Last year at Ragnarok we were hit by a huge thunderstorm with tropical storm winds and drenching rains. It was hilarious in retrospect but a bit of a nightmare at the time. We had one canopy bend in half and catch a power line. Tents flooded, collapsed, and down the hill some people had tents floating away. The remaining canopies we had to physically hold down during the storm to keep them from blowing away. The destruction was widespread across the entire campground and fortunately, (to the best of my knowledge) no one was seriously injured.
The next day was spent cleaning up. It took just about all day. Oh, and it rained again. And again the next day. And at least once a day thereafter until the end of the week. I don't think we dried out completely for the remainder of the trip. To be honest, by the time we were done cleaning up, I was ready to pack everything back in the car and go home where it was dry and warm, with electricity and hot showers and TV.
We did learn a lot about surviving wild thunderstorms while camped at the top of a large hill. Rule number one is use the guy-lines and heavy duty stakes (We upgraded all of our stakes after this). Rule number two is when a storm is going to hit, collapse those canopies to the shortest height possible and extend those guy lines. Rule number three - build a gigantic bonfire before the storm hits and it will still be burning when all is said and done.
Several of us thought that those attending Ragnarok in the Kingdom of Akron earned a merit badge for surviving the tropical storm. I started designing it yesterday during our group work session.
Since I'm now designing my own patterns, there are a couple of lessons regarding this that I'd like to pass on.
1. Keep a notebook and GOOD notes. Write down every step you do. Edit as needed, because your design WILL evolve. Pay attention to dimensions and in what order the steps need to be sewn. For example, I learned that the bias tape would have to be applied first.
2. Make a rough approximation of the pattern. Try different things to get the effect or design you want but only invest enough time to figure out a plan. The applique above is the second technique I attempted and the one we decided to go with. Additionally, the belt flag is the second size we tried. Rather than reapplique from the beginning, I cut up the first design one to make the second.
3. Make one good final product before mass production.
One down, seventeen to go!
Here's hoping that this year will have calmer weather.