Interested in reenacting?
We encourage you to visit one of our events, ask questions, take photos and gather as much information as you can.
We recommend that you wear shoes made for walking in all sorts of terrain and weather.
While at "camp" we ask you follow a few rules:
No pets or animals of any kind.
No running in camp.
Stay out of marked, adjacent or wooded areas without a guide.
We encourage you to take photos, but please be considerate!
Please put trash and extinguished cigarette butts in the proper receptacles, not in the portajons!
Our lodges (tents) are our homes, if the flaps are closed, consider our doors are locked.
Can I do that?
Once you have visited us and you would like to join in on the fun, and you ask yourself, “Can I do that?” Sure you can!
All it takes is a love of history, the desire to camp and the willingness to do a bit of research. So you’re a great lover of History and would like to live it…what do you do first? Deciding which time period would be a great start!
The National Rendezvous and Living History Foundation (NRLHF) represents the time period between 1640 and 1840. We have folks representing all time periods of America’s exploration… The 1700s? The French and Indian War? The Revolutionary War? You betcha!
Perhaps a longhunter, one of the many craftsmen of the time or even one of the eastern woodland Indians?
Yup, yup, yup and yup!
Or perhaps your interest lies in the 1800s, the time of the Mountain Men or the French Courier du Bois.
When you're getting started, go to as many events as possible and talk to people. You will find people that live history are a valuable resource in trying to determine your ideal period of interest and are usually more than happy to help a “pilgrim” (someone new starting out).
Once you have decided on a time period, it is time for more research. Learn what types and styles of clothing including footwear is period and proper, also which type of gun and/or accoutrements are correct for the time. Clothing, patterns and accoutrements can be purchased and either created by you or someone you can hire for the job. Make yourself a haversack from a light cotton canvas and purchase a tin plate, a tin cup and eating utensils and you're pretty well set. Folks around the rendezvous are always happy to take in a “Pilgrim,” feed them and provide all the necessary research you’ll ever need!
If you are an avid shooter and would like a period appropriate gun, there are many types from a multitude of sources – research again! Everything from production guns to custom built. Generally speaking, you will get what you pay for. Quality costs more, but a good gun or rifle can be found for relatively low expense. Knowing which time period you want to reenact is crucial here. An eastern Longhunter would not have had a Hawkins style cap lock rifle, as it would not have been made in the same era.
Primitive archery and tomahawk and knife throwing are also competitions which occur during rendezvous. Bows are made from various materials from hickory to Osage orange to Yew and can be long bows, horse bows and even medieval English bows. There's that research thing again! Hawk and knife are all in what feels right in your hand and while thrown.
Researching your shelter or “lodge” is another step in starting out. First, what type of tent or shelter is right for your period and then what is right for you. Again, there is a variety of types and styles to choose from. From as simple as a square piece of canvas you can crawl under to the most elaborate tipi. There are many considerations. Picking your lodge is a big step and has many considerations - is it period correct? How much is enough and what is too much. What about ease of set up and tear down? How will you transport poles? And then there is the cost.
Got my stuff, Now What?
Well, most of us go to as many rendezvous, market fairs or period events as we can in a year. A rendezvous can either be a small group of people/friends getting together for a weekend of good times to local black powder/muzzleloader clubs hosting a weekend event with primitive competitions. Other events that may be of interest are battle reenactments or going to local schools to “teach” children about a particular time period. Larger events, such as the five rendezvous sponsored by the NRLHF, can draw upwards to 1,000 attendants for over a week. All in all, a very pleasant way to spend one's vacation since modern intrusions are not to be seen. That means no "boom boxes" or televisions allowed. Cell phones are now a necessity but must be kept out of sight and put on mute. Also, no internal combustion engines except in designated areas and brief periods for people to either load or unload their camp (most with a 1-hour time period). We do also make some allowances for service vehicles (Water and ice delivery, garbage and sewage removal).
The main point is get involved! Facebook also has quite of few interesting groups and pages listing events or wares for sale. Many clubs and groups are always looking for new ideas and new people. A bonus to you is that you are able to spend time with people who have been doing this for years and are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our hobby or about history. Most of us are amateur historians but we do have quite a few professionals in our midst.