If you love to make model planes, then kits, glue and paint may well be on your shopping list. Football lovers may well need a ball and perhaps some sports kit to take part in their hobby. But what might compers need, and is there actually anything special in the way of equipment that can help with this pastime?
Comping just involves entering competitions, and you probably don't need to stock up on specific items you don't already own to do that. But there are some things that it really can help to have when it comes to being a comper...
Access to the internet
Really, these days, this is the big one. If you're not online, you're going to miss out on a huge number of the comps that are out there. And if you're not a member of at least one or two social media sites (such as Twitter and Facebook), you may find that there are also comps you don't have access to.
The good thing is, of course, that you don't need hugely cutting-edge tech to comp online. Often it takes little more than filling in an online form to take part in an internet competition.
You'll likely want an internet connection, though, and a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet that you can access the web on. The good thing about having a portable device, like a tablet, for comping, is that it might be able to help you do that little bit of comping from bed or in front of the TV!
A subscription to Compers News
Even though we say so ourselves, Compers News can prove to be a really invaluable piece of comping 'equipment'. The mag is all about convenience and expertise - among other things.
You don't have time, even as an enthusiastic comper, to find a lot of the competitions that are out there in particular magazines, on particular TV shows and on particular products, for example. Yes, you might come across some by searching for yourself, but with Compers News you have one place where you know you'll get easy access to a large number of the month's comps, pulled together in a fantastic magazine.
Another big advantage of being a Compers News reader is just how much it teaches you. Even a single issue can take you from beginner to informed comper. And once you've been reading for a few months, you're sure to have come across some of the best advice on comping out there in the insightful features the mag provides.
Do you still enter comps using postcards? It may be a less common way of comping than it was in the past, but having a pile of postcards ready to go is a really great way of preparing yourself in case a postal comp you like the look of does appear. Second class stamps are also a useful thing to stockpile.
You might be surprised by how often photography plays a part in competitions these days. We're not necessarily talking about comps that test your artistic skill behind the lens, so much as ones that ask for creative and interesting pics.
These often ask you to upload your pictures onto social media - Facebook or Instagram, for example. So a smartphone or tablet that can do this could come in handy for comps of this sort. If you don't have your own equipment to connect to, say, Instagram (which, unlike Facebook, doesn't allow photo uploads from a computer, only a phone or tablet), you can always ask to borrow a friend's for a particular comp it would come in handy for.
Even if you don't have a smartphone, it sometimes comes in handy to at least have a mobile to hand for comping - because text comps are common, and can be an easy way to enter. Remember to check how much it costs to take part in such comps though, as unlike many online entry form comps, they can come with a price tag.
Your reading glasses
Learning to read the terms and conditions on a comp is a key part of going from someone who enters without giving it much thought, to a full-on comper who's clued-up about how to make sure they're not making any schoolboy errors. There's definitely quite a bit of reading involved in comping, so it's good to have your reading glasses to hand if you need them.