Something to sit on
This page is a subsection of SCA Without Breaking the Bank. It provides information about camp chairs and other furniture.
Submitted by Llv Waldrondottir
Trunks. Sounds odd, but you can buy or biuld a simple sterdy trunk for little cost. With a pillow or two on it you have a multiple use item. Carry things in it and cut down on packing your SCA stuff, a place to sit, as well as a spot to put your cup or plate. I got one and found it so useful that I plan on finding myself other such boxes as well as possibly making a few for other things. In my first box I keep all my main rugs, bedding, pillows, feast and cooking gear, a large bowl for washing things in, and a little side container for things like soap and rags.
Camp chairs and tables can be inexpensive and with a little looking, some can even look fairly period! I have a folding table that my mother gifted to me (along with the family camping tent and gear since she didn't use it anymore and I had use of it). While made of modern materials it looks and feels like wood. It folds down into its own little bag and is easy to tote around with my camp chair to the local meetings at the park. It's wonderful to use at events as a nice little side table for setting things. My camp chair I found at my hemp supply store and it actually looks fairly period, as well as is light and easy to carry. I can always toss a throw or pillow on it if I really want to get picky.
Submitted by Lady Eulalia de Ravenfeld
For those who want to build their own furniture: many cities have something akin to a "rebuilding center", where materials from dismantled buildings, including lumber, are offered at rock-bottom prices. There are instructions for a simple, peg-together, horse-shaped bench in the book "Making Things" by Anne Wiseman that would be excellent for SCA camping and requires only wood, a drill, dowels, a coping saw, and a rope for the tail to build.
Submitted by Margaret Northwode of Meridies
Firstly, the modern campchair is relatively inexpensive - usually $10 for a basic one which will keep your behind out of the mud. Some cloth from the dollar-a-yard table to cover one of these is usually US$2-$3, and the effort is appreciated. For cold days, buy some poly batting for $US2-3 and lay some down in the back and bottom before laying your cloth or blanket over the chair seat. If you've a modern tent, buy more of the same cloth to disguise your tent and voila! you've got a campsite coordinated to satisfy even Martha Stuart - ahm, I mean Stewart!
Secondly, you might try your hand at some simple carpentry and make a simple bench. Most of the effort goes into the shopping and you don't even need a saw, since many home centers will do sawing for you! This simple bench, at a quarter a cut, shouldn't run more than a dollar for cutting charges. In the long run you'll want to sand, stain and protect it, but for *just right now*, in your penny-pinching days, it works. You'll just need a packet of nails (talk to your home center worker to find out which ones you'll need), a hammer, and maybe one 2x12 or 2x10 (said "two-by-ten" and actually measures a little smaller than that, lest you feel cheated) and one 1x4 or 2x4. Before you buy, measure the space your rear takes up when you sit. Add eight inches for wiggle room. That length is the length of the seat and you'll need one piece this length from the 2x10 and one this length from the 2x4. Then decide how far you want to be above the ground. This is usually 12"-18"; another good measurement is the length from the top of your calf to the bottom of your foot, with your knee bent. You'll need two pieces this length from the 2x10. Tell your home center saw guy (sawyer) that you need four cuts and give him the two lengths above. He'll cut them for you, and you're ready to take them home and nail them together.
The pieces from the 2x10 go together fairly obviously - the long piece is the seat and the two shorter pieces are sides/legs, and get nailed to the seat, just under the left and right edges of the seat . Use at least two nails to attach the legs, nailing through the top of the seat - be sure to sink (hit) the nails so that they're as flush with the seat as possible, or you'll snag your precious garb! The piece of 2x4 goes on about halfway down the height of the sides/legs to keep the bench legs from heading in opposite directions and breaking the bench under the weight of a sitting person. One nail for each side is plenty. Put 'em together and there's your first bench! With a little more gleaned know-how, a drill, and a very few extra dollars, you can make it so that it comes apart for travel, if you like. If you want more benches, it'll be even cheaper, because you've already got the nails and hammer - and you should be able to pull off a full pair of benches from this single purchase of wood, if not three!