camping while activating

Hello all , i have the idea to do sevral trips this summer for a few days at a time as some of the summits are a fair drive for me . So camping … what advise would you lot give me about that ? Wild camping part way up a mountain when near a road where you can set up next to your car and at same time not carrrying all the kit and charge batteries up from a leisure battery in the car or best to find a local campsite ?

Done camping a fair bit in the past but for around 4 years i used a converted transit into a campervan and before that 2 years with a caravan but not actually camped under canvas excpet from fishing must be around 10 years now .

Equipment wise i have a 1 man tent which i have waterproofed last weekend and various cooking equipment i have got too but thats about it need to buy a bad and either a roll mat or those semi inflating jobies but also keeping the size down .

73 Matt 2e0fgx


Camping can be as bare-bones or as luxurious as you want to make it.

Google Photos

Here’s a photo of my SOTA camp on a 3,350m summit in Utah - nothing more than a bivy sack and tiny inflatable pad on a pile of rocks. Any the Yaesu FT-857, of course, to work some DX prior to going to sleep.

Google Photos

And then there’s the other end of the spectrum - a camper.

I’ve done both extremes, and just about all the options in between. In the end, you need to choose which you’re in the mood for.

If you’re just camping near your car, size and weight of your gear is of minimal concern, other than ensuring it all fits in the vehicle. Backpacking with your gear is obviously a different story.

For a backpacking trip, basic, key elements will include your sleeping, cooking, and carrying gear - sleeping bag, pad, and tent; stove, fuel, and pot; and your backpack. Before committing to a trip where you’d need to survive off of all that’s in your pack, you’re probably best off trying out the kit in a low-commitment scenario (like near your vehicle, or even in a back-yard at home).

Bottom line, start small/low-commitment and build your way up. If you want any particular feedback on gear, tips, tricks etc. let us know. I’d be happy to share mine, and I’m sure others would too.



Cheers adam , i have done many forms of camping but being foolish i gave kit away when went away from under canvas .

Initally i think best to camp near the car on side of a track … even though may not be a activation area can still dx from camp .

Last time i slept in a tent it was on an airbed and to be honest im not keen on them . But better than foam roll mats . I seen loads of self inflating roll mats but its a minefield what to buy and for uk spring through to autumn im guessing a 3 season bag a good conprimise .

Even had thought of a split charge relay to charge a lesure batt up while driving .

73Matt 2E0FGX

Ultimately this is a very personal choice and it’s whatever you are comfortable and happy with.

I like car camping versus what we in the States call backpacking (think that is wild camping here in the UK). I get to bring more creature comforts along such as coffee, beer etc etc. For example I bring a pair of binoculars to stare are the stars at night which is harder to do at home but couldn’t imagine taking them backpacking with me.

I’ve tried various Thermarest foam mattress optimized for weight but I’m too old and too bony to get a good nights sleep on those flimsy things. I spent a fortune and bought an Exped mattress that is absolutely magic. It’s a honeycomb affair and very comfy and toasty.

I’ve operated from my one man tent and a new multi person tent (just me in it) and both are a little uncomfortable and I wasn’t thrilled with the results. Maybe a car mounted 100 watt rig is a better bet.

This is the larger tent with the Exped mattress.



Cheers richard , i do realise you are not to wild camp many places in england or wales . I know you can or dartmoor in certain areas though . I seen many camping in videos on hill tops , pretty sure i seen james m0jcq ( think correct callsign ) wild camp in wales . Im pretty sure alot the areas are not alowed but overnight away from piblic i imagine you would get away with it . I dont think the police will get called when your in middle of nowhere . I know its a risk but i guess br sinsible if you do it .

Matt 2E0FGX

Make sure you read the General Rules and the Code of Conduct (section 3.7.3), in particular the bit that reads “There can be no justification for trespassing on private property, and the wishes of the landowner must remain paramount.”

I wouldn’t do it on a farmers or someones property , more like area’s of public right of way , national parks etc .

Looking into it the brecon beacons you can wild camp on in certain areas . Probally best to camp in the areas or if not in area best book into a campsite . Not keen on campsite with caravans on personally .

Matt 2E0FGX

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Wild camping and activating g/DC-001 on top of Dartmoor is good fun! !
Would be a good weekend trip from where you are.

Home qth , is swindon .

Not got all kit up together yet , but would be a idea for future . Was going to start not far where i can park the car close by .

Matt 2E0FGX

These are not mutually exclusive.

I joined the Backpackers Club when it formed in 1974 but quickly concluded that the ethos of backpacking did not go with clubs. Anyway, I have done a lot of wild camping, and in my mind it fits best into a journey, with wild camps en route. The problem with a high camp is that it is great for a single summit but not so good for a group of summits since you will have to descend before re-ascending. For a group of summits I think a valley camp, probably at an established campsite, fits the bill better. For instance there is a useful campsite by the A5 south of Tryfan that is central for several summits, or an old favourite of mine, the Red Squirrel in Glencoe, which puts you in walking distance of several major SOTA summits - and a decent pub! Camping on an established campsite is nowhere near as cheap as it was when I started but at least you are not having to dig toilet holes and boil all your water whilst looking over your shoulder for a ranger!

Feels thats a easier option , just need to do reserch before to fibd the right kind of site … still end up putting a antenna up but i expect most quiet sites would not mind

Matt 2E0FGX

I’ve never found one that objected, mind you, they might not like an 80m dipole!:wink:

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Would most likley be a EFHW or a 2m end fed dipole .

Anyone know of any good websites to find small campites for tents rather than caravans ?

Matt 2E0FGX

Thanks richard .

Matt 2E0FGX

Hi Matt
Have done a few wild camps with hf gear, if I am doing a few summits I always try to pass by a main water supply on the evening.

A route I enjoyed was from Wasdale Head car park up to Seatallan for the night and then in the morning Scoat Fell, Pillar and back to the car park via Black Sail Pass (didn’t have the energy for Kirk Fell). As for park rangers didn’t see any.

Would also suggest a good quality sleeping mat I have tried a few of those self inflating mats only to find out its either self deflating or a slip hazard.

Radio gear for HF was my 1kg sota challenge equipment MTR 5b with a dipole and a vhf handheld .

Got a surplus army bivi bag and light weight sleeping bag to try this summer.


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Cheers Graeme , i am mainly a vhf operator due to my hf radio weighing a around 2kg ! but i do pretty well on vhf , just bough yet another handset , but a monoband .

i know that mats , simular to what i got just given to me tonight by my brothers partner she says its too hard and thought should blow up more … i said its not an airbed ! she thought it was but then a bit better than a foam roll mat !

sleeping bags i can find either 4 or 2 season in compact and light weight but no 3 seasons … guess i could use a liner inside the 2 .

Matt 2E0FGX

I have ‘wild’ camped many, many times in the UK. In England it is extremely unlikely you’ll ever have any bother from any landowner if:-
a) You camp on what is now open access land = ie mostly rough ground and/or moorland. It is extremely unlikely that any landowner will ever care less, as they mostly live elsewhere.
b) You camp in/on forestry commission woodland/forestry out of view from any forestry tracks.
c) Amost anywhere else, quietly, out of the way of prying eyes, and do not draw attention by having a fire. Do not camp on crops (I’ve seen it done!). Avoid fields with stock animals.

G3CWI is correct in that camping is illegal. However, the ‘crime’ is trespass. And trespass is a civil matter. It could only ever come to civil proceedings if you damaged property in the course of your trespass and that damage was worth the landowner or tenants effort to claim damages or committed some crime whilst on the land.