(Widge's Note: Just as the summer movie season is started to break down as more and more films get crammed in anywhere they'll fit on the schedule (with most of them showing up on Blu-Ray six weeks later anyway), so the convention season sprawls lazily over the entire year. Hell, in the Atlanta metro area I swear there's an anime con somewhere just about every damn weekend. Thespia is the most prepared executive producer one could ask for. If she doesn't have it, you probably don't need it. She gave some thought to convention preparedness--having been a source of con sanity for myself for years--and here's what she came up with. If you're a seasoned veteran of a thousand psychic wars, there's probably nothing new here--but conventions suck in newcomers all the time. Can you be too prepared? Enjoy.)
Cons can (and should) be a blast, but a lot of things can definitely dampen your mood: a dead cell phone, a torn costume, a bad headache, a lost badge...and the list goes on. Over the years, I've developed my own "preparedness kit" based on some hard-learned lessons. (One of the most important of these is that everything you choose to include has three costs: money, space, and weight.) The following is a list of what I have found to be the most economical in all three areas while still covering the essentials. It may look like a lot on paper, but if you pack it right, it should fit into a small bag (about the size of a lunchbox).