Game events are weekend-long ordeals that share much in common with camping, Renaissance faires, and sporting events. As such, there are a variety of items you'll want to pack.
- Proof of vaccination or exemption. As a COVID-19 safety precaution, all players must present either proof of vaccination or proof of medical exemption before they are allowed to play.
- Money for game dues. Game dues at the door are $35. If you don’t feel like carrying cash on you, you can prepay online instead. See “How Much Does It Cost?” for more details.
- Costuming, makeup, and prosthetics. You'll need to wear period-appropriate attire and racial costuming while in play. If possible, try to bring extra costuming in case your primary costume is damaged or soiled. See “Costuming” for more details.
- Sturdy shoes. You will spend much of your time walking on wooded, uneven ground. Close-toed shoes suitable for heavy activity are required for safety whenever you are in play.
- Boffer weapons, armor, and/or shields. These will need to be inspected and approved by a prop marshall at check-in. New players are allowed to borrow weapons from the Dragon's Den for their first game only.
- Light source. You can create light in play provided you have an appropriate prop, and you'll need light to get around out of play as well. The cabins where you'll sleep throughout the weekend do not have electricity or lighting, so you'll need something to find your way around in the dark.
- White headband. You'll need this whenever you need to go out of play.
- Other props. Many players bring along extra props, such as cabin decorations, in-game drink containers, in-game writing supplies, and the like. Although not required, such items can be fun to have around and help add ambiance to the game.
- Food and drink. Although other participants may offer food, likely for a fee, meals are not included in your game dues, and food is not guaranteed to be offered at the event. Always arrange enough food to last you through the entire event.
- Sleeping bag or bedding. Any game held in Umstead will include cabins with basic mattresses for you to use, but you'll need to bring your own bed sheets, pillows, blankets, and the like. Pay close attention to the weather forecast for the weekend of the event and pack more bedding and blankets than you think you'll need.
- Toiletries. Any game held in Umstead will include communal bathhouses with toilets and showers for you to use, but you'll need to bring your own face wipes (for makeup), soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, washcloths, towels, etc.
- Normal clothes. Particularly when you're going to and from the game, costumes are not recommended. Be sure to bring a set of ordinary clothes for such occasions.
- Medication. If you have any prescription or other medications that you may need, be sure to bring them. These should be recorded on the medical information card you fill out at check-in in case the game's medic staff needs to know about them.
- First aid kit. Although first aid supplies are available for our medics to use, it's never a bad idea to bring your own for minor injuries that don't require a medic's attention.
- Garbage bags. You're responsible for cleaning up your own mess, and there are no trash receptacles in or near the cabins.
- Seasonal items. It pays to be prepared for seasonal conditions. Bug repellent, chapstick, sunscreen, long johns, rain gear, and the like are all a good idea depending on the weather.
Some items are specifically prohibited by the game rules and/or site policies. So much as bringing these items to the game is grounds for disciplinary action. Prohibited items include:
- Alcohol. Many game participants are below the age of 21, and intoxication is not conducive to a good game. More importantly, alcohol is not permitted in a state park.
- Real weapons. This is a game of fantasy combat, and many real-life weapons are not permitted in a state park.
- Guns. Even if you have a permit to carry them, leave them at home.
- Illegal drugs. Illegal activities are strictly prohibited at game events.