Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reasons to be ... a Viking?!

Things i have learned by being a Viking-age living history reenactor:

1. how to create and lay out simple clothing patterns.
2. how to start a fire without matches
3. brewing and mead making
4. leathercrafting (making shoes, belts, etc)
5. bone and wood crafting with electric machinery
6. wool preparation, spinning and carding
7. sock, mitt and toque making with naalbinding
8. simple fabric and fiber dying
9. the merits of natural fibres (leather, wool, linen and cotton)

skills i have  further honed by being a reenactor
1. machine sewing clothing
2. hand stitching and basic embroidery
3. cooking over a campfire
4. general camping skills

Things i could still learn from other reenactors i know:
1. combat techniques with sword and shield, axe, and spear
2. archery and archery in combat
3. wood carving using a non-electric lathe
4. tent making
5. flax rhetting and spinning
6. making more complex and permanent fabric dyes
7. boat making, upkeep and sailing
8. wattle fence making
9. basket making
10. viking building construction
11. ancient food preservation (salting, drying, pickling, smoking)
12. metal working, both iron based and fine metals
13. weaving cloth
14. musical instrument making
15. tanning (hides and furs)
16. making butter and cheeses

and more. i'm certain i'm forgetting a bunch of things.

....and people wonder why i would ever want to take up a crazy hobby like this?!

So many of these things i find to be, if not practical in the 'conventional world', certainly practical in a preperatory sense, and fun too! (and yes, it's always a chore trying to figure out what i want to learn/master next!!!)

It makes me feel just a teensy bit better when i think about the grim future. i know that i'm better off than the average 'joe public' because i've got some skills they just don't have. And that makes me feel a bit better.

keep your eyes on the oil, everyone!