How You Can Be An Adventurer: Lesson 1
Welcome to the first in a series of articles on how to have adventures. These guides are inspired by fantasy but tailored to the modern world, where you – yes you! – may find yourself – yes yourself! – imprisoned for a random act of questing such as bribing a guard, or indeed, slaying the local dragon. This guide aims to help you navigate those tricky pitfalls while getting the best out of your adventures.
How To Have An Adventure
Lesson 1: Before You Leave Home
Let’s start by going through the basic requirements of adventuring.
- The first is a willingness to suspend your awareness of the mundanities of daily life, and let yourself be the hero adventure requires.
This is simpler than it sounds. You can work it in a few ways. One is by adopting a persona you use only for adventures and other adrenaline-pumping events, such as sword dancing and public speaking. Another way is to relax and have fun and don’t worry too much about what other people think of you. I personally recommend the latter, but you may find the two go hand in hand.
- The second thing you will need is the correct clothing.
Unless you’re infiltrating an enemy’s cocktail party, there is no room in adventuring for high heels and tight pants. This may limit how much adventuring you can do at work: but should you really be running out of your office job to fight off a mob of zombies anyway? If you must, then you must, and you can do so in whatever clothes you’re wearing. But if you have the choice, adopt comfortable clothing with a good deal of pockets, and which can resist a little wear and tear.
- The third thing you’ll need? An inventory.
A bag is the most important part of any inventory. Without it, you’re left stuffing those precious gems into your pockets. Depending on your quest, this can be a big problem: have you ever tried swinging upside-down with pockets full of gems? Alternatively, have you ever fought to keep your trousers up against the inexorable weight of the stone tablets you shoved in behind your wallet? Don’t rely on pockets: make sure you have a bag.
There are several varieties of useful bags. I recommend one with two straps to go over your shoulders – any backpack will do. You can also use a satchel with one strap which crosses your chest. Both are good at preventing your bag being stolen by bandits, but the backpack is preferable because it distributes the weight of your inventory evenly across your shoulders and back, and so you will be less tired and sore at the end of the day.
You may also consider purchasing a waterproof over-pack for your bag. These usually fit into your backpack (some even have them built in) and are drawn out at the first sight of rain or a river to be crossed. You may not always need them, but they’re invaluable when you do!
A good alternative to a waterproof over-pack is putting any non-water-resistant items in ziplock bags. This is one advantage that modern adventurers definitely have over their medieval counterparts. Your phone (stone of contact) and notepads (scrolls) will be infinitely happier safe and dry in a ziplock bag than being ruined by a dip in the river.
- Once you have your bag, it’s time to fill it up with stuff.
The most important items for any adventurer to carry are: a communication device; a map; a way to stay warm; liquid; and a first-aid kit. You can check out survival websites to see which gear is recommended, but what you pack will ultimately depend on what you want to do. Adventuring for an afternoon in a residential area? You won’t need a reflective thermal blanket. Camping in your own backyard? You can probably leave that phone in the house.
The kind of items you’ll always want to have are water and a first-aid kit. For shorter adventures, and even some long ones, though the weight adds up quickly, you can also invest in various potions, as follows:
If you don’t have the room or inclination for potions, a nice way to include them in your adventure is, when you’ve finished the day’s questing, to drop by an alchemist and pick up a potion for whatever you feel is lacking.
- First-aid kits. These small kits will easily fit in your bag and can be used to administer emergency aid on the wounded. More often than not they are pilfered for their adhesive plasters and nothing else. The Red Cross and other organisations provide lists of what should be in first-aid kits of various sizes. What you take will also depend on where you live, and where you’re basing your adventures. For instance, you may live in an area home to some of the world’s deadliest snakes, where your quests often call you into the serpent-ridden forests. Your first-aid kit therefore should include a tourniquet so you are able to seal off a snake bite from infecting the rest of the body. Or your questing region may be mosquito-ridden, and therefore require you to pack certain bug sprays, nets and in some cases anti-malaria medication.
The rest of the inventory depends on you. You might pack sandwiches or a raincoat. I always carry at least two knives of different sizes; one large to cut through obstacles, such as guards, and another, smaller knife to dig out splinters, split rope, and sharpen pencils. It’s also handy to have something sweet on hand – chocolate is best – to combat the mid-adventurer blood-sugar crash.
And that’s it for this week. Join me again next week for the finer points of adventure basics, such as how to select your party members, and partaking in your very first quest. Until then, happy adventuring!
Posted on November 11, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged adventure, Adventuring, fantasy, fifth world problems, how to have an adventure, how to quest, quest, questing, skyrim, speculative fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.