Hous Amberherthe Unlock'd

Encampment Routine

Camp Set Up

This will take 6-8 hours.

It is courteous (and expected) that everyone will arrive as planned and help everyone else set up on arrival. This helps us get onto the more enjoyable activities without delay.

The order of set up is usually:

  1. Lay out the pavilions and walls to determine the overall layout of the site
    (nothing goes up until Christian or Isabel Maria have OKed the plan)
  2. Set up the pavilions, tents, sunshade and kitchen shade first
    (start at one point (to be determined on the day) and move around the main courtyard)
  3. Furnish communal areas
    (kitchen tent, kitchen shade, sunshade, bathing pavilion)
  4. Furnish personal pavilions
    (set up your rugs, beds, bedding and storage etc)
  5. Dress the encampment
    (put out the solar lanterns, fire buckets, kitchen equipment, weapons etc)
  6. Set up walls and gate,
    (and the armour tent, if we have it)

Everyone in camp is expected to assist with communal areas but furnishing personal pavilions is the responsibility of the owner. Special care should be taken to ensure that chilli bins are not left in the sun and that fragile items are not left lying around. Ditto posh frocks and private stashes of chocolate.

Please note that slackers will be tied to a spit and roasted.

Bad Weather Set Up

Should the weather turn inclement, or there be some other pressing need, all hands to the pump will be required to ensure equipment is not damaged. In the case of rain, usually one of the large pavilions will be set up by everyone, everything unloaded onto ground sheets under the tent, and then tents erected one by one.

What You Will Need

Dress appropriately (to protect from sun / cold / wet) and bring work gloves, bandanas, sturdy footwear (boots are highly recommended), sunscreen, a hat and any allergy meds. Have a warm layer on hand, just in case. (Isabel Maria also encourages packing Arnica Cream and ice-packs, but that's her...)

Bring something sweet and / or caffeinated to drink during set up. Bikkies (possibly chocky-chip bikkies) will be handed around (but feel free to bring your own chocolate or whatever if you need it). Trust us, you will need the pick-me-up. If you start getting to tired, snappy or headachy, have a short rest, and something to eat and drink.

Also, heat exhaustion is not fun. Wear your hat, keep up your fluid intake and take breaks in the shade. Dunk your bandana (or head) in one of the fire buckets if you need to cool down.

You will also need to listen to the water fairy or the grumpy fairy - if they tell you to rest / drink / eat / get off your butt, it is wise to do it.

Daily Chores

There is a daily chores roster and you are on it. Seriously. You are expected to do your chores on time. Other than that, your time is your own. You need to check the schedule of the event so that you donít volunteer at times when you have other activities scheduled (tourneys, classes, etc).

Chores that you will be expected to help with include fetching water (not such a biggie at CF these days), doing the rubbish, ice runs, preparing meals and doing the communal dishes. Don't worry, the trickier duties are done in pairs and other people normally help out (especially with cooking). If you have no idea what you are doing, donít panic, there are plenty of people to tell you what to do, how to do it and to help you get it done.


Dinners are cooked, lunch is generally cold, breakfast may be either. Check the Amberherthe Food Plan page for more details and the Camping Recipes pages (breakfast, and dinner) to see what you are likely to be cooking.

HINT: check with whoever organised the food plan about 24 hours before any meals you are cooking to check whether you need to do anything - like get the meat out to defrost etc. If you forget, there is a microwave in Tui Lodge. (Just don't expect it to defrost anything quickly.)


Dishes are done immediately after every meal. All the necessary equipment and products can be found in the kitchen tent. Dishes are washed in the silver (plastic) tub with the wooden handles and the scrubbing brush etc are found in the small lidded bucket. (ALWAYS add cold water to the tub before introducing the boiling water from the kettle.) Tea-towels are stored on the shelves and the dish-rack is normally on the table. You may prefer to do the dishes in the kitchen shade - that is where all the interesting conversation is.


If there is no water supply in the encampment, the water containers need to be refilled twice a day - once before breakfast, once before dinner. These get pretty heavy when full.

Ice & chilly bins

Each chilly bin in the kitchen tent is kept cold through the use of freezie / slicker pads. The thawed slicker pads need to be swapped for frozen pads twice every day. The pads are re-frozen in either the communal freezer in Tui Lodge, or in the chest freezer in the main kitchen. Amberherthe pads are either stored in the allocated spot in the freezer or in bags together that are clearly marked as ours.


For some events, bread it baked twice a day, morning and night. Fortunately we have a mechanical baker to help make this less time consuming.


All household rubbish needs to be separated into recyclables, glass, alcohol vessels and other rubbish. Follow the site rules regarding disposing of the household rubbish.

Camp Chamberlain

Head Honcho for the day. The chamberlain is responsible for making sure the camp runs smoothly, e.g. that chores are done on time, the camp is tidied, the lights are lit, the fire buckets are full, the chilly-bins are cold and the camp gets packed up properly at night etc.

Nightly Tidy-Up / Last One Standing

Everybody is responsible for tidying up after themselves at the end of the day. If you are the last one up, you need to ensure that the camp is tidy for night. This is not just to be annoying, this is to ensure the safety of the people and preserve our stuff from damage. It is not courteous to sneak off early to avoid this duty, nor to stick others with this night after night. Everyone should ensure than someone not too inebriated is doing this.

To avoid damaging equipment, everyone should ensure the camp is closed down for the night:

  1. Ensure all personal items and rubbish is cleared away.
  2. Pack all (cloth) chairs into personal pavilions, and wooden chairs in the back of the sunshade, otherwise they will get damp.
  3. Remove all items from the sunshade table, fold the table cloth and put in the kitchen.
  4. Put the sunshade table and trestles in the kitchen (if it is likely to be wet) or on the ground (if windy).
  5. If there is a high wind, collapse sunshade and wall (this is not a one person job).
  6. Make sure the gas torch is out and gas is turned off.
  7. Make sure gas stove is turned off and the gas is turned off. Make sure nothing flammable is near anything hot.
  8. Make sure the fire is out and nothing flammable is near anything hot.
  9. Tidy the camp so no one trips over anything.
  10. Shut the lid on the rubbish bin properly, and make sure the kitchen is tidy. Tie up the kitchen tent to prevent vermin getting in.
  11. Put away armour and lace up armour tent.
  12. Ensure the bell wonít drive everyone nuts if its windy Ė however please note below under emergency take down.
  13. Check the encampment CAREFULLY.
  14. Put out all lights and candles (there are solar lanterns that stay on all night and provide ambient lighting, these stay on).

Emergency take down

If you wake up and the wind is up and there is danger of sunshade, walls etc going down, get out of bed and take them down. (The early warning is the gate bell ringing in the wind). Wake others if necessary. Donít lie there hoping it will go away and someone else will deal with it. One day it might be you who needs help.

To take the walls etc down, pull out poles, lay the fabric down, put something on top if itís filling with air. Ditto to dropping anything else that looks dodgy. Wake people for help if you need to.

Should someoneís personal tent be in trouble, wake them immediately (start by calling them loudly, donít barge in unless you are sure they arenít responding).


Fire could cause us significant hardship and even kill people. Be very careful, especially in high winds and dry conditions. Know where the fire extinguisher is. Know where your water bucket is. Know that you can use a cloak or a blanket to smother fire.

A fire extinguisher is kept against the side of the fire pit canopy on the ground (you will be shown this). If you have one, bring it along. At recent Canterbury Faires every tent has been required to have a full bucket of water nearby. Hous Amberherthe encourages this practice.

We also encourage common sense around the fire. Donít be an idiot with fire or anything that could be dangerous with fire. Avoid wearing your dangling false sleeves or garb of man-made fibres, don't take short cuts through the kitchen shade, don't throw your bottles or cans in the fire etc.

Camp Pack Down

Everyone helps, no one quits.

It is courteous and expected that everyone will help everyone else pack down. Even if you have packed up, it is courteous to stay and help until the last person is finished. Expect this to take at least 5 hours.

Follow directions for the pack down order and for the packing of communal property.

Keep a stash of sweet and / or caffeinated beverages and munchies for pack up. (Trust us, this really helps.)

HINT: If you keep your tent tidy, and keep things in their travelling containers, this is much easier. (No, we haven't achieved this yet either.)

Take me to the Camp Rules & Etiquette or the Camp Food Plan

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