Getting Started

A how-to on the basics!

What is LARP?

LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role Play. Ok, so what is that? Well, LARP in it’s most basic form is a group of people getting together, playing characters they have made up, acting out scenarios in a fantasy world. There are many different genres of LARP’s, some are set in a medieval world, some in a futuristic world, some in a wild west style world, and some are just set in modern day. What they all have in common though is people playing roles and reacting to the situations placed before them. For a more in depth description of what LARP is, you can look it up here at Wikipedia.

What kind of LARP is Kanarak?

Kanarak is what’s considered a high fantasy LARP.  Our setting is much like that of Lord of the Rings or other fantasy novels, and includes many fantastical creatures and magic. Our main goal is to provide an experience for our players that makes them feel like they are in another world. Our players, as well as our staff, are costumed in appropriate garb for the fantasy genre, and stay in character for the full game from beginning to end. This keeps everyone immersed in the fantasy, allowing people to forget about the outside world. We are a combat LARP as well. We resolve combat using soft foam weapons and utilizing our combat system, as well as packets filled with bird seed for spells, and padded arrows.

What is the dress code?

Kanarak is a medium immersion fantasy LARP. As such, we encourage all of our players to be as fully costumed as possible. As far as our requirements, we ask that all of our players’ costumes be made out of fabric that would be relatively suiting of the medieval period which means wools, linen, cotton, and leather/fur are great!. Sequins or the cheap silky fabrics that flood party city, for example, would not be desirable.

At your first game, we will ask to do a costume and weapons inspection just to make sure everything is passable. If it’s not perfect the first time, don’t fret! We will offer gentle suggestions on how to improve anything that may need to be change, and are always willing to help you find or make any part of the costume you may need. We also offer limited amounts of loaner costuming and weapons for your first game.

For a basic costume you will need the following items. If you don’t mind putting in a little handy work, and you already own a set of dark shoes, then you should be able to put together a basic costume for under $50! If you want to make your costume, we have provided tutorials and suggest getting fabric either at a fabric store or buying old bedsheets at a second hand store. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Basic Shirt – It’s easy to make your own shirt!
  • Basic Pants – You can also make your own pants!
  • A Belt – Not required but very useful and highly recommended. Look for these at your local thrift stores!
  • Footwear – You will need either leather or dark colored footwear. If your shoes are dark but still look modern, you will need to cover them with boot toppers. Medieval footwear can be expensive and we don’t suggest buying the really cheap boots from online stores as they tend to fall apart easily and are usually uncomfortable. You can usually find some dark leather military boots at Army Surplus stores.
  • Utensils and Feastware – Metal mugs, wooden plates, and some forks and spoons.

Modern shirts, modern pants (especially jeans), and tennis shoes are not allowed.

What modern items are not allowed?

We want to keep the in game area free of modern items that would take away from the immersion. We will require period looking drinking, eating, and seating items. This means no plastic utensils or plates, no modern day water bottles or cans. There are holders for bottles and cans that can be used to cover the non-period items. For seating we would like to keep it period as well, this would mean no modern folding chairs. If you have a modern folding chair, we ask you cover it with a period appropriate blanket or sheet to make it not stand out in our world. The basic rule to go by is, if it doesn’t look like it would belong in the middle ages, then it doesn’t belong in the in game area. If you have modern items, they must be keep them in your personal tent or in a designated out of game area. This is to ensure everyone has as strong of a break from reality as possible, as props and atmosphere are a huge part of the illusion of a fantasy world.

What are the rules of Camp Butternut Springs?

This venue has cabin(s) year round with full kitchens, bunk beds, electrical outlets, and indoor toilets/sinks. The cabins do not have showers. Many sites also feature several platforms that, in the warmer months, have tents complete with cots and mattresses. You may set up your own tent if you wish.

  • All fire must be in designated fire pits.
    • Fire-based light sources (candles, tiki torches, hurricane lamps, etc) are prohibited. Electric/battery versions of any of these are OK!
  • Alcohol is prohibited.
  • Smoking (both cigarette and e-vape) is prohibited except at the parking lot.
    • Smoking paraphernalia are not permitted around children, so please don’t role play with a pipe or similar effects!
  • Youths may not sleep in the same tent with any opposite gendered person unless related. Main cabins (with many bunks) are excluded.

Google Map to the site is here.

What should I bring?

You will need to bring the following items:

  • A Tent and Sleeping Gear – Some kind of sleeping bag and more blankets/sleeping bags than you think you’ll need would be a great idea as well, because it can get surprisingly cold at night, even in spring and summer. We have seen many times in our years on the field people unprepared for the weather. Make sure to stay warm and bring more than you need! You can always keep extra stuff in your car, or lend it out to someone who didn’t bring enough. A modern tent is ok to bring, as all sleeping in Butternut tents or buildings is first come first serve.
  • Food and A Way to Cook It – You will need to bring all of your own food and pots/pans to cook it. Campfire cooking is OK at all times, and you may use the kitchen appliances so long as you let us know ahead of time (usually via a kitchen sign up form at check-in), and clean up after yourself.
  • Stuff to Drink – All of our sites have potable water that you can use, and Kanarak provides two drink containers full of (usually) different flavors. You are encouraged to bring something to re-hydrate you such as Gatorade to replace electrolytes.
  • Period eating and drinking utensils – Bring plates, bowls, and a mug or some other form of drinking item that is period for using in the in game area. You may still use normal silverware for eating with in the in game area, but please no plastic or disposable utensils. It is your own responsibility to clean your own eating and drinking ware.
  • Soap – You will want to bring some kind of dish soap (preferably natural, like Dawn, but any is fine) to wash your dishes at the site between meals. Most of our sites do not have access to showers.
  • Costuming and Clothes – You will need to bring a full costume and weapon. We highly recommend bringing several changes of clothes. You can get sick even in warm weather if you sleep or remain in wet clothing.
  • Rain Gear – We play rain or shine! So unless you want to huddle in your tent the whole time, we highly suggest bringing some rain gear that can fit under your costume, or bring period rain gear!
  • Weapons and Packets – You will want to bring something to beat on people with! For now, we will accept any type of boffer weapon. We aim to move towards a latex only weapon LARP, as we feel latex weapons provide a greater level of believability than duck tape! But, until we are able to build up a stock latex weapons for our players to use, you will want to bring what ever type of weapon you can. If you plan to play a spell caster, you will also need to bring packets to throw. They need to be light colored so that they are easy to find.