Basic field repair kit of a knight
The problem of equipment repair usually arises unexpectedly, i.e. at a festival. Of course, it is not difficult to make a repair at home, to fix, flatten, sew something, etc., but it’s a challenge when you are at a festival. You have to find a hammer, pliers, something that can be used as an anvil, etc. But it’s not difficult to carry with you a small repair kit, which would greatly ease your life. So, what do you need to have, so that you can mend your equipment, but have no difficulties while carrying the things with you? Repair kit of any reenactor should include the following items:
1) Pliers - 2 pairs. Yes, exactly two pairs, not one, since you cannot bend iron with only one pair of pliers. Why do you need pliers? A buckle can unbend and your chainmail will be spoiled, or some element is dented, so you can always apply pliers and fix the problem. They are a basic tool for any person dealing with metal. Narrow pliers are very handy to pull leather laces when they are tight. It is also desirable to have cutting pliers, although they are not as needed at a festival as pliers, which can partially perform their functions.
2) Hammer. You do not need a big one, it’s enough to have a middle-sized hammer with round head. It’s clear why you need it: to flatten dented items, to drive in rivets. You can roughly adjust a helmet to your head using a hammer and a flat stone or even a piece of wood. When in field conditions, it is not necessarily to do everything precisely, you just need to eliminate all the inconvenience.
3) Small piece of metal to hammer rivets (8-10 mm thick, of a matchbox size). But if you have a thick two-handed ax, you can do without such plate, since rivets can be hammered on it.
4) Rivets of several kinds. All types of rivets, which are in your armor (3, 4, 5 mm) - 10 pieces of each kind should be kept in a matchbox, as well as washers that are used with them. It is preferably to have rivets of the height appropriate for your armor, though you can always snap them off with pliers, but it is better to prepare them in advance, because you would not be able to do it with a 5 mm rivet.
5) Sewing accessories: threads, needles, scissors, awl. The threads must be strong, scissors – powerful enough to cut leather (for laces or straps). You should have several needles, preferably thick (to sew leather), in case one gets lost or broken.
6) A few pieces of cloth for patches. The cloth should be of the type used for your brigandine, cap and underarmor protection.
7) A set of leather laces and straps, and a small (at least a couple of decimeters square) piece of thick leather. Laces and spare straps are mandatory, because they are usually the most perishable. A set of 20 laces will keep you on the safe side for a year. Do not forget a few buckles for the straps that you use on the bracers, greaves, body armor and helmet. Although buckles come off rarely, it happens once in a while. 3-5 pieces will be enough for the whole season.
Thus, the total weight of the kit would not exceed 1.5 kg, it will take a maximum of half the side pocket of backpack, and it will allow you to repair almost any damage at a festival - from a torn cap to damaged rivets on vambraces and lost brigandine plates.
The list looks like this:
2 pairs of pliers
- one pair of cutting pliers (optional)
- small hammer, a small metal plate 8-10 mm thick.
- several kinds of rivets with washers for them
- sewing accessories: thread, needle, scissors, awl, pieces of fabric for patches
- a set of leather laces, straps, buckles and a piece of leather (for straps and laces).
It will take not more than an hour to prepare such a repair kit (to cut straps, laces, snap off rivets), and it will ease your life significantly. This kit can actually serve within a festival for the whole club. Be responsible preparing the repair kit and you will not have to miss a part of festival because of damaged armor. Enjoy a festival as much as you like, and not as much as your equipment lets you.