Let’s face it: you’re going to get hungry.
As dehydration and starvation are INFINITELY more preventable than the dozens of other things that can affect you at game (both real and imagined), let’s get started on keeping yourself fed at LARP.
Pretty basic, right? Drinking water = winning at life. But you’d be surprised how often a Medical Marshal is called in to deal with dehydration. I’m told it’s not fun.
At the very least, you need 4 litres a day (8 litres over the entire weekend). I personally bring a 5 gallon (19 litres) container because you can never have too much water, and a small refillable bottle when I’m not hanging around. And you’d be surprised how fast it disappears. Others will bring a pack of bottled water for the convenience. Juice, sports drinks and those flavour thingies are also pretty cool; tea, coffee and hot chocolate are great when the weather gets cold. Soda is a popular choice, but please remember that it’s not as healthy as water (insert debate over the healthiest of drinks here).
Any time you can, drink something. Chatting with some friends? Water. Hanging out at the tavern? Water. Hiding in the woods, hoping a ghoul doesn’t overhear your breathing? Uh, hope you had some water before that.
Remember that it isn’t just water your body needs: unless you have some salt or sugar in you, the water will just pass inefficiently through your body. Concentrated drink flavouring is useful – I understand sports drinks have their variations, or others go au naturel with lemon juice.
Additionally, water is sold at the tavern (more about that in a bit) and free at the hospital for a pick-me-up. However. You are an adult. People would rather give you a bottle than have you passed out on the ground, but make an effort to bring your own water, because it’s no one’s job to bring it for you.
You will burn up a lot of energy at LARP. I’m not kidding; I woke up one morning and had oatmeal, noodles, stew and eggs for breakfast, and I’m a tiny person.
Remember that the average person spends the day sitting in a room, where it’s perfectly temperature controlled. At LARP, you must not only fight off monsters, but the cold, the walking, and the sheer amount of energy just to get things done. Remember that there’s no set time to stop and go either, and your plan for lunch could be delayed by hours if monsters suddenly storm town (again).
Food can be broken down into two major groups: meals and snacks.
Meals: prepare to bring at least four meals worth of food with you. Breakfast will be the quietest time of day, so try to fuel up then – you’ll need that energy. Chances are your lunch will be delayed until after noon, and good luck if you can eat dinner without something mauling you for it.
A lot of people bring their own grills or barbecues to cook, or have access to a fire pit. If you do, you’ll also need biodegradable/safe-for-the-environment soap. Metal kettles are amazing; a hot meal does wonders in the evening. Coolers are also good for storing things that are supposed to stay chilled, but you should probably eat that stuff ASAP.
- Anything stored in a mason jar: heavy and made of dangerous glass (if broken), but looks so period that no one will point out pizza shouldn’t fit in a mason jar.
- Canned food: heavy, takes time to heat up and consume, but it is glorious when you eat it. Requires you to pay attention to it, though. Peel the label off and set it near or on a hot log near the fire (not actually in the fire, that’s too hot). Make sure you have a way to lift it back out, and wait for the can to cool. Take the can home with you.
- Instant noodles: add hot water and it’s so good. I can’t explain the joy of spicy noodles in the rain. If it comes in its own bowl, you can toss that in the fire after to dispose of it.
- Hot dogs: stick that sucker on a stick and hang out at Town Centre’s fire for a while! Precooked meat is best, since you can still eat it if it’s not fully cooked. Which may happen if people chase you.
- Oatmeal: also an add hot water item! Quick and easy to eat, although there’s not a lot of staying power.
- Sandwiches: even the most broke of LARPers can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Also, extremely portable!
Snacks: always have a snack on you. There is an unlikely chance that you’ll spend an unexpected three hours cringing in the woods… but that’s also the worst time to get hungry.
- Candy: sugar rushes are the best rushes! Don’t rely extensively on it, though.
- Cereal: light and crunchy!
- Chips: everyone loves them! They don’t compress well, though, and remember that they’ll suck out some of your water.
- Dried fruit: get your vitamins here!
- Granola bars: also extremely easy to pack, I hear they also come in a range of fantastic flavours, too!
- Jerky: meat that stores well everywhere.
- Trail mix: cheaper to make your own, and you can add whatever you want to it!
- Bananas. Unless you like mosquitoes.
- Milk chocolate: it will melt. Really. It’s not fun dealing with it.
- Nuts (peanuts): while there’s no game-wide ban, there are a few players that are deathly allergic to them; some camps will post a no nuts/peanuts warning for this reason.
If you have cash but not the space to transport food, Underworld has a tavern! It is run by a PC herself, and she sells delicious hot food! Bacon, eggs, cheese sandwiches and hamburgers (and then some).
As I don’t speak for or run the tavern, you can ask your questions to the tavern keeper herself.
Be proactive about your health!
Feeling dizzy? Drink some water, lie down in the shade, sit out of the action for a few minutes and get your bearings. Really. Take your time. When the adrenaline wears off, the energy loss will catch you off guard; most people aren’t used to this level of activity outdoors, for more-or-less 48 hours straight.
Because it indescribably sucks when someone suddenly passes out in the middle of the field. Indescribably.
Nobody can stress this enough. DON’T LITTER. It doesn’t matter if it’s a foil wrapper, a bit of plastic or a crushed juice box. EVERYTHING you bring to game, you MUST be prepared to take it back with you.
In the game world, if the wind sees or hears about garbage strewn about, garbage elementals will spawn and attack other camps. I hear it’s not fun to deal with them. In reality, we play on a horse farm, and horses will eat anything on the ground. Cigarette butts in particular will make horses nastily ill
It is possible to burn most of your garbage – environmental concerns aside, we’d rather have your things burned than littered on the ground – but make sure it’s completely incinerated; no metal or glass. Those generally don’t burn well.
On the topic of burning, please refer to this post for details on fire pits: http://www.underworldlarp.ca/mybb/showth…hp?tid=935 . The short version for new players: DON’T START YOUR OWN FIRE. Hang out in Town Centre or get a more experienced player to help you out.
This was originally posted at http://www.underworldlarp.ca/mybb/showthread.php?tid=11200 , with minor edits.