2014 Tip of the Day #18: Comic-Con Survival Kit

Imagine if you were suddenly caught in the middle of a zombie outbreak! Would you be prepared? Would you have everything you need to survive? Comic-Con is a much happier place than a zombie apocalypse but it can still be pretty stressful if you are caught unprepared. If you have never been to Comic-Con before, you will be shocked to discover how much time is spent either waiting in lines or sitting through panels. As a result, you won’t necessarily have the freedom to buy needed supplies- especially if you are alone that day. Once you pick the right bag, it’s even more important that you fill it with the right supplies. Here are some suggested items you should pack (I’ll be doing an even more comprehensive list later).

Poster Tube
3123CSqebtLAt Comic-Con, a lot of the swag are posters of all different sizes. If you don’t have a poster tube, they will just get crushed by the end of the day. Tubes are also great for larger autograph sheets and artist work. They come in full and half sizes. There are usually a few vendors that sell them at the Con as well but will be higher priced.

Cardboard Sleeve
If you know you won’t want posters, then settle for a cardboard sleeve. You can create one by stapling/taping together two sheets of 9″ x 12” cardboard. Now you can slide comics or autograph sheets inside.

Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
Keeping the germs away will help stop the spread of the zombie virus.

Band-aids or Moleskin Tape
0009226506013_500X500After a few days, even your most comfortable shoes will give you blisters. So it’s always good to have band-aids on hand. Better yet, use Moleskin Tape- it sticks better and provides more protection against rubbing. If you are cosplaying in boots or something similar, this is a must.

You never know when an autograph opportunity will present itself. So always have a black AND silver sharpie in an accessible pocket on your bag. Plus, always have a first option for an autograph so you are not fumbling for a scrap sheet of paper.

Leak proof water bottle
vapur-element-water-bottle-660Staying hydrated is a must during the show- especially if you are outside. However, using basic water bottles are not a good option. Besides the fact that they lose their coolness, they are also prone to leaking is squeezed. The best option is a water bladder type bottle that can morph within your bag. They also won’t crush anything.

After a long day of standing or shuffling, you will be amazed with the amount of pain you will have in your legs, lower back, and shoulders. Ibuprofen is a good way to not only keep the pain down but the swelling too.

Fruits, nuts, peanut butter, granola bars, jerky, etc, you get it. Stay away from 5 Hour Energy, high sugars,  etc.

Light Hoodie
Some of the programming rooms can get chilly- especially Hall H. A light, long sleeve shirt that has a hoodie on it is the perfect item for both indoor and out in the sun. You can also tie it around your waste so not to take up valuable space in your bag.

Extra Power
41lZN+wnA7L._SY300_I feel like I harp on this all the time but make sure you have adequate power with you. You may not need it but you may end up saving someone else by allowing them to power up. Two power packs have done me well in the past. You can now get them as cheap as $20 at Best Buy or Amazon.

Business Cards
I already wrote about this extensively in my previous post so make sure you have plenty of cards on hand just in case. Even if you don’t have time to get some ordered, you can always get some turned around at Kinkos in a couple of days. Remember, ‘luck’ is when opportunity meets preparedness.

There is my suggestion of what you should be packing in your Comic-Con Survival Kit. I know I didn’t catch everything so let me know what has worked for you in the past by commenting below! See ya in 16 days!


14 thoughts on “2014 Tip of the Day #18: Comic-Con Survival Kit

    • Yes these chairs are AWESOME! One year, The Ringer tv show, gave out these chairs. It was the most useful swag of the Con! Thanks for the link and for commenting!

    • This was the first thing I thought of. First year I went my feet paid the price. (worth it though) Last year my wife and I had these and they are awesome. They don’t cost too much either and don’t take up too much bag space.

  1. Additional items:
    – Gum and/or mints. It can be a long while between brushes.
    – Extra power (for you) — stuff a protein bar or two in your gear bag. Or even just a granola bar.
    – One or two rigid plastic photo toploaders (to protect smaller-than-poster-sized prints)
    – Book or game (something to pass time while in line … so you don’t squeeze all the power out of your phone)

  2. Great suggestions by C4C! Here’s some more!

    Mint: This is not a joke. You will find yourself mixing it up with other con goers in line for Hall H or someone in the exhibit hall. You will meet new people and you will meet friends. Unfortunately, coming off a quick lunch break or your morning coffee will not do wonders for your breath and you do not want to leave the impression with a new friend that you have problems with dental hygiene. Gets some mints. It will save your life.

    Flip-Flops or your favorite open toe shoes: I carry a pair of flip-flops in my backpack. In the exhibit hall, I wear sneakers as the crowds will get insane and your ties are always in danger of being stepped on or being roll over by a stroller. Also, all the walking and the crowds will make your feet like it’s burning up. So when your in line for Hall H or at lunch/ dinner at Gas Lamp, why not take off the sneakers and socks and let your dogs breath a little. This is Southern California. It’s totally acceptable to wear done sandals at Morton’s of Chicago!

    • Good advice- especially about the sandals. Your feet can get eaten up on the showroom floor so swapping out is brilliant! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Excellent suggestions. Business cards: I recently opened a bio page with about(dot)me(dot)com and as soon as your page is done you can click through on your profile page to the moo(dot)com page, where your bio details create a lovely business card with your photo and contact details on one side and whatever artwork/photo you’ve uploaded on the other side. The first set of 50 cards is free, but you just pay the delivery charge, which in dollars probably works out to $4 or $5. The cards come in a sturdy little box with a tiny “filing system” or dividers, keeping your own cards separate from those you collect on the day. The quality is really good – and the delivery was very fast. I usually don’t recommend products, but this one really impressed me and, hey, it’s free!

  4. Not just hand sanitizer wipes but, baby wipes are a godsend. Take some with you to the restroom and give yourself a thorough washing over. Add that with a clean pair of socks after 7 pm and you can keep going…

  5. Elastic bands for posters in case you’re waiting till the last day to get your yearly poster tube from the Fox booth.
    They also come handy if you have a bad hair day and take almost zero space.

    • Yes but you don’t want to navigate the floor with a roller if you can avoid it- unless you are just dropping something off.

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