These are the best vendors for all the items you will need for your kit.
What makes Authentic Reenactors Different?
Authentic Civil War reenactors go the extra mile when putting together their impression. Authentic quality clothing and equipment costs marginally more than gear sold by the biggest sulters - the vendors who supply reenactors. It costs more because it is made of the correct materials in the proper construction. However, this gear often lasts far longer and looks far better, because it is made just like the original gear the soldiers carried.
Additionally, authentic reenactors try to fill their events with far more parts of a soldier's life than just going out to fight; we use letters, histories, and diaries to research the unit we are portraying and construct activities to recreate those experiences, such as going on picket duty, fatigue details, pay call, and marches. An authentic reenactor has to take some time to read about the lives of the real guys who did it, but it leads to a better understanding for the reenactor and the public with whom he interacts.
Our Equpiment List
This list is to help a new recruit with acquiring gear. Some sites, such as Fall Creek, Regimental Quartermaster, and Blockade Runner are only there for specific items. Others are authentic vendors with wares that very highly skilled, but inappropriate for our impression. Please contact a veteran member before making any purchases. We DO NOT want members to go out and buy inferior quality and unauthentic gear that will only end up costing you more from sutlers such as Fall Creek, The Quartermaster Shop, or Crescent City.
Most gear is marked in the preference of importance. If you would rather start with a Frock Coat over a sack, feel free to. The sutlers are not listed in any particular order. All sutlers in italics are the preferred or best value vendor for the item.
Do I have to Get All This Right Away?
NO! Acquiring all of your gear can take several months or more and will be an ongoing process through the rest of your time reenacting. Most of our members have extra gear to lend out and as a new member starts coming out, we are happy to lend out gear as needed at events. That way, new members can focus on getting the right gear and borrow until they have what they need.
The Western Rifle's guidelines for our reenactors is simple; try to be as close to the original soldiers as possible. We strongly encourage our members to use the best gear and more importantly, the best practices in our events. To that end, we have a Equpiment and Uniform list to help new member find the right vendors for each item in a soldier's kit. We also have our Research page, where there are articles about best practices and techniques to being the best reenactor possible. Attention to detail and good attitude are just as much a part of a kit as a rifle or pack!