List of things to do, to pack and tips on attending a congress, conference or other event, especially Chaos Communication Congress. It's been handy for general travel as well.
This list is irregularly updated (and pushed). You may want to refresh regularly. :-) Pull requests are welcome!
👥Humans ⏰Things to do before traveling 📦Things to send 🎒Things to pack 🐶If you travel with your dog ⛺️Camp 🔒Securing your devices 📫Staying up-to-date 🔙For when you return home ❤️Thanks for being awesome ✨
General considerations to make the congress a worthwhile experience for everyone, humans, robots and aliens alike. You'll also find a list of all the nice humans who have contributed to this list at the bottom.
- Be excellent to each other.
- If you spot somebody not being excellent to someone else, remind them to be excellent and ask them to apologi(s|z)e to the insulted part(y|ies), but only if the insulted wish to receive an apology. Sometimes the insulted party will just want to move on and not have any further contact with someone who was coarse to them.
- If you don't want to be called $swearword, don't behave like one.
- Help each other out.
- Read the “Anti Harrassment Policy” and live by it.
- There is a Code of Conduct and it applies to you.
- Ask if it is ok to take a picture BEFORE taking the picture.
⏰ Things to do before traveling
- Charge ALL the batteries!
- Make backups.
- Bonus points for even testing restore.
- Update all the software on your devices.
- You might want to empty your drives to make room for some COMPLETELY LEGAL media files that might be shared.
- Put your name on your stuff, especially on things you’ll likely lend to someone (power strips, cables etc). Twitter handles make excellent name tags because people know how to contact you right away. Prefer permanent markers over stickers, for theft reasons.
- You DID make backups of all your devices, didn't you? That includes portable computers, servers, mobile phones, tablets, navigation devices, wrist watches and all your other $gadgets.
- Store the backups not only on the device you're backing up or another device you’re taking with you. A swiss bank locker is good, if you have one.
- Send a pull request to this list for all the things I did not think of.
- Feed the guinea pigs.
- Water your plants.
- (optional but recommended) Create account in the congress wiki, add your projects and find your assembly.
📦 Things to send
Stuff that you're not allowed to bring on a plane or otherwise need to send via package courier or freight train. (Depending on its size.)
Items that are explicitly forbidden to bring on a plane
- Lighter benzine
- Lighter gas (Butane)
- Lighters (only allowed on your person)
- Butane cartridges
- Propane cartridges
- Radioactive medication
- Lead acid batteries
- Mercury (Quecksilber)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7
- Self Balancing Scooters (Hoverboards)
- (strong) rare-earths Magnets (really small and weak magnets, like the needle of a compass, are okay)
Not allowed or often problematic on flights, or at least not in hand-lagguage
- All kind of blades
- Knives, even small pocket knives
- Lockpicking equipment
Items only allowed to be carried on your body, but neither in checked in luggage nor hand-lagguage.
- Small lighters (one per person)
🎒 Things to pack
- Bring ridiculous amounts of LED strips and other photon emitting devices so we can illuminate ALL the things.
This applies to the Congress Center as well as your hotel windows.
- Train/plane tickets (including verification documents for self-printed DB tickets. Check the List of accepted documents! Was ist als Identifizierungskarte zugelassen?)
- Congress tickets (printed or digital. iOS passbook/wallet, PDF)
- have them ready before your line up at the cash desk!
- Passport or other kind of photo ID (Personalausweis)
- Driver's license (even an international one)
- Hotel booking
- Ham radio license (CEPT license)
- Hackerspace passport
- An organ donor card (We really hope you won't need it, but just in the case: you might save a life!)
- Health insurance card
- Vaccination documents or history (Impfpass)
When using ATMs/Cash Machines/Bankomaten/Geldautomaten give them a good wiggle before inserting your card. During 32C3 a Skimmer device had been found at an ATM at Bahnhof Dammtor. This is just a reminder, you should do that every time you use your card.
- Some cash (€uros, or other local currency)
- Credit card
- Maestro card (Bankomatkarte, EC-Karte)
- Coins (€uros, for automated vending machines, like public transport tickets)
- Bitcoin wallet (the encrypted fashion with a good passphrase) or one for your preferred kind of crypo-currency
- Emergency numbers for your bank so you can lock your credit card/debit card/Bankomatkarte in case it gets lost/stolen/left behind.
- German cards can be locked via the locking hotline 116 116 (or +49 - 30 4050 4050)
- For your Bankomat Karte (EC debit card) check if the “Geo Control” of your bank allows withdrawing in your destination country.
- Cards, PINs, Apps (and required account data) for Car- and bicycle sharing
- An app to show local public transport times. Not all cities are available in Google/Apple/You-name-it Maps applications.
Emergency Information for Events
If you're in an emergency shout HELP!
If you need help, call for help, there are many, many friendly people around to help you.
Event and location related emergency information is in a seperate document for the corresponding event in this repository! You may want to copy that info to a notes application on your smartphone or have a printed card in your wallet.
- Tooth brush (plus charger if it is an electrical one)
- Dental floss
- Shower gel
- Flip Flops for shared showers
- Shampoo (to avoid bad hair days)
- Sanitary towels
- Condoms, dental dams and other protective gear (Make sure the condoms are not beyond their usage date! (Yes, it really happens…))
- Lubricant (silicone or water based, to be compatible with condoms)
- Deodorant, antiperspirant
- Hairbrush/comb (to avoid bad hair days)
- Hair-band (Zopfringerl) to tame your mane
- Towel. Never hitchhike the Galaxy without one.
- Contact lenses
- cleaning fluid
- contact lens container (make sure it fits flight regulations for fluids if you travel by plane.)
- replacement contact lenses
- replacement glasses
- eye drops
- Spectacle case
- Cleaning cloth
- Oropax or other things to plug into your ears for a good “night”'s sleep.
- Hair dryer (in case your place/hotel doesn't supply one)
- Make up
- Nail polish, also handy to secure screws on your laptop and have a tamper indicator, especially when using one with glitter.
- Nail polish remover
- Nail scissors
- Nail file
- Razor (with spare blades / plus cable/charger if it is an electrical one)
- Shaving soap
- Shaving brush
- Cotton swabs (Wattestäbchen)
- Make up remover pads
- Skin care
Check the expiry date of the meds you bring.
- Hand desinfectant, yet always wash your hands
- Patches (Pflaster, for your webcam or if a MacBook AirFrisbee hit you)
- Aspirin (If you partied too long…)
- Thomapyrin (analgetic)
- Parkemed (DE/AT), Ponstel (USA/UK) (analgetic)
- Clarityn (or other histamine blocker if you're allergic to something)
- Neocitran/Theraflu/Paracetamol (just in case hacker pest strikes)
- Contraceptives, prophylactic (contraceptive pill, condoms, etc.)
- Caffeine pills (In case you don't like Mate and nobody knows if you can actually drink the “coffee” served at the venue.)
- Something for your stomach (if you've got a nervous digestive system when under stress, while flying or generally traveling)
- Camomile tea relives hyperacidity very well
Your personal medication does not belong on the public interwebs for your privacy. This is just a reminder to pack it. Please do not include your personal medications in pull requests. :-) If you need refrigeration for your personal medication, that is possible at the C3 CERTon site. Pack some reserves of your medication. Better to have too much than not enough with you ;-) Some meds require papers to be allowed legally in some countries, don't forget those to spare yourself unnecessary hassle by authorities. In Germany these are all drugs listed in Appendix III to the Betäubungsmittelgesetz (e.g. ritalin, medical uses of marihuana). You need this form, filled out and signed by your local doctor.
Come as you are, as a friend.
- At least ONE clean shirt for each day you stay, plus two for traveling to and from congress (nerdy print is always welcome)
- At least ONE set of clean underwear for each day you stay, plus two for traveling to and from congress (Doesn't necessarily need to be in matching pairs, but that is up to you.)
- At least ONE pair of clean socks/stockings/tights/overknees for each day you stay, plus two for traveling to and from congress (again, matching pairs optional)
- Enough pants/skirts/trousers/dresses/etc. so you can wear clean clothes every day you attend congress (even if somebody accidentally (or intentionally) spills a beverage all over you!)
- Sewing set (needle, thread, spare button for your trousers/skirts/shirts/blouses/etc.)
- Long sleeve shirts
- Hoodies, pullovers, zippers, vests (it's cold outside!)
- Jacket, coat (wind proof, at least somewhat water resistant)
- Comfortable shoes (You'll cover a lot of distance-units during your stay)
- Cap, wool cap
- Bag to separate laundry from clean clothes in your luggage
- Fancy shoes
- Your favorite chainmail body armor
- Swim suit, bikini, trunks (in case your hotel has a pool or you like diving in a ball pit)
- Evening gown
- Cosplay is welcome
- Tailcoat or suit, maybe including a top hat
- Utility belt for your DECT phone, some coins and whatever you carry with you the whole day.
Label ALL your gear in a consistent manner. (Twitter handle and DECT numbers have proven to be working well.) In case something gets lost it can find its way back to you.
Power and Chargers
Start charging your batteries right now so they're ready when you finish packing and leave.
For travelling abroad there is a handy World Electrical Plug & Socket Map
- Charger for laptop
- Mac: small Duck-head and long (Schuko Plug) cord
- Mac: MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Adapter
- Mac: There are also cords that you can plug directly into the MagSafe charger (when removing the duck head) that end in a Euro Plug. These cables are also often used on electric shavers
- Mac: USB-C type connector/charger
- Plug adaptor from your country of origin to Schuko Plug
- 3x to 10x multi-plug power extension (230V AC @50Hz) with Schuko Plug (and optional switch, hotel rooms usually suffer from severe lack of outlets)
- Simple extension cord (230V AC @50Hz, Schuko Plug, the power outlet in your hotel room may be far away from your bedside)
- Chargers for all those phones, or at least matching cables if you can charge over USB.
- iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3 (The new iPad)
- USB-A to 30 Pin dock connector (one each)
- iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S+, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7+, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPad mini 2 with retina display, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro
- USB-A to Lightning (one each)
- most Android phones (and other exotic stuff like WP, Firefox OS, etc)
- micro USB cable, or
- USB-C cable (to USB A or USB-C)
- DECT phones
- Charging cradle (with power brick if required)
- iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3 (The new iPad)
- Smart Watches
- Charging cable or docking station required to charge
- A portable battery pack (aka powerbank) so you can charge on the go. (And the necessary cable to recharge that battery pack overnight. A USB-A to micro USB cable in most cases, maybe already a USB-C cable as well.)
- A spare plastic card to fool the power-saving system in your hotel room, while you're not there. (So your gear can charge and the LEDs keep blinking.)
Laptop and Devices
- Laptop (with a working battery) - Maybe clean display and keyboard while you're at it ;-)
- USB flash drives
- Put an OWNER.txt file on them with information on how to contact you in case one gets lost accidentally. (Twitter, phone (for example DECT, 33C3 GSM extensions), email, name of the assembly you're well known at, owl, raven)
- For devices with private information be sure to encrypt them! (VeraCrypt, GPG, FileVault, EncFS, Bitlocker, gbde, geli, dm-crypt, LUKS, eCryptFS)
- Make a GPT Label or Volume label with your online nickname or handle because people can't read your owner.txt file on encrypted devices. You may also create multiple partitions (plaintext and encrypted ones).
- If physically possible, add an actual label (just write on it/add a tag) with your nick on it – many people will be rightfully hesitant to plug in a found USB stick.
- make note of the filesystem used so you know if they will work on the system of the person you want to exchange data with. (FAT32 is a safe bet to work everywhere, for larger files ExFAT should also work on most platforms.)
- Mac: NTFS can be read, but not written to without 3rd party software. FAT, ExFAT, HFS+(J), HFSX are fine for current OS X versions, ZFS, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 and NTFS r/w support need 3rd party software. APFS support is experimental in macOS 10.12 Sierra and available from the command line only.
- USB/Thunderbolt/USB-C to Ethernet RJ45 adapter, if your device needs one (for example thin notebooks)
- Mass storage devices (bring some empty ones to fill with data and/or bring your own data and share it!)
- Tablet computer, iPad, Android tablet, Microsoft surface
- An actual book (for those offline blackout moments), see B.O.O.K.
Wireless and HF
- SDR Equipment: HackRF, RTL-SDR, Ettus, Rad1o badge
- DVB-T dongle, there might be local DVB-T transmitter for the streams,
- Ham radio equipment, portable, the callsign prefix for CEPT licence holders in Germany is DL (Delta Lima), and DO (Delta Oscar) for CEPT-Novice licensees. Also see ham radio licensing information for Germany
- Your ham radio license (Amateurfunklizenz)
- WiFi router/firewall (to connect to the hotel Wifi/network)
Cables and Adapters (Dongles)
You'll forget at least one anyway, so don't worry. Bring a spare to help out friends!
USB (A, B, Legacy)
Yes, there are way too many different types of USB cables, connectors and standards, double check you have them all.
- USB A-B cable
- Mini USB cable
- Micro USB cable
- USB-A to Micro USB 3.0 cable
- USB-A to some proprietary equipment connector (Some phones, embedded systems or cameras use these.)
- USB <-> RS232 adapter (FTDI, PL2303, etc.)
Keep in mind that USB-C only refers to the connector, not the charging, signals and alternative modes it actually supports. Check out the USB-C cable matrix on what a certain manufacturer's cable actually supports.
- USB-C from or to micro USB adapter (To charge a phone or laptop from a powerbank)
- USB-C to mini USB cable to connect to a micro controller or serial adapter (like FTDI)
- USB-C cable (Check if it does 5Gbit/s or 10Gbit/s USB. It doesn't have to, but helps to know before you troubleshoot an issue for hours.)
- USB-C adapter to
- Audio jack
- Ethernet (RJ45)
- USB-C docking station (and power supply if necessary)
- Razer Core
- USB-C multiport switch
- Thunderbolt 3 (with USB-C connector) to Thunderbolt 1/2. (These adapters do not carry Mini Displayport signals, you cannot cascade a Mini Displayport to some video standard adapter. Well, you can, but it won't work.)
- Thunderbolt 1/2 cable
- Thunderbolt 3 cable (with USB-C connectors)
- PCI Break out Box
- RS232 cable (DB9, DB25)
- Null Modem cable
- Level shifter for 5V or 3.3V serial connections like on embedded or SoC boards
- Patch wires to connect to micro controllers and embedded systems
- RJ11 to connect to an analog modem or DSL line
- TAE to RJ11 adapter or cable to connect to a phone network outlet (There are different TAE plugs for Germany and Austria which are not interchangable)
- SATA, eSATA cables
- Your trusty VT100
- Centronics cable
- IDE, ATA cable
Firewire (IEEE 1394 A/B)
- Firewire 400
- Firewire 800
- Firewire 400 <-> 800
- Firewire 400 (6pin to 4pin)
Networking (wired and wireless)
- RJ45 Ethernet adapter (from USB-A, USB-C or Thunderbolt) to access the wired network. Thanks for not leeching on the WiFi!
- Antenna wire for WiFi or ham radio equipment
- SFP, SFP+ module (copper or fibre)
- 1-100Gigabit Ethernet Switch
- Splicing equipment
- Ethernet cords (Cat5e) of multiple lengths (bring a spare to tether a friend)
- 3.5mm jack splitter (so you can watch a movie or talk recording together on the train)
- Lightning to 3.5mm audio jack adapter
- USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter
- XLR to large audio jack
- XLR gender changer or coupler
- Large or 3.5mm audio jack to cinch/RCA
- S/PDIF or Toslink optical cables
Mobile and Communications
- Mobile phone (GSM) one each
- for your day-to-day SIM card
- for an optional SIM card of the country you travel to
- for a local GSM network at the venue,
- DECT phone (for the local wireless phone network avilable at many CCC events)
- Mobile phone (GSM) one each
SIM cards (your usual one,european SIM [no roaming fees inside EU], CCC SIM)
Apple certified SIM eject tool™ (aka bent paperclip) to swap SIM cards
- Charging cable or cradle
Camera (but please remember to ask if it is ok to take a picture BEFORE taking the picture)
- Photo camera / Actioncam / DSLR
- Memory cards (CF, SD, SDHC, xD, memory stick, etc.)
- freshly formatted
- with an OWNER.txt file, so people know how to contact you in case of lost+found.
- Card reader to import pictures (if your laptop doesn't have a matching built-in card reader)
- the necessary cable/adapter to connect that Card reader.
- Camera bag
- Camera strap
- Lenses with lens caps
- Lens cleaning cloth
- External Flash
- Batteries, Battery Pack
- Charger for those as well
- Tripod or Monopod
- Monitor adapters (VGA, DVI, HDMI, mini Displayport/Displayport, USB-C; especially for the Mac users and those with other fancy slim laptops. ;-) ), you may need them for your presentation or lightning talk.
- Remote control (infrared/bluetooth/radio) for your presentation / lightning talk
- Check the batteries
- Take the USB dongle, if the remote has one
- Headset or microphone & headphones
- A recording device
- Extra batteries (and check you charged them)
- Connector cables
CCC originated Hardware
- Cat5 o'nine tails
- Throwing star LAN Tap
- Torch (Have spare batteries or rechargeables and a matching charger that works with 230V≈ @50Hz)
- LED throwies
- Tesla coils
- Chocolate Fountain
- Headphones (Closed type) (so you don't have to talk/listen to other carbon units while traveling)
- replacement plush cushions for headphones
- Neck cushion (for long journeys)
- All your devices!!1 ((Raspberry|Orange|Banana) Pi, Arduino, FreedomBox, DreamPlug, …)
- cables + SD-cards (+ GPIO equipment)
- extra WiFi antenna (USB) and/or extra Ethernet cord
- WiFi Dongle (USB)
- USB Keyboard
- USB Rodent
- HDMI cable to connect a display
- Pocket knife (Conforming to the German Weapons Act: Blade must not exceed 12cm; Folding knifes with locking blades must not be designed to be opened with one hand. Also, “thrusting weapons” such as daggers, stilettos, swords etc. are restricted items.)
- Swiss knife
- Victorinox cybertool
- Leatherman (check for one-handed opening mechanisms, such as thumb holes or studs)
- Screw drivers, pit set
- Soldering iron
- solder pump
- Any other tools you may need (even if unlikely)
- Analog notebook (dead tree style)
- Pen, pencil, quill
- Winkekatze, there are Operators on site
- Rubber ducks
- NERF guns and ammuntion
- Musical instruments (guitar, trumpet, grand piano, theremin, laser harp, cajón, gameboy, ukulele, tesla coils)
- Electronic Tuner (with fresh batteries)
- Cable ties
- A Slinky for the escalators
- Duct tape or gaffer tape (vital)
- Knitting/sewing needles and yarn (for guerrilla knitting/yarn bombing)
- More cable ties, maybe in a different colour
- A blanket
- A pillow (and sleeping bag/camping mat if you intend to sleep at the gym or in heaven)
- Velcro straps to mount things to other things or people to things
- Your favourite tea/coffee for Coffeenerds
- reusable coffee mug to get your coffee @coffeenerds as environment friendly as possible!
- a thermo travelling mug for coffee-nerds, cocoa addicts, ...
- All the stickers to trade and give away!
🐶 If you travel with your dog
Please check in advance if dogs are allowed at the event you want to attend. Guide dogs are usually exempt, even if dogs are not allowed.
- Food (wet & dry, Snacks)
- Containers for water and food
- Tick forceps / tick tweezers
- Backup leash
- The dog duh
- Paperwork, guide dog license (just in case someone gets annoyingly picky)
- Sleeping bag & pillow
- Water proof clothing
- 230V/16A(blue)-to-your-country adaptor & extension (single phase)
- 230V/32A(red)-to-your-country adaptor & extensions (3-phase)
- Cat5e extension cable (10-100m)
- Bin bags (for rubbish and dirty clothes)
- Have a look at the Fahrplan and maybe make a preselection of talks you really “have to”, “want to” or “would be nice to“ see
- Install one of the Fahrplan apps for Android (PlayStore, Source) or iOS (iTunes)
- Be sure to schedule a period of time to get your T-Shirt or pullover/hoodie/zipper (when preordered in the first two days)!
- To have a sense of train schedules, enter "Leipzig, Messegelände" as destination on the public transport schedule page.
🔒 Securing your devices
All security measures for devices on public Internet networks also apply here – threats might come from untrusted devices within, as well as from maleficent third parties outside the Congress network. Of course you should have these measures in place everywhere and all the time since event networks are no more or no less dangerous than the internet in general.
Make fresh backups of ALL the devices you bring to CCCongress. Test that you can actually restore data from those backups! Have something to backup your laptop on site as well.
Make sure you do have set a BIOS or EFI Password to prevent booting from a live CD to attack your system.
Full disk encryption
Activate full disk encryption with pre-boot authentication. (Mac: Activate FileVault, FreeBSD: GELI, Linux: Cryptsetup, Windows:
Windows? S'SLY? VeraCrypt)
Make sure your system does suspend to disk (SSD) and not to RAM, so you can't extract the passphrase from RAM via Firewire/Thunderbolt/ColdBoot attack.
You did make fresh backups of all your devices, did you?
Check that all your server services are using proper TLS. See bettercrypto.org or other sources you trust for help on how to properly configure your servers. (Mail, Web, VPN, SSH, etc.)
Have at least one trusted, working and tested VPN endpoint available for tunneling out of the congress network. If you don't have your own VPN server at your disposal ask friends you trust to help you out. If you do, ask your friends if they need a VPN endpoint and share!
- iodine (DNS tunnel for those pesky for-pay captive portal WiFi networks)
Don't use PPTP, IKEv1, PSK VPNs anymore, they're known to be insecure. Make sure your VPN works with IP and Legacy IP without leaking DNS and other traffic.
Also have those tunnels configured on ALL the devices you intend to use on the local network of the venue, and have it tested. That includes your laptops, phones, tablets, servers, fridge, etc.
It is not recommended to connect your smartphone to the congress wifi, if you still can't resist, here are a few things to consider:
- Make sure that it's not a 802.11b device, as it would slow down the complete wifi network.
- Disable all synchronization services, as they might be using plaintext.
- Disable all auto-discovery services (network music players, remote control apps, etc …).
- Make sure there are no known exploits for your device (not that unknown-to-you exploits wouldn't be a possible risk as well…).
- Turn off push notifications.
- Update your apps, especially your browser.
- Use a VPN tunnel if possible.
- Use a Firewall and only allow the (few) services you trust.
- DroidWall for Android (root required)
- If you don't have a VPN tunnel available, you can use OnionBrowser (iOS) or Orbot (Android) to surf via tor (which may be it's own kind of risk).
- Set your GSM network selection to manual or you might end up connected to a rogue GSM network.
If you are unsure if there are still some services transmitting plaintext data, do not connect.
PrePaid SIM Cards
Make sure you get a right sized SIM card for your GSM mobile phone! If you need help with buying a SIM card, ask a local for assistance. They're friendly!
📫 Staying up-to-date
Most events publish a lot of information about events as they happen. There are many ways to stay in the loop during the event or in between by subscribing to RSS feeds, Twitter accounts, mailing lists and even newsletters [sic]. For a list of CCC related news sources you may be interested in following, see 'CCCongress Info Channels.md' in this repository.
🔙 For when you return home
- Store chocolate/chips/crisps at home as an post-event depression antidote
- Make notes during CCCongress to watch all the lectures you missed on site because you were attending an awesome workshop or were having interesting conversations with people.
- Contact the cool people you met at the event
- Look for related local events and communities
❤️ Thanks for being awesome ✨
These people have contributed to improve this list for everyone (in no particular order):
- The Compiler