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Onward State’s THON Declassified Gear Survival Guide

Even though Ned Bigby (a.k.a. Devon Werkheiser) might have missed the past two THONS after attending four straight from 2013-2016, we’ve still created a THON Gear Survival Guide to help you prepare for the weekend.

Or maybe we’re just hoping that one of our childhood favorite Nickelodeon characters will once again make a reappearance, but that’s a story for another post.

The days leading up to THON are nearly as stressful as the weekend itself. For one, you have to run around downtown picking up all the gadgets and supplies you might need in the BJC. Beyond that, you also need to get all of the work you’d normally reserve for Sunday night done before THON hits.

That’s why we created this guide: a concise list of the essential THON supplies and where to buy them. Whether you’re a freshman attending your first THON or an upperclassman looking for a quick refresher, we’ve got you covered.

Where To Go:

  • McLanahan’s: McLanahan’s stocks up on everything you could possibly need for THON well in advance of the weekends itself, with everything from portable chargers to bouncy balls so that you can roll out those cramps. With two downtown locations, the downtown State College staple is easily accessible whether you live in the Meridian or on West College.
  • Dorm Commons Convenience Store: If you live on campus and getting downtown isn’t easy for you, be sure to check out what your dorm commons’ convenience store has to offer. Their selection won’t be as plentiful as what the downtown stores have to offer, but if you’re mostly set for the weekend and only need to pick up something small (like gum or aspirin) they can be the perfect spot.
  • Target: Target is the lifeblood of the American people. While you’ll likely be able to pick up most of what you need at McLanahan’s, the Target downtown can also be a great spot to check. In our experience, the quality of their products tends to hold up a bit better than the rest of the stores mentioned. So, if you’re looking to find some gear that will likely last you the next few THONs, Target is your spot.
  • Walmart: Short on cash? Own a car (or at least know someone who does)? Walmart will have all you need — and more — all for a reasonably low price. It might be a little less convenient, considering it’s about a 10-minute drive from campus, but the price discounts and plentiful selection might make it worth the trip.

What To Get:

  • Tennis Ball: Or bouncy ball … it doesn’t really matter, so long as you have some sort of device to roll your foot on to work out those cramps.
  • Drawstring Bag/Fanny Pack: These are practically essentials for THON. They’re the only way to efficiently carry all of the toys, water bottles, and portable chargers you’re bringing to the BJC.
  • Portable Charger: You won’t be allowed to use the outlets in the BJC, and unless you have a superphone, there’s no way your battery will last even 20 hours without a charge.
  • Empty Reusable Water Bottle: Unfortunately you can’t bring a full water bottle into the BJC. After standing for several hours, you’ll want to stay hydrated, so be sure to purchase this essential reusable option and prepare for the seemingly never-ending water fountain lines.

What NOT To Bring:

  • Juul (Or Any Other Vape): As much as your nicotine addiction might beg you to, don’t do it. It’s not FTK and it’s not permitted.
  • Backpack: Unlike drawstring bags, backpacks are not allowed in the BJC. Do yourself a favor and leave them at home, or suffer the consequences and return all the way back to your dorm or apartment just drop it off before you go in.
  • Pillows: Although after 46 hours you’ll definitely be ready for a nap, you can’t sit or sleep at THON (surprise, surprise) and a bleacher nap isn’t comfortable anyway. Don’t waste space in your drawstring trying to shove a pillow in there.
  • Parka: There’s really no good place to put one and the BJC is hot enough as is, so you won’t be needing a winter jacket to keep you warm inside. Plus, in the hustle and bustle of THON, there’s no guarantee you won’t lose your coat or have it stolen out from under you.
  • Drugs or Alcohol: See the section on Juuls above.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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