We are an 18th century Living History group. Our main area of interest is in the New World and our period is 1680-1760. But we also research this period in Europe and the British Isles.
We chose to emulate the New World colonial lifestyle because (a) there were more nationalities in the New World at this time, (b) it enables us to choose an earlier period, (c) we have more choices of personas/characters to choose from and a larger choice of trades and skills, (d) this covers King George’s War and the French and Indian War so it also offers us a wider choice of historical scenarios, and (e) we have a much larger choice of skills, tools, and equipment because of all the above.
We have regular meetings at about 10am on the first Sunday of each month which are held either at Linstock House or at Elm Cottage which is our club house, but meetings and activities can be arranged at any time to suit individual members. Regular meetings usually include: a show and tell of new equipment or clothing and the sharing of any research information, learning and practicing period living skills, skills workshops such as tomahawk and axe helve making, bow making, weaving, clothing construction, etc.
Most of our primitive camping and Historical Trekking is done in winter. Here in Australia this is a more comfortable time to be camping out when there are no mossies, ants, or snakes to worry about. Also it is a time when we can safely light camp fires and it presents more of a challenge for practicing primitive wilderness survival skills. Historical Trekking is usually held over the weekend from early Saturday morning to no later than 4pm on the Sunday. But participants are welcome to camp for as long as they wish, and they are welcome to arrive on the Friday night and either camp near the old fort or stay in Elm Cottage overnight.
All members are required to dress in period clothing to suit their persona. We set no time limit on members getting fully equipped, so long as we can see they are making some effort. Temporary clothing can be made from modern clothing such as: oversized pullover work shirts with the buttons and pockets removed, trousers, black or brown shoes.
Period clothing can be made from second hand materials purchased from op-shops, such as linen or cotton table cloths, blankets, leather coats. If members are unable to make their own clothing it can be purchased or custom made. We do encourage our members to make as much as they can as these are some of the skills we learn and practice.
Likewise some items of period equipment can also be made and other items can be found in second hand shops once you know what to look for.
WHAT SHOULD MEMBERS DO FIRST?
First of all you should meet with us, preferably before you even join our group. Then we can explain things clearly and give you some advice on historical research and choosing your period and persona.
After meeting with us, should you decide to join our group, you will be required to pay $15.00 (fifteen dollars) to the Australasian Living History Federation for one years insurance cover. Membership to our group is FREE. Skills workshops are also free though occasionally you may be required to pay for any materials used such as a bow stave for instance, but all material costs will be at cost.
2) You will need to research your persona. Your persona is the type of character you wish to be. We do not emulate real people from history. As an example you may choose to be a woodsrunner. A woodsrunner is a woodsman, or woods woman, or a French Coureur De Bois. You need to know what clothing they wore, what equipment they used, and what skills they needed to know in order to carry out their occupation and survive in the wilderness. We do have a good deal of this research information on hand, so check with us first before going to the library or searching on the internet. There will always be some research to do because we are always searching and learning.
3) Once you have done your research and know what it is you need then you can start collecting the things/items you want. As mentioned before, this does not have to be an expensive exercise; items can be made from second hand or inexpensive new materials and we are always here to help.
You can join our group online at: http://historicaltrekkers.ning.com/
You can follow my blog for more information at: http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com