Well, maybe not an actual ode, but I am going to talk about why I think they are great.
So one of the problems I have faced with LARP is that I can’t really stand for too long without my back giving me trouble, also just standing around in a field for a weekend is a lot of effort. Sitting around in a field for a weekend is MUCH easier.
Which is where buckets come in. Now, there is a delightful fictional trouble maker in Scotland called Oor Wullie, and he is best known for sitting on an up turned bucket in dungarees with messy hair and a grin. Now, depending on the LARP you are doing there may be any number of reasons why dungarees and a grin won’t work (messy hair on the other hand is basically a requirement of LARP, people who manage otherwise are witches). But a bucket will do you lot of good too.
Now it will have to be pretty sturdy, since you have to sit on it and terrifying creaky noises are only funny once or twice. But the rest of the time you can use it as a basket to carry things like your water bottle, or cloak, around with you. It might make things easier if you have a canvas bag you can stick on your knee the rest of the time, but the option of having a seat will make it worth it.
Plus you can use your cloak as a cushion pretty easily by folding it over a couple of times and sticking it on top.
And there really aren’t that many settings where a bucket will be out of place. You might have to dress it up a bit, get a wooden one for the older settings and a metal one for more recent ones, but if you are outside (which is where LARP mostly is) a bucket is a reasonable accessory. Your character might need it for carrying water, they might need it for foraging, they might even need it for hitting bad guys over the head with, but either way, a bucket will always come in handy. And, just by their nature they are easy to clean and watertight so you don’t have to worry about taking half the field back home with you a the end of the weekend. Like I did the last time I tried to take a camping stool with me. The rubber covers wore out and came off the ends of the legs so the sharp metal just speared into the soft ground. I ended up balancing precariously on metal tubes filled with dirt. I would not recommend it, it was quite wobbly.
So, this is just to say that the next time I go to LARP I will be taking a bucket along with me and I invite you to do the same. Maybe we can make it a thing, or at the very least a hot new fashion trend. I will be dressing it up a little, I have some twine and jute fabric left over from when I tried to disguise my camping stool as one in character (it kind of worked, aside from the actual problems of the legs sinking into the ground). So my plan is to wrap that jute and twine around the handle and maybe make a seat cover for it so that I have something to sit on. After all, most buckets have a raised rim around the outside of the bottom, and since that is what you are sitting on it might do some good to have something between me and the metal.
I also found some really cute cushions which are made to look like logs and bits of tree, so I could easily stick one of them on the bucket to give me a bit of extra protection. And if it’s cold I will stay warmer that way. Here are the cushions, by the way, I love them and want enough to make a nest in my tent.
But I think this could be a really good solution to some of my LARP issues, and maybe it will help some of you lot out as well!
I will hopefully be making an appearance at Empire LRP in April at the first event of 2020, so I am going to have plenty of time to figure out the best way to make my bucket look really, really in character. It will be the first time I am back since ages, so it will be really nice to see all of my friends again – even if the absence of horns and the change in nation might cause some confusion. It will also mean that I have to find out where I put all of my LARP stuff, because I don’t think I am entirely sure where some of it went. I think some of it might be in the suitcase I used, but I used that more recently for a Cosplay trip, so that probably isn’t the case. But that’s a problem for future me, I don’t have to worry about it for months yet!
See you next time, K.