Planning my first activation tomorrow

Hopefully I’m doing this right! I’m going to attempt my first SOTA activation tomorrow while on a BackpackIng trip. I will be posting an alert shortly and then if all works well I’ll be camped on the mountain top and try an evening 40m call.

7.032, CW @ 0100z 5/23

Anything I’m missing?


Hi Derek

If you are not sure if there is an internet signal on the summit i would write down the summit ref and locator somewhere. (In case you forget it)

Have fun and good luck
73 Sabrina HB3XTZ


Good luck Derek. I see your qrv time is the same time as some VK’s so fingers crossed for a s2s although if you are going to camp out overnight, 40 meters through to VK & ZL at around 0500z might be worth a try.

A ZL contact would be amazing. I’ll for sure try.

“anything I’m missing?”. Let me have a look in your rucksack and I’ll tell you. Oh! I see you’re in the states. Never mind. You come back and tell me what you were missing. :slightly_smiling_face:

Good luck and don’t worry too much. You only need a handfull of contacts to qualify.

Hello Derek,

a Beer?! :slight_smile: Good luck and have fun with your first activation.

73 de Marcel DM3FAM

Hi Derek,
I was going to say, don’t forget to place an alert at

But I see you’ve already done that (new UTC time 02:00 not 01:00 noted):

I suggest you go back in and edit the entry though - that should be 7.032-CW not a comma while not so important on alerts, it worth making sure when you spot yourself from the summit, that you get that right there as some chasers use programs that look for specific modes and the comma rather than dash might mess that up.

Apart from that, there is a whole list of equipment not to forget. Since you are planning on 40m, the antenna and something to support it, all connecting cables back to the rig, the battery, the morse key, the log book and pen (or smartphone or tablet with logging program). Then there is all the comfort and safety and food and water requirements…

In short there’s lots of possibilities to forget that one 3 cent part that is essential! If you still have time, before you leave take all the gear out in the garden at home, connect it all up and test it and then make sure EVERYTHING goes back into the rucksack.

Good luck, 73 Ed DD5LP.


Thanks Ed. I fixed the alert.

I think I am more concerned about the SOTA rules and regs than the trip itself. The summit is congested with radio and TV towers so I may need to be on the Extreme edge of the Boundary. My rig is a QCX and I’ve got an EFHW antenna. Lots of tall Ponderosa trees to hang the antenna from.

As this is my first time, I want to be sure I Follow the rules. The mountains and trail are very familiar to me and I’m a confident backpacker. I will be hammock camping.

Here’s more on me:

Here’s a pic of my gear:


Little off topic, but what’s your base weight? I spy some pretty UL stuff in there…

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What’s the brown ‘sausage’ thing ?

Thanks! Yes I like UL backpacking. Base weight for this trip is 12.5 lbs.

That’s my hammock. It’s the Hyperlite Hennessy wrapped in “snake skins”. It makes set up and take down really fast.

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TKS. Not something you could use on 99% of UK summits - no wonder i didn’t recognise it.


Especially becaase of busy summits or the fact someone has built something on top of the summit (TV station, microwave relay station, Church etc.) the rules state that if you activate within the Activation Zone (AZ) it is considered that you are on the summit.
The Activation Zone is anywhere within 25 vertical metres (about 80ft) of the actual peak. This area can be small or large depending upon the form of the actual peak of course.

Good luck 73 Ed.

Hi Derek
Nice on your QCX transceiver, sure you will make some QSO’s :+1:
My self will go to my first activation may 24 2020 with the same equipment QCX 40m and EFHW antenna !
Good luck Derek
73 Éric

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Good luck out there and I will be listening for you. Here’s the shack on today’s activation of W4C/US-022.

73 from a fellow hanger, pat - ki4svm


Derek, Part of the road to Elden has been closed for quite awhile; have you checked to see that the road has been re-opened? Or are you hiking up the whole way from the gate?

Don’t forget the radio?

Have a blast! I’m just getting revved up for post-quarantine SOTA activations, and hoping some herniated disks that have been letting themselves be known will pipe down.

Either way, I’ll also be looking for you on 40m

73, Jim KK0U

The road, yes, but the trails are open. Hiking 10 miles :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update also on the vertical feet. I’ll be legal then where I’m going to camp!

Thought that might be the case. Plenty of room up there; 3 radio sites, cell service, and many places with trees for antennas, hammock, etc. Will be listening for you on 40M.
Best, Ken

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