Her Cape Guide to SDCC: #95- Essential items for your backpack


SDCC 2016, Photo: Sarabeth Pollock

Her Cape 100 Things to Know About SDCC continues with #95: Items you can’t live without at SDCC. We break down what you need to carry with you at all times.

It’s never too early to think about packing for San Diego Comic Con, and now is the time to think about all of the items you have to put in your SDCC backpack because you need them with you at all times.

Sometimes being at SDCC feels like you’re on a private island, secluded from the rest of civilization. If you forget an item, it’s going to be a trek to retrieve it even if your hotel room is nearby. You’ll have to navigate big crowds and road closures to get there, which will take up lots of precious con time. So here are the items you should have with you at all times:

  • Battery chargers and power cords: There are precious few power outlets in the San Diego Convention Center, and the thousands of people using their phones will slow your phone down, draining the battery. Be sure to pack plenty of portable cell phone chargers. I usually have three with me, just in case. (Also, be sure to charge them at night…they’re no use if they aren’t charged) If you need a cord to connect a camera or laptop to a power source, be sure it’s in your bag, too.
  • Water: Yes, there is water available for purchase inside the Convention Center, but buying water can be costly. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up throughout the day.
  • Snacks and food: Again, food is available for purchase, both inside and outside the Convention Center. Consider, however, that you won’t be the only hungry person there and lines will get long. Save yourself some time and bring some snacks to munch on.
  • Light jacket: Air conditioning will be blasting inside the panel rooms. Don’t get chilled, and don’t be left in the cold after the sun goes down. It gets cold next to the water.
  • Sunscreen, eye drops, chapstick, Advil: If you think you’ll be outside at all, bring sunscreen. If you wear contact lenses, your tired eyes will appreciate eye drops by the end of the day. Air conditioning will dry out your lips, too, so bring chapstick. And by Saturday your feet will be sore, so Advil is a must.
  • Money: This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to get some cash before hitting the Exhibit Hall floor. You don’t want to be hit with ATM fees, and not all vendors accept credit cards. (I was at a convention once where the internet was wonky, so vendors trying to use their credit card apps weren’t able to connect to the wi-fi, which meant they couldn’t sell anything unless you had cash) Vendors appreciate cash, but be sure to break your $20s so as to not pay for a $3 item with a $20 bill.
  • A bag to hold your stuff: If you plan to buy stuff, be sure to bring a bag that works for your purchases. Bring a portfolio or a poster tube if you plan to buy prints, bring a big bag for large items. Not all vendors will have bags for what you’re buying, and you don’t want your precious treasures to be damaged.

These are the basic items to have in your backpack. Like having a #2 pencil on test day, having a good experience at SDCC means being prepared for everything.

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