Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SDCC letter of the day B for Backpack or Bag

When I attend ComicCon I live out of my backpack.  No, not literally. I have a room where I sleep, shower, and change clothes.  But I keep everything I need during the day in my backpack.  It’s like your mom’s purse or Dr. Who’s (Tom Baker) bottomless pockets.
For years I carried a small gym bag with lots of compartments (I love compartments).  I really liked the shoulder strap but it’s a little harder to carry when it’s gets heavy.  I bought a nice Targus backpack for my laptop that I use at ComicCon. It has lots and lots of little pockets to stow away stuff.
I have been staying at hotels that were miles away and needed to ride the trolley each day to the show.  So going back to the room during the middle of the day isn’t really an option. Even if your hotel is walking distance, how long do you want to be gone? And do you really want to do extra walking because you forgot something?
So I try to bring everything I’ll need through the day and into the night in my backpack.  Remember, weight is an issue. The more you lug the heavier it gets throughout the day.  Pack wisely.  You also need room in your backpack/bag to contain your swag.  For some, ComicCon is all about the swag.
Those huge bags that SyFy and Warner Brothers give out are very cool. I try to get some every year to give as gifts to friends and make then jealous that I went and they didn’t.  These bags however are hard to tote stuff in and after a few hours you are just dragging them on the floor and tripping other fanboys and girls.
If you filled your oversize bag with swag or purchased big ticket items use the bag check facilities the convention center offers. I’ve even had them hold my luggage on a Sunday.  It’s a few dollars per bag and you don’t have to lug it around.
As I mentioned, my backpack has lots of compartments. I use them all.  So what do I bring?
First and foremost is water. I’ll talk about water in another post. But I bring two bottles. I also bring snack bars with carbs and protein in them. I bring one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I try to avoid the $5 hotdogs and $3 sodas.  The lines are always too long and you are still hungry after spending lots of money. I’ll eat in a panel discussion or while waiting in line.
And before I eat I use the anti-bacterial towelettes I brought.
I bring a clean t-shirt. I sweat a lot. At the end of the day, I will change it out.
Gum and cough drops.  Feel free to share them with someone in need.
I bring a few band aids for that nasty paper cut I’m bound to get as I roll up a poster.
I bring some 8 ½ x 11 plastic top loaders to protect the autograph photos I get. I don’t do 8x10 as some guests use larger photos.  Now, these top loaders are heavy.  You can usually put 2 photos in each without an issue.  So plan ahead regarding how many you want to carry each day.
I do bring an extra ballpoint pen and a sharpie. You never know who you will run into and where.
3x5 cards – so you just bumped into Angelina Jolie – what are you going to have her sign?  A 3x5 will do in a pinch.
I bring my mp3 player. Some lines are long and no one is willing to talk.
My camera and spare batteries are in my backpack.
Silly, but I also carry a small sample vial of cologne. So when I change my shirt, I’ll wash up first and then dash a little on myself.
I keep a small travel pack of tissues with me. You’re such a hero when you can offer a tissue to someone in need.
And lastly, I carry aspirin.  You will need and use it over the 5 days of ComicCon. Between dehydration or just the aches and pains of being on the go for several days, you’ll head a headache or two.
Let me know of any other suggestions.


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