PACKING FOR DRACHENFEST Whether DrachenFest will be your first time larping or you’re an experienced veteran, packing for an event as big as DrachenFest can feel a little intimidating and overwhelming. Never fear though! The Wizard’s Desk is here with a handy checklist of both the essentials you’ll need for your time in the DragonLands as well as some nice to haves that may make your time at DrachenFest easier, more comfortable or more immersive.
SHELTER You’re going to need somewhere to keep your stuff and rest your head while at DrachenFest. We suggest a genre-appropriate canvas tent but there’s also space set aside near the play area for modern nylon tents as well. Whatever sort of tent you’ll be staying in, make sure to keep a list of all the components you need to put it up and check it twice before setting off for site. Things like your tent posts, tent pegs, guylines as well a rain fly or ground tarp if you use those.
Pro Tip: Don’t have a tent of your own or just want to save packing space? DrachenFest has partnered with PlaySmith to provide canvas tent rentals or bunks in their guest barracks. You can place an order for either at https://www.playsmith.shop/ BEDDING Whether you’re in a tent of your own or in our barracks, you will want to bring bedding. At the very least a pillow and a summer sleeping bag is recommended. A cot or an airmattress to get you up off the ground will also help you have a more comfortable sleep. A change of bedding can also be nice to have as sheets or sleeping bags can get damp and uncomfortable from morning humidity or your own horrible sweaty body.
HYDRATION Whether it’s a genre appropriate water-skin or a modern canteen, it is highly recommended that you bring something to help keep you hydrated in the field. Also while water will be available on site you won’t regret bringing extra jugs or bottles of water of your own to keep tucked away in your tent. As long as we’re on the subject of drinks, carousing (either with alcohol or without) is seen by many as a key part of the DrachenFest experience. A genre-appropriate mug, flagon or drinking horn will make it much easier to share a libation and raise a toast. CLOTHING AND COSTUMING You know how some people have nightmares about showing up at school to take a test without any clothes? I actually have recurring nightmares about showing up at a larp without my costuming. Don’t make my nightmare your reality, remember to bring your costume. Ideally something breathable and layered as it can get very warm during the day and quite chilly at night.
For a game as long as DrachenFest, having a second costume gives you a chance to show your character’s range and save you from the dreaded ‘larp miasma’ or ‘DrachenFunk’. You may want some comfortable ‘civilian’ clothing to wear during setup and tear down or if you’re one of those cowards who won’t do a run to Walmart in full Orc makeup and prosthetics. If nothing else though, absolutely bring extra socks and extra underwear. No one has ever regretted bringing extra of these. Trust us. PROPS AND ACCESSORIES It’s tough to be a lone swordsman with a mysterious past if you forget your sword. Then you’re just a surly vagrant that no one remembers inviting. Not nearly as romantic sounding, is it?
Suffice it to say, don’t forget to pack any key character props or accessories. OUT-OF-GAME PERSONAL ITEMS AND TOILETRIES The DrachenFunk is real and it is foul. Remember to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. You may also want to bring some camping shampoo, body wash and conditioner. (Some people might argue that conditioner isn’t essential to bring to DrachenFest, but those people don’t have silky soft hair.) We’d also highly recommend you bring insect repellent and sunscreen. Personally I think the spray on sunscreen is god’s gift to larpers and the convenience more then makes up for the extra cost. You do you though. If you’ve got to smear your sunscreens on then smear away. I’m not your boss. If you’re someone who has periods you’ll want to bring your sanitary product of choice. Even if you don’t end up using it, you’ll be a hero to someone who does. If there’s medication you take to keep you alive or in your right mind, DrachenFest probably isn’t a good time to stop. So definitely don’t leave home until there’s a checkmark in that box. LIGHT Whether it’s an in-character (and larp-safe) lantern or just a small camp flashlight, make sure you have some sort of emergency light. There’s nothing worse than trying to find by touch a latex elf-ear that you’ve spirit-gummed to the inside of your sleeping bag.
ID If you’re planning to drink at DrachenFest you’ll want to make sure to bring proof that you’re at least 21 years old. No ID, no alcohol, on penalty of being ejected from the event.
Are you coming to DrachenFest from outside of the United States? Don’t forget your passport! That will end your trip right quick. COOKWARE Maybe you’re not planning on doing any camp cooking and just buying your food from one of our vendors. Even in that case a genre-appropriate plate, bowl and set of utensils will mean you can enjoy your food in the company of your fellow players and get to spend more time in-game. If you are planning on cooking make sure to bring a portable stove, fuel and something to wash your dishes in. CAMP DECOR Part of the magic of DrachenFest is our aspirational goal of 360 degrees of immersion. That illusion is helped enormously by set dressing and fantasy junk. Got something you think would look cool adorning your camp shrine? Bring it along! Have some extra genre-appropriate camp chairs or tables? Those’ll make you a hero.
Have some extra room but not sure what to bring? Talk to your camp coordinator! They may have suggestions for things the camp is looking to have donated (or just hauled to game) to make your camp your home. ELECTRONICS At DrachenFest we want to create an immersive fantasy environment and so to that end we encourage you to take the opportunity to unplug, and focus instead on the drama and pageantry of our game. In case of an emergency and you do need your phone, keep in mind that power and power outlets will be a scarce resource at Cooper’s Lake so if you need to stay connected you may want to consider bringing extra batteries, power packs and your cables to keep your devices charged.
A PARTING GIFT This is a lot of information we’ve thrown at you! While you no doubt will wish to print off this blog entry to share with your closest friends or giggle at privately, you still may want something a little more practical to make sure you haven’t forgotten any of the things we’ve told you not to forget. So here’s an editable, printable DrachenFest Packing Checklist!