are simply examples of how people in period approached the same question.Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

The chronicles of Joinville, that of St Louis, I believe in Ch. 10 has a wondrous description of the Sultans encampment. It is very much worth the few minutes it take to read for those unfamiliar with the work. The camp is described as being surrounded in walls of blue fabric, the same material as the pavillions are made of as well. Towers are described as made of poles and again covered in blue so that from the outside of the camp all one sees is a jumble of blue shapes. The good sultan even had a pavillion in the Med itself for bathing and a covered walkway, you guessed it, in blue, leading down to it. In many ways this is what we do at Pennsic albeit with more varied and personnal designs.Aside from the obvious privacy obtained, our *anachronisms* are out of sight, everything *looks* more medieval and the atmosphere is enhanced. Walls. Gotta lov'em! Vale, Steiner

A member of our port made a number of walls for the port encampment. They have a large Tentmatser pavillion which is set up like a keep with a courtyard beyond. We took "portable holes" and sturdy pine staves like marshalling staffs. Then we had a pile of sheets (no they WEREN'T marked Navy property ;) ) you can get them sometimes from hotels when they toss them out. Bleach 'em and dye 'em. Ties were sewn to the sheets. The whole thing packs down very well, is easily adjustable, and easy to put up. Make sure you have four to five ties AT LEAST for a six foot wall. This allows you to open part for wind to get through, you can change the hight if you want to be closed off or more open. Like a decorative fence versus a barrier. The best thing about it all is that the dome tents and cabin tents are shaded a bit from the eyes. You are drawn to the pavillion, and walls and posts, and banners flying off of wall posts and the crenelations in grey painted on the walls.Good luck, Ekatarina

Hello everyone! > >I've been given the task of organizing the perimiter fabric fence >construction for our group (Raven Spittle) for this year's Pennsic. > >I've no clue where to begin! Would any of you who have constructed such a >fence be willing to share tips on materials, methods, etc? > Ok, the quick easy and cheap way is to get a bunch of full size or larger bed sheets from the cheapest source you can find. Add grommets, the two piece kind, to the four corners of each sheet. Tie the sheets to your upright poles. Keep adding segments until you have enough to go around what you're trying to screen.Options: Paint or dye the sheets. Add water proofing. Cut a couple of semicircular flaps in the center of each segment to discourage the wind from catching the wall like a sail. Use leather, denim, or canvas to reinforce the grommet points before attaching the grommets.Use better material, the sheets are very cheap to acquire, but _will_ eventually tear. If you only need the things for a week or two a year, sheeting will be fine, if you use them often, light canvas, heavy muslin or trigger cloth is a better choice. Damaged sailboat sails are a possibility, there should be a fair amount of still usable material in any given one.

Why not make something akin to a ghillie cloth?  take an old sheet.  sew strips of elastic to it, not the good stuff, but cheap
lingerie/swimsuit elastic.  sew em down, leaving about two inches between each set of stitching to make loops.  stuff brush, straw, grass, twigs, what-have-you under the elastic.  done well, or even not-so-well, it pretty effecetively hides a dome tent.  I've done this before - it can be rather disconcerting to have a dome tent hidden well in a grassy field to which you take your friends for a song and some food and drink.--contributed by Eridana


PROPANE TORCHES--Sorry, I don't know of anyone who sells them, but they take litle effort to make. I just made two myself (thanks to H.L. Gottfried telling me how his were made.)

By the way, my wife insists on calling them "Incinterons", after a joking message was left about them on our answering machine.

Basic directions.

All the parts are available from a reasonable hardware store. The pipe is usually available precut to a variety of lengths. All the gas joints should have the threads sealed with teflon tape.

Start with a 20# propane tank.

To this connect a BBQ grill regulator. (Stay away from the cheap ones - they will hum quite annoyingly.)

The hose from the regulator then needs to be attached to a 1/2" black iron pipe T fitting. But, the connections don't fit, so you need an adapter. In the plumbing dept of your hardware store you should be able to find a brass "Flare to MIP" fitting. Make sure you get the right size. The T fitting is 1/2" but the regulator is probably 3/8" (double check this.)

Connect the bottom of the T to a 12" (or so) long black iron pipe

Now you have two options.

A) Screw the bottom of this pipe to a floor flange, then have someone weld over the bottom to create a good seal. This may prove difficult as welding this material may take different techniques or materials than the average local armor has handy.

B) Simply scerw an endcap onto the bottom of the pipe. This is far easier - but not as secure as having the floor flange for mounting purposes.

Now back to the T. To the top of the T attach another 12" pipe.

To this attack a ball valve.

Then a long piece of pipe. (I use 6')

Now you have some options.

A) You can leave the end of the pipe alone and let the gas just shoot out.

B) You can put an endcap on the pipe and drill holes in it and the top few inches of pipe to produce a more "fluffy" flame. I prefer this option.

In addition, I bought som 12" stainless steel bowls from Big Lots (49 cents each), cut a hole in the bottom for the 1/2" pipe and mounted them just below the holes in the pipe. This helps contain the gas and spread the bottom of the flame so it looks like a brasier. I think it gives a more period look.

Now all you have to do is build a wooden box to contain the tank, and regulator with some space on one side for the pipe.

Drill a hole in the top for the pipe to come through, and screw the floor flange to the bottom. Or, if you are not using a floor flange, run a 2x4 from the top to the bottom and fasten the pipe to this with a couple of U mounting brackets.

Remember that the top will need to be in 2 peices. One part fixed solidly - with the pipe coming through, and the rest hinged or removable so that the tank can be pulled out and refilled.

I have added eye bolts to the sides of the box near the ground to put stakes through to stabilize the box. While it is solid enough without these not to fall over easily, no one wants a drunk stumbling into it and turning it into a flame thrower aimed at their tent or friends.

Congratulations - You are done.Any other questions, feel free to contact me.--Sir Fernando Rodriguez de Falcon, Baron of Three Rivers - Calontir, OP


A couple of years ago, after a period of much travel to SCA camping events, I retired my tent and built myself a small camping trailer. Since then, I've been much more comfortable at events and my pre- and postevent prep time is reduced because I leave most of my gear in the trailer between events. Set-up and take-down time is also reduced, so I can pull into the site at the usual late hour and have a place to sleep without waking up other campers with all of that pole clanging and stake pounding. Its also nice to be able to lock up most of my gear when I'm out fighting etc., a increasingly more important concern at larger events.I'm pretty well satisfied with the convenience of this type of camping, but I have given some thought to the impact that we RV types are having on the SCA culture. We are still in the minority, although the few comments that I've had from tent campers have been more like good-natured ribbing about my luxurious lifestyle ;). My rule of thumb for minimizing impact on the period feel of the site has been to hide myself among the vehicles out in the parking lot. Unfortunately, most event autocrats don't seem to give much thought to RV's and the parking areas are pretty far away from the field, especially when you're carrying armor. For some of the less accessible sites, I'm currently planning on putting up some of those reed screens and concealing my trailer down among the tents. I'm working on the same 'out of sight out of mind' theory that people use for plastic armor, ice chests etc. I think that this should be acceptable for any area except the Enchanted Ground's. Anybody want to throw in an opinion? I welcome your comments or criticisms. Breanainn O' Coinghiollain (DISCREET RV heretic)

Our Baron and Baroness have purchased a small camping trailer to take to camping events and such.They have painted the outside to resemble the walls of a stone castle, added detachable crenellations to the top as well as fold out pieces in front and back to hide the trailer hitch (and as a side effect provide some shade to the ends of the trailer). The windows have been "leaded" with paint, and the whole thing looks wonderful! If you go to Pennsic, locate the Barony of Thescorre (look for the three ravens) and ask to see Devon and Daedra's castle. It's delightful. The only problem they have now is that our annual camping event in July is held on the other side of a gorge in a State Park and there is no way to get the trailer in there (you either haul your stuff over the footbridge or you take a chance with your shocks and undercarriage by using the access road - which, if it's wet, could be hazardous for even a 4-wheel drive vehicle). So, a little imagination and some well-applied paint may help you to "disguise" your trailer. Devon and Daedra say it was worth the effort just to see the looks on the faces of other drivers as they cruise the interstate with it behind them!

Master Fionn MacPhail, OL, built such a thing here after being inspired by Pennsic, and the structures and cathedral there. He used 2x4 and full sheets of plywood, giving an 8' tall wall, and canvas over a ridgepole for the roof. The sections were made, assembled, painted, and marked for re-assembly. To make the shed rigid, crosspieces (again 2x4) were placed across the short side of the roof. Decoration made the shed look half timbered, and one section had a door, and three windows. It is a marvelous thing, but a bit too labor intensive for just a weekend event.I believe he has it for sale, but it is in the South Bay area of the San Francisco Bay, a bit far to see.

Master Seppo Temminen of Sterlynge Vayle has designed and built a fantastic 2-story Tudor-style merchant's house with ground-floor space for a potter, a jeweler, and a couple other crafters, which has also served as a tavern. It has two spacious lofts with sleeping room for 2-3 adults in each one. The house is built with a fairly elaborate post and beam frame, plywood walls, and a canvas roof. It comes apart fairly easily and fits on a ~15 ft. trailer. If you were at Pennsic the last two years, you would have seen it, last year next to the food vendors. And of course it will be back again this year as he stored it at the site. Hauling it 300+ miles really is a pain!

I'm considering building a 'little house on the trailer' as my next 'tent' project. I already have a 7x16 foot flatbed trailer (which was pretty full last year going to Pennsic). The attraction of having a 'house' is that packing would consist of hooking up the trailer, and setting up camp would consist of unhooking the trailer and dropping hinged underpinning panels to hide the wheels. In case anyone else is interested in such a project, the trailer I bought cost $900 and can carry 7000 lb gross and 5000 lb net. Another attraction of a little house is to be able to use a real roof, and to be high enough off the ground to avoid getting wet. Daniel of Raven's Nest

I don't know about the actual rules, however, I have seen at least one pop-up at Estrella in years past. It was cleverly disguised as a wee tiny stone keep, as I recall. They added a canvas skirting around the aluminum sides and painted it and the top (I think) to resemble stones walls. Ailith

The Baron and Baroness of Thescorre (East) have had a trailer for the past few years at Pennsic that is quite cleverly disguised as a castle. They use a wooden frame to extend the ends as towers and also cover the lower/wheel area. It is painted to resemble stonework. They made sure to seek permission from the Coopers in advance and have had no problems with it. I have also seen appropriately disguised pop-ups. I believe that in general, trailers are not allowed at Pennsic, but with a good disguise and advance permission, it can be managed.

I need some helpfull advice from engineers, physicists, and such technical folks.

A bit ago I found some images of Kipchak tents (10th-12th cent.). This is basically a large wooden box on wheels, open to the sky, with the top covered by a triangle tent. The tent seems to have a central pole with the bottom of the tent attached to the sides of the box. The Kipchaks lived in these full time and hitched them to horses for transport. The pictures show a number of folks peeking out - implying a fairly large (in my estimate 8 or 9 foot) floor area.

I've been toying with building one but haven't the knowledge necessary to make it sturdy enough for hitching to my car on the way from Brooklyn to Pennsic.

Thus, what I'm looking for is specs on materials and construction. Ie: type of wood, necessary thickness, brakets necessary, type of join necessary, etc.

Illustration: /\ / \ / \ fabric tent ---------( )------cut------ / \ / \

|| | | || || | | || || | wood box | || || | | || || | | || || | | || || -------------------------- || || || || || || ||

^------- wheels ---------------^

Any help would be much apreciated.

Thank you. Nahum ha Kuzar

From: (David Calafrancesco) Newsgroups: Subject: Period Trailer Date: 06 Jun 96 20:15:48 Organization: Druid's Grove FIDO -> Internet Gateway wrote in a message to All:

li> I need some helpfull advice from engineers, physicists, and li> such technical folks.

li> A bit ago I found some images of Kipchak tents (10th-12th li> cent.).

Neat.... but don't leave us hanging... where did you find them?!?!? name your sources pretty please ;)

li> This is basically a large wooden box on wheels, open li> to the sky, with the top covered by a triangle tent. The li> tent seems to have a central pole with the bottom of the li> tent attached to the sides of the box.

Sounds like a standard 'officers' style tent attached to the sides instead of the ground. Also called a wedge and seen used by civ war and rev war re-enactors (sans trailer). So canvas will be easy to make.

li> The Kipchaks lived in these full time and hitched them to li> horses for transport. The pictures show a number of folks li> peeking out - implying a fairly large (in my estimate 8 or 9 li> foot) floor area.

I assume you mean an 8 or 9 foot long floor area by circa 6-7 feet wide. For a total of 63 square feet.

li> I've been toying with building one but haven't the knowledge necessary to make it sturdy enough for hitching to my car on the way from Brooklyn to Pennsic.

Ahh... well let me help you in that matter... you don't build the trailer part. You go and locate and purchase a decent utility trailer whose box/floor has rotted away but whose wheels and frame are in fine shape. Old pop-up travel trailers (campers) are perfect for something like this. I would use the style that has the wheels underneath the floor (for reasons I will get into in a minute). Also look for a trailer with a single box beam hitch versus the triangle style (again to be explained).

Depending on condition I would strip all the old surfaces off the frame (leave the floor if it is in very good condition. If you are lucky enough to get a whole trailer in decent condition then you would want to just add enough wood around the box to make the box look proper.

Otherwise you will use 3/4" outdoor, marine or pressure treated grade plywood for the floor. You will make two back sections, one will have the requisite lighting units attached and the other will have the brackets for the tent pole as well as a nice little door to ease entry.

The assembly would be by interior brace/support. Lay the plywood on the deck of the frame if you need to replace the deck. Around the 2 sides and front attach a 2x2 to the outer edge of the deck with good decking screws up from the bottom into the 2x2. Across the back you would have the 2x2 cleat stop where your door will be placed. At all corners and where the door would be add a 2x2x(height of sides) in all 4 corners so that you effectively have posts standing up. Attach the side walls to these posts screwing liberally from the outside into the 2x2 cleat. With plywood you always want to screw into the solid wood. You should also glue the joints together as you screw them to make the strongest joint. Use the glue that comes in a caulking gun tube and is designed for framing and sheathing houses.

Alternatively you could build up your sides using lapped siding (much more expensive), or a type of plywood called T1-11 cut so the side runs the length of the 4x8 sheet might give you enough texture and look to satisfy you. Check your local lumber yards for what you can afford and what will look good enough for you. If you are a glutton for punishment you can obtain rough cut barn siding to more closely approximate what their texture would be like.

Height of the sides will be dependent on the type of material you use as well as what your estimates are from the pictures you are using. Assume the people are smaller than they are today and adjust accordingly as they would have built for their stature we should build for ours as well.

Anyway, you attach the siding to the vertically mounted 2x2s you can add additional 2x2s with 45 degree cuts on the end as diagonal braces to the vertical corner pieces for even more stability. Generally the vertical pieces should be stable enough. You will want to add a 2x2 top rail around the wall pieces for additional stability. Every 2' or so you would place another vertical piece attached to the top and bottom rails as well as the siding. Make sure the siding extends low enough to cover the metal frame of the trailer.

By screwing the corners together through the 2x2 you have each side supporting it's adjacent side. This plan falters when we get to the back end because of the door. You should probably make a 3-6" stub wall on the side where the door will be to give a diagonal brace to the back corner of the trailer.

I mentioned earlier you can make two back ends to allow for easy swap of lighting equipment. As an alternative you can use a screwdriver and remove the lights when you get to camp and push the wires (with a quick connector system for easy removal) back through the hole. Ignore the holes and treat them as another knot hole. If you choose the remove the lights system then you only need one back door assembly and your trailer will consequently be sturdier. Otherwise you will have to attach the two different back panels using some type of bolt or other arrangement to allow changing.

Seeing as how NY State requires amber side clearance lights I'd opt for removable lights and just remove them for the duration. I will outline what I would do for the door and rear section. Assuming your trailer is 6' 6" wide (rather standard size if I recall correctly) I would place the door on one or the other side of center approximately 6-8" from the side piece. I would also go 6-8" from the center point of the trailer. So, for the 6.5' trailer the door would be up to 27" wide. If necessary you can reduce the distance past the center point to 3" for a 30" door but most camper doors are smaller than 27". There should definitely be a diagonal inside the wall for the back section. Whether an angle bracket (angled into the bed of the trailer) is needed to support the tent pole will depend on how sturdy your construction is.

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Use 2+" hardwood closet rod for the tent pole and you will want to attach a cross piece between the poles to reduce the stress on the pole mounting. By adding the cross pole you reduce entirely the tendency to pull the poles into the center of the trailer.

You will locate some long nails and predrill the ends of the two poles just a bit smaller than the nails and drive the nails into the poles. Leaving only enough to go through most of the cross bar (more closet rod). Cut off the head of the nail and file the end over round. Make sure none of it extends through the cross piece and round the end of the cross pieces. You don't need any tiedowns on the end of the poles so extending the nails through the canvas is not at all necessary. Consequently that is one less water leak you need to worry about.

When you sew your canvas make sure you allow for a generous overlap near the door to keep rain out, also make an overlapping flap to cover the attachments you use for the canvas to the top of the walls. I would probably use a grommet strip and have holes spaced every 6 inches or so and lace or tie the canvas to the holes. The flap should be circa 6" to keep rain from entering.

You can drill a few holes every couple of inches in the lower section of your poles to allow you to tighten the canvas by raising the pole and inserting a rounded end nail through the hole above your top bracket. The bracket can be made out of available cable/pipe tie down clamps (electrical/plumbing dept) or made from flat steel/iron stock cold pounded into the correct shape. Attach some 2x4 blocks to the wall where the poles are attached to distribute the pressure to the wall instead of on the screw of the clamp only.

The wheels of the actual trailer are under the bed of trailer but visible from the sides so we create a fake wheel to cover them. Using either 1/2" plywood or several 1x6 pine boards (with cross cleats) cut a large (3+') wheel. You will attach using a fake hub looking arrangement (i.e. bolted through to the wall with some blocks behind it and on the outside looking like a wagon wheel hub. These are purely decorative and hold no weight whatsoever. I'd probably dig a bit into the ground to give the impression of great weight from the wagon, after all wagons always left ruts in the roads.

You will also need 4 jacks in the four corners of the trailer to keep the floor stable when you get in and walk around. I would use standard travel trailer jack stands and cover them in some way (a 2 sides wooden cover or something similar). You will also want to make a long wooden 3 sided channel box to cover the front hitch post as that is not safely removed and a wooden hitch harness would have been used instead of the metal box beam. Decorate it with cross beams for horses if desired.

I know of at least two families from our Barony that take their trailers to PENNSIC. They have a large canvas/sailcloth like material covering for the trailer to wear. This gives it a pavilion style look. The real give away is tires showing because they didn't make it long enough and the cool white florescent style camp lights glowing inside. I know of one gentle that made an elephant out of his van. Most intriguing eh.

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