Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Basic Reenactors Craft - Creating a blanket roll

For me, creating a decent blanket roll is an essential skill. I try to take as little to events as I can get away with without going too far. So far, I've done OK, and the times I've done up a blanket roll, I was able to live fairly well, even when it rained at Corinth last year. I wasn't dry, but my stuff was, and that's what counts.

So, how to create a functional blanket roll that won't fall apart on the march? To answer that question, my first recommendation is to look at what you have and the way you reenact.

Blanket rolls aren't for those who want to maximize comfort - they're for the people who want to go as light as possible, trimming down as far as they can tolerate. My "take-along" suggestions go like this:

  • Extra shirt and extra pair of socks. Socks more so than a shirt. Nothing beats a dry pair of socks.
  • Housewife
  • Musket cleaning kit. Look at these suggestions to create one that fits easily into a blanket roll.
  • Hygene kit - always smart to pack the good ole toothbrush and any necessary meds.

That's it for me. Remember this one rule of thumb -- the gum blanket always goes with you, so don't make it as part of your roll. Attach it to the outside of your blanket roll, or roll and wear it separately. It does you no good if it's in your roll when a rain storm comes.

My second suggestion? Find some instructions on how to make a blanket roll. Here's some great instructions for making a blanket roll for the Syke's site. The 47th Virginia has another great set of instructs on what to carry and how to create an authentic blanket roll.


Anonymous said...


From personal experience over many mnay years, I have found that the best place for my ground cloth is around my blanket. As with your comment regarding dry socks, so it is with a dry blanket.

By rolling the blanket roll with the ground cloth on the outside, it keeps Mr. Blanket nice and dry, and makes sleep a little easier. Not only that, but it also keeps the weight down. There's nothing like having that nice wool blanket turn into a sponge and sock up enough to weigh 10-12 pounds wet.

I can dry my clothes by the fire if I need to, but it's really nice to have dry socks, a dry spare shirt, and a nice dry blanket at the end of the day!

mntineer said...

I'd agree with you, except for those times I wish I had a handy gum cloth!

But you're right about keeping the blanket dry, and a ground cloth is just the solution. Once you unroll for the evening, never keep those two things apart