How to pack an FT817 and ancils for hiking?

Hi All,
I’m an occasional HAM from Uk and am hoping to activate some local summits once the lockdown restrictions ease (GM).
I have an FT817 and tuner, and suitable pole and antenna, but wondered how you gents and ladies pack your radios/tuners etc to keep them safe and undamaged while hiking? I have the vinyl sleeve for the FT but it doesn’t really offer much protection for a relatively fragile/expensive bit of electronics if left to bounce about in a pack(!)
Fwiw I tend to use either an ex British Army patrol pack or a Vango 60 litre rucksack when hiking (depending how much I need to take.)
Any advice/recommendations? Especially from the members in wetter/windier countries! :smiley:

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Bubble-wrap plastic bags about twice the size of the 817. Put radio in bag, wrap excess bag around radio, slip wrapped radio into rucksack. Job done for pence.

As you’re new to the reflector you may not yet know but you can click the magnifying glass top right and search the many previous threads on here without having to wade back through the topic lists.


When I take my 857 to the field… i usually just wrap it in a towel and stuff it in my pack closest to my back…



I’m less fussy about cushioning my 19-year old FT817 than when it was new. Like Andy, I have a [homemade] bubble-wrap plastic bag for the rig which may or may not go inside a dry bag depending on the weather when doing big-rucksack activating.

For pedestrian mobile operation, the FT817 and a LiPo fit perfectly into the front [or is it the back?] compartment of this ‘summer-lite’ day bag.

The microphone and key [Palm PPK straight key or Palm Nano twin paddles] go into the small upper pocket leaving room for non-radio stuff and a spare LiPo in the main compartment. My 4m pole straps to the side if I take my 2m J-pole.


Hi Gordon, I had to giggle a bit at this one. The 817 is a pretty robust piece of equipment and you’re unlikely to damage it while hiking. I fell off Mt. Rogers with mine in a pack with a bunch of ski mountaineering equipment and it came through without a scratch. If it’s going to be wet I put it inside a plastic bag, but the thing could reasonably drive a nail and still work.



Lol, in my defence I did say “relatively”, and the last HF set I had the misfortune to hike with was a Clansman PRC 320… now that really was robust, but it must be said, a little bit heavier :wink: :smiley:


Firstly, ensure your FT-817 is well supported when you get to the summit.

I use the PowerPort WorldPouch for the FT-817 which can be used with a belt loop to carry the FT-817 on the hip, great if you want to lighten the load on your back - or alternatively the case detaches and keeps the FT-817 nice and protected in a rucksack.

The front pocket of the WorldPouch can take a battery which feeds through the case to the bottom of the FT-817, they really thought about this one!

FT-817 in the detachable WorldPouch case

FT-817 in the detachable WorldPouch case

FT-817 in WorldPouch case with Belt Loop

I also use the same RUNATURE Army Tactical Assault bag as Andy @G8CPZ (mine is in ‘stalker black’) which feels like it is purpose built for the FT-817 and I can comfortably carry the FT-817, 6m pole and SOTABeams Band Hopper IV, a tarpaulin and other stuff in that with plenty of room to spare. Worth the money I’d say.

Same case as Andy in the background

FT-817 operating 6m with the Super Antenna MP1

FT-817 operating 6m with the Super Antenna MP1

I had a KX3 and sold it because I prefer the FT-817, partly because I’m not worried about it when out and about. They don’t like getting wet though!

I have Palm Pico Paddles permanently installed now:

Cheers, Mark. M0NOM


You’ll have to operate your 817 upside down as the paddle points the wrong way!

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The lead that comes with the kit swaps the dits and dahs, so all good right way up :wink:

All joking apart I am a leftie and want to learn to paddle with the right hand so I can write and paddle, if not at the same time, without chewing on a pencil…



I have a dremel mutlitool bag which was either free or mighty expensive depending on which way you look at it :wink:

Looks a bit tattier than this

Keeps the rig in one side and all the gubbins in the other. Quite handy and protective.


Well my sister started out left handed. But they beat the deviancy out of her in kindergarten and infants school in the late 50s so she was normal by the time she started junior school. :slight_smile: Such was the enlightened times we lived in back then. I can remember the teachers giving left handed kids are hard time when I was in short pants. If they tried that now they’d have the teachers up before the International Court of Justice in The Hague!


Similar approach here. Using the padded case originally for a cordless drill.

Battery, Mic, 2m J-pole, Logbook, BNC to PL coax and 817 fit perfect and survived the past years without problems.
With a bit of Tetris I can squeeze the FT1 handheld in too. Did that for my flights to JA.


My wife keeps trying to beat the deviancy out of me, but somehow every time she tries it just gets stronger :wink:

Apart from the usual childhood japes which carry on to today in grown ups I can’t remember anyone thinking I was odd for being left-handed, although some would say I had other oddness drowning that out!



Fortunately, FT817 function 19 [Normal / Reverse CW Paddle] takes care of that. My Palm Nano was pre-wired [by SOTAbeams] to suit the KX2 but thanks to this function, it works with the 817 too.
[BTW: I’m a leftie but taught myself to twin-paddle with my right hand]


You need to stop enjoying it :wink:


Hi Gordon

I put my station in one foot container and optional some parts in a second.

The first (4.7 l) contains all except the pole :wink:. If there is a usable tree or so no pole is needed.

Inside on the top you see the flag (!), the log, some paperwork and …

… thin foam below.

On the left side on the bottom the FT-817, above a short coax, a long coax, headphones and the 2 m antenna and pencils in the front. On the right side the microphone with compressor, two current balun, a bag with a 20 m long OCF dipole and three strings (40 m over all) and a weight to throw a string plus a small box for adaptors. The dipole is ok without ATU on 40 m, 20 m and 15 m.

The optional box (1.2 l) …

… contains the ATU ZM-4 and a “vertical”.

These boxes are nearly a perfect protection, mechanical and against water.

All fits well in my rucksack on the bottom.

The access is easy through the front “door”. There is enough remaining room in the rucksack for things needed during a long mountain hike or for more equipment (PA, accumulator) for a shorter hike.

73 Ludwig


Welcome onboard, Gordon,

So do I.
My post in this thread shows the pictures of how I carry them:
Carrying an IC-705 - Equipment - SOTA Reflector

As Andy said, a plastic bag wrapping up everything is mandatory in case of rain.

Good luck and 73,



I am naturally right handed, but many years ago taught myself to paddle with my left hand. Nowadays, if I try to send right handed I find it nigh on impossible !

73 Victor GI4ONL

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Not the same radio but shows my mindset towards packing portable.
Small Footprint QRP

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Are those Monitor Audio Gold 300 speakers ?