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Guide to waiting in line on Black Friday

Before you leave home to wait in a long line, check out this guide to creating comfort, battling boredom, and staying safe.

It's that time of year know, where you get to stand in lines for the best deals on Black Friday. Instead of heading out the door 8 or more hours ahead of the sale unprepared, take a gander at this guide for tips to make the experience more pleasant.


Creating comfort

  • Bring your own bottle--of water. Good alternatives for cooler climates are hot coffee or even soup in a Thermos.
  • Snick-snacks. Whether they're healthy or not is up to you.
  • Extra jacket and/or blanket. Additional layers for cold weather or something children and adults can use on the ground.
  • Folding chair(s). The kind that fold and fit into a bag with a shoulder strap are ideal for when the line begins to move. Anything larger will need to go back into the car before shopping.
  • Locate the nearest 24-hour restroom. Look for one that is safe and clean, should you need to run off and use the facilities.
  • Bring a small flashlight (or download an app for your smartphone). Stores may not have lighting where the line is.
  • Charge your mobile devices. You can also buy external battery packs.


Battling boredom

  • Grab some games. This means it's OK to waste a few hours in a row playing Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, or Doodle Jump.
  • Load up on media. Whether it's movies or music, add something to your device to help distract you from the waiting game.
  • Snag a deck of cards. With tons of games to choose from, it's sure to help you and your company in the line stay occupied.
  • Bring an e-reader or book. Just remember that if you're going to read outside, it's probably a good idea to have a book light., HowStuffWorks, Google,

Staying safe

  • Bring some friends. Three or more people is a great idea, but two will do. This makes taking breaks much easier when someone can hold your spot in line.
  • Share your location. Tell friends and family which stores you'll be shopping at this Black Friday.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Many sales on big-ticket items might mean customers in line are carrying more cash. People of ill intention may view this as the perfect opportunity to commit their crimes.
  • Play nice with others. Strangers in the line may be tired and hungry, making the trip from calm to feisty a quick one--so beware.

What does your Black Friday routine involve? Have any extra tips that can be added to the guide? Share them in the comments!

And don't forget to take a look at the CNET Marketplace; it may help you skip a line or two.