SDCC 2013: a Handy Survival Guide

Written by Riri (@lillyums

San Diego Comic Con is just a few days away!! For those that have never been to SDCC, you might wonder why there is a handy survival guide in the first place.  SDCC is no Sakura Con or Emerald City Comic Con.  Getting tickets to SDCC is hard enough as it is.  Once you do, you'd think the hard part is over... right? Not quite. SDCC has become extremely mainstream in TV and film which has led to a sold out event of 130,000 attendees. What could that mean? Think about it.

Crowds. 
Lines.
Sunburn.
Grass. (ok this is just personal problem of mine)

 Have you SEEN the full SDCC schedule yet? What do you want to see? I guarantee that the panel you want to see... EVERYONE else will want to see.  That SDCC exclusive you want? EVERYONE  wants that one too.  Balls.  Is there any hope?

YES (sorta)! This would be my 3rd time attending SDCC and I'm going to tell you exactly what I've prepared and what I will bring to help me survive 4.5 days (4 days + preview night) of this crazy, awesome fun.  

  1. WEAR/BRING DEODORANT .  Enough said. or hell, bring BABY WIPES  to wipe your sweat off.   Since we're on the topic of hygiene, gum/mints/toothpaste aren't bad options.
  2. Pack Light. If you're like me, I'll be buying enough t-shirts to actually last me through every day of the convention. Meaning, I wouldn't actually be wearing any of the clothes I brought to wear.... So.  If you're like me, pack very light.  If you're not like me, pack very light still... Your swag will fill those empty crevices in your carry on/luggage bag.
  3. Call your Credit Card Company . Let them know you'll be in San Diego.  Nothing sucks more than having your credit card declined when you are just about to purchase that super rare exclusive and you don't got cash on you...
  4. Backpack or Small Bag.  You'll want this. Something to carry all the below items... that and any swag you'll pick up at SDCC! But be aware that it can be very crowded. We have a light drawstring that has worked just fine every year.
  5.  Hydrate! Bring Nalgene bottle or similar and refill refill refill! Hydrate yourself, as you'll likely be sitting under the sun in the heat for long hours, walking/running to snag that exclusive from the Capcom booth, etc.
  6. Sunscreen.  Speaking of sun...if you burn, a small travel size sunscreen bottle/spray would help you in the long run.  Sure, they have them tents set up... but there are also wide open spaces of possible prolonged exposure to those rays so you'll be needing sunscreen unless you bring an umbrella. 
  7.  Shoes. No not just ANY shoes. Shoes that will let you NOT bitch about how bad your feet hurt at the end of the day.
  8. Light Jacket.  It might be warm when you are outside, but if/when you decide to stay inside a room all day, the air conditioning may get you feeling a little chilly.  If you want to be a little comfortable, bring a light jacket.  
  9. Light Snacks.  Try considering maybe bringing along some snacks to fuel your body for energy.  Granola, nuts, etc.  
  10. Portable Battery Charger .  Now if you're going to be stuck in a line all day like I was last year on Saturday, this will come handy.  If you're like me, updating Facebook, checking Twitter, and finding ways to allow you all to live vicariously through me, I need a battery charger to keep my phone, tablet, and camera on as long as possible! I picked up mine at Amazon.
  11.  Pocket Chair. What is a "pocket chair"? Well, if you're like me with a mild case of hastenburaphobia, a portable/pocket chair would be excellent for long waits in line and to keep your bottom clean.  It is very sturdy and easy to carry. I picked up mine at Amazon. 
  12. Stand in Line at least 4+ hours before your program of interest. Speaking of lines, want to see that Thor & Captain America panel? You better get in line. Like. Right now.  Chances are, everyone wants to go see it too.  I said 4+ hours - so that means a minimum of 4 hours prior to start you need to get in line. Otherwise, your alternative is to check out some free offsite events!
  13.  Twitter. Yes, Twitter. Aside from SDCC programming, you'll not want to miss any of the offsite events! SDCC Blog has a very organized list of offsite events, but in addition to knowing those, you'll need the twitter accounts of those running the offsite events so that you'll keep track of location, tickets, etc! In my case, I will be attending the Funko Fun Days party, so I follow Funko on Twitter for any important announcements that may arise during the convention and up until the party.  As far as onsite SDCC stuff goes, you'll want to follow @SD_Comic_Con, @Crazy4ComicCon, @sdccnerdsattack, @the_con_fluence, @comicconblog.  They'll keep you updated on the current news! Likewise, using Twitter and following people will be useful for SDCC exclusive news. My personal favorite tweeters for SDCC exclusives are @Tomopop and @mattguzy (From Awesome Toy Blog)
  14. HAVE FUN! Don't be a hater, be respectful, and ask permission from cosplayers before taking their photos!  Make new friends too, since you'll be in line with them for the next 5 or so hours!

Alright g33ks!!  We can do this!!  If this is your first time attending, it'll be overwhelming and trust me, you won't get everything you want but in the end you'll still have a great time. 

Let's go SDCC!!

 

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