Medieval Camping with Flair

Interested in spiffing up your camp at one of the many wars this year? Dame Aoife can help! Hail, fellow campers!

Camping should be a joy and an experience of beauty when done inproper medieval style, not an experience to be suffered through. This issue of the Links List can help with that, as it is about camping with flair. Below you will find 31 links in all, with links for camp furniture and accessories to make your encampment the envy of your neighbors.

As always, please "pay it forward" and send the Links List along to others who might find it useful.



Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
m/k/a Lisbeth Herr-Gelatt

Camp Furniture by Thomas Rettie
(Site Excerpt) Boxes and Chests. Perhaps the most basic and fundamentally useful piece of kit for a reenactor is the six-board chest. In a pinch this can double as a bench, and it has much to recommend itself over plastic tubs. In its simplest form, the boards simply butt one another, but you'll get a more weather-tight box if you rabbet the edges. If you nail strips across the bottom, it will keep the bottom off the ground and lessen the effects of mud, wet grass, etc.
See also "An Article on Making Medieval Tusk Tennons for Knock-Down Furniture and "Tryangle stolys for my Lord" at

Regia Anglorum Anglo-Saxon and Viking Woodworking
(Site Excerpt) Timber was the most important resource for the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. The early medieval carpenter was not only skilled in working the wood, but also in selecting the correct timber and shape for the job. If the finished item needed to have a curve in it, the carpenter would select a piece of timber that had the correct natural curve. You can use natural junctions where a branch joins to the tree as joints that have grown to suit a job that you had in mind. These natural joints are stronger than man-made ones and save the carpenter a lot of time creating joints. Wherever possible they would 'follow the grain' to leave the finished product as strong as possible.

David Friedman (Cariadoc's) Miscellany article: A Period Rope Bed
(Site Excerpt) The basic problem with rope beds is that unless the rope is very taut, they sag. The solution in this design is to have the mesh of ropes fasten not to the food of the bed but to a horizontal dowel a little above the foot. You wrap a rope six times around the dowel and foot and pull. This pulls the dowel towards the foot with a mechanical advantage of twelve to one (minus substantial losses from friction and some loss from the rope not being quite a right angles to the dowel), tightening the bed.

Making a Rope Bed
(Site Excerpt) the disadvantages there is no such thing as a free lunch. here are two problems with rope beds. sag rope beds sag into the middle, they all do. If you are one person sleeping on the bed, then it is not a big deal (although a really saggy bed can cause back pain) but two people sleeping on a rope bed will find themselves rolling into each other a lot. it is up to concerned parties to determine if this is good or bad. stretch the new rope in a bed stretches a lot, and you'll find yourself retightening the ropes a lot. Even in older beds with rope that should darn well have stretched itself to limit, you will find yourself rolling into the center of the bed during longer events. See the hints on using wedges as a way to quickly tighten up a bed.

My Slat Bed by Jon MacQuarrie
(Site Excerpt) The bed depicted here is for a full-sized mattress (aka. "Grandma") and tall enough to store those green Rubbermaid bins you can get at WalMart. There is no headboard on this design, although one is planned and will be easily added to the head of the bed.

Ravensgard Viking Beds
(Site Excerpt) Beds and fragments of beds have been found in two archaeological sites from the Viking Age: Oseberg and Gokstad in Norway. The Oseberg find is dated to circa 850 and Gokstad circa 900. This is a reproduction of one of the Oseberg state beds from a museum in Norway. Note the angled headposts.

Medieval Benches by Master Terafan
(Site Excerpt) All of the wood joinery is done using a 10 degree angle. This allows the top to stay attached to the legs when you pick the bench up by the top. It also allows the bench legs to not be at the ends of the bench, yet not cause tipping when someone sits on the end of the bench. The stabilizing bar is also cut at 10 degree angles to allow the edges to meet flush with the legs, and then a peg locks the leg tight against the stabilizing bar, and everything is held in place. A picture of the peg is at the right.

Early Furnishings: Ancient Chairs (Acrobat required)
(Site Excerpt) As our Saga of Medieval Furniture Continues, in this issue we look at a couple of early period chairs.....the first is modelled after what may be a single example of a viking "hex" chair.

Sligo Chair by Matthew Power Artol, Count of Aaramor (Acrobat Required)
(Site Excerpt) Although the Irish Taum remains one of the most popular sets of plans I have included in Sacred Spaces, you may recall that inmy previous article I cofessed to having little research to support it's existence...aside from a photo I had found in a book on Ancient Irish crafts. Well, all that has changed, with the publication of a densley researched book titled Irish Country Furniture....

The Glastonbury Chair by Daniel Diehl copyright 1994 (Acrobat Required--note that this is a web-publication of one of his book articles)

Reconstruct a Tudor Table by Matthew Power
(Site Excerpt) Building MEdieval Furniture doesn't get any better than this. When the photo above was taken in 1919, this rugged trestle table, built during Henry VIII's reign, looked as if it might last another 400 years.

How to make a replica of a Viking Table based on the Sala Hytta Find By Stephen Francis Wyley
(Site Excerpt)After making numerous replicas of the 'Lund Viking' stool I was enthused enough to look at making other forms of Viking furniture. Amongst the many tomes of Peter Beatson's Library I had previously come across an article on the "H