Your Gen Con Survival Kit: (alt title: Why you should bring a lacrosse ball to the G.C.)

I can’t go to the great geek pilgrimage this year, but if I was, here’s what would be in my everyday gear and a few tips:

Shoes: I know you aren’t going to go barefoot (well, maybe).  If you listen to just one thing in this post, listen to this one.

If your shoes are not comfortable, you should’ve started breaking in your walk-around Gen Con shoes yesterday.  If not, go buy those comfy shoes right now.  You do not want to be pounding the unforgiving concrete of the dealer’s room floor on new shoes or shoes that you aren’t used to using for putting in some hard walking mileage.

Lacrosse ball: Oh yeah, I’m serious.

At the end of the day, it’ll be nice to go back into your hotel room and roll the lacrosse ball on the bottoms of your feet. If your back is a mess, you can put it against the wall and roll it against problem points on your back.

It probably won’t cost you a buck, is a small thing to carry and when you are getting a self-made foot massage, you’ll thank me.

The Writing Gear: I like to roll with a batch mechanical pencils, a nice pen or two, some index cards and a compact notebook.

  • Mechanic Pencils: Nice for marking up character sheets, marking down damage and handing over to people I game with.  If they get returned, great and if not, so be it.
  • Index Cards: Good for writing down notes, playing Shock: and making little name-plates for the gaming table, so folks don’t have to hunt down the badge dangling and spinning from your lanyard.
  • Notebook: I find cons to be intensely stimulating and will often write down odd little ideas for later.  I have often wished I had a week off after a big con just to write.

Thinkthin Bars: 15-20 grams of protein, gluten-free, sugar-free and they hold up well in a bag.  I’m fond of the peanut-butterish and the chocolate and strawberry flavors.  Grab a few this week and see if you like ’em, if not, find your own quick, easy and relatively healthy snack for when you are on the run.

Pick-up and Play: Grab a game that you can easily carry all day long, and can drop on a table and play at a moment’s notice.  Maybe a print-out of Lady Blackbird, Cosmic Wimp-out, Jungle Speed or whatever playtestable goodie that is lurking in your hard drive.  The key here is that it can be dropped on the table and ready to play damn near instantaneously.  BAM!  GAME ON!

You never know when you might end up with an odd hour or two here and there.

Water Bottle: There are water fountains all over the convention center and our hobby does involve a bunch of talking.  It helps to take care of one’s throat.

Throat Lozenges: If you end up DMing 12 hours a day, your throat will need ’em and if you don’t need them, someone around you will.

Judd, WTF: I know, I haven’t mentioned your favorite game, dice, laptops, iPads, and a compass (which is never a terrible idea, really).  I’m talking about stuff to carry around all day.

Cons are intensely physical, not in that they are marathons or work-outs but in that we are taken way out of our normal physical routines and prioritize different things than we usually do.  Give your body a warm-up this week and see how important the stuff you are prioritizing is going to really be.  Do yourself a favor, make up a trial bag that you want to carry around at the con and carry it around all damned day this week.  See how it feels.

Shit, we could do a whole post about the kind of bag you use.

What else?  What is in your Gaming Con Go Bag?

Links:

Adamy Jury’s Tips are solid