Radio Hiking Case

While hiking up to summits, I have been keeping my radio (MTR 3B), tuner (Elecraft T1), paddles, and other cables (but not the antenna) in an old cardboard box. This has worked well. However, after 6 months of use and some rainy days, the box is starting to fall apart.
I’m curious what everyone else uses to keep their expensive radio gear safe while in your pack. I’m particularly interested in lightweight or small volume solutions you have come up with.

I have two waterproof cases a Plano 1460 and a Plano 1450. The 1450 is used to secure a 4S 8.4 Ah LifePO4 battery. Pictures below:

73 Andrew VK1AD

SOTA blog

Bubble wrap works for me.

Coax switch !! Look sher re .
Ian vk5cz …

Ian, switching between a 6m 1/2 wave coaxial vertical and a linked HF/VHF inverted V.

Lets not hijack this thread. :wink:

Andrew VK1AD

I use a travel wash bag. Cheap as chips (fries :slight_smile:), plenty of internal compartments. I use compact camera cases to protect my individual MTR’s, although the MTR5B case is a very tight fit!

I have found radio cases to be similar to antennas in that I’m always looking for and trying something new. Before parsing down my radio herd to the KX3 I had some time with the FT817 and LD5. In the summer months (post spring monsoon) I ended up with those radios going into a ZIPLOCK brand plastic box with 2130ml capacity. This is a lite weight solution that can be augmented with custom cut foam pieces to make compartments and stop rattles etc. when hiking. I found this to be the ideal solution for radio, mike, connectors and 1 x 1P4S LifeP04 pack.

For my KX3 I have now passed the pampering period where I exclusively used the PLANO case (as show above). I now have the radio in a Think Tank Stobe-case along with the power lead and mic.

I always hike with a backpack, there’s usually some soft extra layer in there to help with padding. I use a rain cover on my pack on rainy days and have never been waterlogged yet.

Plastic food storage containers (MTR-3B, T1) and ziploc bags (antenna, cables) are inexpensive and lightweight.

Perhaps a bit large for your MTR, but this Case Logic case replaced my Pelican box and now holds my KX3 and accessories. Lightened my pack by over 2lbs and a steal at this price.

That’s a neat idea.

I wrap my 857 in a fleece top, then when at the summit I can wear the fleece.


@G7HEM, good one!
I have my FT857 in a Mars Chocolate gift box… just protects the knobs and switches…

@KQ2RP darn it Chris… I just pulled the tags off my Think Tank Strobe case after calling it good for the KX3… it was like $40 on Amazon. ;(


All the “solutions” I see here are large volume and heavy. My solution: I started with a piece of 3/8 inch thick blue closed cell foam, and cut a piece the size of the face of the radio. I used forecepts to pluck out tiny bits of the foam where the switches are. I put a small slice in each corner where the steel screws hold the circuit board to the front of the case. i glued tiny rare earth magnets in those slices. The magnets hold the blue foam snugly to the face of the radio protecting the switches during travel. I log using a paper clip mounted on the back of the radio holding a piece of 3x5 card to the back of the radio. The paddle is a touch paddle built-in, and the battery is a LiPO velcroed to the side of the case. This entire thing is put inside a waterproof Sea-to-Summit little bag. Weight of the radio, battery, paddle, protection totals six ounces. You can see the blue foam peaking out from below as I am holding the radio in operating position. 72 - Fred KT5X ( aka WS0TA)


Attached is my solution for the MTR5. As you can see, I am into “ultra-lyte.” I made a hingede cover for this radio to accomplish two tasks. First when folded open, it is the backing for logging and the support for a pico-palm paddle while having the neat LCD screen of the radio facing upward during operation. Note that I stand up while operating, I certainly do not place any equipment on the ground or in the mud or in snow whatever. Hinged closed the cover protects the fragile face during travel. Again it rides in my pack inside a weightless but waterproof small Sea-to-Summit bag. In the second photo the “white thing” on top of the radio is a dental floss case in which there is a 81:1 impedance transformer. The end of the antenna wire plugs directly into it, no coax, no loss, no weight, no connectors to fail. - Fred KT5X (aka WS0TA)



when using the Yaesu FT-817 i decided my rucksack would be the best way to keeo everything safe.
But to be able to operate with it inside the rucksack I built a container (made with plywood) with some connectors to be able to put earphones / mic and paddles easily from the top side.
After years of intensive use still working fine…

Concerning wires, antenna, extra cloth… I use ziploc bags as well…

See full description in this post:

Cheers, 73 de Ignacio

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Your setup is impressive, I’m jealous mine isn’t as compact and streamlined as that.
Tell me more about the built in touch paddles. Do you have a website or other document describing them? I see on your Shutterfly page you used to have some Palm pico paddles attached to the side. Why switch away from those?

Sorry Andrew just having a joke .
Ian vk5cz …

Hah! I thought about how heavy that switch is too! :wink: I dropped one of those once - made a nice indentation in the old floor. Couldn’t imagine humping one of those…Ya guys have some nice setups, especially FD’s. Awesome setup there…

Todd KH2TJ