The Vikings were Norse or Scandinavian people famous for being pirates, explorers, and merchants who raided and colonized areas in Europe. Norsemen used their longships or Viking ships to travel as far as Russia, North Africa, and North America, spreading their culture and engraving their legend on history. The main period of Viking exploration is known as the Viking Age. Viking weapons and armour indicated a Norsemans social status. A wealthy Viking would own a Viking helmet, Viking shield, chainmail shirt and a coat made from animal skin or reindeer hides. A poorer Viking may only own a single weapon and a shield. The Viking shield and spear were the basic armaments of a warrior, while others would carry a knife known as a seax, a bow, or a Viking axe.
Cloaks and their importance to a Viking warrior
Cloaks were an important item for the Viking warrior, not only would they keep them warm in the daytime, they could be used as covers at night. With the raiding nature of ancient Norse life, a Viking could spend weeks sailing and invading new lands, and of course there would be no homes on the ocean to sleep safely in. In this situation the Viking’s cloak would offer him protection against the elements. The cloak itself would be made of closely woven wool, and would be fastened around the neck using a simple metal brooch. In case of a battle the cloak could easily be discarded before charging, on the possibility it could entangle or ensnare the warrior himself.
Trousers and Tunics
In the harsh Scandinavian weather, full length trousers were common for all Viking warriors, simply tied at the waist with a drawstring, the trousers would keep the Vikings legs warm for their long marches into new lands. The trousers would be paired with a long sleeved tunic, which would be worn over the top of an under shirt that would commonly be made of linen.
A leather belt
The belt was an important accessory for any Viking warrior, worn around the waist and over his tunic. The belt would have a metal buckle and allow the Viking to carry his weapons, commonly a sword and even a knife or axe.
They were very common not just among Vikings, but Western Europe during this time as well. They often would have a mail coiff under them as well during the late Viking Age.
Function was the primary goal of the Viking warrior when looking for suitable clothing, with form not even being considered. The clothing had to keep the warriors warm while in transit to their next raid or overseas excursion, and it was equally important that it would not hinder the success of the Viking warrior while in battle.