The Cosplay Convention Survival Guide
This weekend I finally saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and, needless to say, it really got me thinking about convention preparedness. I’ll agree it may seem like a leap from Jumanji to Cosplay Survival Guide, but both are games of survival so I think they are more alike than they may appear. Con season is right around the corner, and from one cosplayer to another: it's dangerous to go alone. Make sure you take these things!
Keep These Items with You at All Times
- Bobby pins: Bobby pins are a necessity. Not only can you use them to fix your hair (or adjust your wig), they are also useful for holding pieces of your costume together.
- Deodorant: Thank goodness this stuff comes in miniature form these days! I cannot tell you how many times I have left my room sans-deodorant. Deodorant is one of those things that doesn't hurt to re-apply throughout the day. 😜
- Band-Aid Friction Block: First of all I need to tell you that this post is not sponsored by Band-Aid. (Though Band-Aid, if you're listening, I'm here if you ever want to talk!) This stuff is sheer magic. Apply a swipe or two before you put your shoes on, and blisters don't stand a chance. I swear by it!
- Safety pins: Similar to the bobby pin situation, safety pins are a must for a day at the con. I tend to keep a couple large and small ones on me at all times, whether I’m in costume or out. Everyone loves the person with the extra safety pin or bobby pin.
- Pain killers: Because your feet and back will likely hurt after many days of walking/standing/sitting, but also because wigs are heavy, man! I keep mine in a small Altoids tin where I also keep my safety pins, bobby pins, and a Band-Aid or two for good measure.
- ChapStick: This might just be a me thing, but ChapStick is a must. Regardless of the additional lip-things my character may need for a look, I always have ChapStick.
Keep These Items Close By (But Your Hotel Room/Car/the Coat Check may be Close Enough)
- Travel sewing kit: Who hasn't lost a button (or worse!) at an inopportune moment? Having a small sewing kit with merely the basics can be a lifesaver.
- Superglue: In a pinch, superglue is brilliant. So many of my costumes are held together with hope, luck, and superglue. It isn't an instant fix like duct tape might be, but it is a wonderful thing to keep close by as an overnight solution.
- Small first aid kit: Hotels and convention centers will have first aid kits, but I always like to have a few Band-Aids, blister/rash cream, and a tissue or two on my person as well - it can't hurt!
- Change of clothes: There are going to be costumes that you do not want to stay in all day. For those days where your "home base" is far away, keep a change of clothes (or at least a change of underwear) in a backpack at coat check.
- Water: Honestly, water should be on both parts of this list. Water is essential. Do not skip water! Juice, soda, and energy drinks are not substitutes. Drink water even when you think you don't need to drink water. (Especially in costume!) Seriously.
- Snacks: Convention snacks can cost an arm and a leg, be unhealthy, and lines can be long. I always stash energy bars, nuts, and fruit in my hotel room and keep a few bars in my backpack for between-panel snacks.
#ProTip: Just like Jumanji, we are better together, so if you're the type to attend a convention with friends split your necessities up amongst your group so one person isn't the sole "backpack guy."
What are the must have items in your cosplay convention "kit"? Leave a comment down below with anything you think we've left off.
My first con of the season is Emerald City Comic Con this week – and Jordandené will be there too so don't forget to stop by the booth (1639) and say hey if you stop by (and/or see me!)
Mallory is a content creator, a professional makeup artist specializing in film and runway, a cosplayer, an avid reader, an ice cream a-holic, and is perpetually planning her next Disney trip. Born and raised in the beautiful, upper-left corner of the Pacific Northwest she is a Washingtonian through and through. She currently resides in Tacoma with her beautiful wife Emily and their three cats: Sage, Koa and Pixel.