Putting Up The Provincial Pavilion

The Crown Province of Østgarðr owns a 20′ x 30′ pavilion, generally known as “the green and white,” which is used for most of our outdoor events.

The tent was purchased sometime around 2013 and is still in good shape, with just one or two small holes in the fabric.

Putting it up takes some effort, but the shade and rain cover are well worth the effort. Continue reading Putting Up The Provincial Pavilion

Welcome to Our Pennsic Kitchen

A bunch of people are camping with Østgarðr at Pennsic for the first time this year, and it’s been a few years since any of us did this, so I thought it would be useful to write up some notes about one aspect of camp life that might be of interest to others: our kitchen.

The Østgarðr encampment does not have a camp kitchen or a formal meal plan, but it does have a tradition of generous households and communal meals which everyone in camp is welcome to share.

But before I get to that, let’s begin with a bit of background information for folks who are new to Pennsic. Continue reading Welcome to Our Pennsic Kitchen

A Bender Tent

Editor’s Note: This writeup was originally posted to LiveJournal in 2014, and then migrated here when I set up this site. I’ve since added a few more notes and pictures.

Building A Bender for Pennsic: A DIY Tent Using a Timeless Design

This summer we built a simple but spacious tent for use at Pennsic, an SCA medieval camping event held annually in late July near Pittsburgh.

Below I outline the historical and contemporary sources we used for the tent design, detail the materials we used, and describe the construction process we followed, with photographs of the finished result.


Our tent design choice followed from several criteria:

  • We wanted something we could build ourselves with only a few days of preparation, put up for two weeks at Pennsic, then store for 50 weeks of each year before being set up again.
  • We wanted something distinctive, not one of the pavilions and wall tents that are pervasive at Pennsic.
  • We wanted it to suggest a family of villagers camping at the annual fair, not a noble household or a military encampment.
  • It should be reasonably period in appearance, meaning that we would use modern tools and materials, but hoped to not stray too far from the forms that might plausibly have been found in a Welsh village a thousand years ago.
  • We needed a large space for use by two people for two weeks, to serve both as our bedroom/dressing room and also as a sitting room on rainy days, with lots of headroom so that we could both walk around inside comfortably without ducking down.

We settled on a “bender” design, using poles bent into an arch and half-dome, with canvas draped over them.

Although not common at SCA events, this type of tent has both an ancient history and a modern DIY tradition, outlined below. Continue reading A Bender Tent