What to pack for GenCon 2016
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Posted by corpboy73

This will be my Wife and i's first ever Gencon toether an subsequently ,our second Honeymoon. :)

I was a veteran of the old MECCA days in wisconsin,but grew to love Indianapolis as the new home.

Since my Wife is disabled, and we will be packing things to keep her comforted during the 4day of insane gaming,I was curious as to what may of you will be packing to survive "The Best Four Days Of Gaming "?

I had ,one year , toted about MRE's for small snacks during the games, but again, im curious how you would pack your things for a great time!

Any special restauraunts you will visit? any peronal gaming gear to keep on hand? any good luck charms?

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Posted by divachelle

We always try to hit Scotty's at some point, but aren't so much all about the restaurant experiences, really. Might try the Irish pub this year. Subway is always a hit with us - it's cheap and quick, and we know that we'll like it.  

Survival gear for us includes lots of water (we basically fill our insulated water bottles with ice and add water all day from the water stations at the con), lots of snacks (baby carrots, fresh fruit, granola and/or protein bars, nuts, snack pack puddings - because we get cranky when we're hungry and nobody likes a cranky gamer), phone and charger, the map, event list, a notebook and writing utensil, some Motrin,  ID, credit card and some cash for emergencies. I always stash  a folded up cloth bag in with my gear in case we don't get one with our purchases. 

We bring groceries along and pack a simple lunch every day to cut down on costs, and have been fortunate to be able to reserve a room with a mini fridge. 

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Posted by daleeburg

Last year I packed homemade beef jerky and fruit leathers. Great snacks for being able to shift meals around by a few hours.  Both can be eaten on the run and will not make fingers sticky. I might throw a protein bar or two in this year just in case I need to skip a meal or really stretch it. Saturday food trucks are extremely hectic and it may be nice to avoid them. 

I also packed powdered Gatorade mix and a water bottle. There are plenty of water stations all around the hall, but the Gatorade is a nice add on so that you don't just drink water all weekend.  Hydration is a constant battle when you are running around and not really thinking about it, so I figure the electrolytes can't hurt even if the sugar isn't great for you. I normally used 1-2 packets a day and would often split them with people. 

Past that I worked off a phone pretty exclusively. I shared an Evernote with the people I was traveling with containing a map and all our scheduled events. I also put all my events, including location information, into my phone calendar. Needless to say, I kept a phone charger with me, but never ended up needing it.

Also, have a bag!  The Gencon swag bag satchel worked great last year. I am thinking about either bringing the one from last year or buying an actual satchel. It turned out to be so convenient I would not want to gamble on them having them this year. 

I am not really expecting to change much this year in the packing department. I have done a number of conventions and festivals in the past, so I kind of knew what to expect. Also I hate carrying more then I need to. This has bit me in the butt once or twice, but I always carry a wallet that can fix a number of issues. 

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Posted by trace_sl

Something I do is bring cloth shopping bags to place goods I buy in. 

You do not need to bring every game you own, you will not be needing them.

Business cards with your email / facebook / etc on it so you can pass them out to anyone you wish to keep in contact with. 

Waterbottle - keep hydrated, best way to keep con crud away.

Start taking something like Airborne on the trip, best way to keep con crud away.

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Posted by remnant corpboy73

corpboy73 wrote:
This will be my Wife and i's first ever Gencon toether an subsequently ,our second Honeymoon. :)
I was a veteran of the old MECCA days in wisconsin,but grew to love Indianapolis as the new home.
Since my Wife is disabled, and we will be packing things to keep her comforted during the 4day of insane gaming,I was curious as to what may of you will be packing to survive "The Best Four Days Of Gaming "?
I had ,one year , toted about MRE's for small snacks during the games, but again, im curious how you would pack your things for a great time!
Any special restauraunts you will visit? any peronal gaming gear to keep on hand? any good luck charms?
 
I guess Congrats, on the second Honeymoon (hope she likes gaming).  MRE's are by design made to give you calories and for a lot of people "stop you up".  I've don't dried fruit, jerky, nuts/trail mix, crackers and cheese, during games where I wanted something light.  I do a lot of bottle water with powdered flavoring and iced coffees between afternoon games when I'm sluggish and have time to wait in line.  As for food I don't know what you guys like to eat, I'd check yelp and from what I read from Keeper on the old forums before the cut over there sounds like a few more downtown restuarants are going to be popping up downtown.  Plus food trucks last year for me was hit or miss.

For gear I would say a waterbottle and if you know you're going to get blisters from walking bring the medical supplies to deal with it on the spot and for the long haul if you get one say Wednesday.

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Posted by corpboy73 remnant

remnant wrote:
corpboy73 wrote:"Thank  you for the interestig ideas.. My wife is ideed a gamer and has never been to GenCon before.. We will be using her scooter to carry aroud a few thing and im making up a backpack for her to carry on the seat . i usually carry my own"SurvivalGear" during the con(mostly meds, a few energy drinks for late nights ,pens,dce,pencilsi a case and a small supply of snacks(mostlylow carb or sugar free snacks due to diabetes. On the rare occasio i carry a second "Swag Bag" i the backpack incae it gets filled up with the insane amount of flyer,trinkets and exhibit hall deals i know i will accumulate. (dang it GenCon..Here take my money!)

Does any one know if a retauraut/bar/grill that had this huge hamburger called the "Sword in the stone" still exists? i cannot remember its name..
And thak you all for the ideas..illput them to good use this year . :)

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Posted by bpunkert

This is my first GenCon and I've consulted with my veteran tour guides. I have to fly in (Canada) so I will stick with my "what's in my rucksack" day list:

- Water + Tetley Infusions (I detest Gatorade, sorry, and i can't drink stuff with Asparatame, which eliminates 90% of the flavoring agents)
- Granola bars and possibly protein bars and (if I can find them) an apple or something
- gum or cough drops or both
- extra hand sanitizer (no con crud)
- duo tang with my AL information and my drafted DFRPG character
- laptop (PDFs of books)
- first aid kit (pain killers, anti inflammatories, band aids, spray polysporin, sithmecone)
- sewing kit (needles, thread, safety pins)
- 5x7 notebook with pen, pencil, eraser, sharpie and some index cards
- d20 dice and Fudge dice
- cards with name and personal email on them

ETA: Nail clippers and file
        Eyeglass cleaner and cloth
        Jaimesons Packet (multivitamin)

I wear an aluminum / carbon fiber ACL brace, so I will probably go through a lot of painkillers over the course of the weekend. This doesn't include my phone and stuff, which I have in my purse.

This is a little more stuff than I bother toting around for my local convention, but I'm also going to be gaming and it's not like I can nip home to m apartment if I need to. *lol* Also at home, I have a lot more costuming and a lot less game stuff, but lugging costume stuff over the border is something of a pain. (I will bring one, highly compressible and airplane friendly outfit for Saturday but that's it.) But the core of it is pretty similar.

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Posted by corpboy73

That souds like a good list for the back pack,minus the laptop and books..(found out the hard way in Gencon '06 not to carry too heavy a stuff,, was sidelined with a strain in back from lugging aroud soomuch weight over a long friday night) Will definately lookup the meds for pain relief since my wife and i both have back issues from surgery and all.

Any one have any name brands for good snacks? energy bars? i try to avoid the energy drinks if at all possible,but the evil that is gamig ,usually has me drinking sugar free caffinated beverages on long nights of gaming..im bad, i know....
 

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Posted by bpunkert

I personally like the NuGoSlim line of protein bars. They *are* sweetened with sugar alcohols, but they're pretty tolerable. made with real chocolate, and err on the bitter side rather than the overly sweet. For general snacking, I like the Kind line. All natural, you can get some that have decent protein levels (tthe peanut butter one and the dark chocolate nuts and sea salt and the macadamia one are all pretty good).

(Perhaps I should clarify. My laptop is a 2 lb tablet. It's not going to add that much. And the PlayBook is a Blackberry Tablet that's less than a pound. Otherwise I have to bring actual books, which are heavy.)

As for the pain relief thing, I was told by my orthopedic surgeon to take Advil and Tylenol in combination, but never on an empty stomach. (one reduces swelling, one manages pain)

I can't drink soda (makes me sick), so I go through a lot of water and coffee at cons.... *shrug*

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Posted by truelink

If you need something like a fan to sleep, I would take one with you. With hotels at maximum capacity, they may not have one available.

You may want to take some pain killers, just in case.

Expect water and drinks to be around $4 a bottle, more if it's alcoholic, so you may want to bring some. Snack bars may be helpful too, especially if you plan to schedule a lot of things back to back. (More on that later.)

I recommend bringing a canvas grocery bag if you intend to shop in the vendor hall (and you should intend to shop in the vendor hall.) Some vendors, like CoolStuffInc, will give these away as well, but better safe than sorry.

There are lots of great restaraunts, but you should check out St. Elmo Steak House. It's pricey (with steaks costing up to $50) but amazing. It's your anniversary, so treat yourself. They will make sure you have a good time.

When it comes time to schedule events in May, leave breathing room. Don't schedule any events back to back, because it can take some time to get from one place to another. Also, there are tons of things you can do without having events scheduled. My first GenCon was three years ago, and I only had one small event scheduled. Dropping into some events do cost money though, and this is done in the form of "generic tickets," which can be purchased at the main convention center entrance for $2 a piece. They are also 80% refundable (in the form of credit) at the end of the convention for any that you don't use.

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Posted by corpboy73

Thanks agai for moe Great ideas!.. i personally have a fan that has a usb connection. picked it up at wal-mart fo about $8 .00, mini fan by OceanAire*, really doe put out some good air despite its size...
Tried a new snack pack today by Oscar Meyer.. the P3 protein pack, seems like a good option for carrying around the con. Has nuts,cheese,and turkey,ham or chicken chunks.. didnt quite fill me up, but added that "chew" factor i eed to forget i was hungry .
My pine specilit mentioned i can also take 2 Advil liqui-gells and 2 Extra strength Tylenol to hit the pain on two levels ,but  to do this more than twice a day .it works well in place of my usual hydrocodone pills for back pain.
I'll check out the steak restauraut oline ad see how they review, but does ay oe have any place in mind to take that "Special someone" for a romatic night out in Indy? Looking fo a place to take my new bride too for a night out after gaming :)

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Posted by unsoundergnome

I've been going for 13 years now and am disabled and have found a few very useful things to have.  You'll want to bring a roll of toilet paper, ICC usually struggles to keep the tp stocked in all the bathrooms, especially on Saturday, although it might be better in the women's room, idk.  Taking a crap and finding there is no toilet paper is bad enough, but it's way worse when you are in a chair/scooter.  I also like to bring a small bottle of hand sanatizer.  That avoids the problem of having to use the controls/wheels to go from the stall to the sink and then washing your hands and then touching the possibly contaminated controls/wheels again after.  Lastly, I've found messanger bags easier and more managable than backpacks when in a chair/scooter.  Have fun at the con this year.

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Posted by trace_sl

Oh, foot wear, IF you get new shoes before Gen Con, be sure to give yourself time to break them in.  You want them to be confortable.  Also think about inserts for your shoes.  Socks, pick up a bag or two of ankle lenght white socks, change often, these are cheap enough to be throw away. 

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Posted by loon

I'll second the recommendation for shoes you have broken in.

Other things to carry with you:
Hydration pack (I take a 2L pack, but I'm looking for something larger)
Pen/pencil
Paper
Dice
snacks (jerky, protein bars, candy)
cash/credit cards
phone w/ charger/battery backup
Iron rations
10 foot pole
mirrror
50' rope
spell components

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Posted by corpboy73

Definately the new shoes and the water pack....how could i have frgtten the spell components though*D'oh!*.... agai , thanks for the recommendations... ill make sure to have my Bag of Holdig  properly stocked with the survival gear ... though , does anyone kow where i can get a Wand of Discout prices for the exhibit hall? :)

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Posted by roundtop

like others, very similar lists.
-I break down my dice a bit.  larger bag of dice in suitcase, but two small bags in my pack. one is polyhedral, one is all d6 (in pairs). This is so for different games you don't have to hunt dice.
-a small tape measure (metal, but the small ones that are only 24" or so) is much lighter than a big one (If you do miniature gaming)
-Screen wipe for your phone/glasses
-Charger for your phone, as well as the battery pack (You never know when a wall outlet will present itself, plus people love you for having one if they forgot theirs.
-light (weight) rations. Granola bars, dried meats/fruits/nuts are good. Fruit cups, yogurts, etc are bad. that is extra weight you are lugging around
-Compression strap.  This is a weird one, but a single nylon strap with an adjustment on it can tighten your backpack up, or strap something to it, or just hold your rulebooks together to fit easier.

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Posted by garhkal corpboy73

corpboy73 wrote:
Definately the new shoes and the water pack....how could i have frgtten the spell components though*D'oh!*.... agai , thanks for the recommendations... ill make sure to have my Bag of Holdig  properly stocked with the survival gear ... though , does anyone kow where i can get a Wand of Discout prices for the exhibit hall? :)

Not sure they make that wand of discouting prices.. BUT if they did i would love one too!

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Posted by kd8esu

Everything listed above is a must (well, maybe add in the Holy Symbol for our Divine casting friends).
On your smartphone, if you have one, the Uber, PayPal, and your Social Media apps are needed, as well as your bank's prefered way of check your account balance.  Transactions and new friends are easier to check in with these days, as long as you're set up for it.  Just don't go broke, and try to stick to a budget.

Also, and this can get overlooked with all the cosplaying, LARPing, and trying to keep as much on your as possible, but make sure your clothes are breathable.  This is the Mid-West in the middle of summer; the humidity is always subject.

Besides that, consider where you'll probably be doing.
If you'll be doing a lot of Role Playing: Dice (organized), paper, pencils, and either your laptop or the books would be needed; you never know if someone doesn't have their stuff and making allies that way is good.
If you are doing Card Games or Miniatures:  Obviously, bring your stuff.  Not just what you're going to use, but extra copies of the popular stuff in case someone forgets.
You can see where to go from here.

Finally, this is the MOST IMPORTANT:  A Good attitude.  Nothing would ruin this for you than to come in expecting a bad time.  Most people there are welcoming, especially since we already have things in common, so don't be suprised if you end up talking with Vash the Stampede about Pathfinder.

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Posted by tdb

Lots of good suggestions.  But before you start packing every "just in case" item you can think of into your bag, consider that you'll probably have to haul it several miles or more each day.  My wife and I wore pedometers last year and we logged 5-7 miles each day.  So keeping the bag light can really improve your experience. 

That doesn't mean you shouldn't have some spare things - a spare pencil or two to lend out is fine.  Having enough for the whole table is overkill.  Same with dice.  I carry more than the minimum, but not a lot more.  And not huge, heavy dice, either.  Most rulebooks are available electronically, so having these on a phone or tablet means you can carry as many as your heart desires without adding further weight (though it also means that a battery pack, charger and cords are vital). 

There are water dispensers all over the hotels and convention center, except in the dealer hall, so a simple water bottle works OK for me.  Bring some snacks, but remember you may be handling someone else's game so try to avoid greasy or sticky things.  Or grab a few napkins from a restaurant at least.

Do have basic medicines on hand (pain relievers, cough drops, pepto-bismol and immodium), along with whatever prescription meds you need.  Hand sanitizer and some kleenex (doubles as TP in an emergency) are must-haves too.

In your luggage (not your daypack) make sure you bring a full change of clothes for each day.  Gamer funk is real - don't contribute.

+1 on bringing a good attitude.  Those big crowds?  They're full of people who have a lot in common with you.  Make friends with them and have fun!

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Posted by wjpennington

I'd say don't bring your laptops, or books. an e-reader with a PDF, but the books--mainly just a hindrance for the day.
In addition to pain killers, in your room, keep some basic Tums or stomach med of your choice, in case you are trying new places. Vitamins as well.  If you can, bring a comfy pillow from home. Some hotels have crappy pillows.  If rooming with a crowd, or strangers, or with those who have very varied schedules, a sleep mask and earplugs might be a good idea. A small travel packet of wipes/ hand cleaners tucked away can be handy.

If you have a CPAP machine..do take it.

check and see if your hotel has a pool, and, if you have room, take some swimwear. A Pool dip and 15 minutes soaking in a hot tub might be the stress break you need.

For your pre-registered evetns, make a tiny condensed scheduel list with a simple nam,e, hotel and room number. Can fit in a badge holder or a clipbaord, so you aren't constantly pulling out tickets to remember what you are doing that evening. Your memory can get fuzzy with exhaustion come Saturday.

 

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