Creating Tech “Go Bags” for travel and conferences

I always loved Lesley Carhart's blog post on packing for hacker conferences and referred to it many times while prepping for #DEFCON , #BSides, other cons, and even general travel. As time has gone by, I've developed a three-tier system that kind of builds on itself for longer and more involved travel. The general ideaidea is that

Tier 1 Go Bag – The Weekender

The most basic level of the tech travel stack I've created is what I call “The Weekender”. it's meant for being out and about all day long or for short weekend getaways. As such, the requirements are basically: 1. Take up little room, being able to fit in any backpack or even a sling bag. 2. be able to charge the devices I'm likely to carry, from ear buds to a laptop. 3. Plan for extended periods away from a power source.

image image 1: Tier 1 go bag – The Weekender with a backup battery, USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-A to micro-USB cable, and USB-C adapter. Small, ready to go, and easy to drop into any bag.

Bag Contents

In order to address these simple requirements, I realized I needed to be able to provide power to USB-C and micro-USB devices, for a laptop, I need a bit more oomph, so the adapter can deliver enough power to charge a laptop battery. Limited by the space requirements, I went with a 33W charger that can absolutely charge a laptop, but it will not keep up with power consumption under load. This means that if I'm going to be working all day on the laptop, I'm going to need to move up to the next tier.

Power sources & adapters



Note that all cables can transfer data. For versatility, I don’t mess with power-only cables. – 1x USB-A to microUSB cable – 3ft. – 1x 5ft. USB-C to USB-C cable – This is the minimum length you want to ensure your phone can reach the bed when charging


Converters extend the utility and versatility of the other equipment – USB micro female to USB-C male. This gives me a third USB-C cable

image Image 2: Zipped Weekender Go-bag and its contents in detail