Guide: Things to bring to shows

A list of recommended items to bring to Cardiff Castle Garrison weekend shows. For more information about what to expect at weekend shows please see this post.


– Fourteenth century kit: a list of the required fourteenth-century kit for Garrison members may be found here. If you do not yet have the required kit, please ensure you contact our living history officer Sally to arrange this, either on Facebook or by emailing

– Weather-suitable clothing: We are often camping on grass at shows, which can get muddy, temperatures can get a little cold at night, and there can be rain. Please bring suitable clothing for this such as a warm coat or jumper, a waterproof jacket, and trainers or walking boots to ensure you do not get caught out by the weather.

– Bedding: If you are camping, either in a group tent or your own modern tent at a show then please bring your own bedding with you. A recommended minimum is a sleeping bag and roll mat as the ground can get very chilly at night, and extra pillows and blankets are also useful. Most members just use sleeping bags, roll mats and pillows. Roll mats are incredibly useful pieces of kit and can be bought very cheaply, they raise you off the ground and it’s surprising how much warmer you will be. We’ve had instances where members have forgotten them and have got cold in the night.

Please note that there may not be space in group tents for air mattresses and camp beds so please check before bringing these, as if there is not sufficient space then you will not be able to use them.

– Toiletries: Show locations do not usually have showers but sinks are always available with hot running water. Wet wipes are useful for washing and please bring a general wash bag for items like toothbrush; deodorant etc.

– Suncream: please bring suncream to Garrison shows; it is surprising how strong the sun can be when you’re out in it all day and we have in the past had members suffer from heatstroke due to inadequate sun protection. Please note that the group often bring authentic sunhats and fans which are available for members to borrow and let someone know if you are feeling unwell.

– Food: Weekend shows provide a hot lunch and snacks of bread, cheese, and fruit throughout the day but it is often a good idea to bring your own food to supplement this, as the group do not provide breakfast or dinner. Many members bring snack foods like crisps and chocolates, and sports drinks. Please note that if your food is inauthentic to the fourteenth century then you will be asked to eat it out of sight, e.g. in one of the tents. Authentic food that can be easily brought to shows includes fruit (apples, pears, plums, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currents were commonplace, and more luxury items include dried fruits, pomegranates, and oranges), pies and pasties, quiches, and pre-cooked meats such as salami sausages and ham.

We always love to see new members at shows. If you have any questions at all feel free to email us at or join us on Facebook.

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