Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Schelp Like A Mule

 "What do you carry your stuff in?"
It will depend on what you need to carry. Modern women are accustomed to carrying everything possibly needed by everyone in their family. Such was not the case in the past. The first step is to give consideration to what you actually need to carry. Gents will find they need to carry more than they are accustomed to. Ladies will discover the freedom of carrying less... a lot less. Next step is to consider your impression and the choices they would be likely to make. A gent will be likely to go for bags and sacks. A lady will be likely to go for the universal basket.

What I do...
For nicer impressions where I need to carry small book, snack, and various event related papers... a traveling sack (also called a pouche pompadour) ...and the shawl, gloves, and parasol, of course

For a nicer impression where I need to add dishes, sewing kit, project to the above list.... a medium-small-ish basket of appropriately nice style covered with a fine linen napkin that maybe has some decorative edging or embroidery(for the whole lot, not both a traveling sack AND a basket)

For working class impressions where I need to carry a small book, snack, and various event related papers... a medium-small-ish basket of appropriately working-class style covered with a plain linen napkin
For working class impressions where I need to carry dishes, sewing kit, project in addition to the above list... a larger medium-small-ish basket covered with a plain linen napkin

The scenario in these instances would be a variation on "going to town/market/visiting"

For an "overnight" stay... I have a carpet bag that will accommodate extra underpinnings, basic toiletries, and even a writing slope (but the slope won't stay level.. so the ink becomes a mess).  I generally need to bring a set of dishes and projects... so the basket comes along for those. A mattress tick gets filled with straw at the event, a blanket (or several for cold events), and a pillow and I have a cozy sleeping pallet.

For an outdoor on-the-move scenario, a bedroll of blanket and ground cloth for bedding, basket for food and utensils and I can move with the best of them. I own a pack basket and a market wallet for scenarios where the lack of  "ready menfolk" mean that a woman needs to carry a larger amount of communal "gear" for the group.

I gave some serious thought to the question and did a bit of (admittedly shallow) digging... and found that women seemed to be reaching for baskets more than bags for the day-to-day... a basket for market purchases, a basket to collect herbs, flowers, veggies, a basket to port laundry, a basket for sewing "stuff", a basket for knitting "stuff"... etc. So I try to make a basket my first inclination. Were the scenario to accommodate such... I might use a pillowcase instead of a bag or tie items into a large shawl and make a bundle of it.

To show a different side, I recently made a number of generally helpful carrying items for a Dear Friend who is a gentleman. I included a number of "poke sacks" of various sizes, a specially compartmentalized duffel bag for his specific impression with removable tidys, a period compartmentalized dishes/lunch carrier (based on a description I read in a period magazine, "sailor style" drawstring shoulder-sling duffel bag and a market wallet. (he declined a carpet bag or "carpet haversack" style bag, though there is plenty of reference for them)

Pouche Pompadour/ Traveling Sack
"Before Paper or Plastic: The Universal Basket" by Virginia Mescher
Carpet Bag
Bed Roll- Horse Collar style
Bed Roll- "Hobo" or "Short" style
Pack Basket
Pantry Box
Market Wallet
Poke Sack
"Sailor" Duffel (sailor-types sometimes call this a "ditty bag"
Travel Duffel
Carpet Haversack
Valise, Satchel, Saddle Bag, Hunting Bag, and like