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SDCC 2016 is almost here! The HYPE is real, but the prep needs to be if you want to maximize your time at the Con of all Cons. Below I’ve included the packing list I’m personally using when packing all my gear for this year’s annual pilgrimage from TruBros HQ to SDCC. While I will cover this in the video accompanying this post, if you’re planning (or trying to) get your hands on a number of exclusives, I recommend taking an empty suitcase with you.
I always do my best to fit everything in my carry-on backpack and the smaller of my two suitcases. The reasons for this are twofold: I always keep my most important stuff (medicine, chargers, camera, etc) on me, so they go with me on the plane. Additionally, as the crew and I primarily chase exclusives while in San Diego, I’ll need the extra suitcase space for the voyage home. I’ve broken everything down by section, and below (and in my video) I’ll detail why everything is categorized where it is. There is no Con bigger than San Diego Comic-Con, Bros-be sure you’re ready!
This section is everything I carry with me on the flight. I’m sure to pack everything I cannot afford to lose with me on the flight, as well as anything which helps make me more comfortable during my actual travel time. Considering a majority of my San Diego Comic-Con excursions are spent waiting in line, being comfortable is always a priority for me. If there’s something little which makes you comfortable (such as the travel-sized bottles of Texas Vodka I’m always sure to pack-omitted from this list!) I recommend tossing it in your bag if it doesn’t take up too much space. While the weather in California during the day doesn’t warrant a hoodie, if you’re lining up before the sun rises it can be surprisingly chilly. Besides-hoodies are great blankets if you’re sleeping outside!
If you’ve read my ConLife Packing List post you’ll be familiar with everything contained in this group. While the extra duffel bag can be utilized to cart stuff around during the actual convention, more often than not if you purchase something you’ll be provided with an over sized bag. Additionally, large bags tend to be handed out like candy during the actual convention, so packing one may be overkill-but your Bro likes being prepared. Ditto for the poster tubes and bubble-wrap-if you aren’t overly concerned with securing exclusives, feel free to clear up the space in your suitcase by crossing these guys off.
Many of the items contained in this group are what I use to maximize the limited space afforded by my temporary San Diego residence during the convention. Items such as trash bags (to store my dirty clothes), portable surge protectors (specifically ones with multiple outlets and USB charging ports), luggage locks (to ensure your valuables are locked up when you’re away) and ziplock bags (always useful-you’d be surprised) can help you stay organized during your limited time actually away from the hustle and bustle of both SDCC and the Gaslamp District. Plus, if you’re trying to ensure you’re energized and relatively “healthy” during your ConLife excursions, I always recommend packing a vast array of healthy snacks which won’t make you feel stuffed and worn down. If you’re feeling that way, you won’t be able to walk “briskly” across the convention center floor at open!
I have one bag designated for toiletries and first-aid, and I try to utilize this limited space as efficiently as possible. I always fill up multiple travel-sized reusable bottles with shampoo, aftershave, body wash and sunscreen in order to save space. I also pack an assortment of medicine such as various pain relievers, benadryl, aloe-vera and ointment because on the off chance any of these are needed (and you’d be surprised how quickly your body gets achy when you’re literally just waiting) they’ll be readily available.
The weather in San Diego is bright and sunny during SDCC (most of the time) so feel free to leave your sweaters at home. Other than the trusty hoodie, I pack no additional outwear. T-shirts and tanks double as both sleep and workout wear, and when you’re working with limited space it’s always ideal to pack things which can serve multiple uses. Whether your wear hats or not, I recommend packing one for SDCC-although most SDCC events are contained in the Gaslamp District and can be walked to, the sheer mass of people descending upon the area means a five minute walk can easily turn into a 15-20 minute trek. Having the sun beat down on you is never fun.
Depending on the number of travel arrangements you need to make to attend SDCC, you may have a rather robust itinerary. While more often than not you can access all of these items on your phone, some items (SUCH AS THE BADGE and a parking pass) need to be physically present. I tend to print everything out, toss it into a single folder and keep it with me in my carry-on bag.
This list is comprehensive for me, but if you find some items superfluous by all means omit them. Your packing space is limited, and I realize my prep style tends to fall on the side of being very prepared. Additionally, if you’ve the room for luxuries (such as small folding chairs or pillows) since you aren’t focused on chasing exclusives, I definitely recommend packing them. As I mentioned-comfort and convenience are at a premium during SDCC, so anything you can do to prep ahead of time only benefits you. The countdown is on, Bros-I’ll see y’all in lines at SDCC!