What (and how) you carry into PAX with you can have a big impact on how enjoyable your day is and how comfortable you are by the time you leave. Much like what to pack and what to put on your schedule are personal preferences, so is knowing what you need to have with you during PAX. With that in mind I wanted to share my PAX carry and the thoughts behind it.
This is perfect for carrying everything on my original list and giving me quick draw access to it all. I was able to skip the bag check line with it last year, and PAX is one of the few places I can wear it proudly.
2.PAX Badge & Lanyard
I use my own lanyard, but PAX will provide you with one in the morning. Several vendors in the Expo Hall also sell geeky/gamer lanyards, and you might even find someone giving some away.
Smartphones are a must at modern conventions. You’ll want to have the PAX app installed and my Enhanced Exhibitors List PDF downloaded (coming Monday, January 23). To help with connection issues also check out Internet Access At PAX.
Have a photo ID, and remember the drinking age in Texas is 21. If visiting from afar use your passport for drink IDs. How much cash I carry depends on my shopping plans. Cash is even more useful if shopping on Sunday, trying for last minute deals. Offering to pay cash gives you a bit of leverage when negotiating. That being said, most vendors can take cards over a Wi-Fi connection.
These are for the concerts because I’m old. These bring down the volume without compromising the actual sound, unlike regular earplugs. They look a little weird sticking out, but the concerts are dark.
7. Business Cards & Holder
Since I run this site I have business cards on me. They also work to share contact info with anyone you meet at PAX. I keep them in a slide holder which looks smooth (shut up, let me dream) and helps prevent con crud.
This is an everyday carry for me. It is far easier for me to write than unlock, open app, start new note, and finally type on my iPhone. I digitize anything I want to keep long term. I use a leather cover and pen loop to keep everything together.
I don’t usually carry food and water myself (it is a great tip, though), but my schedule this year will have me postponing lunch for a few hours so I’m strongly considering it. I’m going to go with a collapsable water bottle, to save space and weight when empty. You can refill water bottles for free in the Take This AFK room, or any of the bathrooms/water fountains. Protein bars give good energy and fill you up more than a carb based bar. It is no substitute for a meal, but it’ll hold me over until then.
I go over bags a bit in What To Pack for PAX, but the tl;dr is this:
- Backpack: Best for heavier loads and longer days, but no easy access. You really can’t go wrong with a backpack… except for those string backpacks you get for free… those suck under a heavy load.
- Shoulder Bag: Great for easy access, but only use if packing light.
I’ve usually gone with my REI Stuff Travel Daypack as it is very light weight and I don’t need much organization, but since I won’t have a traditional water bottle I may go with my Tom Bihn Cafe Bag. My decision will likely come down to how much shopping I plan to do, as the backpack wins for hauling loot back to the hotel.
Follow this one rule and you should be fine:
Take what you NEED, not what you MIGHT need.
What are some other items you’ll be carrying into PAX South 2017 with you?