As you know from various photos around the net, over the last few years I have attended a LOT of LAN Parties. I get asked, by people looking to attend their first event, what should they bring. Well there is the obvious answers of the computer, monitor and so on. But what about the less obvious stuff? I thought it might be useful for me to share what my experience has taught me.
Network Cable: Now this might seem like a common-sense item and for the most part it is, however there are a few tricks here to make your life simpler. First bring 2 cables, one 10’ and the other 25’. You never know how far you’re going to sit from the switch, so having the two lengths really helps. Also, make sure the cables you bring are flat and colored if possible, as these are easy to keep tidy and assures that they are easily identifiable. You can buy cables in many colors and a unique color will make it easier to find your cable if tracking down an issue or packing to go home.
Wireless Adapter: The overwhelming majority of LAN events will have full support for wired connections, and this should be your first choice. However, what do you do if you have a bad cable or the switch your connected to is having issues. All the events I have attended over the years have offered wireless connections to the event, though most use these for cell phone, they can work fine as a back up if only a few people need it. By either having a system with wireless built in or a small, inexpensive USB unit, you have a quick backup if needed.
Small Power Strip: Try to find a compact power strip with 3 or 4 power connections and maybe one or two USB. You only need a strip with enough power for your PC and the USB connections will allow your desk fan (mentioned below) and cellphone to be connected without the need to use up ports on the PC. Make sure it has a decent cord length, 10to 15’centimetres is the minimum length I would go for just to be safe.
Screwdriver: SAPPHIRE has over the years given out small screw drivers that are super easy to carry in your LAN bag. Having one of these on hand has more than once saved me or someone else at the events weekend. Always prepare for little emergencies.
Windows Install Flash Drive: Sooner or later, at every event, something goes wrong for someone. Having a fresh install drive for Windows will save someone’s weekend.
Headlamp: This is something we should all have near our computer even at home, make sure you bring one to the event. LAN Parties are notorious for keeping the rooms dark and there are times you will need lights. Maybe you will need to check a cable connection, or you have a computer that needs something checked inside it. That simple little headlamp can make a world of difference so you’re not fumbling in the dark.
Desk Fan: Small USB desk fans can be something that has a value you cannot measure, especially at summer events. Remember you’re in a room with a lot of computers, the AC might not be fully up to the task. Even if the AC can keep the room cool, the lack of air movement can also be an issue. A small USB powered desk fan will keep you cool during long gaming sessions. (Want to do something neat, make your own. On my desk at home I have two 140mm fans I have turned into a small desk fan. The modding for this is simple and it looks techie while providing me a nice breeze and almost no noise.
Wet Wipes: Might sound silly but is a great idea. Something to clean your hands of the various types of snack food you eat or even a quick cleanup in the bathroom if you have spent the whole night at the event. In fact, another good idea is some Body Spray. It will make the people setting next to you very happy.
Stadium Seat Pad: These are known by many names, but they are all represent the same thing a butt pad for your chair. Unless you have brought your own chair for the event, you will find most LAN Events have very uncomfortable seating, unsuitable for long gaming sessions. A Simple, low cost Stadium Seat Pad can go a long way to allowing a more comfortable gaming experience.
There are obviously more things you need to bring, but the items I have listed above are the things that always seem to not be talked about. I wanted to talk about some of these less obvious things to ensure you have a great experience at your next LAN Party.
What are some of the less obvious things you consider a must have for a LAN Party?