What I Take on a SOTA Activation

I think the more hazardous things to worry about are: poison oak, rolled ankle, sun exposure, altitude sickness, dehydration, shin splints :grimacing:


Pacific NW: HK .40 S&W pistol in chest holster. For two and four legged “predatory” mammals. I hiked a hundred plus SOTA miles this summer in some desolate forest and was glad to have it.

Garmin InReach
Throw line + weight (I ditched the mast for good)


The Volksglock you say? Rubbish!

P2000sk. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.

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There’s a large brass straight key lurking in there. Who needs an anvil with one of those!

But you’re impressively well organised. I just chuck everything in and when the rucksack is full I assume everything is packed. :slight_smile:


Malt loaf…


Then on quiet activations you can spend hours picking it out of your teeth lol. :grimacing:

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:joy::joy: that’s right!

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Thank you Jaakko

Good one! It’s a bit more organized than that, but I do need a bigger pack!

Time makes us take things as obvious and it is for this reason that we often neglect ourselves. These types of videos with detailed descriptions are essential for both veterans and novices.
Thanks for sharing.
And don´t forget that the most important thing is that your son watches over you at all times.
73 de JP3PPL

Those cactus!!! Once in northwestern Argentina, precisely in the province of La Rioja, I slipped and fell on a cactus. The pain is impossible to explain! :laughing:

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I operate SOTA in Arizona…it hits 120 degrees F here in the summer…so I carry water…lots of water. And then some extra water because I am carrying so much water. I sweat a lot when carting all that water around.

Everything else is minimal…small radio, small antenna, small battery, and everything carried is scaled way down. If I don’t use it, I don’t carry it.

Did I mention I carry lots of water? No camera, no extra anything…I only carry one band aid.

If my left foot hurts, due to injury, I simply hit my right foot with a handy rock and I no longer feel the pain of the injured foot.

Don’t carry any insect repellent…I can’t drink it. If they made non-toxic flavored repellent, I could drink, maybe I would carry that. Besides, massive amounts of sweat usually drive even the bugs away.

Shade? I hide behind a big rock, a huge cactus, or hold a gallon jug of water over my head. If lucky a swarm of non-biting insects (attracted to my profuse sweat no doubt) will form a cloud over me and provide some needed shade.

Tarps, umbrellas,and other rain gear? What is that for? Wet weather? Have you ever been to the Sonoran Desert? Sometimes I carry a funnel just in case it rains, but I RARELY get that lucky…better/lighter to just lay there on the sand with my mouth open and catch the water.

Anyhow, less is better… just don’t forget the extra water…and the phone to call 911…!!!

Sorry…I couldn’t resist

In Summary…I don’t take what I don’t use…which means my pack is pretty light…if you don’t count the water!

Sweating to the oldies in Arizona


This will make you smile. In the Winter, 750ml (1.5US pint) water is plenty, more than plenty. In the Summer I take 1l (2.1US pint) We had a really hot, dry and sunny Summer a few years back, hottest and driest for 42 years. It was over 25C (77F) day after day, unreal for Scotland! Those SOTA trips I took 1.5l (3.2US pint) of water and had to fill the bottle at a stream I found in a forest. It was in the shade and the water was cool!

Different world hey Pete.


Sounds linke you need a Sweat Quaffing Economic Egesta Extractor.

Then you could reuse all that wasted sweat. :wink:

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You people and your Gulf Stream moderated weather… Here in the Mid Atlantic, we can have 100degF in the summer and 0degF in the winter. I haven’t done SOTA on the lower extreme (coldest has been in the teens), but I’ve done plenty in the upper 90s and low 100s. Nothing like having sweat pour off you and onto your radio… :smiley:

One thing I haven’t seen yet in all the lists is a “stop the bleed” kit. In many cases it would be overkill, but here in the Appalachian Mountains, the trails tend to be rocky and not all SOTA summits have a trail at all. More than once I’ve found myself scrambling over large boulders to get to the top. One could easily have a nasty spill and get a deep puncture or even a compound fracture. My kit has trauma sheers, a tourniquet, coagulation powder, pressure bandage, and gauze wrap. It’s a habit I got into as a gun owner and CCWer (@W7MDN ).



With 100% humidity possilbe at both ends of the temperature spectrum! Just adds that extra little joy to our weather in the southeast! :joy:


I have never understood the need to carry a gun in the backcountry here in the US. Then again, I have only spent much time in the Sierra Nevada where there are no longer any grizzly bears. If you’re backpacking the weight of such a thing is appalling.


Don’t forget the kitchen sink:


73, Todd KH2TJ


I rarely pack mine nowadaze either. But when I did, it wasn’t for the 4 legged creatures - it was for the 2 legged tweakers and illegal marijuana growers we have up here…Sketchy creatures that they are…

Todd KH2TJ