Con survival guide with a free checklist download

Today we have an awesome guest post for you! It's a con survival guide for you with a free checklist download!! 

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Enjoy the article below! Completely written by Breezeeweezee cosplay. 


Con survival guide with a free checklist download

Click the photo for a free printer-friendly checklist to prepare for any con, and read on for more tips and ideas to survive them!

Pre- pre con

After my first out of town convention, which was in Calgary earlier this month, I went over everything I brought and didn't bring, and came up with this detailed, printable list.


Preparing for a convention is a very big ordeal. You can't just throw some clothes and your toothbrush in your suitcase the night before and head out the door. Preparing for a convention starts long before the con even starts.


Having your cosplays organized will save you from last minute headaches, or worse, last minute cosplay repairs. However you choose to organize your cosplays, whether it be in a garment bag, or a tote, make sure everything is together. On the outside, attach a photo of the full cosplay, and write a list of everything that goes with it, including wigs, shoes, under things, and makeup.


Along the same lines as cosplay organization, if you're planning to attend a convention in cosplay, expect people to take your photos. It's good practice to learn about the character, and develop at least three poses to do. Yes, costumes are nice, but people want to take pictures of their favorite characters brought to life! So research your character, pose in front of the mirror and take hundreds of selfies! 

Pre con

Once you have a convention in mind, you can start making all the preparations you need to get ready for the big weekend! Like for example, what the heck cosplays to bring! Of course if you're making a specific cosplay for the con, you will bring that, and other obvious selections.


Local cons are the easiest to prepare for; you can wear anything you want, you don't have to worry about packing or travel, and you get to sleep in your own bed at night!


Semi-local is what I consider a road trip convention. Calgary Expo was my first of the kind, and it was definitely an experience. You can bring anything that can fit in the vehicle!


Long distance cons are probably the hardest to prepare for. Your cosplay needs to be compact or collapsible, or you will be shipping your cosplays and props to meet you at the hotel. You'll need to prepare for this in advance. No night-before-the-flight last minute crafting.


Another thing to consider is the weather. If you're going to a summer con, don't overheat yourself by dressing like Jon Snow. Likewise, don't cosplay as Red Sonja in the winter..... huh, I think I'm experiencing de ja vu...


If you insist on being Jon Snow in the dead of summer, make sure you're staying hydrated, you can remove layers easily, and you can handle the heat. On the opposite end of the scale, if you insist on being your favorite She-Devil with a sword in the coldest winter, bring gloves, coats, sweat pants etc and leave it at coat check or in a locker, stay indoors as much as possible, and keep a warm drink on hand as much as possible! Or, do what I did, and add a warm cape!


The last thing to prepare for your cosplay is your repair kit. Shit happens, and it's better that you're prepared rather than hoping for the best. Needle and thread, hot glue gun, duct tape (it's not glamorous, but it does the job for the weekend), safety pins, and any other miracle tool that can cure your mishap. You can also pack a lint roller, stain remover (like Tide to Go), and Febreeze to keep your costumes fresh til' death.

Now that we have your cosplays prepared, it's time to think about everything else! I won't go into too much detail; pack some human clothes, pajamas, bathing suit, etc.


I want to talk specifically about at the con; things to have on you, or close by at all times!

At the con

There's tons of checklists out there, but there are a few things a lot of people forget or don't really consider. You can find the whole list on the downloadable checklist, but the top five most important things you should have at a con are as listed below.


5. High protein snacks. They're compact, and easy to eat, and necessary if you don't have time for con food.


4. Water. Always have water! Avoid headaches, nausea, heat stroke and other illnesses by staying hydrated.


3. Cash. Save on ATM fees by taking out cash before the con. Even if you think you won't buy anything, what's the harm in taking out some cash?! Be prepared, and be smart.


2. Deodorant. Please. And ONLY deodorant. Your BO stinks, but to some people, your cologne or perfume could stink even worse. Apply deodorant multiple times a day if you really need to, but we've all been there, we can cure this one person at a time!


1. Hand Sanitizer. The con flu is something so many people deal with. With so many hands and germs touching everything, just save yourself the hassle. Apply it liberally and often. Another tip for avoiding the con flu is to take vitamins like echinacea and vitamin C every night after the con.


Some honorable mentions are cell charger, Advil, shoe insoles, bandaids, and a small cosplay repair kit.


Pro Tip: If you can design pockets, or pouches into your cosplay, it makes it easier than having to carry an extra bag with you, or relying on friends to handle your things. Plus it's neat and innovative, and you can show it off to everyone!

You can download the checklist here, or at the top of the article. If you end up using it, let me know what you thought of it! If you have any other unique convention survival tips, write them in the comments below.


*kiss kiss*

Write a comment

Comments: 18
  • #1

    Jasmin N (Saturday, 19 November 2016 17:01)

    These are some great tips! :) If I ever go to a con I'll definitely keep this list in mind haha :)

  • #2

    Kitchie (Saturday, 19 November 2016 23:46)

    The attention to detail of cosplayers is just impeccable and impressive! And I personally love your repair kit - better ready than sorry :)

  • #3

    Imaobong (Sunday, 20 November 2016 01:10)

    Hehe, thank you for sharing this.
    Never gone on a convention but I found this interesting and I'd definitely be downloading the checklist for future purposes. :-)

  • #4

    lex (Sunday, 20 November 2016 10:30)

    this looks more interesting than the ones i have heard of or seen... your images are superb too.

  • #5

    Eugenia (Sunday, 20 November 2016 18:10)

    Love these tips on how to prepare on any con! Very helpful and well-written! Thanks for the free printable checklist! :-)

  • #6

    Nancy G (Monday, 21 November 2016 00:24)

    Very helpful. Especially loved the tip of extra pockets. Am the gal who always need a sling over handbag of sorts. No any more :-) Thanks for sharing.

  • #7

    Joanna (Monday, 21 November 2016 09:04)

    I have never been to a convention before but I can see why it can be so much fun! I don't think I will ever have the courage to actually dress up as a character, I would probably be just the one taking photos, but I'd love to get involved into the preparation process of someone who will dress up. It looks like it's a lot of fun, even if you need to prepare ahead of time and make sure your costume is always fresh and nice smelling. Indeed Fabreeze is a good "secret tool" to have :)

  • #8

    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits (Tuesday, 22 November 2016 08:24)

    I'm not that fan of Cosplay, but I love the artistry that I always see for every person who wear their favorite character. This is really a big help for everyone, especially to those that are a big fan of Cosplay. I'm really learning from this post, I'll surely share this to my friend.


  • #9

    ROBERT LEE (Tuesday, 22 November 2016 12:18)

    It's kinda fun to read this post, as I have never been to any convention at all, not even to the local cosplay events here. But to read and just file in information on what it takes in preparation of attending one. I am guessing that the one thing you need to pack is EXCITEMENT. That's it. Have fun.

  • #10

    KT Nielsen (Tuesday, 22 November 2016 13:40)

    I really admire the passion of cosplayers. I also love their dedication to their craft. I've never participated in a convention yet and I don't see myself joining any in the near future because I just don't have the creativity to make my own costume or be in a crowded place for several hours. But based on this post, it looks like it's a lot of fun to be in one.

  • #11

    Maerose JS (Tuesday, 22 November 2016 20:41)

    For a moment, I had to think what con means... Poor me. I'm sure my cosplaying friends will be mad! Your blog entry will surely be helpful to convention participants and enthusiasts. I actually went to one, in Brussels, as a spectator though, not a cosplayer. I super enjoyed the parade and the autograph hall. I admire the passion and effort of cosplayers, the creativity and resourcefulness to express themselves. Kudos!

  • #12

    Mel B (Tuesday, 22 November 2016)

    I personally have never been to a comic con but I have always had a guilty pleasure of going to one. Great tips and very insight interesting post. I love and reading about other peoples lives.

  • #13

    Arrianne Guzman (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 09:17)

    You know what, I always admire cosplayers. Why? Because I see so much passion in them like you do. I know a few cosplayer friends, will share this checklist to them.

  • #14

    Sheri (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 09:51)

    These are great tips with wonderful advice. I guess because I have not been to one yet, I was unaware of all the prep involved in getting ready. The checklist for download is a great idea and this post is a keeper!

  • #15

    Mommy Queenelizabeth (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:08)

    Okay, so i was totally lost with this post. Those were tips given for a convention. Quite interesting how preps are being done by cosplayers. im Not really a fan of those, but they were really impeccable..

  • #16

    Maria (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 20:05)

    I've never been into one but surely this is informational! Though I wanted to volunteer when Asia Pop Comic Con was held here in Manila but I missed the deadline. Maybe next year? I could be a volunteer or attendee. But, I'm sure that cons are so much fun especially if all the movies/series that you watch are present!

  • #17

    Milton Coyne (Thursday, 24 November 2016 19:43)

    haha the struggle of being a cosplayer! Something I can really relate with.. Although my cosplays were always not heavy like those Mecha and those characters with enormous weapons and armors.. I still somehow experience the challenge of carrying all your things to the event venue and how difficult it is to keep them all in your body until the convention ends

  • #18

    Aika (Monday, 28 November 2016 11:27)

    Have seen few conventions. I am curious about the checklist. I'll check it and see and think about more of it. I admire cosplayers. They really put so much effort to their costumes. This one is nice!