Participating in Sotahuuto
Participation in Sotahuuto usually takes place as part of a group. However, you can also register for the event as an individual. If you want to join the activities of a certain group, the easiest way to find one is to attend local training sessions and get to know other enthusiasts. You can find the most up-to-date information on soft sword fighting training sessions across the country on boffaus.fi/treenit.
You can participate in Sotahuuto by putting together your own group. Only groups with more than ten people will participate in the scoring of Sotahuuto. It's also possible to make a "flag alliance" with another small group. In order to participate in the event, the group must register through the registration portal, pay the registration fee, decide on a representative for the leader meetings, make a flag for themselves, and agree on the group's appearance. The group must have their own weapons and they must comply with the event's rules. A new group should contact the event organizers in advance.
It's also possible to participate in Sotahuuto as part of a single group's support team. Support teams pay a significantly lower fee for participating in the event, and depending on the group, they may handle tasks such as group’s internal cooking and help with setting up and maintaining the camp during the weekend. Supporters are welcome to watch the battles from the sidelines. They also get to participate in the event's evening program and act in the event area like other visitors.
If you want to participate in Sotahuuto with a low threshold without a group, consider registering as staff! You will receive at least a free event participation, and with longer shifts, additional staff benefits.
Participants arrive on Friday afternoon or evening. On Friday, it is possible to get to know other enthusiasts and the event location, and spend time together. Friday may be busy, and the earlier the group arrives, the less stressful it is to check equipment, set up the camp, have the first self-catered dinner, arrange personal belongings, and so on.
On Saturday morning, the official wake-up call of Sotahuuto is announced at breakfast. After breakfast, everyone gathers to watch the first performance, which aims to illuminate the frame story of the event. Then, there are a few hours of fighting (various scenarios, with possible twists in between), followed by lunch, which is eaten in groups during the break. After lunch, there are a few more hours of fighting, and when everyone is exhausted, dinner is served, and the major battles of the day are over. On Saturday evening, participants have a chance to meet others, challenge people to duels, participate in evening activities and group tournaments, and enjoy the sauna and Finnish summer.
On Sunday morning, participants wake up for breakfast, fight, eat, and fight again. The final scenario is often a risk scenario which is an area control scenario. After the last battle, in the afternoon, the winning group of Sotahuuto is announced, and the camps are packed up and cleaned before heading home.
Preparing for Sotahuuto
An affordable insurance policy is available when registering for the event and it is recommended for everyone. Boffer fighting is not a particularly dangerous activity, but there are certain risks associated with the terrain. First aid services are available at the event, but it is good to be prepared in advance to prevent injuries and bruises. First aid will not provide participants with medication.
Accommodation will likely be in camping conditions, depending on the group and individual. If you are packing for an event like Sotahuuto for the first time, here is a general list of items to consider bringing:
- Water bottle
- Good ankle-supporting and foot-protecting shoes, such as combat boots or hiking boots
- Hygiene items
- First aid kit (at least band-aids)
- Extra clothing, especially socks
- Headwear to protect you from the sun
- Armor, especially a helmet
- Finger-protecting gloves
- Personal eating utensils if the group is organizing their own meals (bowl + cup, spoon)
- Insect repellent
- Sleeping pad and bag
- Base layer