New Aussie ranger

Whether new to the forum, or completely new to the community, herein you will find the best information to-date to help you get started on the right foot with that dangerous business of going out your door.

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Elswyth
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New Aussie ranger

Post by Elswyth »

Hail and well met my friends!

You can call me Elswyth or Cedar (neither are my "true" name, but I gather names like one might gather nuts in the autumn), I am an aspiring ranger from Australia. I've had a long love of fantasy and particularly Tolkien, and have been intending to put together a ranger kit for a long while now. I only have a few items so far - quiver, a dagger, an eating knife, a some boots that can serve me short-term, and I am in the process of sewing a green tunic out of linen (I also have a hood made out of the leftovers of said linen). I have a little experience in medieval reenactment, and am honestly delighted to find a group of people with the same dedication to historical reenactment except it's middle earth reenactment! (Idk about the "re" ... middle earth enactment?).

I am interested in making a kit that is more than just "cosplay" - an outfit or two that feels to me like actual clothes, that are comfortable and practical for the lifestyle one imagines a ranger to lead. I plan to base a lot of my kit off what I know of early medieval patterning - my tunic for example is very similar to the Bocksten Tunic, though it does not have the gores in the front and back. I mostly work with the easy geometrical patterns of the pre-1400's, I still consider myself a beginner seamstress and have yet to work with much that isn't rectangles, squares, or triangles lmao. I figure this would be fitting for the Middle Earth vibe anyway.

Anyway, I'm super excited to have found a forum for other people like me!! I'm amazed already at all the resources available here, some of which will make my job far easier than researching it all on my own. I hope to have something beginning to resemble a kit that I can show y'all soon!

And lastly - I'm curious how many (if any at all) people might also be Australian? Our climate and in some ways ... unique landscape often mean (in my experience with reenactment at least) that European-based sources have to be tweaked a little. For example, pure wool fabric is nearly impossible to come by, and it would be unwearable for at least half of the year. We tend to deal with extreme heat rather than extreme cold. I would love to know if there is anyone I could discuss things like this with!

I look forward to being a part of this forum!
"What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?"
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Taylor Steiner
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Taylor Steiner »

Welcome!
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Harper »

Welcome Ranger!
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Manveruon »

Welcome! I know we have at least one active member from Australia, Eofor! He tends to do a Rohirrim impression more than Dúnedan. I’m sure he’ll probably chime in here at some point! I don’t recall which part of the country he’s from though, so he may still be quite a long way from you - but at least being on the same continent is better than nothing :lol:
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Elleth »

Welcome!

In addition to the Getting Started threads, you might want to have a look at the MERS newsletter archives:

http://edgeofthewild.org/newsletter/

I'm looking forward to hearing how you solve the hot climate problem!
Do you also use linens for outer garments like cloaks? Or can you get away with just using lighter wools?
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Elswyth
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Elswyth »

Thank you so much everyone for the warm welcome!!
Manveruon wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 8:21 pm Welcome! I know we have at least one active member from Australia, Eofor! He tends to do a Rohirrim impression more than Dúnedan. I’m sure he’ll probably chime in here at some point! I don’t recall which part of the country he’s from though, so he may still be quite a long way from you - but at least being on the same continent is better than nothing :lol:
It’s heartening to hear I have at least one fellow countryman! Even if he lives an unknown distance away.
Elleth wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:19 am Do you also use linens for outer garments like cloaks? Or can you get away with just using lighter wools?
First of all, thanks for the newsletter archives, I’ll go through them tonight!! And I usually do just use linen as the easiest to source natural material (discounting cotton of course), there is a shop here that sells it in a variety of colours. I do find myself in need of something a bit warmer in winter, but I haven’t yet worked out a permanent solution for that. I’m keeping my eye out in op shops (thrift stores) for woollen blankets to use as a cape, but I’ve had no luck yet.
"What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?"
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Eofor
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Eofor »

Hail Elswyth and welcome to the forums.

Myself and the elusive Daleman Heimir are two Australian members of this forum though there may be others.
We are both based around Newcastle in NSW. We manage a few purely Middle Earth themed events a year usually around Tolkien significant days.

You mentioned a reenactment background, there's every chance that depending on your location you may know of us through that pursuit as that is our primary focus?

We take care to keep the two hobbies seperate so as not to muddy the waters around our legitimacy as a living history group but many of the aspects of the two compliment eachother well.

We have come up with a few novel ways of dealing with the heat which I'm happy to share, I also have access to a very large reference library of early middle ages material if you're looking for something that eludes you.
Last edited by Eofor on Tue Feb 15, 2022 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Greg
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Greg »

Welcome, welcome!

Yes, you are most definitely among friends.
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Iodo
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Iodo »

Welcome ranger :P
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Elswyth
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Elswyth »

Eofor wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 11:09 am We are both based around Newcastle in NSW
Ah, what a shame, I used to live in NSW (further north tho), but recently moved down to SA. It's still great to know there are others in the country at least lol, I often find Aussies few and far between in internet circles for some reason.
Eofor wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 11:09 am You mentioned a reenactment background, there's every chance that depending on your location you may know of us through that pursuit as that is our primary focus?
Perhaps, perhaps not - I haven't been in the community long (depending on your definition, but I feel like I've just started) and am still getting to know people. What group are you with? (If you don't mind me asking that is).
Eofor wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 11:09 am We have come up with a few novel ways of dealing with the heat which I'm happy to share
That would be fantastic, thank you!! I'm decently adept with dealing with the heat at this point as long as there aren't too many layers, but new tips are always appreciated!! As well as anything you might have made for your kit specifically with our climate in mind - tunics usually cover the arms, but what do you do about the sun on your face for example? Hat? Hood? Just simply don't get sunburned??

Also, I'm not sure what the winter temperatures are like in Newcastle, but it can get quite chilly down here in comparison to what I'm used to, and theoretically this wouldn't be a problem, except that I've found 100% wool fabric is very very difficult to source. What do you guys do? Do you have a place to buy some, or do you go with a blend, or something else entirely? I guess fur could be an option, but that's very very expensive and also probably heavy...
"What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?"
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Eofor
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Eofor »

Elswyth wrote: Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:04 pm Ah, what a shame, I used to live in NSW (further north tho), but recently moved down to SA. It's still great to know there are others in the country at least lol, I often find Aussies few and far between in internet circles for some reason.
I think that they're about they just dont tend to put it out there, If ever I want to broadcast it I lead in with a good solid G'day mate :mrgreen: It could also be the naturally self effacing nature a lot of us possess - no need to shout it from the rooftops.
Elswyth wrote: Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:04 pm Perhaps, perhaps not - I haven't been in the community long (depending on your definition, but I feel like I've just started) and am still getting to know people. What group are you with? (If you don't mind me asking that is).
It can feel a bit that way, especially at the bigger events where all the older reenactors seem to have weird bonds and friendships dating back to the dark ages. Our group is The Wandering Folk, an early middle ages group and we have a focus on outdoor pursuits. We do have friends in The Eastway Vikings who are SA based if you know of them.
Elswyth wrote: Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:04 pm That would be fantastic, thank you!! I'm decently adept with dealing with the heat at this point as long as there aren't too many layers, but new tips are always appreciated!! As well as anything you might have made for your kit specifically with our climate in mind - tunics usually cover the arms, but what do you do about the sun on your face for example? Hat? Hood? Just simply don't get sunburned??

Also, I'm not sure what the winter temperatures are like in Newcastle, but it can get quite chilly down here in comparison to what I'm used to, and theoretically this wouldn't be a problem, except that I've found 100% wool fabric is very very difficult to source. What do you guys do? Do you have a place to buy some, or do you go with a blend, or something else entirely? I guess fur could be an option, but that's very very expensive and also probably heavy...
We used to try and adapt our gear to the conditions but it's pretty much impossible to do so in ME sense in our climate. We take a living history style approach to our ME kit and so restrict our fabrics to wool, linen and maybe some silk.
Our journey has led us to the conclusion where we chase the best conditions for the gear rather than compromise our standards, in summer we wear light linen and take to the waterways traveling by boat or canoe and doing riverside camps and in the cooler months we head south to the snowfields and pile on as much wool as we can walk in.

Hoods are almost considered a piece of PPE in Australia and we have a few each of linen and of wool as befits the weather, depending on your ME persona you could absolutely adopt a good hat instead.
We tend to source our garments and wool from Europe as they just do them right. A lightweight summer wool can be had if you know where to look, Woolsome sells a blend that is only 185gsm or so but drapes and looks like real wool.
Water is the biggest issue we have faced here in Australia with overnight camps which is another reason we travel to the alps so often, a lifestraw is probably an essential item as carrying enough water to do an overnight camp even in spring can be prohibitive.

I guess it comes back to what I usually respond to newcomers questions with - what are your plans for your ME persona? Are you looking to have a nice kit to wear to Medieval Faires? Are you looking to go on day walks or even multi day hikes? Just enjoy some campfires solo? Have you given any thought as to what culture you wish to portray? Is it Rohan? If not why isn't it Rohan? You should really portray someone from Rohan. Rohan is best..... horses... riddermark... mumble mumble.
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Elswyth
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Elswyth »

Eofor wrote: Wed Feb 16, 2022 3:22 am Our group is The Wandering Folk, an early middle ages group and we have a focus on outdoor pursuits. We do have friends in The Eastway Vikings who are SA based if you know of them.
I haven't heard of your group I'm afraid, but I do know The Eastway Vikings! As a matter of fact I'm in the process of possibly joining their group. Perhaps our path will meet at a large event sometime.
Eofor wrote: Wed Feb 16, 2022 3:22 am We tend to source our garments and wool from Europe as they just do them right. A lightweight summer wool can be had if you know where to look, Woolsome sells a blend that is only 185gsm or so but drapes and looks like real wool.
Woolsome is amazing! I recently put in an order that should be arriving next week. I tend to go for the heavier stuff when it comes to wool - linen is easy to get (The Fabric Store has a great range at decent prices ... and now I sound like an ad. But I'm right), and works well for heat, so I'll want the scarcer wool to be for warmth. Unfortunately where Cezary is based has stopped posting to Australia (what is WITH that??? USPS did it too??), so it has to be sent by a more expensive courier. It's still the cheapest wool I can find, but the postage makes the cost about $50-$60 a metre which... I'm a college student. Ouch lol. I did find two nice 100% wool blankets in an op shop the other day (bright yellow - not very ranger-y alas), maybe I'll just hope for more of them...
Eofor wrote: Wed Feb 16, 2022 3:22 am I guess it comes back to what I usually respond to newcomers questions with - what are your plans for your ME persona? Are you looking to have a nice kit to wear to Medieval Faires? Are you looking to go on day walks or even multi day hikes? Just enjoy some campfires solo? Have you given any thought as to what culture you wish to portray?
I'm mostly interested in the Dunadain tbh, specifically the rangers, which... I'm already going to have to stretch the borders of what Tolkien wrote considering I'm... not a man. I hope to get a kit that is actually functional for hiking, so I can go find a trail somewhere and pretend I'm actually a Ranger of middle earth, protecting the innocent shire from nasty orcses... So I'm gonna have to do a lot of research into historical travel, and modern travel AND Tolkien travel and somehow try and get a coherent and functional vibe from all that. Your point about water is a good one, I grew up in the forest so I was used to drinking from streams there, but I've moved across the country and my gut won't know the bacteria (plus I don't trust the cleanliness here). So I'm going to have to find a way to purify it. And that's assuming there is a stream. It will possibly help that I'll likely have my brother in tow (who has similar interests to me), so we can find a way to divide the load, sharing things like cooking gear and shelter equipment.
Eofor wrote: Wed Feb 16, 2022 3:22 am Is it Rohan? If not why isn't it Rohan? You should really portray someone from Rohan. Rohan is best..... horses... riddermark... mumble mumble.
You're absolutely right why am I NOT doing Rohan??? What have I been thinking??????

Seriously though, you brought back the memory of when I used to do horse riding and gods I wish I could actually afford a horse :(
"What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?"
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Iodo »

Elswyth wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 5:19 am I did find two nice 100% wool blankets in an op shop the other day (bright yellow - not very ranger-y alas), maybe I'll just hope for more of them...

Just an idea if your on a budget:
it is possible to dye wool different colors. Dyeing large pieces of wool (blankets etc...) is challenging, messy and hard work but it can be done, the biggest thing I have ever dared to try this with was a 5m great kilt, that was very heavy once it was wet, and due to underestimating the amount of fabric I didn't quite achieve the shade I wanted but I was still happy the result. If you are planning to make clothing from a blanket you can cut it into smaller pieces first and make your job a lot easier, just make sure you go 6" oversize just in case it shrinks. If you start with already colored wool you have to think about color mixing to know what color to "over dye" your fabric to end up with the color you want (this is explained here: https://www.tintex.ca/pages/fabric-dye-colour-guide ) Example: if your fabric is bright yellow, you will have to dye it blue to make it green. If you do this remember that when it's wet in the dye bath it will look a lot darker than once washed and dried.

Elswyth wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 5:19 am I hope to get a kit that is actually functional for hiking, so I can go find a trail somewhere and pretend I'm actually a Ranger of middle earth, protecting the innocent shire from nasty orcses...

Yey! that is the BEST bit of this hobby :P and you can start right away, as soon as you have a tunic and pants you can wrap a snack and a water bottle up in one of these: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=4187 and hit the trail for a morning or an afternoon, don't wait until you have assembled a complicated kit to have fun

Elswyth wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 5:19 am I grew up in the forest so I was used to drinking from streams there, but I've moved across the country and my gut won't know the bacteria (plus I don't trust the cleanliness here). So I'm going to have to find a way to purify it

where safety is concerned I have always considered it OK to use modern gear in my kit, if I'm going too far to carry enough water I bring a modern water filter (I use the MSR trail-shot filer pump) so when I come across a water source I can fill my flask

Elswyth wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 5:19 am
Eofor wrote: Wed Feb 16, 2022 3:22 am Is it Rohan? If not why isn't it Rohan? You should really portray someone from Rohan. Rohan is best..... horses... riddermark... mumble mumble.
You're absolutely right why am I NOT doing Rohan??? What have I been thinking??????

Seriously though, you brought back the memory of when I used to do horse riding and gods I wish I could actually afford a horse :(

Rohan is best??? Nahhh, you got that all wrong, Dwarves are best! Totally the best and without question! Adventure, fighting dragons, axes, mattocks, mining, prospecting, and not forgetting gold! just think of all that treasure you be missing out on...
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by ForgeCorvus »

Elswyth there are both male and female personas on here, I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.
Rangers, Riders, Bounders, Soldiers, Commoners, Yeomen....... Even Elves

But all in all, Dwarves are the best. Humans are taller because the material isn't as good so they had to be made bigger to compensate :P
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Re: New Aussie ranger

Post by Eofor »

Elswyth wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 5:19 am
Woolsome is amazing! I recently put in an order that should be arriving next week. I tend to go for the heavier stuff when it comes to wool - linen is easy to get (The Fabric Store has a great range at decent prices ... and now I sound like an ad. But I'm right), and works well for heat, so I'll want the scarcer wool to be for warmth. Unfortunately where Cezary is based has stopped posting to Australia (what is WITH that??? USPS did it too??), so it has to be sent by a more expensive courier. It's still the cheapest wool I can find, but the postage makes the cost about $50-$60 a metre which... I'm a college student. Ouch lol. I did find two nice 100% wool blankets in an op shop the other day (bright yellow - not very ranger-y alas), maybe I'll just hope for more of them...
There may be an Australian supplier for that wool soon, if I hear more I will keep you updated. I believe Alex from Eastway was selling linen at one stage as well. The postage stopped because the planes stopped, no way to get it over here cheaply so the big postal services just stopped taking deliveries. The more expensive couriers are buying up the few spots there are which is why it costs so much.

I'm mostly interested in the Dunadain tbh, specifically the rangers, which... I'm already going to have to stretch the borders of what Tolkien wrote considering I'm... not a man. I hope to get a kit that is actually functional for hiking, so I can go find a trail somewhere and pretend I'm actually a Ranger of middle earth, protecting the innocent shire from nasty orcses... So I'm gonna have to do a lot of research into historical travel, and modern travel AND Tolkien travel and somehow try and get a coherent and functional vibe from all that. Your point about water is a good one, I grew up in the forest so I was used to drinking from streams there, but I've moved across the country and my gut won't know the bacteria (plus I don't trust the cleanliness here). So I'm going to have to find a way to purify it. And that's assuming there is a stream. It will possibly help that I'll likely have my brother in tow (who has similar interests to me), so we can find a way to divide the load, sharing things like cooking gear and shelter equipment.
I try not to do shameless plugs but you really want to go over and have a look at our group as we specialise in travel of the early middle ages. We hike and camp in all weathers using only period equipment, we climbed Mount Kosciuszko last year through knee deep snow in full kit, we sleep our in sub zero, just this weekend gone we canoed down the shoalhaven and camped overnight in the shadow of the great sandstone cliffs (there were so many Argonath references)


Like I said it seems like a plug but we do know our stuff and at the very least, trolling through our photo albums will give you some idea of what you need. https://www.facebook.com/TheWanderingFolk/


Iodo wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 9:07 am Yey! that is the BEST bit of this hobby :P and you can start right away, as soon as you have a tunic and pants you can wrap a snack and a water bottle up in one of these: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=4187 and hit the trail for a morning or an afternoon, don't wait until you have assembled a complicated kit to have fun

This is a grand piece of advice, too many people want to wait until they have all the best gear and it's the finished product but honestly, just grab what you have and go out and explore!

Iodo wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 9:07 am Rohan is best??? Nahhh, you got that all wrong, Dwarves are best! Totally the best and without question! Adventure, fighting dragons, axes, mattocks, mining, prospecting, and not forgetting gold! just think of all that treasure you be missing out on...

Hmmmm.... This is a LESS grand piece. Fighting dragons? Well hardly, I will concede that the mighty Azaghâl Lord of Belegost came close though twas a man that lain low Smaug, and the sons of Eorl count at least on dragon on the tally board or perhaps it's the age old matter of Scatha's treasure that stands between us?
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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