Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Improve Your Campsite Part 1- Becky

Ive had these notes for sometime and I love referring to them so much, I posted them on my other, now deleted, sewing blog.

Mrs. Root has been a member of the MSAS longer than I can remember, but she tells me that she began reenacting 1812 way before Civil War. So to say, She is mature in reenacting! She is also very knowledgeable and produces fabulous research such as the Civil War cosmetics I have been posting!

Mrs. Root helped the 21st Michigan with a presentation on how to improve our campsite. I was so intrigued that I took very detailed notes! Here is part 1 of 3 notes that the lovely Mrs. Root presented.

Improving your Civil War campsite notes by Ms. Root; Modified by Becky Assenmacher

How to Improve your Campsite
  1. Challenge yourself  by trying to bring as little modern items as possible.
  2. Find ways to cover up or store your modern items in a period way.
  3. Take it a year at a time. Pick one thing to improve on each year.
  • Have separate toiletries for camp and home. Keep camp toiletries together in a box.
  • Make your own blocks of ice for refrigeration.
  • Bring medication
    • Glass bottle with label
    • Tins painted black. I.E. Altoids tin boxes
Food and Kitchen Items
  • Wooden Boxes- make sure that the boxes are easy to handle when full
    • Painted= personal belongings
    • Stained= shipped for market
    • Stencil with name
  • Baskets
    • make liners of cloth to help keep things from falling through
    • keep handles short as possible- no Easter baskets!
  • Tins- Can be painted black/ stenciled for storing breads and baked goods
    • Cookie tins
    • Christmas cookie tins
    • Coffee tins
    • Wood boxes
      • All can be painted and stenciled with dark NATURAL colors
        • metal primer
        • black gloss
        • Flur de lis and alphabet initials are good stensile
          • Lady's Magazines
  • Cloth Bags
    • Have variety of sizes
      • loaf of bread
      • Ziplock
      • Pringle
  • Brown Paper or Freezer Paper tied with string
  • Crock pot- needs to have cork or wooden lids (ants can go trough cork)
    • Mason Jars should look like this:
  • Canning Jars- needs to have cork or wooden lids (ants can go trough cork)
  • Glass Bottles- (bring funnel)
    • Lixar bottles
    • Olive garden wine bottles
    • Wicker basket around wine bottles are appropriate
Storage uses

  • Wooden boxes
  • Baskets
    • Peanuts
    • Anything seasonal
  • Tins
    • Rice
    • Flour
    • Sugar
    • Powdered drink mix with scoop
  • Cloth Bags
    • prewashed
  • Brown paper/ freezer paper
  • Crock pot
    • Butter
    • Pickles
  • Canning jars
    • Pickles
    • Peaches
  • Glass bottles


  1. How interesting! Do you know if ladies used small baskets in lieu of reticules, or were they used more like a modern-day shopping bags? Does that make sense?


    1. Many reenactors use baskets to carry their small things like cell phones and credit cards. Baskets are great for day trips. You could bring a picnic basket and have that to cover up your food and other modern needs! I hope this helps :)

  2. Thank you. Respectfully, Mason patented his jar on Nov. 30, 1858. They have a different shape than today's jars. But they were out there and the correct shaped jars are being reproduced and are readily available today.

    1. Thank you so much for your input! I will be adding the necessary changes as soon as possible.




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