One year ago, the project managers of Trondheim Vikinglag and Hands on History decided to make an event where reenactors and living history enthusiasts could gather to get back to the basics of what and why we are engaged in historical reenactment. We had several years of experience in producing Viking markets and other commercial events. This time we wanted to create something new.

  1. We wanted to make an event where the alibi for the gathering was Vikings living and surviving of nature in a temporary settlement in the forest.
  2. We wanted the focus to be on every day crafts and survival, not on buying and selling like in a market or Kaupang.
  3. We wanted to re-organize the way reenactors think about camp life – contributing, learning and participating.
  4. We wanted to look in to the many methods and aspects of successful dissemination and reenactor-audience relationships.

9777_20160621_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel Secarescu 0222_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel Secarescu 0004_20160621_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel Secarescu

The following summary will give the reader a small insight in to our seven day event The Viking way. For more information regarding the concept, budget or practical solutions please contact us.

The camp – events grounds, set up and sleeping shelters

We searched high and low for the perfect event grounds. We had two criteria’s that had to be fulfilled: fresh natural drinking water and the opportunity to dig holes and make fire places as we pleased. After looking at 38 different locations we found our dream spot in Mostadmark. A stream with fresh wather ran through the camp site. This stream was “the origin of all life” and the main reason all camp activities worked like a dream.

0652_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUSkeggi contemplating his life by the stream Foto: Daniel Secarescu6266_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUTwo happy horses Foto: Daniel Secarescu

We encouraged all participants to build sleeping shelters instead of bringing tents. We were, after all, reenacting Vikings living in a temporary settlement. This is also why, upon arrival, most Vikings were asked to find a spot that suited their needs. The Trondheim crew is used to making a strict tent plan and sticking to it! This time, all participants choose a spot that fitted their needs in terms of water, wind and sun conditions. Our message “keep it light enough to travel” really got through to most of the participants who literally did not bring more than they could carry on foot in to the camp site. German Vikings Skeggi and Florian from the group Arcäopedi spent a lot of time preparing this, and made two back-pack constructions that could carry all of their precious belongings.

9947_20160621_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuThe Slovenian crew´s sleeping shelter Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Hands on History´s head of authenticity Rickard invested a lot of time as curator of the participants – discussing individually with each and every one about their Viking gear, shelter ideas and clothes. Together with the rest of the project managers he also curated all other elements in the camp so they would fit to our idea and concept. It´s all in the details.

0643_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuRussian crafters from Ratabor Foto: Daniel Secarescu

0274_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuTwo Vikings grinding malt for beer brewing Foto: Daniel Secarescu

No program, just skilled masters and curious learners

All participants were encouraged to come up with an idea for a craft project or experiment. By the beginning of the week we had several interesting project on our “to do” list, and many curious learners. The activities were not organized as courses but as workshops, where all participants were welcome to participate for as long or short as they would like. Where ever help was needed, help was given. This was a big success! Geologist and Viking Chris Halewood offered a hike in nature investigating the local habitat. Ten Vikings tagged along for this hike and experienced things they will never forget…

1112_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuViking from Marobud turning wood Foto: Daniel Secarescu

We also had workshops in skin tanning, blacksmithing, pottery, making glass beads, wood turning, arrow production, beer brewing, smoking fish and meat, fire-starting, rope making and a lot more. We had a mix of experienced and new Vikings, all eager to learn from each other. The Slovenian group Archeofact really amazed us with their pottery workshops. With their background in experimental archeology, this group started doing living history only six months ago. In the event they won the price titled «from zero to hero» as we were blown away by their skill and kind spirit.

9089_20160624_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUMaking stone lamps Foto: Daniel Secarescu

7537_20160623_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUTanning skin Foto: Daniel Secarescu

9995_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUReparing the rope turning device Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Too much food. And the food was too good.

As many of you know, the Trondheim crew likes to feed the hard working Vikings who contribute in the camp. This year however, due to the concept, we scaled down the selection of food at breakfast. From full continental to only bread, meat, cheese and jam. We also had fresh fish, meat, veggies and grain brought to the camp on a daily basis. This was handed out to the participants, so they could cook meals.

0218_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_breakfast_©(c)Daniel SecarescuThe kitchen Foto: Daniel Secarescu

2833_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuSome of the food that was cooked and served Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Talking to the Russian crew, their only complaint was that there was too much food and that the food being served and provided was too good. We love this kind of feed back! The Russian crew had prepared dried meat, dried fish and dried apples for their trip – and they were not expecting to be fed. Also, they make a valid point about the participants not fully appreciating the food that they got. So maybe a good way to avoid binging, hoarding and food waste is to scale this down even more?

9741_20160624_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUFresh fish and meat was brought to the camp Foto: Daniel Secarescu

0483_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuBrewing beer Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Kari Marie Heland og Daniel Serra

The kitchen was in the middle of the camp. This made the kitchen a natural meeting place and the heart of the event. Kari and Daniel did many interesting food experiments all week. They experimented with a cooking skin, made a huge cooking pit and reconstructed the stone oven found in Viklem, Ørlandet.

1609_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUMeals in the kitchen Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Some journalists found their experiments with the stone oven very interesting. Daniel claims that the oven was not used for baking – but for malting grain for beer and smoking meat and fish! When reconstructing it, measuring the heat and looking at the construction of the house surrounding the oven, we conclude that Daniel is right! Hats off for culinary archaeologists!

9878_20160624_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUKari preparing the cooking pit Foto: Daniel Secarescu

1463_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUOne of the many food experements Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Kari and Daniel also cooked for the Viking feast on Saturday. On the menu: two fat pigs cooked in the biggest cooking pit we have ever seen! The pigs were stuffed with grains, onions, cabbage, apples and many other delicious treats! In addition they made a soup with horse meat and two kinds of porridge.

2882_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuTaking the pigs out of the cooking pit Foto: Daniel Secarescu

2897_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuRinsing the pig of dirt Foto: Daniel Secarescu

2958_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuFeast Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Midsummer celebrated by people from 13 different countries 

The midnight sun is one of the trade marks of the north. And, so far all the Trondheim events have been arranged around the day when the sun turns and we head for darker days. The Lithuanian, Czechs, Slovenian and Russian crew collaborated to make a spectacular and beautify midsummer fest. Thank you.

7087_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUThe girls headed for the boys Foto: Daniel Secarescu

7285_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUSkål! Foto: Daniel Secarescu

1542_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuLighting the big fire with the fire from the sun Foto: Daniel Secarescu

Audience – Viking – interaction

When the project managers sat down to discuss what “successful dissemination” is, we all agreed  upon three terms.  One of the terms of success is time – taking the time to disseminate and offering the audience the time they need to absorb the knowledge. The second term we agreed upon was quality. The quality in a process or item that a good crafter carries in his or her body. The third term we agreed upon was atmosphere, or rather esthetics. To create a nice, pleasing and calming atmosphere. We kept the opening hours few and short, only four hours on Saterday and Sunday. Our experience is that the short opening hours contributed in boosting the energy level in the event and the hard working particepants gave all they had to give for four intense hours. We got more visitors that we expected and we truly belive that the once who visited us were happy and pleased.

6325_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUWe promised the public dirty hands Foto: Daniel Secarescu

0608_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©Daniel SECARESCUHunting with a bear spear Foto: Daniel Secarescu2616_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuThe pottery is prepared for burning Foto: Daniel Secarescu

We want to thank all the organizers and the participants that made this event possible. Thank you for believing in us and contributing in making The Viking way happen. We would also like to thank our partners and especially Mostadmark Jernverks venner who represent the local Iron Museum.

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1772_20160623_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuIron production Foto: Daniel Secarescu

1482_20160622_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuShelter Foto: Daniel Secarescu

1984_20160624_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuDigging the cooking pit Foto: Daniel Secarescu

3118_20160626_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuCamp life Foto: Daniel Secarescu

3016_20160625_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuServing the beer Foto: Daniel Secarescu

9972_20160621_TheVikingWay2016_©(c)Daniel SecarescuSleeping shelter Foto: Daniel Secarescu