This past week has mostly been occupied with prepping for and attending PAX East.
Now for your weekly (cough) dose of content, here’s how I packed my backpack for the con. I wanted to make sure I had options for gaming with my friends, supplies, and a way to carry a coat so we wouldn’t get anchored to a table watching our stuff.
Here’s the main compartment.
It’s filled with the game organizer, some snacks, my wizard hat and safety goggles (which I kinda ditched after the first day), writing utensils, spare loot bag, name tags, sanitizing wipes, and snacks. The big plastic bag in the middle is one of those vacuum storage bags. The bag allowed me to stuff my puffy longcoat into it, then squeeze the air out to reduce weight and volume and store it in the backpack.
Here’s my first iteration of the contents in the organizer that came with the backpack. I packed it with tokens and dice for magic, tokens and pawns for D&D and other tabletop games, and a few small box games for waiting in line or at the hotel. Before the con I removed one of the games and some of the tokens, as I realized that the pack was getting heavy.
The side pockets were packed with snacks, meal bars, and water that I had shipped to the hotel ahead of the con. I didn’t feel like having to leave lines, games, or whatever else to go get food if I didn’t have to.
The top little pouch held my earbuds and chargers. The battery packs were in the laptop compartment (not shown).
The upper compartment held the magic decks, RPG dice, dice tray, character coins, business cards, and some other odds and ends.
All in all, this backpack worked really well for this con.
But it felt heavy for someone not used to wearing a loaded pack for long durations. My shoulders are still sore from it! The upside is that I had fewer circumstances where I felt the need to ask someone to watch my stuff, I was able to keep it all with me and move more comfortably. Next time I might bring the optional belt, to distribute the load onto my hips rather than my shoulders. Also, I did try to pare down the contents as the con went on, tailoring them to what the group was likely to do that day.
Still, I could tell we were all much more experienced at attending cons than the first time we went! Things went much more smoothly this time, we were able to move more freely, and we were able to participate in pretty much everything we had planned to. It gets better every time.