It's packing time! Stuff everyone should bring

When you’re packing, make a list of everything you’re taking. Put that list in your luggage as well, so that you can check it when you’re packing everything up at the end. We tend to get a ton of lost property; being organised helps us avoid this.

  • Let’s start with your costume. Make sure that you’ve got everything you’re planning on wearing (and keep in mind you might be in a number of different situations: what you wear to a wedding might not be the same as your character’s day-to-day wear - especially if you’re the bride).

  • As well as this, bring extra underwear, at least three pairs of socks, and a few other spares – try not to only bring one of an item of clothing. Bandits have been known to steal the shirt off your back, and if you get dunked up to the waist in a river, you’ll be glad that you have an extra pair of pants.

  • The camp is in a valley, so the weather is sometimes down to a coin-toss, and it can change alarmingly quick. Bring something in case it rains, and make sure you have a ‘Oh-Sweet-Jeebus-It’s-twenty-eight-degrees’ version of your costume.

  • Layers are a really good idea, especially if the weather does pack in. Fighting in the rain can be awesome, and you can pretend to be miserable if your character is wet and cold. If you’re wet and cold, though, pretending is a little bit harder.

  • Some players like their bunk rooms to be in character, so bringing a blanket to cover your sleeping bag is a good idea. At the very least, you’ll want a sleeping bag and pillow. If you’re planning on being in a tent, make sure you have everything you need to set it up, and set it up as much before the game as you can.

  • Bring at least two towels. If the weather is good, you can usually dry the towel in the sun, but again, no promises. We’ll be setting up some drying racks in the bathrooms for towels, but even so, a dry towel is the biggest luxury available when you’re cold and wet.

  • The usual toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo. If you need any medication, you have sole responsibility for making sure you bring it. Getting the emergency helicopter to Brookfields is not a fun (or cheap) experience.

  • Full facepaint or makeup is not going to protect you from sunburn, so bring sunblock and apply it liberally. Insect repellent is also good, too. Prevention is the best cure for four days of itching.

  • Speaking of, if your character needs facepaint or makeup, make sure you’ve got everything you need for application and removal. This is particularly true for the crew, who may have different appearances based on whatever character they’re playing.

  • Minor first aid stuff is always useful – sticking plasters, painkillers, Deep Heat, what-have-you…

  • Have you got all the props your character needs? Notepaper, bags, books, bandages, gear for your skills, lockpicks (if you need them), holy water (if you have it)? Have a glance at the list of skills your character has, as this might help jog your memory.

  • Have you got all the armour and weaponry you need for the game? All this stuff will be tested before game starts.

  • The venue does not provide cutlery and crockery, so have a plate, knife, fork, spoon, bowl, cup, etc. If they match the setting of the game, then all the better. Try to avoid stuff that’s easily broken, otherwise you’ll be picking shards of china out of your socks all weekend.

  • It pays to have random items you can barter with – some NPCs will only accept money, some will only accept gold or jewels, some will only accept chocolate, lollies or toiletries. You don’t have to bring all of these, but you should have at least one. If you decide to go with currency or jewelry, don’t use actual valuables, in case they get lost during the weekend.

  • The organisers are feeding you this weekend, but it pays to have snacks to keep yourself going if it feels like too long until the next meal. LARPing is a high-energy game, and keeping yourself fed and hydrated is crucial.

  • Print out a copy of your character sheet, so that if two people ask you the same question, they get the same answer. Consider making a small reference card with key details, or scribbling it in the back of a notebook.

And finally, the two things everyone should bring that never get mentioned on these lists:

  • A black marker pen. Useful for naming all your stuff so you can identify it later on, marking your ammunition so it doesn’t get mixed up, labeling spell bottles, drawing maps, making notes.
  • A torch. Because Brookfields has a habit of being dark and treacherous, and occasionally breaking someone’s foot even in broad daylight.