So what do you need to do to make the most of your bash experience? Here are some tips from repeat offenders. See something missing? Drop us a line and we'll add it.
Plan. Bash is pretty hard not to have fun at. But the more you plan, the better time you'll have. Make sure to pack your essentials for camping, but if you do forget something important, Walmart is just a couple miles down the road.
Check out the forums! A lot of stuff is planned not by us, but by groups of attendees. Not everything happening at Bash makes it on the program or website schedule. So keep an eye on the forums and keep an ear to the ground at the event.
Register. It's free to come and you don't strictly have to register. It helps us plan, but more importantly - it helps you at the event. You'll have a nice pre-printed nametag waiting for you and you'll be included in our "how to find people" reports posted in Spangler and/or the store. Using these reports you can look up where a person you want to meet is staying in the campgrounds, or and if your buddy's coming!
Book your lodging. I almost always forget this, but it's important. We take camping reservations until about 2 weeks before the event, after which we usually have plenty of camping left - but it costs $15 more at the door than booking online. Plus if you book ahead, you can show up any time - even after hours. If you need at the door camping, you'll need to plan to arrive when we have the front gate staffed. Hotels fill up too (often months ahead!), get your preference by booking early.
Check the Event Schedule - Our event schedule changes right up to the last minute, so check it out often to see new stuff and stay abreast on schedule changes and cancellations. Many people make plans around the schedule, such as planning caching trips during the Poker Run on Friday, or delaying lunch on Saturday to catch the Reviewer Panel, or anything else that could help you win a GPS :)
Pull a GPX (Pocket Query). You can pull 1000-cache pocket queries now so you can plan on plenty of caching. Set it up now, pull it and take a look at what you might want to do for caching. Plan your "must dos" for on-venue and also for off-venue and plan when you want to be off site and not. BUT - make sure you schedule the pocket query for a few days before the event. As close as possible really. New caches always pop up right at event time!
Print out your registration report. You can do that by clicking here. We will have a copy at the store for anyone who bought camping or will-call items, but having yours printed to show the welcome gate folks will make your arrival go a lot more smoothly.
Bring Your Pathtags! - There will be lots of people trading tags at MWGB, more than any other event! Many people make unique designs just for the event, so be sure to bring enough to trade.
Bring a chair. If you can, bring a camp chair. Something nice to sit around a fire for hours in. You'll want it.
Bring sunscreen and bug spray. Most stuff is outdoors - so are the sun and bugs.
Bring a bike. If you have space for one, you might enjoy this to get around with. The fairgrounds are pretty big, and depending on where you camp the walk to the Spangler Arena might not be short. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the grounds except for volunteer use.
Don't forget your GPS! - Cell signal can be spotty at and around the fairgrounds, so don't rely on your phone only if you're planning to cache.