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Pax West 2017 Prep Thread

IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
Pax West is only 2 months away so I figured I'd start up a small thread to share prep tips, favorite things to bring, product recommendations etc.

I personally can't recommend the Anker fast charge power bank enough. I've been testing it at a few events and it's been a beast. So glad I'll be bringing this to Seattle instead of my older one that took forever to get my phone back up to 100 percent.

I am on the lookout for some better walking shoes though, so suggestions are welcomed.

So how about it, PAXers new and old, what are you doing to prep?

RiDE
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Posts

  • blindnoirblindnoir Registered User regular
    First time going to PAX West. I am guessing an umbrella and raincoat for walking outside of the convention.

  • DashDDashD Dread Pirate Chef Seattle, WARegistered User regular

    I am on the lookout for some better walking shoes though, so suggestions are welcomed.

    I have found PF Flyers to be fantastic. Particularly as I love Chucks but can't wear them for any length of time due to high arches. PF Flyers are comfy, stylish, *and* have arch support. Also, changing socks mid day will help no matter what shoes you are wearing.

    "Brilliant! Oh wait, if we were meant to fly, we would have been born with little bags of nuts."
    "Pinky, you are a little bag of nuts."
    Satans!
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  • nixternixter roughly Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    blindnoir wrote: »
    First time going to PAX West. I am guessing an umbrella and raincoat for walking outside of the convention.

    Not necessarily. Could be 80°+ F, could be in the 60's and rainy. Most years it's sunny, but there are exceptions. I would have a light raincoat with a hood available, but don't tote it around if the weather is good. I wouldn't bother with the umbrella. Most Seattlites never use them.

    aka Avidguru from MOG Nation and the Wildcast podcast
    YoungFreyanettie76Faylynnekime
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    It's good to prepare for any reasonable eventuality. We did have one PAX West with some serious rain, but most aren't too bad and most rain in Settle is light rain.

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  • zepallicazepallica Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    blindnoir wrote: »
    First time going to PAX West. I am guessing an umbrella and raincoat for walking outside of the convention.

    I seem to end up buying a compact umbrella every other year at a drug store near the convention center because I assume I wont need it and dont pack it, I would bring one.

  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    I second the pf flyers. I also love doc martens airwair. I always have an umbrella, but have never used it. Mostly I just try to pack for any situation.

  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'll have to look into PF Flyers.

    As for weather, I usually bring a hoodie jacket and it works for me. Compact umbrellas are always good to have though in case it really gets torrential (which is rare but still can happen.)

    TOGSolidbacon_avengerMoridin889
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I didn't choose the tiki life, the tiki life chose me Inside a bottle of rumRegistered User regular
    edited June 30
    Compact umbrellas are always good to have though in case it really gets torrential (which is rare but still can happen.)

    Yeah, I keep a small one in my messenger bag. Easier than packing rain gear around.

    TOGSolid on
    bacon_avenger
  • ZecroZecro Registered User regular
    After spending 2 hours getting rained on in line in a downpour in the the morning last year, I'm never not bringing an umbrella. You probably won't need it, but if you need it, you'll really need it.

    IncreaseBlue
  • BLaZuREBLaZuRE Registered User regular
    edited July 1
    Some deodorant and some money (lines may be faster)/card for merch.

    BLaZuRE on
    PAX West 2017 Checklist:
    [X] Order Badges [X] Hotel [X] Flight [X] Time Off [X] Bobcat [X] Dice [ . ] Challenge Coin [ . ] Sanity

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  • kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    My biggest recommendation is to have a small profile backpack or even better a satchel that is slung to your side. Too often I have been hit in a face with a backpack you can fit small family in during PAX and I implore anyone reading this DO NOT DO IT. You will hit people without realising it.

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    blindnoirCroatian Sensationbacon_avengerIncreaseBluePavioanettie76
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    BLaZuRE wrote: »
    Gentle reminder, since there's long lines with close friends and strangers (emphasis on close) and a lot of walking involved, to wear deodorant and reapply if you need too. Fresh clothing each day helps as well. There's great shirts you can buy and show off. You might get used to your own smell and not notice, but others will. Overall it makes it more enjoyable for everyone and you might meet more people.
    This comes up from time to time, but discussing other people's hygiene is not something we're going to do here. I get that you have good intentions, but ultimately it's inappropriate.

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  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    As always, 3-2-1.

    At least 3 hours of sleep a day.
    At least 2 meals a day.
    And take a shower every day please.

    Other than that, my best single bit of advice, bring a brand new package of socks in your suitcase. Fresh new socks every day doesn't sound like much, but when you're going to be up and about for 12+ hours it does make a difference.

    kropotkinFourT2
  • blindnoirblindnoir Registered User regular
    Oh man. New socks are the best. Also, I learned this last year at another con. Get new shoes or wear newer shoes. I had an old pair the first day and they looked good, but they ended up hurting my feet pretty bad because the sole was a bit worn out and not even.

  • Nathan WindNathan Wind Colorado Springs, CORegistered User regular
    nixter wrote: »
    blindnoir wrote: »
    First time going to PAX West. I am guessing an umbrella and raincoat for walking outside of the convention.

    Not necessarily. Could be 80°+ F, could be in the 60's and rainy. Most years it's sunny, but there are exceptions. I would have a light raincoat with a hood available, but don't tote it around if the weather is good. I wouldn't bother with the umbrella. Most Seattlites never use them.

    LOL damn glad I had my umbrella last year. Everyone else in line on Friday was soaked to the bone. Anyone carrying a backpack would be wise to sacrifice a little space for a travel umbrella.

    PAX Prime 14, 15
    PAX West 16
    Currently playing Witcher 3 (finally finished! #Yen#1), Fallout 4, World of Warships
    My Rig: I7 7700K, Aorus K5, 32GB RipJaws V, Samsung 960 EVO 256 & 500, Gigabyte G1 1080 GTX
    IncreaseBlueCroatian Sensation
  • nixternixter roughly Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    As always, 3-2-1.

    At least 3 hours of sleep a day.
    At least 2 meals a day.
    And take a shower every day please.

    Other than that, my best single bit of advice, bring a brand new package of socks in your suitcase. Fresh new socks every day doesn't sound like much, but when you're going to be up and about for 12+ hours it does make a difference.

    Changing socks halfway through the day is amazing.

    Also, it might just be my age, but I would recommend at least 5 hours of sleep every night, and more is better. Rather be peppy than a zombie.

    aka Avidguru from MOG Nation and the Wildcast podcast
    CKingImmunity2youRavenHuskyFaylynne
  • Immunity2youImmunity2you Registered User regular
    blindnoir wrote: »
    Oh man. New socks are the best. Also, I learned this last year at another con. Get new shoes or wear newer shoes. I had an old pair the first day and they looked good, but they ended up hurting my feet pretty bad because the sole was a bit worn out and not even.

    Well.... I wouldebt recommend new shoes , because it takes time to break them in, you don't want bloody heels or ankles.

  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    Random thought, but has anyone attempted to coordinate Amazon Prime (or other delivery services) to their hotel? I was thinking of doing it this year to avoid having to haul a flat of water several blocks.

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    edited July 5
    I've had Amazon deliver to the Sheraton before. Just ask the front desk of your hotel how it should be addressed.

    whypick1 on
    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
    zerzhulIncreaseBlue
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Indeed, some hotels charge for receiving packages, but most at least offer the service

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    IncreaseBlueYoungFrey
  • Chad44Chad44 Registered User new member
    For the amazon delivery, I ended setting up with a locker downtown and they will deliver there too to pick up usually close to most Hotels downtown.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    yeah, since it's in seattle there's a whole lot of amazon locker options

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  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    I wonder if that locker nearest the WSCC will actually fill up. They aren't that big.

  • LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse WWHRD? Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited July 30
    Welp, here's my handy-dandy PAX packing/prep list (Uusually for East, but slightly adapted for Prime). It's based off my experiences and many, many missteps on the con floor. YMMV vary, naturally

    On my person for the con floor:
    • Water bottle. You WILL get thirsty, and soda/red bull is not a good thing to be drinking all day.
    • Bag of some sort (I've used sling bags and backpacks in the past, I currently use a Con Survival Bag of Holding, since I'm making an active effort to travel lighter- might be looking for a regular Bag of Holding while there- I could use a bit more space)
    • Cell phone
    • Backup power charger
    • 3DS + games (Usually Mario Kart and Smash Bros)
    • Small, analogue line game (Usually Star Fluxx)
    • Tylenol/Asprin/Aleve/Ibuprofin/Whatever
    • Cliff bars/other munchies (If not a Cliff bar, I tend to pack beef jerky)
    • Hand sanitizer
    • I do not use this, but many people swear by it: a poster tube, to keep posters from being crushed (I don't collect posters, so there ya go)
    • My necklace of teeth a.k.a. my pin lanyard (If you’re not into pin trading, obviously you can forget about this)

    Packed:
    • Changes of clothes (Use your own experience for trips as to how much you need, but make sure you bring enough socks, underwear and shirts)
    • Hoodie/sweater
    • 2 pairs of shoes. As someone with seriously flat feet, I’ll elaborate on this: 1) The shoes should be comfortable, and broken in but they also need to be supportive: I had a comfy pair of Sketchers one year. They didn’t support my feet enough, and I felt like death by the end of day 1. The next PAX? I wore hiking shoes. No problemo. 2) Two pairs so you can switch between them- wear one set one day, the second the next, then revert to the first the following day, etc- it seriously helps reduce foot strain, etc.
    • Set of nicer clothes (just in case- a nice set of jeans/khakis + button down shirt/polo will do)
    • Hygiene supplies (Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant/antiperspirant, hair product, maybe a razor/electric shaver)
    • If you are in a hotel room with multiple others: A NON-WHITE towel. I recommend a darker colour, like navy blue. There never seems to be enough towels in the hotel rooms, and bringing your own that’s distinctively different from what the hotel stocks can be a lifesaver

    Misc others
    • Cash: Credit cards fail. Connections get lost when authenticating credit/debit cards. Cash will always work. Keep some on you.
    • Occasionally a laptop for hotel use, or a tablet (I do not recommend bringing a laptop with you on the floor- unless you're media, the odds of you using it are slim and it's really added weight you do not need.)
    • A collapsible empty bag. If you pick up swag, you may not have enough room in your luggage. When I hit prime a couple of years back, conscious of airline bag check costs, etc, I came up with this solution: I packed a collapsed gym bag in my luggage. True enough, I had just enough stuff that it wouldn’t all fit in my main luggage. So I offloaded some into the gym bag, checked the luggage, and had the gym bag and backpack as my carry-on.
    • A lighter. It comes in surprisingly handy. YMMV on this one.
    • I tend to pack OTC sleeping pills. It helps if your roommates snore, or if you are that weird mix of utterly exhausted, but too wired to sleep. Just note: they will make you sluggish the next morning, the sleep will not be as good as if it was natural and DO NOT TAKE THEM IF YOU’VE BEEN DRINKING. Still, a mediocre night’s sleep is still better than next to no sleep.
    • If you are from outside the US: Bring your passport with you to anywhere you plan to order alcohol. They may not accept out of state ID. They WILL accept passports. This is especially important if, like me, your driver’s license is in a language other than English (I’m from Quebec)
    • If you plan to go partying, buy Gatorade. Drink it, it will help with the hangovers.

    The four most important rules for the con:
    • At least 5 hours sleep. At least 2 meals a day. At least one shower a day. The con is closed between midnight and 10 AM. The parties tend to close at 2ish. Getting 5 hours of sleep, assuming you take an hour to get back to your hotel is 3AM to 8AM. Similarly, it needs to be 2 full, balanced meals. A Vector bar is not a meal, a bag of chips or beef jerky is not a meal. You can skip one meal without too much issue. If you skip two, you will be ravenous. Following these guidelines is the different between feeling a bit tired and feeling like death warmed over.
    • For all that’s holy, wear deodorant or antiperspirant. (Similarly, please don’t overdo the cologne or body spray or perfume)
    • Wear good, comfortable, broken in, supportive shoes. You’ll be on your feet all day, so don’t skimp on this.
    • Bring your good cheer and good manners

    West Specifics:
    • I’ve only been to two West/Primes, so I’m less of an authority on this than east, but I’ll give my two cents there and take it with a grain of salt, as I’m a Montrealer, used to warm and humid summers and freezing cold winters.
    • Bring an umbrella/rain jacket. It’s Seattle. Weather there can be gorgeous, but it’s SEATTLE, so rain is always a possibility. Make sure they’re small/light so you aren’t tempted to leave them behind.
    • I’ve been to Seattle 3 times in my life, twice for PAX. In the PAX period of time, I’d been 30C and warm, it’s been cool and humid enough to see my breath, it’s been sunny, it’s been rainy. Check the forecast before you leave and make sure you don’t ONLY pack shorts or long pants, or you might shiver/swelter for part of the strip.
    • Unlike East, Prime is in the downtown core: if you forget something, it’s much easier to pick up, say…spare socks/underwear or shorts or whatnot from the multitude of stores in the area. So don’t worry too much if you forget something.

    Also, if you're there for all 4 days- pace yourself. Take breaks. Smell the roses. 4 days is PLENTY of time to see lots of stuff at PAX, so don't break your neck for it. Enjoy your time in a lovely city, especially if you're a lunatic like me and are travelling 4700km to attend.

    LoonyEclipse on
    My pin lanyard
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    Steam: Loony Eclipse
    Twitter: @Loonyeclipse
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  • medelleimedellei Omaha, NERegistered User new member
    One thing that is often overlooked is getting used to long periods of standing and walking. Try to walk for at least a half hour a day for the couple weeks leading up to the convention. Shin splints at a convention is one of the worst things ever.

    Change of socks and good shoes are a must.

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  • Sammy.SamSammy.Sam Registered User regular
    I haven't seen it listed yet, but if your plans involve waiting in lines for a significant portion of your day, I would recommend a small collapsible camping stool. I'm not sure if linking is allowed on the forums, but you should be able to find with a simple search.

    I would also recommend some carabiners or other attachment system so that you can secure it to your messenger bag or backpack, just try to be conscious of your size footprint as called out previously regarding "Large" backpacks.

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 24
    you can link to things as long as you aren't advertising for yourself or linking to something inappropriate for a 13+ forum.
    see the "no porn, piracy, or personal promotion" section of the rules.

    zerzhul on
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  • afipanicafipanic Registered User regular
    I am on the lookout for some better walking shoes though, so suggestions are welcomed.

    I'll be wearing shoes with boost on the bottom. I wear them all day for work and my feet always feel comfy the entire day.

    Next PAX: West 2017!
    Flight: [X]
    Lodging: [X]
    Passes: [X]
    Excitement: [10/10]
  • LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse WWHRD? Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    Boost?

    My pin lanyard
    PSN: L00nyEclip
    Steam: Loony Eclipse
    Twitter: @Loonyeclipse
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    I think it's the Adidas Boost Technology. A buddy of mine wore his last year and had similar praise.

    I've settled on a pair of Converse Thunderbolts and might put some insoles in them but currently they're holding up well.

  • nixternixter roughly Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Sammy.Sam wrote: »
    I haven't seen it listed yet, but if your plans involve waiting in lines for a significant portion of your day, I would recommend a small collapsible camping stool. I'm not sure if linking is allowed on the forums, but you should be able to find with a simple search.

    I would also recommend some carabiners or other attachment system so that you can secure it to your messenger bag or backpack, just try to be conscious of your size footprint as called out previously regarding "Large" backpacks.

    Here's my camping stool of choice. Fits in my backpack w/o sticking out the top, which is the issue I had with the tripods.

    https://www.amazon.com/Evelots-Portable-Camping-Chair-Pocket/dp/B01F24S86G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500957950&sr=8-2&keywords=pocket+chair

    aka Avidguru from MOG Nation and the Wildcast podcast
    IncreaseBlueSammy.SamFourT2
  • RiDERiDE the WORST! Hotel CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    I used Dr Scholl's insoles last year at Disneyworld, walked 10 miles a day and wasn't in crippling pain at any point.

    I am on the lookout for some better walking shoes though, so suggestions are welcomed.

    So how about it, PAXers new and old, what are you doing to prep?

    You might consider looking into insoles, I've had great luck with the Dr Scholl's active series. Last year I walked at least 25,000 steps/day all over Disneyworld for 8 days straight but my feet never hurt thanks to those insoles. I was starting to develop foot pain thanks to low arches, too, so it was especially impressive.

    I also second the Anker chargers, mine is about the size of a roll of pennies but can almost fully charge my giant, power guzzling phone (seriously I could kill someone if I threw my phone at them).

    I'm also bringing a refillable, filtered water bottle.

    "Try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damned fool about it."
    IncreaseBlue
  • RoundtopRoundtop Pathfinder Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    My list (As a PNWer):
    • Refillable water bottle, with a caribiner or strap (Or a backpack with a good slot). that does not leak.
    • Snack bars (Cliff, etc) or Jerky.
    • Either small umbrella or light rain jacket (that can fit your backpack
    • Small backpack (It sucks to lug something massive and heavy)
    • Foldable grocery bags (The ones that come in their own pouch), with caribiners so you can clip the bags to your belt loops/backpack
    • Pen
    • Sharpie
    • Pencil
    • Eraser
    • Small board game/dice game
    • 3DS / Vita
    • Cell Phone
    • Battery pack for cell (12,000 mAh min)
    • Mints / Gum (Fresh breath is always good)
    • Notepad
    • Double-layered socks (A thin sock then a medium/thicker one over it). Prevents blisters.

    Now what to bring into town, which may change each day:
    • Sweater/Sweatshirt (You may need this)
    • Fleece vest (Unlikely, but if you are from a hot place, you will need this)
    • Rain jacket (If it is raining a lot and you are going to be outside a bunch, use this instead of the umbrella)

    anettie76kropotkinIncreaseBlue
  • ScunosiScunosi WashingtonRegistered User regular
    I think this may have been posted already in the FAQ but it bears posting here. Besides what's been listed I always bring an old lanyard (typically swag from a past event) that has a more secure clip for my passes. Usually the ones they give you going in have very basic clips and there were some badge-grabbing incidents a couple years ago. After that returners got smarter about badge safety so now it's good to either have a lanyard with something like a carabineer or loop your lanyard over itself for safety.

    Also spare shoes are doubly important for cosplayers! Even if you're heel-trained wearing most costume shoes all day will kill you, have something to slip into once you're done with photos or at least for just walking around on the main expo floor (where walkway photos are banned anyway for space reasons).

    As for general prep, everything else I physically do's already been covered, so the next part of prep is scouting social media. If you care about parties or gatherings, start poking around here, FB, and Twitter now so you can get a bit of an itinerary going. I'm sure a lot won't start being posted 'til closer to the event since companies aren't even confirmed yet, but you won't want to miss out on something cool just because you didn't check the right sources. At the very lease I'm sure PoroPalooza will be back, and that's a party most cosplayers won't want to miss.

    kangaroobanditIncreaseBluebacon_avenger
  • jthom252jthom252 Registered User regular
    Anyone have good recommendations for jackets with lots of space? I hate having to keep a bag around and generally avoid grabbing too many things like t-shirts at the show these days. I've bought a bunch of stuff from Scottevest in the past but man it falls apart really quick and feels real damn cheap for the price. Having something good for warmish weather would be nice too.

    Alternatively, any good suggestions for a smaller backpack? I have a full-size one but that's kind of excessive and makes getting around the Expo Hall a pain.

  • wykydtronikwykydtronik Registered User new member
    One thing I would recommend is one of those tiny foldable chairs that can fit inside a backpack! ALSO FAST CHARGING USB PACKS! I've had many friends run out of battery life late at night being stuck outside the hotel.

    IncreaseBlue
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    jthom252 wrote: »
    Anyone have good recommendations for jackets with lots of space? I hate having to keep a bag around and generally avoid grabbing too many things like t-shirts at the show these days. I've bought a bunch of stuff from Scottevest in the past but man it falls apart really quick and feels real damn cheap for the price. Having something good for warmish weather would be nice too.

    Alternatively, any good suggestions for a smaller backpack? I have a full-size one but that's kind of excessive and makes getting around the Expo Hall a pain.

    I personally use a canvas messenger bag and it serves all my needs throughout the convention. The canvas protects and has a lot of give for stuffing it with purchases, plus it's easy to pull on and off or maneuver for lines. I do also see a lot of folks using the smaller sling style of backpacks that have a slim form factor but can carry quite a bit. Hope that helps!

  • PunkJrPunkJr Decepticon Infiltrator Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Here's a quick tip to help avoid con crud: Don't touch the escalator hand rails.

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    PunkJr
    Pirate, Stormtrooper, Decepticon
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  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    PunkJr wrote: »
    Here's a quick tip to help avoid con crud: Don't touch the escalator hand rails.
    Extended advice:
    • Don't touch your face.
    • Wash your hands before you eat.
    • Wash your hands after touching any gaming hardware.
    • Don't lay on the beanbags. They look comfy but a weekend of people sleeping on them is asking for germs.

    FourT2botanic-antics
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