Whats with the spamming on the forums ? i dont recall asking for a job or other advertising ..by the way folks , a side note to what to pack for GenCon... if you have an Aldi's nearby.. they sell a 4 pack of trail mix for about 3.99... i gathered a few up and have stored them with our other emergency prepper bags,, but they might go good as snack fodder for the con too, just a heads up for those who are prepping for Gencon. ;)
Rain Ponchos - these you can find in packs, easy to carry in case of rain and you find yourself outside the convention center.
Good shoes are vital. Last year I went to the mall and replaced my shoes on day 2. What I was wearing was good enough for regular life, but not for gencon.
Also, don't overload yourself for walking around. It gets heavier as the day goes on. I logged 35 miles of walking at last years gencon. My walk around list is short. 2 protein bars. 1 or 2 bottles of water. Wallet. Phone. Battery device for my phone. Pen, pencil, spork and chopsticks, in my badge holder. Some personal calling cards to hand out. And last but not least, my camera. The camera weighs more than the rest put together (yes including the waters), but because I have a good carry system (black rapid strap) it doesn't burden me. I have some years carried a tablet, but, it got very little use and I have dropped that idea.
Just to repeat; do not bring every book or card you own, you just will not need them.
Security -- do not trust anyone and be careful where and how you put your stuff when you are not holding it, do not let it out of your sight. Do things like placing the strap around your leg when you set your stuff down. Over the years you hear stories.
I shouldn't have to say this, but unfortunately I do. Please pack deodorant. Nobody wants to smell you before they see you.
What if you smell like fresh baked cookies all the time?
Which brings up another good point.
Being able to smell your deodorant/cologne/perfume/shampoo from more than ten feet away is just as bad in its own way as gamer funk. Clean is awesome. Being a cosmetic counter the day before a major holiday and making my eyes water is not so awesome.
Which reminds me as I'm tidying today - my bag also has to have nail clippers and a file. Because you know I will either (a) break a nail or (b) buy something from the dealer's room with adult-proof packaging and not be able to get into it with my teeth.
And if I haven't explicitly mentioned it yet, eyeglass cleaner and a lens cloth. Because trying to read my laptop through dozens of people's worth of dried spittle is not cool. And every convention since ever has people talking too loud, which means you end up with drool covered lenses. *sigh*
A couple people have mentioned it already, but I'll repeat: a portable USB battery (or two) can really come in handy. You won't always be near a wall when gaming, and definitely not in the exhibitor hall. All it takes is one night of forgetting to plug in your phone and you'll wish you'd packed a thing as small as a Pez dispenser. Your phone can charge as you walk around, perfect.
If you get tired easy, consider compression socks. Something like this. I have a pair (different brand) I got for after races, and I have learned to use them for traveling (flying in particular) as well as the occasional long day of walking. Help keep the blood from pooling in your legs, really keeps you fresher.
I wouldn't worry about a rain poncho if you're staying downtown. There are enough tubes to get you to places, and rain during GC isn't all that common. If you're staying a ways away, maybe. Pack one and leave it in your hotel if it's not raining when you leave. Maybe. I pack a light jacket every year, almost never use it. Accidentally left it in the hotel this year. But, got it back! Yay Courtyard by Marriott.
On the off chance the computer in your pocket doesn't have a camera on it (mine has a camera and a phone on it...sweet), bring a camera.
Snacks: consider going to your nearest running/fitness store. Ask them about energy foods for endurance athletes, and tell them what you're doing. A lot of the stuff you'll buy at the grocery store that claims to be meal replacement sort of snack stuff (protein bars and such) are filled with useless junk. Mostly junk fiber. But marathoners and such have all kinds of bars, gummy chews, fizzy tabs, and the like that provide electrolytes, calories, and protein. You'll maybe pay more than for chain store granola bars, but you'll get quality.
Immodium. Your diet is going to change for the better part of a week...unless you already have a really strange diet, I guess. You don't want to spend most of the con in the toilet, or destroy the hotel toilet every night. (And Immodium AD&D is fitting.)
Hand sanitizer. I hate the overuse of hand sanitizer. I almost never use the stuff (just got back from a week in Honduras, glad to be done using the stuff every day). However...if you have to use a Con Center bathroom, and you have any sort of history of susceptibility to illness, it couldn't hurt to use it then. That many people, a lot of them wil already be sick when they arrive.
All I got for now. Oh, bring rule books if you're running a game, not if you're playing a game. Reduces the giant backpacks slamming through the hallways every day.
And bring an appreciation that more people than just you are trying to get somewhere at any given moment. :)
Gen Con LLC
My gotta-have-em items:
-badge wallet - something with a clear pocket to hold your badge (so it can be seen) that can also hold your credit/debit cards and cash, I also stash my event tickets in mine as well.
-tylenol and immodium - you never know and you definitely don't want to be without when you need 'em!
-water - I bring a bottle, then refill it through the day. Stay hydrated and you'll stay much happier. It's hot as heck in Indy during the con and you will want/need plenty of water
-phone charger - trust me, I skipped it one year and ended up running to the mall between events to buy one. Also consider a portable battery pack to save you from searching for outlets.
-pens and pencils
-printed convention center map (I don't like to haul the program around-a sheet or 2 of paper is lighter and easier to pull out of my bag)
-schedule - last year we attended (2014) I got smart and printed a schedule that had mine AND my husband's events listed and color coded. That way we both knew when the other was busy/where we would be/etc. And I need my schedule printed out because I am a dofus and *will* forget repeatedly where I need to be and when!
-dice (iff you need 'em)
-glasses wipes - seems silly/simple but it's a little thing that can make a big difference. No sense in giving myself a headache because I was squinting through grungy specs!
-Someone else said it and it's so vital that I'm going to repeat - GOOD SHOES! Don't try to break in a brand-new pair of sneakers at the con, and don't wear you old broken-down pair either. Consider bringing 2 pairs so you don't have to wear them 2 days in a row (I don't do this, but my gr'ma, who is a world traveller, swears it's better for your feet.)
-hand sanitizer - thousands of people touching everything. ew
-snacks - I try to make sure I hace granola bars, nuts, and apples. All travel well and that way I have both fiber and protein handy.
-Consider carrying a medical ID (google free printable ones, there are lots) with you as well. List any medications you are on, any allergies, any diagnosed conditions, and your emergency contacts. I think this is something everyone should do, just in case. You don't have to wear id jewelry, just print up a card with all your info and tuck it in your wallet behind your license, or behind your badge. It can save valuable time, and maybe even save a life :-)
**Additional, non stuff-related notes:
*DON'T OVERPACK - seriously. Re-evaluate your daily carry bag a couple times before the con, then re-evaluate each night when you get back to your room each night. Remove the stuff you can live without. Your back will thank you!
* Hubs and I double up on vitamins for a couple days before, all during, and a couple days after the con. There are thousands of people packed into a relatively small space for 4 days, con crud is a real issue. Plus, if you are travelling far, being in a different river valley can expose you to different germs or strains of germs that what your body is used to.
*Don't overschedule yourself! I scheduled way too much my first year, I was (luckily) smart enough not to try to do it all, but still over did it a bit. Plan for a few hours (minimum) just to browse the dealer hall. You will enjoy it so much more if you are not constantly rushing from event to event.
Here are my two cents on what to bring into GenCon (i.e. not stuff to bring on the trip but to actually keep on me when it's time to wander the con):
Day of the event what I would bring is backpack, 12oz water bottle, snacks, phone charger, gencon bag from last year, pens, excel event schedule, map and cash. That is it. I wouldn't bring paper, an ipad, books, umbrella, laptop, gencon program guide, extra clothes or any other heavy thing with me. It is a lot of walking so you want to keep stuff light and there were more times I wish I had more room in the backpack instead of stuff from home.
Here is what I carry:
What I mean by mixed blessing is:
There are also Android and iPhone apps that'll display info upon swiping a locked screen. That's something else people can look up if they feel like it. But of course nothing beats the ease and cheapness of a simple written note tucked in with your badge. Or printed one. All are ideas worth thinking about.
If you aren't used to all the walking you might think about bringing an anti chafing stick or friction stick. It's cheap and only the size of deodorant but can save you from an uncomfortable few days.
Unless you are used to it, I'd recommend against camelback water packs. There's only so much water your body can make use of. Even when you're running a marathon, most people can only process and use about one sports bottle of water per hour. The rest will just take up space and weight, whether in your pack or in your stomach. 2 liters of water is way more than you need when there are plenty of places to fill a smaller bottle with free tap water. You can even buy collapsible water bottles that fold away when you empty it if you're light on space.
But multiple liters of slowly warming water strapped to your back all day is heavy and not necessary.