|Cold Weather Primer
With winter and snow upon us it seems like a good time to give out a few tips to surviving in the frozen tundra of northern Amtgardia. These 10 rules will seem common-place to any seasoned northern fighter. Hopefully it will help out new members in the north or those southerners (un)fortunate enough to move up this way.
1. Dress in layers – I can’t stress this one enough. Dress in several layers of clothing. They’ll keep you nice and warm, and if you start to feel a little too warm, you can always shed the out layer and still stay nice and cozy. If at all possible try to have a waterproof outer layer as snow can and will melt after you’ve rolled around in it.
2. Spare Shoes – Keep a spare pair of shoes in your car where they won’t get wet. Change into them as soon as you are done fighting. Also have an extra set of socks with you. These dry shoes won’t warm your feet up right away, but they will keep them from getting any colder. If possible, buy yourself a pair of water resistant boots. They’ll keep your feet dry and warm. Also make sure your winter footwear has some good traction to them as the snow will turn the ground to mud after a while.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – Most of us bring water in the summer to keep cool, but it is just as important during the winter. Be sure to drink plenty of water as your body will quickly use it up to keep you warm. Remember, frost bite sucks.
4. Keep Moving – Your body will generate more heat if you are running around than sitting on your ass. So pick up some sticks and don’t be a blanket bunny!
5. Don't Leave Your Sticks on the Ground Long – Fun noodle tends to get a bit on the hard side once it gets cold. Frozen foam hits hard than Don Death’s Concrete Duck™ swords.
6. YMCA – Get in touch with your local YMCA and see if your group can get some space. This can be a nice way around most of these other rules. A roof over your head and a heater keeping the room warm can increase the amount of Amtgard time you can get each week during the winter.
7. Gloves – We all know how much it sucks to get hit in the fingers with the core of someone’s polearm. Well, it sucks more when your fingers are numb with cold. Gloves will also give you an advantage over your non-glove wearing friends if your meeting falls apart into a snowball fight.
8. Don't Get Discouraged – Yeah, I know its annoying when half your group doesn’t show up cause they don’t want to get cold. Don’t let that ruin your Amt-time though. Run some small ditch games or print out a copy of the Iron Mountains battle book, which has plenty of small games that you can run.
9. Color Your Iceballs – And white spell strips for that matter. White game items blend in really well with the snow and might not be found until the spring thaw. My suggestion is to tie some black or brown streamers to your iceballs to make finding them easier. For your spell strips, I suggest taking sharpie and putting some dark lines through them.
10. Have Fun – Yeah it’s cold, yeah no one showed up, and yeah you lost your iceballs, but you can still have fun playing winter Amtgard. At least you’re not at work.
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