What Can Renaissance Fairs Teach Preppers?
Dr. John Woods 11.02.16
The Tennessee Renaissance Festival is held in Arrington, Tennessee just outside of Nashville proper. They just held their 31st annual event going back in time to 1571 when Queen Elizabeth journeyed to the village of Covington Glenn, all a fantasy of course depicted by multitudes of actors, volunteers, and vendors all pitching in to illustrate a time back in history in a faraway world.
Walking the grounds during the festival, I wondered, “what if” we were thrown back into these times? What skills would we need to survive? Ironically enough, there were plenty of things a prepper could learn at a renaissance fair to equip them for a SHTF throwback world.
Of first note, I paid particular attention to the dress, both of the common folk, the warriors, and all else. Everything was long sleeved, long pants, and long skirts despite the humidity and heat. During any SHTF, preppers need to heed the protection of skin and all exposed surfaces from the sun and other elements. Everybody wore boots, too, nothing open toed and no soft shoes. Hats prevailed as well. Protection from the elements is an important consideration.
There were many depictions of primitive skills from wood and metal works to the making of knives, axes, and tools of war. Hammering, shaping, cutting, and fine motor skills were displayed in a variety of ways. In many cases just the finished products were shown, but inquiries revealed the underlying talents needed to manufacture basic tools and implements.
Primitive self- defensive techniques were demonstrated as well. This included wielding swords, axes, archery, knife and ax throwing, and using shields for defense. There were jousting events, too, but the only application I got here was the skill of horseback riding. Preppers that bug out to rural locations with the opportunity to have horses would certainly find numerous advantages to having access to such animals.
I took note, too, of various different types of primitive housing constructions including canopies, huts, shacks, and other structures useful in a dire straits survival situation. These structures were put together from tree poles, leather or rope lashes for the secure assembly and covered with thatch or other naturally available materials to ward off the sun and other elements.
Some may think such things a stretch trying to apply simple fair demonstrations of skills and handmade products to surviving the next SHTF. I say preppers, take nothing for granted.