We strongly suggest that you bring the equipment listed on the “Essentials” list, if possible (not absolutely necessary), and ask that you bring any equipment on the “Additional Equipment” list to which you have access and the skills necessary to use them, where appropriate.

Do not bring any type of lasers to CSETI trainings.


  • Personal items – suggested are sleeping bag or blanket, and [depending on expected weather] winter coat, hat, gloves, warm socks, long underwear, sweaters, polar fleece vest or jacket, rain poncho, high-top hiking boots or athletic shoes (thorn-proof). Also, a folding chair – such as a camping chair [these are comfortable and easy to carry] or a hard plastic chair, snacks, water. If you bring toilet paper, please bring a small plastic bag to contain it after use. Please do NOT bring tarps or other materials that could blow in the wind or make a lot of noise at any time.
  • Binoculars (if you have them)
  • Small LED light (red is best) (note: we try to minimize use of flashlights due to their effect on eyes and night vision) –we provide a small LED light that you will be given at the training.
  • Gear bag – to hold and transport equipment
  • Boom box, battery powered (CD player) – to play the CSETI beeping field work tones. We need two people to bring these for trainings.
  • CSETI field work tones CDs to play on the CD player (boombox)
  • Radio transmitters – to transmit the tones via radio (only a few are needed for the group during
  • trainings).


  • Camcorder – easily portable, with battery packs and video cassettes (low or zero lux capability or Night Shot for at night is helpful) (digital to record for many hours is best)
  • Tripod (if desired)
  • Green Lasers – DO NOT bring any kind of lasers to CSETI Trainings!!!
  • Compass
  • Stabilizing binoculars
  • Night vision equipment
  • Tri-Field meter, magnetometer, static meters, temperature sensors, Geiger counter
  • Radar detector – portable radar detector sources: Radar Source or Discount Depot or other web sites
  • Star chart (Sky Maps)
  • Satellite print-outs for the dates of field work (Heavens Above) (including Iridium flares)
  • Microcassette or digital recorder with batteries – for making field notes

All of the equipment listed above is completely optional. Contact work can be done with just a chair and a quiet night. The CSETI ET Contact Field Tool application for iPhones and iPads and additional equipment are useful in streamlining this type of work, by making it easier to detect anomalous activity and to initiate communications.

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