Anonymous asked in Society & CultureMythology & Folklore · 9 years ago

what would a medieval satchel carry?

I'm writing this story where the people are traveling in a fantasy world and I need to know what they would carry besides provisions and money. Please help! Thanks :)


Provision for me mean like food. I'm thinking for a party of three people who are regular travelers

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
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    A satchel is usually a smaller bag slung over the shoulder or a leather pouch affixed to a belt. As such they were not capable of carrying large items. Items carried within would depend entirely on the traveler, but regular travelers would need to be able to provide the three basic needs of life relevant to being outdoors in possibly inclement weather - warmth, food, and shelter.

    Flint, steel, and/or a small tinderbox would be carried for starting fires. Tinderboxes are later period because of their all-metal construction, and because they were used mostly by horsemen who could travel much faster and needed to be able to get a fire going quickly. Flint and steel is more of a foot traveler's item, or even a firebow used to create a fire with the power of friction-created heat.

    Quite a lot of medieval roads tended to follow watercourses, in order to provide drinking water and food along the way. A traveler might not have a bow with him for hunting (in some places it was illegal) but he could easily carry line, hooks, and tackle for fishing in a satchel.

    A small knife would be needed for many purposes, as well as a small whetstone and oil for keeping the knife sharp. A few candles may have been carried as well, esp. if the travelers carried a lantern. Cording would have been essential, probably about thirty feet of light string. Strips of dried or cooked meat would have been carried from the last meal, and maybe even squares of hard tack - a long-lasting biscuit or bread made of flour, very little water, and salt. Such bread can last for about three months. Also carried would have been needle and thread for making repairs to clothing.

    Money would, by the smart traveler, have never been carried in a pouch or satchel, at least not openly. Money was sometimes carried under the person's clothes in a small bag hung by strings around the neck, and lined with fur to prevent jingling of the coins. Others concealed their money in belts, shoes, or even hollowed out walking sticks. At least one account exists that suggests coins might have been concealed inside of candles specially poured while the coins were already in the candle mold.

    Across the back would have been a blanket or two, a few extra clothes (if the traveler could afford them), and any other items possibly needed, such as a bow and quiver of arrows for hunting and defense, and a small hatchet or axe for chopping firewood, all wrapped up in a roll of material, maybe a type of canvas, well oiled or waxed. This water-resistant sheet would have served as a form of tarpaulin to provide quick shelter in the case of inclement weather. Quickly unrolled it could have simply been huddled underneath, or if time permitted, strung up between two trees like a pup tent or rainfly using the aforementioned cording.

    Source(s): To a great extent I carry virtually the same things as I do quite a bit of hiking and camping, usually by myself. My gear is far more modern of course, and I add things like a flashlight, xtra batteries, first aid kit, trail mix, map, compass, cellphone, etc.
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  • 9 years ago

    Provisions and money.

    Maybe your idea of provisions is different from mine.

    It would ultimately depend on the individual - a hunter for example would likely carry a variety of hunting tools from bowstrings to medicinal equipment should he be gored by a wild animal.

    The satchel contents would change depending on the individual.

    Ultimately it's little different from nowadays with backpacks.

    edit; ah, i see the problem.

    For me, provisions basically includes everything that isn't a weapon.

    Also, don't forget that people often hired pack mules to do the carrying for them, if your adventurers are of the wealthy sort they may well do this.

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  • 9 years ago

    Add an orange with cloves inserted in it's skin to ward off the stench of body odor.

    People were not known to bathe often in Medieval times.

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  • Susan
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    A knife

    Some flint for firestarting

    A lucky charm

    a blanket

    needle and thread to repair clothes

    leather and other materials to repair tack if they have horses

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