Ya that's right I started this one super early this year. :)
Items that go in and out of the bag:
Dice & dice tray
GM screen and notes (if I am GMing)
Cans of Coke Zero
True Dungeon tokens
iPad, battery pack, charging cord
Plus my bag is always stocked (never leaves the bag except to replenish) with:
Cash (small bills) for exhibit hall
At this point all the bags I bring are Gen-Con branded, which is definitely not something I imagined ever being possible even like 5 years ago when it was still exciting even having the swag bag canvas bags from ~2012-2014. So all messenger bags, backpacks, and canvas bags. I will probably use my 2016 olive green Gen-Con messenger bag for the one I carry in with me, though every year I get closer to deciding not to bring a bag to the convention center at all and just live with the consequences in exchange for feeling FREE AS A BIRD
I am probably going to experiment with this strategy at Origins this year, and yes if I wanted to buy something from a seller without bags of its own I would immediately regret this decision but that is why I am also thinking about experimenting with pocketed mesh vests!
All I tend to reliably bring in my bag these days: snacks, a can of V8, a bag of dice, pens, pencils, Sharpies for dark and light surfaces, and a phone battery bank.
My bag is a ThinkGeek Bag of Holding. It's a smallish messenger bag.
I'll probably only use it on Thursday. It will hold a bottle of water, a 5-hour Energy, a protein bar, maybe a notebook, and as little else is possible.
I'm old. My shoulders aren't great, so carrying around stuff isn't ideal. After some point on Thursday, I'll stop taking a bag for the rest of the con. If I make purchases (and I will), I'll rely on their bags and quick trips to a room.
That's it. I survived all 4 days last year with just that. If there was a down side it was that I had to carry my 1 liter water bottle during the day.
I'm toying with getting a new pack, I've been carrying a North Face pack for about 20 years, and its only flaw is that the water bottle pockets aren't very secure, so I have to use carabiners to secure my coffee mug and refillable water bottle.
Besides the drinks, I typically carry:
Pens, pencils, and dry-erase markers (no sharpies near the battle mat!)
Pad of paper
Pad of post-it notes
Charging bank and cord
Small first aid kit with bandaids, tylenol, antacids, and immodium.
breath mints or gum
a few cough drops
a hoodie for chilly conference rooms
A folded up tote bag for bulky purchases
If I'm GM'ing, add the adventure, maps, handouts, screen, pregens, some cardboard minis, and a folding battle mat.
Also use a ThinkGeek Bag of Holding. Switch shoulders regularly and keep it mostly oriented to the front when in vendor hall to avoid smacking people. This year I'm likely to be staying a few minutes away so I'll pack heavier planning to stay at the Con basically all day.
I'll have my Swiss Gear backpack with the following:
-M:tG Commander decks
-Final Fantasy TCG decks
-Wild Bill's soda mug (gonna get the all-you-can-drink again)
-Masks (Same as above poster, to avoid con crud)
Just a simple sling bag that goes over the shoulder for me. Usually carrying the following:
* 24oz water bottle (used to be 32ox, but 24 is the biggest the bag can carry)
* Flavoring packets for said water
* Beef jerky bites and fruit snacks
* Spare phone charger
* Contact cards
* Cash (I have a strict no-card policy in the convention center)
* Empty deckbox (to carry any Magic cards I buy or promo cards I get)
* Eyedrops, ibuprofen, deodorant, hand sanitizer, hand lotion
* 3-4 masks
And if I've got a True Dungeon run, I'll have a CritSuccess ring and anywhere between 50-100 tokens on me (which is up to 3 pounds' worth of weight if my math is correct).
After retiring my previous Bag of Holding and dabbling in alternatives, I managed to acquire another one off a Redditor over the holidays, which is kind of funny with the Kickstarter coming up soon, though I assume it'll have a lengthy production and fulfillment time, so I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to customize and kit out an upgraded one.
Items in that bag?
- Iron Flask tumbler for coffee, water, other drinks, etc.
- Power pack and charging cables.
- Dice pouch. Even though I don't play in many RPGs at the con, I always carry a standard set with me, just in case.
- Basic first aid kit, just in case.
Then, as required: Magic Decks, True Dungeon Tokens, work gloves, change of clothes (I'm on a booth set up and tear down crew, along with running Demos throughout the con).
* Not Apple, but yeah, bluetooth ear buds so I can listen to music when I'm eating alone. Been a couple years since I used them, though, so I'd probably leave them at home if their size wasn't negligible.
* It's way easier to track how much you've spent when you can physically see it, as well as makes it physically impossible to overspend your budget. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep this one going, though, as booths are becoming increasingly disinterested in accepting money.
I'll be bringing my usual backpack (no special brand).
In it I'll likely have:
Dice and pencils in a small hard case...maybe a mini or two.
Cough drops/hard candy/gum
Foldable shopping bag
That's it. I've found that anything else I don't end up using. I tried a messenger bag one year, but didn't like it in the crowded areas. For the games I play, I do without the rulebook and just wing it at the table. I also used to bring snack bars, but they've just ended up on the bottom of the backpack, bent and crumbled.
I didn't list phone, badge, or wallet as I don't keep those in the bag; those items are on my person.
I always enjoy seeing this thread. It gives me ideas for items that may be handy but that I don't think about. Thanks to those that have posted and will post your lists.
I'm curious do any of you WEIGH how much your bag and all of its contents?
In a previous life I did a LOT of backpacking and let me tell you shaving off even half a pound made a huge difference at the end of the day.
I'm seeing some of these lists, not judging, and thinking my back would be killing me by 6 PM
Yeah I either carry no bag at all as I mentioned or, and this is totally cheating, bring my bag to the Auction room and use that as a forward operating base for assaults on the Exhibit Hall (I am a volunteer and we have a place for our stuff, not saying I just leave it at bag check or on a chair or something). Because yeah, carrying too much is basically the only negative I have repeatedly experienced over the years during the convention