1st activation with my 4yr old


Tomorrow, October 18, 2018, I plan on trying my first activation with my 4 year old. We will likely be on 20m SSB and may try 1.2ghz as well from W2/GC-055 likely around noon local time or perhaps another summit if we get more ambitious.

I plan on putting my 4 year old girl on the air, so please be patient if you hear her. The US does have a third party traffic agreement with the UK, but not many other countries unfortunately. The plan is to run 100w to an end fed wire to help her along as best as possible.

It would be great if she could work some DX, but all contacts with patient operators would be wonderful. I will post an alert/spot when the time becomes more certain.

As all things with children go, time/plans may change on short notice. I will post an alert/spots as things firm up.

If anyone within microwave range wants to plan a sked on FM or SSB 1.2Ghz, please let me know as soon as possible.



Hey Thomas,
unfortunately WX today is terrible in southern Spain and I’ll be unable to attempt the DX.
However, making an activation together with your little daughter is pretty cool and, as father of a 2 yo, I’m really interested to know the details. How did it go? did she walk all the way to the summit or you had to carry her? how did you keep her engaged (normally with kids it’s hard to keep them focused).
I hope I’ll be doing soon(ish) my first activation with my son :slight_smile:

Good luck for the activation and I’ll be looking forward to read about how it went!

73s Gab - IZ1KSW - EA7JUG

Hi Gab,

Well it was a learning experience. I went up with my 4yr old and a friend of mine to help carry her if there was a need to. We drove about 1.5 hours to get to the trailhead, and right before we got there, my little girl started broke down and crying that she wanted her mommy. It was so sad. I almost turned around, but only 1 blueberry muffin latter she was ready to go up the summit.

The 4 yer old then got upset because she did not understand the difference between hiking and rock climbing. My girl loves indoor rock climbing, and she was under the impression that we would be outdoor rock climbing, not hiking. Her first reaction upon seeing the summit cliffs from a distance was to be upset that they were too high for her to climb. Then when I told her we would walk up them, she was upset she wouldn’t get a chance to climb!

My 4 yr old really must be fed all the time or else she gets moody. It was a windy and cold day (40F) , and my little girl already had the sniffles, so I was a bit concerned. it is a short hike up, only about 20 minutes, and my little girl walked about the whole way. Right before the summit she decided she wanted to go home, but was ok after we put some ski pants on her. Unfortunately she felt she couldn’t walk with the ski pants on, so off came the ski pants and she was ok again. We went to the summit but it was exposed and windy, so my friend played in the scrubby bush with her as I made some contacts on 2m and then 20m. Unfortunately I only got my 4 yr old on briefly for one contact on 20m. We did have to carry my little girl down most of the way, and I couldn’t get her to let me put on her ski pants yet she was upset she was cold. Unfortunately with the wind and cold we did not get to test the crystal radio receiver we built together (she calls it her ham radio). We should probably have started with the crystal radio and done ham radio only if we had a chance, but the weather was really a bit to fierce for her to “do” anything comfortably…

The day after she said she really liked the hike, but today she says she does not like hiking.

Lessons learned—

-Don’t hike with a 4 yr old unless she is absolutely healthy

-Use a heated electric vest or other heated electric clothing that is lightweight and that you can turn on and off to immediately warm up the 4 yr old

-Pack lots of yummy treats.

-Keep it short—both the hike and the drive to the hike.

-Be sure to have some summit amusement/task for the 4yr old, as she may not be amused by the radio.

-Be sure to have some rock climbing/scrambling/boldering for my girl to try or else she will be disappointed.

I think I might bring FRS radios next time so that she can have a radio all to herself at least to talk to me with.

I think this is the best pic of the day

We will try again!



OH and we wound up going with W2/GC-020. Nice short hike

Hey Tom,
thanks for sharing your experience! There’s indeed a lot to learn from it.
I believe you’ve been very brave to do that, kids are really unpredictable and keeping them engaged can be really challenging.
There are so many variables to consider: temperature, hunger, boredom, tiredness… I think the picture you posted gives a good idea of what you’ve achieved!
So thumbs up for bringing her up there, I’m sure she’ll remember this experience as a positive one, despite what she said about hiking :grin:

I hope to meet you on the air soon.

73s Gab - IZ1KSW - EA7JUG

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the report, which I enjoyed very much reading and felt fully connected with.
Your story reminded my activation of the new unique EA2/NV-171 with my little son.
Here you can find the activation report.

I have 3 kids (2 girls and 1 boy) and I also have tried to take them with me to some SOTA and even given them a chance to talk to some of the chasers on the frequency, but it’s not easy for a young little kid to feel the attraction by the too technical for them ham radio hobby and hiking in the cold/wind, when being home or getting a car ride is much more comfortable. On top of that, the people they hear on the air are all speaking a weird language with lots of IKAO spellings, Q-codes, stupid number exchanges 59, 73, 88 and all the rest they hear is in English, which was mainly an exotic unknown language for them.
I felt interested by ham radio at the age of 16 and I guess it will happen to our kids one day or other if it’s indeed something to happen.
We’ll see…


I forgot to add—always bring a first aid kit. My little one very quickly skinned one hand when she slipped on some loose gravel.

Again the same feeling…
My son smashed his finger nail between 2 rocks while I was working the pile-up on EA2/NV-092 about 4 years ago…
There was little I could do for him after that even if I had had a first aid kit, which I hadn’t.
The nail became black some hours later and it finally fell off being replaced by a new one.


Hi Tom,

Now I understand why I hardly saw you on the bands in the last few years: You were growing your family!

Your story brings back memories of my own attempts to take my kids to the mountains. My advice is to take it slowly, then the interest will come by itself!

All the Best,
73 Heinz

Savvy words.
Often pushing them to do something we like is causing the opposite effect, although I still believe bringing kids into the nature is fundamental and should be done as often as possible keeping in mind that their interests might not be the same as ours.

73, Gab - IZ1KSW - EA7JUG