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What is a kit?

For our purposes, "kit" refers to any modern Middle-earth ranger's complete set of authentic clothing, plus any weapons and gear that they would, as a ranger, need in day-to-day life.

Keep in mind, that the best kit is both practical and authentic. This differs from most "cosplay" outfits you might see at conventions.

  • Practical means that the things you wear and the thing you carry, could be used in an actual Ranger's day-to-day duties. Extra points if you have actually done so.
  • Authentic means that all the items of your gear are reasonable representations of what one of JRR Tolkien's Middle-Earth Ranger would have. This is a little tricky, since "recreating" a fantasy persona accurately requires a lot of imagination.

Why kit and not costume/garb/clothing?

Our term "kit" is borrowed from British reenactors who refer to their complete set of costume and weaponry as their "kit". In turn, this comes from British military terminology which refers to a soldier's complete set of equipment as "kit".

Traditionally, kit is sorted into "soft kit" and "hard kit". We often use that distinction here, so it's good to have some idea of what that means, although the line between the two is sometimes blurred.

What is a soft kit?

Main article: Soft kit
Now, in your ranger self-reliance, you have perhaps assumed that "soft kit" refers to the softer parts of your ranger equipment, including clothing, footwear and other things.

Mostly this is your items of clothing, and can include your cloak, tunic, boots, pants, jerkin, bracers, gloves, belt and pack, and bedroll.

What is hard kit?

Main article: Hard kit
For our purposes, "hard kit" refers to weapons and various tools and other non-clothing items that a ranger would carry on his person. This would include your knife, fire kit, canteen, cooking, zip bag, pack, sewing kit, medical kit, pipe, belt pouch and haversack.