Welcome and I checked out your QRZ page. Nice antenna at your home QTH and the rock crawling snap brings home what a Prius can’t do.
You’ll get tons of advice on gear here and on the NA SOTA site plus poking around the web.
Gear aside, Kevin’s site at
…has a ton of info to orient you around effective SOTA.
Rigs…probably three major camps; Elecraft, Yaesu and MTR. Each has pros and cons.
Antennas…camps are probably End Fed, Dipole and everyone else (such as Buddipole)
A lot depends on what you want to achieve and your preferred operating mode (voice, CW etc).
Clearly weight is an issue if you want to roam the western states and scale remote wilderness peaks far from civilization where survival is paramount, your water and survival gear weigh tons and the difference between a 2lb rig and a 4lb rig is possibly a moot point.
I’m a voice guy and have been happy using the Elecraft KX2 and KX3 in a 100+ SOTA activations in last 18 months. 10w/15w and an End Fed have worked but with the down cycle it might get more challenging which is why I just acquired a Yaesu 857 100w rig before the production line goes quiet.
Paul W6 Association Manager.