Today, ladies, gentlemen, and otherfolk, I bring you Larp Couture’s first interview! I got ahold of Fabricated Geek, who mentioned larping in the desert in passing, and piqued my interest.
So, without further ado, the questions:
Can you give some descriptions of the climate where you larp?
I LARP in Utah where we typically have very arid summers and a whole lot of snow in the winter. It’s pretty common for us to have days hitting over 100*F and weeks with no clouds in the sky. Unfortunately this means wild fires and bad air quality are very often a concern as well.
What kind of larping do you do? What’s the name of your game(s)? (And a link, if you want!)
I mostly play with a group called Living Adventures. It is a nice mix of role play and combat. I hesitate to call us a lightest touch game but we’re not quite full force contact either.
Bare bones basics- what do you absolutely have to do to be safe in the summer? How about the winter?
The summer is tough for us. Our number one priority, especially when we’re in a heat wave, is making certain everyone stays hydrated. We also try to stick to the shade as much as we can. Some of us have camel packs we’ll wear around; others will keep bottles in their bags. NPCs will occasionally go on water runs and refill everyone’s supplies. The events will have breaks between combat often to help everyone recover.
Those of us who tend to wear a lot of armor, or are covered head to toe (including the face) in dark heavy fabrics tend to have it the worst. There are times when the GM has given us permission to leave behind a fair amount of our armor and coverings to help lessen the sun’s impact. Unfortunately we’ve had a few people suffer from heat exhaustion despite our best efforts.
The winter is a complete 180 in terms of preparation. Layering with costumes ends up being the most important thing. Instead of having large breaks between combat, winter modules tend to be pretty active to help fight the cold. Having a good pair of warm, dry boots is an absolute must in the snow. Hand and shoe warmers are also pretty useful.
Have you larped in other climates? Have you noticed any differences in garb requirements?
Sadly, I have not yet! I’m only familiar with the wide range of weather we get thrown at us here.
Headgear: how does desert larping affect it?
Head gear is rough in the summer! My current character wears a helmet and while it’s great for blocking the occasional head shot, I’ll often leave it behind when it gets too hot. Some of our other players wear masks or fabric over their face and they have similar issues with the heat. Sometimes we’ll just have to take a moment to recover and strip the gear off until we can keep going.
Footwear: how does desert larping affect it?
When it comes to footwear the climate is less important than the terrain, with the exception of the winter. Boots that are good for both mountain trails and parks, while still looking the part, are what most of us usually try to wear. The all-leather Five-Fingers are really popular with a few of the players. In the winter it’s all about shoes that still have good grip but are also waterproof and warm. (Nothing is worse than sitting in a car trying to thaw out your foot after having stepped in a small pond hidden beneath the snow.)
Local critters: do you have to worry about local animals during certain times of the year?
For our weekend events we’ll have some interesting encounters. Rattle snakes are the largest concern in the warm months. They’ll usually move away from areas with a lot of noise but we’re always wary. As for other creatures, raccoons are the most common. This past weekend we spotted a moose, thankfully it was just off minding its own business. A good friend of mine almost stepped on a beaver in the middle of the night which ended up being both hilarious and terrifying as it darted down the side of the mountain and dove into the water.
Anything else you wanna share?
It is far easier to layer up for the winter than it is to strip down for the summer and still have appropriate garb. There’s also nothing quite as fun as fighting in several feet of snow!
Image via Living Adventures G+ page.
If you’d like to talk about larping in your local climate, let me know!