"Animis Obipusque Parati"
Prepared in Mind and Resources
Clash of Iron is definitely about having fun but you must come prepared for it. Failure to do so will not only lessen your enjoyment of the event, but also that of your fellow milites or barbarian as well.
When we say first formation is at 0800, or at the second hour of the day, we expect you to be in formation and fully prepared to participate in servicable kit. We have a large number of events schedule and we can not afford to hold up things for a lack of general preparedness. Generally speaking, if we march off without you, it will be up to you to catch up. If the barbarians catch you in the woods alone... We will avenge you.
That said, we have a list of things you can do prior to getting to Clash of Iron to help insure that this does not happen.
Prior to arriving at Clash of Iron, every participant, Roman or Barbarian needs to do a complete maintenance check on all of their kit. Finding out 15 minutes prior to first formation that your balteus has magically shrunk or grown in the last twelve months and no longer fits, caligae dry rotted, multiple laces on a segmentata busting is not in the tradition of the Roman Military or the proud Barbarian Warrior. We recommend tying your seg laces permanently to one side of the fitting so when you untie your seg, they do not fall off. This is especially important for loaner kits, which receive less maintenance.
Celtic clothes should be period materials. Roman military tunics should be a dark or brick RED unless otherwise authorized by the event staff (others are generally acceptable, but should be in your attendee picture).
How you show up at that first moring formation, is your over all first impression that you will be making for the event.
30 days prior to attending the event you should ensure the following:
1. Inspect all of your leather kit. Is it well oiled and pliable, or is it stiff and dry like a jerky treat? Out British friends tells us your leather should be well oiled to the point where is feels like a greasy pizza. Don't overlook your caligae and the tie strings! Check you hobnails too!
2. Inspect all of your brass, bronze, iron, steel, metal kit. Has the rust been buffed off? 320 grit sand paper works wonders as does green scratch pads. Have you coated everything with WD-40 or a more period correct method to protect it from the elements? Green oxidation on brass looks great on government buildings, but not on your kit. You will be standing inspection, so have a good story for damage or missing kit items.
3. Try all of your kit on at home. Make sure you have the proper fit and settings. The weather may be a bit..cool..do you have the extra hole punched into your belt to fit over an extra tunic? Is your cold weather gear packed? Extra sagum, some knit ragg wool mittens or gloves? A good pair of ragg wool socks? Extra dry undergarments? Have you added an inch or two over the winter? The Roman army does not stop for a busted strap!!
4. Inspect your period clothing. Have you washed it since your last event or does it still smell rank of smoke and sweat, or worse, mold? Inspect the seams where your clothing is stitched together. Period clothing does wear out over time and there is not a lot you can do if you have a "wardrobe malfunction" at the event.
5. Do you have a cup, bowl, spoon, and method of carrying water? There are plenty of cheap period options that will work for this event, but it is one of the most commonly over looked items to bring to the event. Just a reminder, the Deepeeka Patera is not safe for handling food or water, the lead content in the tin well above safe standards for use. You will need a canteen, water bottel, bota bag, or some way to carry water. We do not want dehydration issues! And bring an extra spoon. You will always be unable to find 1 until you get home. 1 is none, 2 is one.
6. Do you have all of your medications and contact lenses? We have no evidence of 1st Century Romans, Celts, Britons, or any culture involved at this event wearing eye glasses, please be considerate of the time frame. That said we do not want you falling in the fire either... Be considerate. IF YOU TAKE A DRUG THAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE, please let the Clash of Iron FIELD and EVENT staff know. We know you fill out the medical questionaire, but let your field commanders know of any health issues. While we will be pushing you in true Roman style, we want to be sure to do it safely, and letting us know you have a health issue can only help us if we see signs of a problem. If you have a health issue, notify the chain of commmand, please do not just wander off to your car. We take care of our own.
7. Are you physically ready for Clash of Iron? While this is not a triathalon by any means, but you should come to this event in good health and able to march in full Roman military kit for 3 miles over rolling hills and wooded terrain. Even low impact exercising and stretching 30-40 days prior to the event can have a HUGE impact. We will do our best to respect physical profiles or limitations that you may have, but please let us know upfront.
8. Things do break at Clash of Iron. Laces are the most common thing that break. Some extra leather laces, and some lacing wire go a long way to make field expedient repairs till the opportunity to make more extensive and permament repairs allow.
9. Scabbard suspension loops and rings on your pugio and gladius. A lot of the off the shelf gladii and pugiones have suspension rings that are bent brass rings that are nortourious for slipping off the suspension loops. Replace them if you can with more solid rings or solder them closed. If you can not do either, attach your pugio to your belt/balteus with leather laces to your pugio hangers through your suspension loops. Same for your gladius with your baldric. This prevents a futile search of the 96 acres when your $300 pugio falls out of the scabbard or gets lost.
......this will continued to be updated, so keep checking.....
If you are not ready for Clash...
You could look like this!!!