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A PAX East Packing Guide!

LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse WWHRD?Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
edited March 2018 in PAX East
Hi everyone,

I tend to make this list every year, and with the event fast approaching, I figured I may as well do it again! This is my general packing guide for PAX, based on my own personal experiences. Your own may vary, and feel free to comment with any additions that may come to mind

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)
  • 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
  • A pen
  • 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)

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- for underwear, at least one pair for every day of the con, plus an extra.)
  • 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/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: credits cards fail. Connections get lost. Cash will always work.
  • Occasionally a laptop for hotel use, or a tablet
  • A collapsible empty bag. If you pick up swag, you may not have enough room in your luggage. When I hit prime last year, 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
  • 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 2. 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

Boston/East Specifics:
  • Dress in layers! It's early April this year, and the weather's been unpredictable. Generally speaking, I recommend: T-shirt (or long-sleeved shirt), hoodie and light jacket are recommended for outdoors. The advantage of layers is that each one is not super bulky if you want to toss it in your bag.
  • Bring a toque/beanie/watchap and gloves- it can still get a bit nippy at night and these can make things much more comfortable.
  • Footwear- you don't need big clunky boots, but if it's wet/snowy/slushy outside? Don't wear fabric sneakers like Chuck Taylors or Vans. They'll soak through and you'll be miserable. you can do fine with standard sneakers or hikers or whatnot, just so long as they're not mainly cloth/canvas.
  • Pack an extra pair of socks in your bag- if the worst happens and you get wet socks, you don't want to have wet, squidgey feet all day. Spare socks helps with this!

I hope this helps the lot of you for the event!

My pin lanyard
PSN: L00nyEclip
Steam: Loony Eclipse
Twitter: @Loonyeclipse

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LoonyEclipse on
WuShocksdowMephistoN7KrepoortRenegadeTKdrakuldragon

Posts

  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    For those who don't want to go through the hassle of a poster tube, I would suggest rubber bands. I don't go to PAX looking for posters, but if one should come my way that I can't live without it's always good to be prepared. Some vendors offer rubber bands, but most don't. Like most things in life, it's better to have and not need than need and not have.

    The only extras I have for the show itself aside from your perfectly thorough list are various sharpies for the unexpected signature. I tend to favor both a fine tip black sharpie as well as a silver sharpie, as those tend to offer more control and are easier to see. Colored ones are fine if you know the source material you're having signed won't interfere.

    erdub14zr3u2.png

    kevenkwang
  • QuantumShaddowQuantumShaddow Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Not new to Pax by any means, but one of my portable batteries seems to be struggling to keep a charge now. Looking for suggestions for longer-lasting, higher mAh, not super bulky ones (that also aren’t a fortune). Heard Anker is good but never used them. Any suggestions?

    For reference, looking to bring my phone and my Switch this year - always bring my 3DS charger anyway.

    QuantumShaddow on
    3DS FC: 4441-8382-3645
    Switch: SW-7634-0399-6788

    QGqFhNv.png
    kevenkwang
  • kevenkwangkevenkwang Registered User new member
    Not new to Pax by any means, but one of my portable batteries seems to be struggling to keep a charge now. Looking for suggestions for longer-lasting, higher mAh, not super bulky ones (that also aren’t a fortune). Heard Anker is good but never used them. Any suggestions?

    For reference, looking to bring my phone and my Switch this year - always bring my 3DS charger anyway.

    Ankers and RAVpower portable batteries i've never had an issue with. Just got a Jackery battery with type-c output for the rapid charge on my Pixel 2 and Switch :]

  • JailbirdyJailbirdy OhioRegistered User regular
    kevenkwang wrote: »
    Not new to Pax by any means, but one of my portable batteries seems to be struggling to keep a charge now. Looking for suggestions for longer-lasting, higher mAh, not super bulky ones (that also aren’t a fortune). Heard Anker is good but never used them. Any suggestions?

    For reference, looking to bring my phone and my Switch this year - always bring my 3DS charger anyway.

    Ankers and RAVpower portable batteries i've never had an issue with. Just got a Jackery battery with type-c output for the rapid charge on my Pixel 2 and Switch :]

    Jackery works great for me

    Gamechefs LTD
    GT: Jailbirdy
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    My Switch loves Jackery and Ankers. Gives them a nice loving hug.

    I personally will have my Jackery charger with me for the Switch and tablet. It's proven to be very versatile.

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  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    I have a Jackery Thunder X. Had it for a year now. So far no issues.

    Got it on Amazon. They are only $20 right now. Was $40 when I got it a year ago :(

    But Anker and Jackery are great names in portable power. Just read comments and do a bit of research.

    I did have an issue with my Jackery though. It would not charge anything. I contacted them and had to send it back to Amazon and order a new one. Their Support was great though and gave me a 10% discount code to reorder a new one.

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  • sigma8sigma8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Not new to Pax by any means, but one of my portable batteries seems to be struggling to keep a charge now. Looking for suggestions for longer-lasting, higher mAh, not super bulky ones (that also aren’t a fortune). Heard Anker is good but never used them. Any suggestions?

    For reference, looking to bring my phone and my Switch this year - always bring my 3DS charger anyway.

    I generally trust the recommendations from Wirecutter.. Here's their article on USB-C power banks.
    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-usb-c-battery-packs-and-power-banks/

    I also need a new power bank. My current "big" one is very flaky (has two ports and the "fast" one seems busted--was also a former Wirecutter recommendation, fwiw...years ago, tho), and doesn't have native USB-C. Wirecutter's $30 pick seems pretty portable and nice...it'd be nice if it fit inside my Switch case with my Switch (it's possible). Their upgrade pick is pretty impressive, in with both PD (power delivery) charging and capacity.. However, it's a both expensive and weighs over a pound (1.27lbs according to description on Amazon). They also have a "PowerCore Speed 20000 PD", which I found in their little Anker "own-brand comparison" chart, which is .8 lbs and 6000mah less...but still has USB PD. Still pricey at $80.

    I think I read the big battery will give you around 20+ hours of playtime on the Switch. Crazy. But it's neither small nor cheap...I'm still undecided.

    sigma8 on
  • BigDumbHippyBigDumbHippy Registered User regular
    Can anyone recommend some good socks for standing all day?

  • starNOstarstarNOstar Buffalo, NYRegistered User regular
    Can anyone recommend some good socks for standing all day?

    Nike Dry Fit - specifically the ones with the bottom cushion. They've been my favorite for years

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    BigDumbHippy
  • QuantumShaddowQuantumShaddow Registered User regular
    Sepioth wrote: »
    I have a Jackery Thunder X. Had it for a year now. So far no issues.

    Got it on Amazon. They are only $20 right now. Was $40 when I got it a year ago :(

    But Anker and Jackery are great names in portable power. Just read comments and do a bit of research.

    I did have an issue with my Jackery though. It would not charge anything. I contacted them and had to send it back to Amazon and order a new one. Their Support was great though and gave me a 10% discount code to reorder a new one.

    Did you buy a new USB C for it or do you use the one for the Switch’s wall charger?

    3DS FC: 4441-8382-3645
    Switch: SW-7634-0399-6788

    QGqFhNv.png
  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    To charge the Jackery itself you use a Micro USB cable.

    At least he one I got.

    4gzp0ml63v5i.png
  • QuantumShaddowQuantumShaddow Registered User regular
    Sepioth wrote: »
    To charge the Jackery itself you use a Micro USB cable.

    At least he one I got.

    No, I meant if I were to plug my Switch in to charge it using the Jackery (or any), would I need to buy a new USB-C to do that or could i just use the one that came with the Switch for the wall adapter when it’s docked?

    3DS FC: 4441-8382-3645
    Switch: SW-7634-0399-6788

    QGqFhNv.png
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    Sepioth wrote: »
    To charge the Jackery itself you use a Micro USB cable.

    At least he one I got.

    No, I meant if I were to plug my Switch in to charge it using the Jackery (or any), would I need to buy a new USB-C to do that or could i just use the one that came with the Switch for the wall adapter when it’s docked?

    I bought a new one and it worked fine. No difference between that and the wall plug pack in.

    I did bring the dock to charge it at the hotel overnight, though.

    erdub14zr3u2.png

  • SatoruSatoru Registered User regular
    Water bottle is a great idea

    Note that there are TONS of water fountains everywhere. Also the main theatre and every meeting room has a water cooler/bubbler in it. Don't pay for water like a chump! There's tons of free water literally everywhere!

    ishtra
  • Jer1ch0Jer1ch0 Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Satoru wrote: »
    Water bottle is a great idea

    Note that there are TONS of water fountains everywhere. Also the main theatre and every meeting room has a water cooler/bubbler in it. Don't pay for water like a chump! There's tons of free water literally everywhere!

    This +1 - purchased water in plastic bottles drive me bonkers from a waste perspective. Water is crazy easy to find - bring a good reusable bottle and you are set - Hydration is key on the long days at PAX East...

    Jer1ch0 on
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    ironysparkles
  • sigma8sigma8 Registered User regular
    Can anyone recommend some good socks for standing all day?

    If you're concerned about comfort, it's in the shoes. Great socks in bad shoes will still hurt your feet. If your concerned about odor, get the most breathable socks and pair them with the most breathable, well-ventilated sneakers.

    BigDumbHippy
  • BigDumbHippyBigDumbHippy Registered User regular
    sigma8 wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend some good socks for standing all day?

    If you're concerned about comfort, it's in the shoes. Great socks in bad shoes will still hurt your feet. If your concerned about odor, get the most breathable socks and pair them with the most breathable, well-ventilated sneakers.

    I have nice shoes, but a little extra padding never hurt

  • ironysparklesironysparkles Lowell, MARegistered User regular
    Not new to Pax by any means, but one of my portable batteries seems to be struggling to keep a charge now. Looking for suggestions for longer-lasting, higher mAh, not super bulky ones (that also aren’t a fortune). Heard Anker is good but never used them. Any suggestions?

    For reference, looking to bring my phone and my Switch this year - always bring my 3DS charger anyway.

    I literally just placed an order for this Anker 10k mAh power bank - I'm only using it for my phone. The size was a huge selling point for me, since I have a small pouch on my bag that I think will be perfect for a charger. And it's on sale.

    Husband has a Honeycomb one he got from Walmart a few years ago and it's still going strong. But it doesn't look like Walmart carries that brand in anything higher than 7500mAh.

    UyhWici.png
  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Sepioth wrote: »
    To charge the Jackery itself you use a Micro USB cable.

    At least he one I got.

    No, I meant if I were to plug my Switch in to charge it using the Jackery (or any), would I need to buy a new USB-C to do that or could i just use the one that came with the Switch for the wall adapter when it’s docked?

    You need to buy a new one as the one that comes with the Switch is not a USB cable. It is a wall plug with a USB-C end on it.

    I used the one that came with my Samsung Galaxy 8+ :)

    4gzp0ml63v5i.png
  • sigma8sigma8 Registered User regular
    sigma8 wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend some good socks for standing all day?

    If you're concerned about comfort, it's in the shoes. Great socks in bad shoes will still hurt your feet. If your concerned about odor, get the most breathable socks and pair them with the most breathable, well-ventilated sneakers.

    I have nice shoes, but a little extra padding never hurt

    Actually, maybe instead of tweaking your sock configuration, maybe look into getting some memory foam or gel sole inserts?

    BigDumbHippy
  • GanimanGaniman Registered User new member
    edited April 2018
    I am legitimately considering picking up surgical masks for the people I'm going with to avoid picking up con crud. Might be something to add to your list.

    Ganiman on
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  • nycguynycguy Registered User regular
    would it be weird to walk around with masks? i can prob grab some from my work...

  • starNOstarstarNOstar Buffalo, NYRegistered User regular
    nycguy wrote: »
    would it be weird to walk around with masks? i can prob grab some from my work...

    You can just cosplay Trauma Center. Boom, not weird.

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  • nycguynycguy Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    lmao but that means i would need to get anime hair with bangs, big glasses and the like...too much work.

    nycguy on
  • LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse WWHRD? Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    Ganiman wrote: »
    I am legitimately considering picking up surgical masks for the people I'm going with to avoid picking up con crud. Might be something to add to your list.

    Don't people wear surgical masks typically to prevent it from SPREADING, not to keep from getting it? It's a courtesy thing (since you typically don't breathe in con crud, you get it from touching something someone else has coughed or sneezed on)

    My pin lanyard
    PSN: L00nyEclip
    Steam: Loony Eclipse
    Twitter: @Loonyeclipse

    8hQBw4O.png
  • nycguynycguy Registered User regular
    Ganiman wrote: »
    I am legitimately considering picking up surgical masks for the people I'm going with to avoid picking up con crud. Might be something to add to your list.

    Don't people wear surgical masks typically to prevent it from SPREADING, not to keep from getting it? It's a courtesy thing (since you typically don't breathe in con crud, you get it from touching something someone else has coughed or sneezed on)

    Not completely true actually. Many patients in a hospital setting wear masks to prevent themselves from breathing in particulates and other bugs that may be flying about. Several years ago in Asia there was an Avian Flu outbreak and the best method of prevention was wearing a mask to avoid any respiratory bugs. Given the dearth of detail regarding Pax pox it doesn't seem like a bad idea to bring masks...it's just that I hate getting side eye from looky-loos and furthermore it's kinda uncomfortable wearing a mask as it gets hot and moist.

  • DominoDomino Keizen Mikazuki New York, NYRegistered User regular
    Also interesting to state, surgical masks have a fashion to them in Japan. I have some Pokemon ones I got at Skytree lol, my friend has black cat masks from ドンキホーテ that he wears to raves and clubs. Fun stuff.

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