Packing for PAX – The JTM Games PAX Survival Kit

PAX Prime is nearly here and some dedicated developers are already in Seattle, setting up or hitting up PAX Dev. For those new to PAX and the convention scene we at JTM have put together a handy list of the basics you should be bringing.

Check out our PAX Survival Kit list after the break.

Your PAX badge

Only slightly less important than life and limb. If you forget it, there’s not a whole lot that can be done. Don’t end your trip early, keep this on you at all times. If you’re picking up your badge remember to bring your receipt/claim documents to Will Call, located in the Grand Hyatt this year.

A Passport (if traveling internationally)

Important for getting into and out of the country. Keep it secret. Keep it safe.


Keep a lot on hand for spending and a little hidden away for an emergency.

Credit and Debit Cards

Travelling often costs more than budgeted. Having an extra way to pay for an unexpected expense is wise.

Snacks and Drinks

Granola bars and the like are a cheap way to avoid ordering expensive travel and convention hall snacks. Bring a bottle of pop, water or juice with you. Con prices are crazy expensive.


While extra socks and underwear won’t earn you any friends, funky shorts definitely make the wrong impression. Nerd gear is a definite plus! Rock that N7 hoodie!

Important Documents

Bring all the vouchers and documents you’ll need for pre-booked hotels and transportation. If you’ve got digital copies, send them to your email as a back up.

Deodorant & Other Body Products

Convention halls are warm places and even the fittest of us sweat a little. Do your part to stamp out Con Funk with proper hygiene. And no, body spray never replaces a shower.

Med kit/First Aid Kit

Don’t forget any medicine you’ll need (dying is bad mmkay?). Things like antacids (Tums) and ibuprofen (Advil) are also good for those post-party mornings.

Games and Portable Gaming Systems

Panels and demo line ups can take a surprising amount of time to move. Bring a handheld or card game to pass the time. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the person next to you and get them involved. At PAX you’re bound to have some common ground. We’re all going ‘cause we love games of all types.

A Digital/Video Camera

There’s lots of amazing things happening all the time. Just be sure to respect your fellow con-goers and exhibitors by not taking pictures when they ask.

Irish Cream (Ages 21+)

Hotel coffee is terrible and coffee whitener only makes it worse. Take the edge off your morning with a little Irish Cream. Why not? You’re on vacation!

Hand Sanitizer

If you’re a social person, chances are you’ll be shaking hands with hundreds if not thousands of people at the convention. Not to mention all the game controllers that you’d be touching after others have done so. A hand sanitizer will definitely keep you germ and bacteria free for the duration of the weekend.

Comfortable Shoes

You’re going to be moving around all day. Think of your feet. Also, at the end the day, there’s a good chance your shoes will be biological hazards. Plan accordingly.


Depending on your preferred flavour of nerdity there’s all sorts of stuff you’ll be caring around. Your bag should be lightweight and have plenty of space for swag. Same goes for your suitcase.

And lastly – A sense of humor!

PAX is filled with people of all kinds, many of whom share your tastes. Have a great time by helping others do the same. Remember Wheaton’s Law: Don’t be a dick!

Before you go, download the PAX Prime 2012 guidebook to your iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or Windows 7 phone. (find the link on the PAX site). It’s an easy way to organize your panel & event schedule and this year, it includes a bunch of awesome extras. Check it out!

If you’re a frequent con-goer or traveller. Post your favourite packing tips and travelling must-haves in the comments!


About Lee Guille

Gamer, writer, marketer, husband, oppressed slave to cats. Follow me on twitter: Writeleewrite

Posted on August 27, 2012, in Event Coverage and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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