One lesson I learned a long time ago: always bring swimming trunks to a con.
2012 will be my first time in four years to miss Atlanta’s massive geek mecca Dragon*Con on Labor Day weekend. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want YOU to go unprepared. If you’re planning a geeky getaway to the big D*C, GMX in October, MTAC in March, or any other con, or even just any old trip, several friends and I have prepared a hopefully handy packing guide.
Thanks to my own experiences and crowdsourcing my friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ several months ago (I wouldn’t be surprised if they forgot already), we hope you go off well prepared for the several misadventures you are sure to undertake.
Clothing: Ever go to a con and realize “I’m not wearing any pants?” Ever think that when you should actually be wearing pants? Plan ahead, and don’t get caught with your pants down.
- 1 set of clothes per day + 1 extra (at least one preferably nice set)
- Swimming trunks + towel (you never know when you’ll need it)
- Jacket (depending on the season)
- Sleep clothes
- Bag for dirty clothes
- Spare shoes
Electronics: We nerds are lost without our electronics, and unfortunately, phone implants that run off bio-energy aren’t so common yet.
- Power strip
- Chargers: more than one makes you everyone’s friend
- Portable gaming device + charger
- Flash drive/HDD/SDcards/portable storage
- Laptop or other computing device
Toiletries: Hopefully no need to explain…
- Deodorant (DO NOT FORGET)
- Pepto-Bismol (beware last night’s cheap Mexican from the food court)
- First aid kit
- Nail clippers
Miscellaneous: There are all sorts of little things you must remember when packing for a trip, even simply for keeping yourself entertained in the down time.
- Wallet + ID
- Cash, split between wallet and hidden
- Spare blanket/pillow
- Business cards/fliers (always be ready to pimp yourself out)
- Snack food
- Reading material
- Earplugs (to drown out those snoring roommates)
Useful smartphone apps: Smartphones aren’t quite essential, but they sure to help a lot. From taking photos to finding food, if you have a phone with an app store, here are some ideas for apps to use.
- Dropbox (upload photos to cloud to use on PC)
- Evernote (note taking and voice recording)
- Urbanspoon (try the local cuisine)
- event app (if your event has an app with schedule, maps, and further info, use it)
So there you go. Hopefully this list of recommendations will help you beat back that nagging feeling of forgetting something. If YOU think I forgot something though, post it in the comments.
Thanks to Amber, Blake, Brian, Brianna, Derek, Jessica, John, Leonardo, Lucas, Michael, Thomas, and anyone I left out.
Further recommended reading: Con Life: Convention Packing 101 – Charisma Bonus