*This article continues from a previous article. If you would like to read part one of this article, please click here!
It’s about time to start packing or at least making some final plans on that front. Of course, I’m not talking about packing up your clothes and the like, but somewhere around 1-2 weeks out it’s best to have your miscellaneous type stuff all but 100% accounted for. This includes costume stuff, kitchen-type things that the hotel doesn’t provide (think bottle openers, corkscrews, etc.), and any other item you can think of that you might possibly need. Of course, you’ll be taking some food with you (right?) but it’s not really a good idea to pack that kind of stuff yet unless it’s non-perishable things like peanut butter, small canned goods, drink mixers, or snack chips.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “You want me to pack all of this stuff? Where? My suitcase?” No, silly. I want you to pack it in your Con-Box. Wait. We haven’t talked about that yet? Well, now is as good of a time as any. (article continues after cut…)
The Con-Box may be the single most important piece of equipment any self-respecting Con Slut will have. It’s kind of like the much heralded towel in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s that important.
Your Con-Box should be some sort of hard, plastic (or even rubber type) box with a locking lid. The one I’ve used for somewhere around 7 or 8 cons is 18″ in length, 14″ wide and 9″ tall. So far, it has carried all of the miscellaneous things I’ve needed to carry with me to a convention including things like bread, snacks, small costume parts, plastic silverware, paper plates, paper towels, and all manner of other stuff. Now granted, this is only really practical if you are traveling by car or if you have your own collapsible, rolling cart kind of thing to wheel luggage around on. But you get the point. Either way, the Con-Box is great because with the exception of food type items, you basically never have to unpack the thing and its there, ready to go to con at the drop of a hat!
Here are a few things I think every Con-Box should contain:
- Batteries (at least a couple of all the major ones)
- Disposable silverware, plates, straws, etc.
- 32oz or 44oz opaque, insulated cup w/ lid (we’ll talk more about this later)
- Bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
- A few garbage bags
- Drink Shaker (with measurement lines)
- A few burned CD’s full of music
- Small umbrella
- First Aid Kit (seriously)
- Generic medicines for headaches, stomach problems, colds, immune boosters
- Wet wipes
Got all that? Good.
One other essential item that you’ll want to make sure you have is some sort of small bag or backpack to carry with you at the convention itself. It doesn’t necessarily have to stay in your Con-Box, but it is necessary to take with you. As you walk around during the day, you’re bound to pick up all manner of things from samples, handbills, and party invites to whatever merchandise you’ve purchased or a bottle of water. It’s always good to have a bottle of water (or rum) or two with you. Another thing that’s essential to have on you at all times is a small pad of paper (or notebook) and a few pens. You’ll find that you always need to write something down. It just makes everything easier if you have somewhere to put all this stuff.
Scott “Scooter” McGowan