Con-goer’s Survival Kit

This is a list supporting my Convention Time post.  The following is a list of what you should pack in your Con Kit:

The Bag – whatever type of bag you are comfortable using is fine.  I prefer an actual daypack or satchel-style shoulder bag, but courier bags are popular choices, too.  Whatever you choose, make sure you are comfortable carrying it wherever you go.

Notebook – you’ll will use this for a variety of things; notes during panels or games, jotting down addresses or instructions, room numbers, names…anything you want to remember later.  Also works as a default autograph book, but you should also carry…

Small Sketchbook – The 4x6ish size is perfect for autographs, or go for the 5x8ish size if you plan to get sketches from your fav artists, too.  Once it is full, it makes a great addition to your geek shelf.  Then you just grab another and start over.

Pens/pencils – don’t go overboard, but bring a variety so you aren’t hampered by running out of ink/lead at a bad time.  I recommend that at least one be a Sharpie of some kind, and you include a pen that will show up on black.

Lip Balm – because it will be dry, and you will be talking.

Hand Sanitizer – You are going to touch things that hundreds of strangers have touched, possibly you will touch the strangers themselves.  Keep your hands clean, for your sake and theirs.

Moisturizer – Because that hand sanitizer will dry out your hands over time.  A small tube will do you, perfume free.

Deodorant – Try to get one that isn’t too powerful in scent, but still does the job.  Don’t be one of the sweaty, smelly geeks that weekend.  Plus it just feels nice not to stink.

Water Bottle – For any con-goer, a refillable stainless steel water bottle is a great investment.  You need to keep hydrated, and it is better to carry your water with you and fill it periodically than it is to risk drinking from fountains.

Snacks – Carry some healthy snacks with you, for those times you just can’t get a meal or need a quick pick-me-up.  I recommend pieces of fruit (apples, bananas), nuts (but not peanuts in case people have allergies), jerky (make sure to drink your water) and protein bars.  Your body will thank you for the healthy stuff by giving you more energy through the day.

A Game – Whether you are at a gaming con or not, it is a good idea to bring along a small, easy to play game that can wrap up in about 10-20 minutes.  If you are spending time in a line, why not make it fun for the people around you by playing a game with them?  Panel is starting late; same thing.  A quick game can make the usual dreary moments fun, and since that is why you are there…

Camera – You can likely get away with the one on your cell phone.  But if you want slightly nicer photos to remember your con time, bring along a small digital camera.  And of course, an extra memory card and recharge cord.

Anything else you think should be on this list?  Throw your ideas in the Comments section of the blog post.

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