This is especially the case as the seasons change from winter to spring.
On March 20, 2022, I carved out enough time in my afternoon to fit in a quick activation of Tuttle Educational State Forest. My main goal, in truth, was fitting in a nice hike–the weather was beautiful, although it was rather gusty.
I needed a little “radio therapy” that day as I had been spending time in the hospital with my mom who had a nasty case of pneumonia. This was a few weeks ago and she’s feeling much better now, thankfully, but those hospital weeks in March were pretty stressful for all of us.
Field activations are such an effective way for me to get in a little exercise, a little radio time, and clear my mind; again, proper “radio therapy.”
Tuttle Educational State Forest (K-4861)
For this trip, I packed the Elecraft KX1 field kit which included my K6ARK EFHW antenna since that was the last pairing I’d used int he field (click here to read that report). I did, however, transfer the KX1 to my new Pelican 1060 waterproof case.
I actually have a solid yellow Pelican 1060 case for the KX1, but after reading about Leo’s QCX-mini field kit built in a clear-topped Peli 1060, I realized how much I missed having a clear lid on the 1060. I checked Amazon and discovered that their blue one was on sale, so I grabbed one. This was a total impulse purchase, by the way.
And for the record: I’m accused of being a radio enabler on a daily basis, but in my defence I promise the enabling works both ways! I’ve bought so many things based on reader recommendations. 🙂
I wasn’t sure where I’d setup to play radio at Tuttle–there are so many options–but I knew I’d find a new-to-me spot somewhere in the forest along one of their many trails.
I started the hike and quickly noticed that the park recently re-blazed all of their trails–very nice.
I had heard about this trail but never actively sought it out. Last year, one of the park rangers told me it might be a nice spot to set up my station, but admitted that it was in a big clearing and the trees surrounding it weren’t terribly tall.
All I can say is, I’m very glad I took the Gazebo Trail!
As I exited the trail, I could see the clearing and gazebo ahead and to my right, a very nice swing.
I instantly noticed at least four or five excellent spots to set up my gear, but the gazebo was calling me!
I walked up to the gazebo: what a fantastic space to play radio. I knew I’d be returning here frequently in the summer months when the cover/shade would be appreciated.
Better yet? The gazebo sits on a hill with amazing views of Grandfather Mountain (a SOTA summit I’ll be hitting later this year!).
I actually include the full antenna deployment in my activation video (see below) including a total of three attempts to launch the throw line over the “perfect” branch. Those of you who think I’m some sort of master at launching throw lines will soon see that tales of my line skills have been grossly over exaggerated!
- Elecraft KX1
- Pelican 1060 Weatherproof Case (affiliate link)
- Koh-I-Noor .9 mm Mechanical Pencil (affiliate link)
- Moleskine Cahier Journal (affiliate link)
- K6ARK Antenna Kit (affiliate link)
- N0SA SOTA Paddle (note: no longer in production)
- Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack EDC
- Bioenno 3 aH LiFePo Battery (Model BLF-1203AB)
- Mini Arborist throw line kit: Tom Bihn Small Travel Tray, Marlow KF1050 Excel 2mm Throwline, and Weaver 8 or 10oz weight
- Tom Bihn Large Travel Tray
- Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Cover/Pouch (affiliate link)
- N0RNM 3D printed knee board
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera (affiliate link)
After deploying the antenna, I very quickly set up the KX1 in the Gazebo.
On The Air
Thank you POTA hunters!
I continued calling CQ for a while on 20 meters, then eventually moved to 40 meters.
Time was very limited this Sunday so I called QRT after 20 minutes on the air. I logged a total of 14 contacts: eleven stations on 20 meters and three on 40 meters.
Many thanks to W8APS and AA8CL for the Park-To-Parks!
Here’s my real-time, real-life, no-ad activation video. Once again, I put chapters into this YouTube video to make it easier to skip to the sections you might prefer. Note that there was a decent amount of wind noise during this particular activation:
It was so nice to enjoy the great outdoors especially on a day my own internal batteries needed to be “recharged.” Going on a nice walk in the woods–and especially combining that with a little field radio fun–is the best medicine money can buy!
As always, I’d like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support. It makes videos and reports like this one possible.
Here’s wishing you a brilliant weekend ahead. I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and/or play a little radio!
Cheers & 72,