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10
Oct

Heavy Armour, Hard To Carry?

   Posted by: admin   in Quest, Research, Training

My armour is probably the most visible thing we’ve worn to date on our public training walks. It has gotten a few comments from people, from ex-SCA players to people who wanted to know if we were making a movie; some people have wanted to touch it or even try it on. (Sadly, I have to turn down the ones who want to try it on – I would have to take off my pack, and I’m always worried that once I take it off I’ll never convince myself to put it back on…)

In a recent article on the Science NOW website, some researchers at the University of Leeds did tests on a person’s energy output when walking in 30-50kg of plate armour and found that it expended “more than twice” the energy that just walking did.

The linked article explains that a lot of that comes from leg armour, of which I won’t be wearing much – greaves, sabatons and cuisses are just things I do not own and likely won’t by the time we leave (though if you’re looking to get rid of some…). My chainmail and other armour is mostly arm and torso protection; while the arms are far enough away from my centre of gravity to cause a bit more wear, the fact that I can swing them close (or even fold them, if it comes down to it) will mitigate that.

The armour is heavy, and it certainly takes a toll – I was more tired after my last training walk than the one before it, despite more training in between them, because of the armour being worn. I also just received more armour that I’ll be wearing – some plate for my arms and shoulders – which adds probably 15-20 pounds by themselves. I’ll be doing a full weigh-in on my entire kit very soon so that everything’s accurate by the end of it all, mostly for my own interest.

In addition to all the gear we’ll be carrying – tent, food, cooking ware and health supplies – this armour will be a great strain across my back that I can’t share with the rest of my party. As I play D&D – fairly regularly again, starting just a couple months ago – every time our characters stop for the night I imagine how it’s going to feel to take off the armour…

… and I realize that they don’t, if they want to stay protected during that first watch.

Ouch.

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