[Ravensfort] site work etc.

Catie Clark cat at rocks4brains.com
Tue Aug 12 11:56:04 PDT 2008

Now I've been sitting here reading this thread on the baronial list,
chewing my tongue to pieces - and I'm afraid I sympathize a great
deal with Devin's point of view.  Being one of those antiquainted
SCA fossils, I have a fixed image in my head of romantic dimly-lit
SCA events seen by the flickering of candle, lantern and fire pit
flames...though during the day, we usually didn't need all of those...

On of the things I really abhor at SCA events are the modern
REE mantle lanterns, aka Coleman lanterns aka thorium mantle
lanterns, etc etc ad naseum.  Brighter than any incandescent or
fluorescent light source, they work by heating rare earth element
impegneated clothe mantles in a high oxygen fugacity environment
(to wit, normal atmosphere, approx. 1/5 O2).  The burning of
these microscopic amounts of REEs is so bright that the candlepower
of these things are as bright as daylight but concentrated on a
very narrow band of visible light.  Can you say "blatantly artificial"?
I knew you could...

More than half of my SCA life was spent in the kingdom with
the known world's strictest fire rules, rules so important that they
are written into kingdom law.  No ground fires, no open flames,
no tiki torches, approved spill-proof laterns or electric light sources
only, above ground firepits and stoves of certain designs only, no
unattended fires or flames ever (violators are instantly evicted
from site, repeat offenders are banished).  We're taking serious
fire rules here folks.

The result of these draconian measures has been the production
over the years
of light sources that are fire law compliant and yet not blatantly
modern.  Most people who camp end up finding or building clever
lanterns to house a modern light in a medieval or medievaloid case.
And for event lights, chemical light sticks get used in the privies
and in the showers.  Groups that host camping events buy them
by the box in bulk.  For walkway lighting, if that's ever needed,
you pot a chem light stick in a paper lantern (this is the same
concept as Mexican Christmas lights - I forget what they are
called - where you put a candle in a little paper bag and set it
on the ground along roads and paths).  You can use paper clips
and wax paper to put caps on such things if it's going to rain.
Quick, cheap, easy to make, and the light quality is disguised by
being flitered through the paper.  Use the right paper and they are
really pretty when lining a walkway at night. I suspect the same
could be done to LED lights too.  Lantern exteriors for other
flashlight stuff is possible too.  So it is possible to have modern
light sources in period or peri-oid wrappers, if you really want
to worry about lighting every inch of a road or pathway.

My reaction, if I were in charge, would be to get some disguised
chem stick lights only for places that would really need them, at
bends in the road into the site, and also to put undisguised ones
in the privies and showers.  YMMV!

just my 2 schillings worth...

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