Historical reenactors are typically people who have fallen in love with a particular era of history, so they dress up in historically accurate wardrobe and reenact important battles with their fellow history fans.
These past-minded people take historical reenactments very seriously, so they'd like to clear up some misconceptions, starting with the "kit" they wear.
Reenactors consider it somewhat insulting when people refer to their wardrobe as a costume, because they put a lot of time, effort and money into making sure their "kit" is accurate in every way.
They also don't like it when people assume they're a bunch of cosplayers goofing around outside, because they're actually historians trying to get a feel for life in their favorite era.
Many reenactors train in historical skills that enhance the experience for all in attendance:
Albert Roberts, a reenactor who portrays physicians in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, jokes that when he began he didn’t have any practical 18th century skills at all. “I couldn’t hunt, I couldn’t fish, I couldn’t soldier, I couldn’t ride horses, I couldn’t blacksmith, I couldn’t carpenter, I couldn’t birth babies,” he says, “so I had no value.” But after assisting, and then taking over, for the doctor at historic Mansker’s Station in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, he now has a deep knowledge of old medical techniques.
Bartgis, in addition to mastering Colonial penmanship and bookbinding for his 18th century persona, also has a basic grasp of sailing skills for his work with Ship’s Company, a living history organization dedicated to preserving late 18th and early 19th century maritime history.
Plus, many reenactors also have significant craft skills. Garrett notes that his group crafts most of their Viking gear, aside from speciality items like helmets. They even created their own Viking treasure hoard by molding and casting ancient coins.