Hey! Since a con just happened this is still pretty fresh in my mind. As involved as we are in the weeby community here in the PNW, we definitely have a lot of experience with packing up and heading out for con. Even though we are staff, we definitely have some tips and tricks for anyone who is having some trouble getting all their shit together. So I, Star, will help you get a good survival list going of all the things you should pack during a convention weekend.
Other than toiletries and underwear, every con-goer should be prepared for long walks, dead phone batteries, spending lots of money and unpredictable weather.
- Waterproof makeup, primers, makeup remover. Controlling the weather from heat to rain can ruin an entire look. But nothing is worse than getting caught off guard and crying your eyelashes away from touching (or fangirling) moments you experience on the con floor.
- Comfortable walking shoes or something to change into easier walking. In cosplay or not having something like gels in your shoes can make a serious difference if you aren’t used to walking miles per day.
- Powerbank or extra batteries for devices. Getting overwhelmed with taking photos and boredom in lines can drain your battery. You never want to be caught with a dead battery when something amazing or an emergency could take place. Cons are incredibly unpredictable haha.
- Money! Save up and get some cash some vendors have technical difficulties and you wouldn’t want to miss out on a good deal!
- A jacket. Something to wear in the hotel room and in con space. Some buildings crank up the AC when they are expecting lots of traffic. Also the weather. Nothing sucks more than a cold walk back to the hotel.
This section is for the people who want to be one step ahead. You can’t predict the future, but you can prepare for unexpected changes. And that’s what con is all about really LOL.
- An extra day of clothes. You never know! Cosplay may fail, clothes get lost, spills and stains need time to be cleaned.
- A Tide pen. Let’s face it, spills happen too often at the worst moments. And in cosplay, this can ruin months of work! If the tide pen doesn’t work, seltzer water and shampoo are great alternatives for stains and spills.
- A sharpie preferably black and/or silver. In the case, you meet a voice actor or artist you don’t want to waste a perfectly good signing on a dead or unreadable sharpie on the object of your choice.
- Painkillers. Save yourself the body pain, being in pain can ruin your mood. But with that in mind, eating and drinking can keep the body aches away. So some snacks in a water bottle wouldn’t be bad either.
Let’s talk about things that a veteran con-goer would tell you to think about or possibly pack. Everything here in this list is based on years of experience in dealing with the problems of the above lists and multiple years of cons.
- Bath salts. If your hotel has a tub then you’re in luck! Soaking your feet after a long day of walking is a great way to relax those muscles for the next day or the next event.
- Earplugs! This helps save your ears when the dances are too loud. Some loud sounds can ruin your eardrums or cause headaches.
- Vitamins! Concrete is the worst to get over. Mainly caused by pure exhaustion, it can make you feel like you have the flu or a really bad case of the common cold or allergies. If you boost your immune system every day or every night you can save yourself from the worst of it. Especially for those who have to work the following Monday.
- Sock glue/Spirit gum! For those cosplayers who wear a lot of thigh highs or even clothes that need to stay in a certain place on your skin. Spirit gum also works on wigs as well.
Things to invest in
- A hardshell suitcase. This one is mostly for cosplayers. No matter your means of transportation a hard shell suitcase can protect any of your crafts from getting smashed, wrinkled, cracked, destroyed you name it.
- Lost item tracker. You would be surprised how many people lose their wallets, keys, phones, bags, shoes, jackets the list goes on. This can save you from a lot of stress down the line.
- Hydroflask water bottle and titanium straws. Many convention centers have refillable water stations which can save you time in line at Starbucks.
I hope this helps you pack for the next convention you plan to go to! And I apologize if this blog comes a little too late…