Con bag 101

Top 10 Con bag items to make life easier at Con

After several years of attending, what is probably too many cons per year, My wife and I have gotten the art and science of packing our con bags down.

The first several times we attended cons years ago. We didn’t bring any bag at all. What can I say, we were nieve. Needless to say that we encountered inconveniences which eventually led to the writing of this article every few hours.

1. The first and most obvious part of packing a good con bag is, of course, the bag. As silly and obvious as this sounds, the fact is that not just any bag will do. Most cons have lots to offer and depending on your personal interests, this can be a very big factor in the appropriate bag for you. We normally go with a large bag that is both spacious and tall. Actually, My wife bought a bag that actually looks like the big pot that Gaara from Naruto carries on his back. This what weather we get t-shirts, plushies, or prints we have space for just about anything without damaging or folding anything.

2. The second things that are a must have is water. It’s important to keep hydrated of course, especially if you’re going to cons in hot places or in the summer months. No one likes to carry water bottles around but if you get a bag with a drink carrier or space for a big water bottle then you’re not just saving the money for drinks in and around con, which can be very pricey but you’re also saving yourself the walk away from the things you want to do to go find yourself a drink.

3. Snacks, much as the previous point is good to save you time and money at con. You will find when you start going to cons more you’ll soon discover that more than half your con budget will go toward food and drinks while youre out. Snaks are a cheep way to keep yourself satisfied and save your money for larger meals. You can read more tips like this in our “Con on a budget” article by clicking here. Now when you select your snacks its good to choose an asrotment of both sweet and salty snacks and keep in mind where you will be and of course where the snacks will be. You dont want things like chocolate which will melt in your bag. Things like gummy bears can do the same. Things like crackers, sweet tarts or even fig newtons can be great little pick me ups while you’re having fun at con.

4. This one is super crucial, while at con we all love taking pics and videos, sharing and streaming all the great things we’re doing and of course seeing what all our friends are up to. all this activity, however, drains your phone’s battery with the quickness. Getting a couple low-cost battery banks can be one of the best investments you can make. They only cost about $10-$20 and with them, you can charge phones, tablets, even your DS. This way you dont have to worry about texting, posting, streaming and playing as much as you want. Now the second half of this one is to remember to charge your battery banks before you go to con and if you’re attending a con out of town then you should try to charge them along with your devices after you use them when you get back to your hotel to ensure un interrupted use.

5. This one is an extension of the previous one, and oddly enough one of the most often forgotten items are the cords that go with your devices and chargers. It’s a good idea to take advantage of sales at your local tech store on cords and then have a couple that you don’t    even open. Just pack them away along with your battery banks so they’re already together and ready to go.

6. An often overlooked item for a con bag (and this can vary depending on your personal needs) are changes of things like shoes socks even shirts. Sometimes, especially if you’re cosplaying, something that looked perfect for your costume might become very uncomfortable half way through the day. Usually, if you’re a seasoned cosplayer you know this but if you’re new to cosplay or to cons, in general, you may find a change of socks or shoes a very happy thought.

7. RFID Wallet or fold. This one was one we hadn’t had until our card got skimmed recently. New tech allows people to skim cards by just being close enough to you and they can go and print out counterfeit cards with your account anytime they want. Luckily most banks are used to this phenomenon (unfortunately) and will clear things up without any trouble but its still an inconvenience and a violation and can also cost you in over draft fees. When ever you go to a heavily populated event it’s just a good idea to bring protection.idea to bring protection.

8. A simple pen. This sounds funny and to some may even seem unnecessary but I guarantee you it’s a good thing to have. Most cons have an app nowadays that lays out what events and panels are happening, what time and what room. Some even let you create a schedule that will even give you push notifications when your event is near. We have used m any of these apps ourselves and some are obviously better than others but there is usually some glitches or mistakes in even the best apps. For years now we have made our list in apps but also used the old fashioned pen and the con schedule booklet that you get when you check in to make our itinerary. Using both helps a lot. I find that the grid layout and map in the booklet is easier sometimes to see not just what but where to go especially if your con is large and has multiple floors or buildings. This method has helped us really maximise our time at con plan events we want to see and even back up events incase of last minute cancelations.

9. Another commonly overlooked fact of con is that you are out of the house all day and along with that comes a few daily needs. Being out all day means your eating and sweating and that means your mouth and pits are gross. We are located in Arizona where its almost always hot and needless to say bringing some deodorant or body spray is a good idea. Some Altoids or tic tacs are likewise a good acotrimen. Not a bad idea to bring a brush or comb or even some hair ties

10. A Lanyard. Many cons do supply cords or lanyards when you get your badge although some do not. The ones that don’t, usually have a safety pin which can be hard on clothing and especially cosplay. Now, most cons require you have your badge visible most if not all the time. They’re checked entering the event as well as the vendor area, panels and of course, if you leave the building then you’re checked all over again on the way back in. A personal lanyard gives you the ability to have something that matches your style and in case there’s not one provided then it can be a life saver.

These are the tips that we have picked up and that have gotten us through more than 30 cons I hope they can help make your time at con easier and more enjoyable.