Since I have started this thread over several years, figured I would start this years as well. So what bag are you planning on bringing, and what are you carrying in it?
The usual: pencils, paper, business cards, copy of my schedule.
The unusual: Tiny Epic Kingdoms. This is one of my favorite games and a great time-passer between events. I can teach a new player enough to get started in about 10 minutes, and games take about 20 minutes. A lot of my Gen Con friends from the past few years have been from pick-up games while waiting in line.
I've been coming to Gen Con since the 80's, and one thing I've learned is "Less is More".
1 set of dice
a mechanical pencil
a small pad of paper
a water bottle (just re-use a bottled water bottle)
a granola bar
Backpack with USB portable charger, generic go-pro, pen, event tickets, lunch, and water. I keep it light.
Things I have brought at one point that were a complete waste
- Raincoat/Umbrella - Only rains outside you will mostly be inside hauling it around
- Ipad - way heavier than you think and you can get buy with just the phone
- wall charger - get a portable battery charger
- books - unless you absolutely need to have them for an event you are doing you are basically hauling around weights with you
- games - I have brought them many times and they never get played. Now I would bring them if you are going out to dinner or lunch some place.
A 'few' things I might wanna add to the above suggestions.... Tylenol.... clean change of socks.... some almonds (since I don't like granola).... And I can never stick to just ONE set of dice.
Might I suggest:
small hand sanitizer.
small pack of breath mints.
stuff a handkerchief in your pocket.
And yeah, keep it light. I think the "Gen Con Laws of Physics" increases an items weight the longer it's carried.
Hand wipes, polyhedral dice, small moleskin pad, pencil, Tylenol, water bottle (the lighter the better), and one small snack. That is THE MOST I will carry with me. On Thursday after I hit the dealer hall (and any time I purchase something thereafter) I head straight back to the hotel/car and put my new haul away. As all of the veterans here have stated, weight will be your greatest enemy at the Con. I am a fit 31 year old and I feel the weight at the end of day one. By day four it can really diminish your energy, and being exhausted when you sit down to game is less than ideal. There is a TON of walking at Gen Con.
I use the bag of holding con-survival edition.
Sanitizer (kind that hangs on the side of my bag)
snacks (protein bars, trail mix)
paper copy of my schedule
folded up reusable cloth bag for purchases
portable USB charger for phone
It adds up to a pretty light load actually, and having the cloth bag REALLY helped last year because we bought way more games than we typically do.
And of course, a towel - it being the most important item in your bag. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars that shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini-raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you - daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
The description is, of course, courtesy of the late, great Douglas Adams.
But seriously, a towel does seem like a handy thing to carry with you... :)
One thing I like to do with water bottles is put them in the freezer overnight. The ice will melt over the course of the day, leaving you with nice, cool water whenever you need a mouthful or two. It's also advisable to cover the bottle with a plastic bag in case of leaks.
Gen Con messenger bag that I have covered in buttons...
1 set of dice, pen, pencil, pad of paper, Tylenol, portable battery and appropriate cords, and a water bottle (any lightweight plastic bottle will do as long as the tope screws down tight).
If there's going to be a wait I might drag a lightweight game (zombie dice, exploding kittens, etc.) to pass the time and make new friends.
Wow, it's really early for this one.
What you do is go to the forum thread several times a day, keep hitting refresh, and at some point someone will drop some advice that works for you. You just have to keep trying till you get the advice you want.