One of the biggest gaming conventions in the UK starts tomorrow (UK Games Expo). I’ll be there to visit the trade hall on Saturday and thought it might be interesting to share how I’ve expanded my everyday carry for the visit. For those not aware, everyday carry (or EDC) is the term given to those items that, well, you carry every day. A better explaination can be found on the Everyday Carry website.
Normally my everyday carry consists of my phone and my keys. I’m lucky in that my commute to work is only a mile and I tend to cycle that in 5 minutes. When I’m heading out for the day though, I need more. It can be an art fine-tuning what you need and what you don’t. The items I’ve selected for Saturday are a fraction of those that I originally picked out. The weather forecast for Saturday is nice (mid 20C) and the venue can also get a bit warmer with the sun coming through windows and all the extra bodies. That means I want to travel light. There’s nothing worse than a massive rucksack smashing into other people in the crowds.
My Unpacked Everyday Carry
So, here we are. The items above are those I’ve selected to bring with me. Working clockwise from the far left:
- Water. Hydration is key. Sure, there are food outlets at the venue but they can be a bit pricey sometimes, especially for basics such as water. I can get a pack of 12 bottles for £2 locally so it’s a no-brainer. I’ll only be taking a couple of bottles with me though to save on weight.
- Bottle holder. This holder clips onto my belt and keeps the bottle close to hand.
- Anti-perspirant. As noted above, the venue can get warm. And warm people sweat. Gamers have a, sadly well-earned, reputation for getting a bit funky. UK Games Expo had a cool (no pun intended) “refresh zone” last year with wipes and deoderant/anti-perspirant available. I’m also carrying my own so that I can freshen up if required.
- Hand sanitiser. I’m not a germaphobe but con-crud can be a real thing and if I can, I’d like to avoid it.
- Reusable bag. I’m visiting the trade hall hoping to buy some things. If I’m not bringing a rucksack I need something to carry them in and this is it. Folds down to fit into a pocket if needed but opens out into a nice size to carry your bargains.
- Rechargable battery. My phone’s battery is pretty good but you never know when you might need a battery boost. This little power bank will give my phone another full charge.
- Belt bag. This bag is perfectly sized and is what I intend on putting everything into. The front clip area is what my phone will sit (it’s not in the picture because it’s taking the picture!)
- Wallet. Of course, if I’m going to a convention with a trade hall, I need a wallet.
- Mini multi-tool. This tool is normally attached to my keys, but I’ve taken it off to show it. It’s a screwdriver, bottle opener, spanner, ruler and small.
- Charging cables. I have USB C and micro USB mini charging cables. The former is what my phone takes but I have the latter in case a friend needs a cable or a burst of juice from my rechargeable battery.
- Rollerball pen. I’m a bit of a stationery geek and have loads of different pens. I toyed with the idea of bringing one of my smaller ones but it would have been lost inside the bag so my Parker rollerball is my weapon of choice.
- Notebook. I have a few notebooks but this one is dotted so, if I get into an impromptu demo game, I can map as well as take notes.
- Watch. Even though I have my phone, I like my Kahuna watch. Complete with James Bond themed strap. (So called because it’s the same design as Sean Connery wore while playing Bond in Dr No and Goldfinger and Daniel Craig in Spectre.)
- Ibuprofen. I’m unfortunate in that I suffer from back and knee issues so painkillers are sometimes required. Especially if walking around a trade hall for the best part of the day.
My Everyday Carry All Packed Up
That might seem like a lot but it all fits very neatly into the belt bag:
All Rolled Up
No mention of a convention everyday carry would be complete without reference to my Tiny All Rolled Up. It’s perfect for dropping into your bag for the possibility of a game. I’ve filled mine with four sets of mini-sized dice, a couple of pencils “acquired” from a certain Swedish store and my mini ballpoint and mini fountain pen (I told you I was a bit of a stationery geek). As it happens All Rolled Up will be trading at UK Games Expo this weekend (stand 1-266 (on the corner of Itb Avenue and Norris Street)). I highly recommend them and their products.
I’m not too sure I’ll need it on Saturday but it’s ready just in case.
So, there you have it. What do you take with you when you head to a convention? Do you plan it like a military operation (like me), or just throw bits and pieces into a bag just before leaving the house?