Sunday, December 18, 2011
Do you sleep in the tents?
"Do you sleep in the tents?" This is one of those questions reenactors are asked quite often. This answer differs based on who answers, but I figure folks just want to know more about how reenacting works. Here are some of our answers.
Am I sleeping in a tent tonight? Yes I am. I spent a fair bit of money to buy a period appropriate tent. I hauled it here in a vehicle that was bought only after knowing it would haul the tent poles. With some help from other reenactors we put the tent up where the quartermaster indicated it should go. I put all my belongings into it, set up my sleeping area inside, and I will indeed be sleeping in it for the weekend.
Did the soldiers sleep the same as we did in the tents? Well in the 18th century, the British Army assigned 6 men per tent. 2 would be on duty and 4 off at any given time. They slept crosswise, not the long way as we do today. The doors were staked shut so the guy sleeping across the front would be responsible for opening and closing the tent. There were two or three blankets for each tent and the only bed would be either some straw or pine boughs. The soldiers had much less space than the reenactors do. Soldiers also carried less stuff than your average reenactor too. However I can tell you there isn't all that much space for two people in a 6 X 6.5 foot regulation tent. I would hate to have to try to sleep in one with 3 other people.