I know that all groups do this a little differently (SCA, Reenactment, Faire, etc.), but I was curious what peoples thought are on what constitutes a “well-done” encampment? Fixtures/furniture? Tents? Craft-type equipment/set-up?

And of course, if you have any especially terrific resources, please feel free to share!

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IN SCA people gear towards the limit of their finances, mobility, resources, talent, and desire for "That Period Look". I would love to have a fully tricked out 16thC camp but the fates are having their way with me right now.
There's some in my local group that have fantastic furniture and tapestries in their tents with chandeliers, lanterns, tables, chairs and desk. Along with wash basin stand and night soil seat. Very cool set up. Deffinately something to strive for.
"well done" to me is a camp that gives a good medieval vibe. Ie, no blatantly modern items visible. Hidden coolers, clothing tubs, and no modern chairs or benches. A canvas tent of appropriate medieval silohette(sp?) and period appropriate lighting.

OK, coolers are an interesting point. What are the various ways that one either a) conceals b) converts d) replaces or e) not avoids using a cooler at events?
At Target a few years ago we found a "teak" chest that actually hid a cooler in it (was part of a patio set). Since we are not actively doing Faire anymore it has been passed along to Zorg (Jim). Other people such as the Guildmaster for St. Michael's Aaron Johnson have built period chests around coolers. Mike Cravens also many moons ago built a period "cooling chest"" (???) that was all wood and would keep items cool (not frozen or chilled) by putting covered ice on the bottom/top racks.
I know that I made a 'cooler cozy' (out of unbleached linen) at one point. The down side is that I would have to make a new one every time I bought another cooler, and it still looks like a cooler, only with a cover on it. *chuckle* Going out to our most recent campaign event, we ended up just putting a bag of ice in the bottom of our pack-basket and putting the things we wanted cold directly on top of that. It actually worked out pretty well for a two day event - since we just propped it outside the lean-to and drainage wasn't an issue.

I believe that a couple of friends are in the works at planning a period chest that is a 'secret' cooler (*insulated, pitched and fitted with a drain hole). It will be interesting to see how well it works.

Has anyone ever tried digging a ‘root cellar’ at a permanent site? If so, how well did it work?
Not an actual cellar, but I have seen someone dig a pit (roughly 18-24" deep) put ice in the bottom, put food stuffs ontop of that and cover with a thick blanket. The earth is an amazing insulator.
Buy some canvas drop cloth from home Depot or Lowes. cut it to size and drape over the cooler. Or sew them to shape. It works very well.

Cheap fake wood laminate flooring can be used to encase the cooler as well.
I have seen a number of ways. Simply tossing an indian blanket or similar blanket over the top. Sewing a fitted "cover" to put over the cooler (The best I have seen had a flip top to get in the cooler and the flip top was cushioned so the cooler was hidden as a seat when covered). Also, I have seen breakdown enclosures that hold the cooler when erected, but colapse and pack flat for transport. From the outside they look like a panel chest. And Finally I have seen 6 board and panel chests with styrofoam on the inside making them a cooler.

Peterboro Basket Company makes a Basket cooler that I love http://www.peterborobasket.com/c-19-insulated-coolers.aspx

We've been using it for three years now and it is holding up well, as a cooler and as a seat, and a good looking basket. Totally worth the price.

ok so heres what we got in our tent

Looks comfy!
this is how we do it, it works well and adds a little mor insulation to the coolers, see in the left corner of our kitchen, under the rug is a cooler....we also have a wall we put on the kitchen too, its tied up right now for show. we try



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