Mark and I are very excited to be heading out to Ohio once again for our annual LARP event/road trip. Packing for these is always a challenge for me because I am a habitual over packer. It’s not just the usual clothes and toiletries, it’s costumes and shoes and props. There’s always one more little thing I want to include. I’ve got it down now, though, after a couple of trips. My “must haves” for a weekend LARP trip are still entertaining. Here’s a look at some of the crazy things getting ready to go in Mark’s little car.
I don’t go anywhere without a project for down times or times in the car if I can help it. This trip, I’m bringing along some of my chain maille supplies so I can keep working on my big dress project. In my travel kit are 1. open rings, 2. closed rings, 3. more rings (not yet open or closed), 4. two pairs of flat-nose pliers, 5. a wrist brace to help my wrist not get sore, and 6. a long chain to be added on to, which can be easily added to the dress when I get home.
I’m bringing along two different costumes for two different characters this time. Though I mostly play Sabbat, this is my costume for if I decide to visit the Camarilla for a little bit Friday night. I affectionately refer to her as “Grandma Gangrel.” The character came about from one piece of random speculation: why does everyone play 20/30-something vampires anyway? I mean, couldn’t a vampire be turned at any age? Making her costume complete is 1. a gray wig with bun, 2. hideous Goodwill dress, 3. brown tights, 4. black sneakers (closest thing I have to grannie-ish shoes), 5. liquid latex for wrinkles and 6. silver gray hair color, for where my hairline always peaks out of the front of the wig.
This is a work in progress (last panel of a blanket I’ve been making for years!), but it’s also a character prop for Grandma Gangrel. She’ll sit around and knit in gatherings. She has plenty of 1. yarn, but if need be she also has 2. wooden needles to double as wooden stakes.
Since I’m doing makeup for LARP as opposed to costumes where I expect lots of photos will be taken, I have to worry more about what make up will look like up close. Everything needs to be subtler, especially if a character wouldn’t really wear makeup. My basic kit includes 1. wig cap, 2. lots of bobby pins, 3. lots of hair ties (these always get lost!), 4. fake blood (just in case), 5. assorted effect colors, 6. extremely pale powder, 7. eye liner pencil (mostly used for wrinkles or drawing things on other people), and 8. assorted eye shadows (browns make great dirt!).
Packing would certainly be easier if I didn’t bring so many props, but after bringing these to a couple of games and seeing how wonderfully they are received, I can’t not. 1. Vaulderie chalice, a Sabbat essential. 2. Book of Nod fragments, made by my friend Nathaniel.
These are all the little things that I need when I play Valkyrie. To make it easier, and avoid losing them, I just keep all of them together. 1. Item cards for weapons and such, since no physical representations of weapons are used. 2. Daytimer for taking notes, and holding everything between games. 3. Winged necklace, a nod to her chosen name. 4. Pencils and pens are a vampire LARP must! 5. Character contact cards, to make connecting with other players after game easier. 6. Wooden bead necklace she has worn since I first created her. 7. Red gloves, to avoid touching things. 8. “Connor’s awesome cuff,” made my an eight year old craft artist and one of my favorite props.
And the bulkiest part of it all, Valkyrie’s costumes. 1. Brown short wig with bangs. 2. The bulkiest thing of mine coming along this time, a thick red velvet cloak in case she needs to be all “official” at some point in the weekend. Hopefully not for long, because this is hot! 3. Belt and leggings. 4. Stompy buckle boots. I used to have ones with 4 inch platforms, but they broke last year. 5. Very distressed Goodwill leather jacket. 6. Two t-shirt dresses, for two days of play.
All of this, plus the usual PJs and normal clothes, I managed to fit into one large suitcase. Mark, on the other hand, has a costume with six foot long foam tentacles. That should be an adventure to pack!