Updated with permission from the “The Newcomer’s Survival Guide to Lilies War”
originally compiled by Signore Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi aka Jibra’il Attar c. 2005
Welcome to the SCA and the Kingdom of Calontir!
If you’re reading this, it’s because it’s that time of the year when the Populace prepares to make their annual sojourn to the fields of Lilies War. You may be panicking because you don’t know what to expect, OR you know what to expect but with everything going on, you’re afraid you’re going to forget something.
How do you get the information you need to survive Lilies War without having a complete nervous breakdown? You’re looking at the answer right now.
This Camper’s Guide is broken down into a few sections to aid in your preparations:
- General Site Information
- Useful Camping Tips
- A Comprehensive Packing List
The first thing that I suggest for everyone to do is familiarize yourself with the Lilies website:
By becoming familiar with the Lilies website, you will find ALL of the necessary information ahead of time: Who are the Event Stewards? Who is in charge of Sanitation Services? Who is the Fire Marshal on site? It’s easier to get things taken care of if you know who to go to.
The Lilies website is also the central repository of scheduling information before you get to site. It’s an excellent resource for preparing your personal Lilies schedule ahead of time, rather than showing up on site and trying to build a schedule from the Lilies booklet. (Not that there is anything wrong with that!)
Speaking of the Lilies site booklet – be sure to read it once you’ve gotten it! There are a lot of important notices in there that many people skim over. The parking rules change sometimes, depending on the weather and park managers, for example.
Speaking of rules, here is a link to the Lilies War Site Rules: http://www.lilieswar.org/site-rules
General Site Information:
Here are some key reference points around the Lilies site that you will commonly hear people refer to:
GATE/TROLL: This is where you sign-in, take care of “lost and found” issues, and stock up on ice.
FIRST AID: This is where volunteers stand-by to assist with minor medical needs, find information about local clinics and hospitals, and re-charge medical devices.
COMPANY OF TRAVELERS: This is a group of people who attempt to establish an authentic medieval encampment (or as close to it as they can get). It’s a relatively quiet camping area off by itself.
FOOD COURT: There are a few food merchants at Lilies every year, to supplement your meal plan.
ARCHERY: This is where the archery and thrown weapons ranges are located.
OLD MARKET: This is the “Old Merchants” area, from the first few years of Lilies at this site. You will find some of the merchants still set up here.
OLD BATTLEFIELD: the Main Battlefield where most of the tournaments are held. Nearby you will also find most of the Baronial Encampments and the Royal Pavilion.
BARDS: This is where the Bardic Encampment is, just below “The Dog Leg” path to New Merchants. Aside from singing and stories, they also host Viking Mardi Gras on Monday evening.
NEW MARKET: This is the main merchant area. You will find many more merchants here.
ARTS & SCIENCES: Besides RUSH classes, this area also houses the Tailor’s tent, the Pottery tent, the Glass Workers tent, the Great Machine, Master Edward’s wood shop, and Heralds Point. You will also find a nice line-up of portable “facilities” here, as well as the on-site showers.
GRAND PAVILION: This is where Grand Court and the Lilies Ball have traditionally taken place, and also the Noontime Sing and overflow classes, however there won’t actually be a tent in that location for Lilies 2017.
The BROKEN HARP INN: Where everyone knows your other name. Runs on volunteers and donations.
TOR: This is the area that Aston Tor generally camps; they are most known for their Tuesday evening party.
NEW BATTLEFIELD: Used every couple of years when the old battlefield needs a rest. The Royal Pavilion is often moved here those years.
WULFGAR’S HILL: this is where the famous Lilies Fireworks are launched, named in memory of Baron Wulfgar Skypainter as decreed by His Majesty Tristram.
This is a compilation of tips and suggestions from the Calontir mailing list.
A. Children At Lilies
If you have minor children or will be bringing minor children not your own. It is for your safety and the Society’s safety that the proper forms MUST be completed and notarized before arriving on site.
- Minor Medical & Temporary Guardianship Form – http://www.calontir.org/files/pdf/waivers/sca-minor-medical-temporary-guardianship-2014.pdf
- Multiple Minor Waiver Form – http://www.calontir.org/files/pdf/waivers/sca-minor-family-roster-waiver.pdf
There are plenty of youth activities at Lilies, including Page School. However, these youth services are not a babysitting service. As a parent, legal guardian, or authorized adult, it is YOUR responsibility to take care of the youth under your supervision. If you have toddlers, watch them and join them in the youth activities.
B. Pets & Pet Care
If you are bringing pets to Lilies, be aware of them at all times. Think about whether or not your pet can handle the extreme weather that Lilies is known for. Dogs are probably the only type of pet that is suited to Lilies life.
If you decide to tie your dog outside of your pavilion, do not do so near the roadways or where people frequently walk. It does not matter how socialized your dog is, they may still get agitated. Also, smaller dogs tend to be aggressive towards larger dogs, and that just never ends happily.
Whatever you do, do not let your dog run loose. As the site rules point out, your pet must be on a leash at all times. That leash must be attached to a human being who is awake and conscious or to a permanent structure that the dog is not likely to knock over. Attaching your dog to their movable crate does not count.
Make sure that you are frequently checking that your pet is eating and drinking fluids, as well as getting plenty of exercise. Humans aren’t the only ones to watch for poor diets or dehydration in summer heat. Keep your pet’s water fresh.
If your pet gets jumpy during storms or when loud sounds occur, make sure to watch them on Friday nights during the fireworks displays.
Most importantly, clean up after your pets. Bring along the plastic baggy. Failure to clean up after your pets reduces the chances for everyone of bringing pets with them in the future.
Make sure to bring along records of your pets vaccinations and shots. Consider this a requirement.
C. Camping Areas
Officially, there are no reserved camp sites at Lilies, but many groups have traditional camp sites. It is useful to know where to find people, and to know where it might be polite to coordinate where exactly you put your tent.
Some camping areas are noisier than others. The area around the Broken Harp Inn can be lively many nights, and also the area near the beach and the bonfire. Some areas are just noisy on certain nights:
- the Bardic encampment on Monday during Viking Mardi Gras,
- the Aston Tor camp on Tor Tuesday,
- the merchant areas for Midnight Madness on Wednesday night
- the Coeur d’Ennui party on Wednesday night
- the beach area hosts the Fireworks viewing and B3R Party on Friday night
Some camping areas are quieter than other. For example, the Company of Travelers area tends to be pretty quiet.
There is a Google map in progress to show where the main camps (and extra amenities) are: Google Map of Site
D. Campsite Set-up
When you get to your Lilies campsite the first time, check for low-hanging branches that could fall in a strong wind. Check for broken glass, sharp rocks, and other hazards. It’s nice to have a rake to clear your site before setting up.
Make sure that you keep your trash picked up and out of the way. If you keep your trash maintained, it will make for a smoother clean up and pack-up when you have to leave.
When setting up your tent or pavilion, make sure that you set your sleeping quarters so that your head is elevated. You don’t really want to wake up in the morning with that hung over feeling because all of the blood rushed to your head in the middle of the night.
Plan to dig a trench around the uphill side of your pavilion or tent to help drain water around, rather than through, you Lilies home. It would also be a smart idea to camp on the upside of the communal kitchen; dishwater running into your tent may not be something you’d like to wake up to in the morning.
Be aware of which direction the opening(s) of your tent or pavilion faces. You would be best off facing east (if possible) as storms and driving rain are less likely to come from that direction.
Have a scrap piece of carpet at the entry to your tent or pavilion to wipe your shoes on. Have your sleeping quarters set so that the foot of your bedding is nearer the door. Have a plastic bag handy to put your dirty shoes into. This will help keep the inside of your Lilies home cleaner.
E. Emergency Repairs
Bring along a basic toolkit for emergency repairs. A hammer, screwdriver, some duct tape, ropes, cutting knife, lighter, seam sealer, and extra tent stakes will go a long way.
Speaking of emergency repairs, have a sewing kit handy as well. Needles, thread, a seam ripper, grommets, cording, trim, and fabric patches are good to have on hand. You’ll never know when you’ll need to fix garb or do emergency pavilion repairs.
F. Things To Leave In The Car
Leave an extra set of mundane clothes and garb in the car. You may need that extra dry set of garb to get you through, or you may need that extra set of dry mundane clothes for that emergency run into the nearest town.
For those of you who like to shop and forget how to budget, have an envelope of gas money for the return trip home locked in the glove box of your car.
G. How To Avoid The Lilies Plague
For your own health, consider bringing along some yogurt (if you’re not allergic to it). The bacterium in yogurt helps reduce the possibility of catching the Lilies Plague (aka: diarrhea). Probiotic supplements may be substituted.
If you do catch the Lilies Plague, have some Imodium AD or a substitute handy.
If you haven’t caught the Lilies Plague, but you find yourself in one of the portable facilities where there appears to be evidence of such, have some variation of baby wipes and antibacterial hand cleanser with you. Your health will love you for it.
H. Preparing For The Heat
To aid in keeping yourself cool, consider wearing garb made of natural fibers. These fabrics tend to breathe easier in the summer heat.
One of the things to start doing before Lilies is acclimating yourself to the heat. There are no air conditioners, so it would be a good idea to get used to that concept before you get to site.
Speaking of acclimation, if you are an avid soda drinker, start switching out to water and cutting yourself off of the soda before Lilies. This will help reduce your attraction to bugs, as well as allow you to better absorb those necessary fluids during those hot summer days. [[For those who absolutely cannot cut out soda, you might want to invest in garlic pills to cut down on the sweetness of your blood. Be aware that garlic pills will make you smell a little funky though, as it will seep out in your sweat. Deodorant will be your friend in that case.]]
I. Staying Cool
If you are prone to heat stroke or have a hard time keeping cool, you might be wise in investing in a neck buddy. There are several websites out there with instructions on how to make them, and there have been a couple vendors at Lilies who have sold them. They are great for keeping you cool, especially if you’re in armor all day.
Before you dump the excess water out of your coolers and let it soak into the ground, pour some of it into a pan large enough to soak your feet into. It’s a great way to keep your feet clean and keep you cool at the same time.
J. Staying Hydrated
Keep yourself thoroughly hydrated. Drink water. Drink Gatorade. Drink pickle juice. Keep drinking fluids (preferably non-alcoholic) during the day. And at night, drink at least one water for every one alcoholic beverage.
Do not get offended if you have strangers asking you if you have had anything to drink recently or if you have gone to the portable facilities recently. You may look flushed and they are showing their concern. If someone offers you water, drink it. The same goes for food. Many people’s appetites are reduced at big events and find themselves getting hypoglycemic or water-logged (not enough electrolytes for the water drunk).
K. Meals & Food
Plan ahead for meals. If you are camping with a group, find out if they are doing a meal plan. If they are, pitch in to either cook a night or donate money to cover food costs. If they are not, bring along enough cash to enjoy the Food Court or have a cooler packed with pre-cooked foods that you just have to reheat on site.
I strongly suggest bringing pre-cooked foods versus things that need made fresh on site. First of all, if you pre-cook and store it in a freezer at home, you’ll have instant ice for your cooler. You will end up using less ice during your time at Lilies if you start off this way.
I would also suggest having two coolers to user at Lilies: one to store your pre-cooked foods in and one for your daily use. This way you only need to open the pre-cooked cooler once each evening to transfer over the next days meal(s), and thus you will only need to worry about keeping one cooler stocked with ice.
Or, with some planning, you can be “Eating Well — Without a Cooler” – http://www.dglenn.org/words/war-cooking.html
L. Staying Clean And Dry
Keep your garb and cloth bedding in plastic storage bins. Make sure you put things back in the plastic storage bins. Make sure the plastic storage bins are sealed completely. Keep the plastic storage bins off of the ground. There’s nothing worse than having forgotten to close up your tent or your plastic storage bin and come back to damp bedding and damp garb.
While we’re on this topic, pack an extra blanket, pillow, towel, and cloak…just in case you did forget to seal things up properly. Leave these extras in your car, so that they stay dry until needed.
Have a separate plastic storage bin for your warm weather garb and your cool weather garb. Make sure to bring both types of garb. Lilies is known to never have the same weather two years in a row. Come prepared for everything from Chilly Lilies to Sahara Lilies, from Serengeti Lilies to Squishy Lilies.
Have a sealed baggy with extra undergarments and socks stored somewhere accessible. If it gets wet or sticky, you’ll want to change out such things to keep yourself feeling refreshed. And believe me, you’ll be happier if you are not chafing or developing some sort of foot fungus.
Speaking of foot fungus, bring along a pair of flip-flops to use in the communal on-site showers. I’m not saying that you’re going to get some sort of foot fungus from your friends, but it certainly helps prevent spreading anything like this if you take the proper precautions.
M. The Portable Facilities
It may seem silly to suggest this, but bring along some toilet tissue or Kleenex with you. There’s nothing more embarrassing than utilizing one of the portable facilities and then realizing there is nothing handy to use.
For safety’s sake, the portable facilities are not toys. Do not hide archery shoot targets in them. Do not “borrow” any of the glow sticks from the portable facilities; you might find that it is you that sits in a puddle of Lilies Plague residue or a post-revel reminder.
N. Eye Care
For those of you who wear contacts or glasses, make sure that you have an extra pair packed away. If you are used to only wearing contacts mundanely, get used to the idea you may need to wear glasses at Lilies (in case you have a bad morning and can’t get the contacts in or they are too dirty to wear).
For those with glasses, make sure to pack some sort of cleaning cloth to use. You will be amazed at just how much dirt will collect on your glasses and how the slightest little smudge will magnify if you try to use your garb to clean them off.
O. In The Dark
Even though we all aim for a medieval atmosphere, have a mini-flashlight for your belt. When it gets dark out and there is little to no moonlight, you’ll want something to guide your way across the site. Lanterns and candles may add to the atmosphere, but not everyone has one on hand with them at those late night revels.
If you are using a lantern in your tent or pavilion, remember that you may not be able to see outside, but those outside can probably see a nice shadow show.
P. Sunscreen, Bug Repellent, and Ticks
Many of us remember to bring along sunscreen. Make sure that you use it. Be aware of the SPF on your sunscreen and remember to reapply regularly.
Wear some sort of head covering. Your scalp will like you for it by the end of Lilies.
If you do burn, have aloe vera or lidocaine on hand. If you can find the spray applicator, your burns will like you more; the last thing you really want to do is rub on a burn.
Speaking of spray applicators, find one of your favorite brands of bug repellent (that is not in an aerosol can). Ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs are quite common at Lilies. But remember, even if you do use repellent, make sure to check yourself on a regular basis for ticks and insect bites.
For those wanting a heads up on staying away from ticks, try using Original Head & Shoulders shampoo when showering. It kills ticks and reduces your resident tick population. Do not use human shampoo on your pets though. They are not human and their skin cannot tolerate the chemicals in the shampoo.
Make sure that you are also aware of the symptoms of Lyme’s disease. Know where to get medical attention if you suspect you may have contracted it.
Q. First Aid & Medical Issues
Make sure that those you are camping with are aware of any allergies or medical conditions that you have. Let them know what to do in case of an emergency.
Have a First Aid kit easily accessible in your tent, in the communal area of your campsite, and a small kit on your person. You never know when you will need something.
Make sure that all of your needed medication is with you, and that you stay on schedule as much as possible. Also, bring along extra medication in case moisture seeps into your storage container. Soggy medication may not do you any good.
CPAP and motorized wheelchair batteries may be recharged at Chirurgeon’s Point, but it’s a good idea to bring spares. Some people recharge their batteries with solar chargers.
If you are a female, bring along feminine hygiene products. You may not need them yourself, but guaranteed someone else will.
For any adult out there, plan ahead (whether for yourself or a friend) and bring along protection. Have a supply of condoms on hand, and remember to use them.
R. Additional Foot Care
Make sure that you are not wearing new shoes for the first time. Break them in before you get to Lilies. Add inserts for added support if needed.
If possible, find some way to either waterproof your shoes, or add in some sort of plastic liner on the inside. This will help keep your feet from getting so wet after a lengthy rainstorm.
While you’re at it, pack an extra pair of shoes. You will want them if it gets too wet. Even consider bringing along a third pair and leaving it in your car.
As you can see, there are many tips and suggestions to help get you through Lilies War. This is a nice starting point, but there is nothing better than talking to others. You will always be amazed at what nifty ideas people have to enjoy longer events like this. Besides, it’s also a great way to listen to some exciting stories of Lilies past.
And here’s the one thing that everyone always asks for: a checklist of things to remember to pack. Feel free to tailor this to your needs; add or delete items as you see fit.