It is a long process to put a proper kit together. It doesn't happen overnight. We don't expect you to go out and get everything in your first month. It can be expensive. Build up your kit piece by piece. We strongly suggest that you speak to one of the veteran members of the unit before purchasing anything. The last thing any of us want is for someone to pay a lot of money for something that can not be used. There are a number of good resources out there, but also there are a number of vendors that have things that "look good", but aren't proper for our unit, location or time period.
Here is a list of items that you will need in order to field with the unit. Some variation will be needed for a civilian impression vs. a militia impression. Male vs. Female. Think a little about who you wish to portray, - Farmer, Merchant, Craftsman, Professional - before you purchase clothing.
By The End of The 1st Year
Black Hat...Cocked, one side up or floppy without a cockade.
Neck Stock / Cloth, Cravat...a linen, cotton or silk cloth worn around the neck.
Waistcoat...A proper Rev War or French and Indian War style of wool, linen or cotton canvas. Choose a solid color or check with someone before buying a patterned waistcoat. Also discuss with someone the benefits of a sleeveless vs. long sleeved waistcoat.
Workman's Shirt...choose white or checkered, linen, muslin or cotton.
Breeches...Should be Rev War era, fall front with buttons and buttons on the knee. The material choices are the same as the waistcoat.
Jacket/Coat...an outer garment worn over the waistcoat. This item can be expensive so a workman's jacket, a sleeved waistcoat or farmer's smock is acceptable for the first year.
Stockings...They should be over the knee, wool, cotton or linen stockings. Striped stockings are not appropriate. Stockings are inexpensive; you may want to get a few different pair in different colors and materials.
Garters...Leather or wool straps to hold stockings in place - optional but not expensive.
Shoes...Proper 18th Century black leather shoes with brass buckles or modern plain black leather shoes with gaiters.
Gaiters...Canvas, wool or leather shoe coverings with buttons on the side. The style can be civilian (low cut) or farmer (taller - mid calf), but not military (over the knee).
Musket/Bayonet...Early war styles of flintlock, 1st Model Long Land Pattern Brown Bess, 1717 French Charleville, or an American Fowler. Dog Lock Fowlers must be modified to have an internal half cock mechanism. Frizzen covers and flash guards are required.
Cartridge Box...Choose either a shoulder box or belly box. They will come in various styles and prices.
Pick and Whisk...Common tools to clean the musket between firing.
Canteen...Tin, steel or wooden.
Tomahawk...Various styles are used but NOT the French throwing style.
Snap Sack/Backpack...Linen, leather, canvas or wool. A haversack is not a civilian item.
By the End of the 2nd Year
Coat...If by the end of the 1st year you do not have a proper coat, in addition to a smock. You will need one to field with the unit. If you have a proper coat, you may wish to think about a heavier one for winter or purchasing a cloak.
Additional Shirt...Depending on your character, you may want a ruffled shirt or better quality shirt for formal events - or just an additional shirt for camp.
Mittens or gloves...wool or leather.
Eating/Drinking Utensils...a proper cup, plate, bowl and flatware.
Camp Chair...a proper 18th Century camp chair if you intend to camp regularly.
Tent..A soldiers bell back tent for encampments and over night events if camping is desired.
Discuss these items with other members before investing your money. Style and accuracy are only two factors - cost is another. Members have found ways to balance all three.
Be sure to take a look at the Militia Kit page on this site also. Women seeking information please sent us a note. We will put you in touch with women who have perfected their impressions.
And - Oh Yeah ! - Let us know if you find a site that is helpful - we are always looking for a good tip!