Niko’s Handy Convention Packing Guide

Friday is packed. Now time to start on Saturday…

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.

Pictured: a radical towel and AMERICAN trunks. Cowabunga!

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

Pictured: There are never enough outlets…

Electronics: We nerds are lost without our electronics, and unfortunately, phone implants that run off bio-energy aren’t so common yet.

  • Phone
  • Power strip
  • Chargers: more than one makes you everyone’s friend
  • Camera
  • Portable gaming device + charger
  • Flash drive/HDD/SDcards/portable storage
  • Laptop or other computing device
  • Batteries

Pictured: most valuable con essential ever

Toiletries: Hopefully no need to explain…

  • Deodorant (DO NOT FORGET)
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Pepto-Bismol (beware last night’s cheap Mexican from the food court)
  • Razor
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • First aid kit
  • Nail clippers

Pictured: a surprisingly shiny notebook

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
  • Tape/glue
  • Knife
  • Pen/pencil/sharpie/notebook
  • Reading material
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • 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)
  • map

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

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One thought on “Niko’s Handy Convention Packing Guide

  1. Pingback: DragonCon Survival Guide | nikoSCREAM

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