Pedestrian mobile POTA hunting on the back forty!

Saturday (January 20, 2024) was the first day in weeks that I had nothing on my schedule. There was no pressing need to leave our mountain home and we had a fresh layer of snow on the ground.

When I woke up that morning, it was 4F/-15.5C but by the afternoon it has warmed up to a balmy 10F/-12C (but then back to 0F/-17.7C that night).

It was the POTA Support Your Parks Weekend and part of me wanted to hit the road and activate a park or two. But my desire to stay put, relax, and just enjoy reading a good book by our wood stove, cup of coffee in hand, won out.

As I mentioned in previous posts, we’ve had a lot going on in our family. To have a day where nothing was required of me? I needed to take that.

Still, I did have a few household things to do including stocking up on firewood.

While I was splitting kindling in the crisp air, I thought it might be awfully fun to take the KH1 into the woods and just do a little POTA hunting. As soon as I replenished the firewood in the house and while I had my boots on, I grabbed my KH1.

“What dis? We gonna’ POTA, Daddy?”

Hazel is not a cold weather-loving dog, but she can’t resist heading outdoors with me. Even if it’s just on our own property!

My goal? To do a little pedestrian mobile park hunting with the KH1.

I didn’t care how many contacts I made–if any–with my wee radio, four foot telescoping antenna, and a few watts of power. This was all about winter radio therapy.

I also grabbed my camera to make a short video–the first time I’d picked it up in a couple of weeks.


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On the air

Instead of detailing any contacts I made (spoiler: I did make a few) I’ll leave that to the video below.

As always, when you’re QRP and not the DX (ie. you’re hunting or chasing, not activating) you need to call activators slightly off-frequency so that your tone varies from the stronger stations calling them zero-beat. Note that this is applicable to operating SSB as well.

I remember when the KH1 was first announced, I read messages and comments stating that such a compromised antenna and low-power radio would not work for hunting Park-To-Park or Summit-To-Summit contacts because it wouldn’t be heard in a pileup.

That’s simply not the case and I knew it wouldn’t be because for years I’ve used my KX2 and AX1 antenna combo to make hundreds of similar contacts. The KH1 is basically an AX1 and transceiver combined in a handheld unit.

It does help, though, to employ a little QRP skill in the process.


Here’s my real-time, real-life video of this little field session.  As with all of my videos, I don’t edit out any parts of the on-air time; I just start recording and let it roll. In addition, I have monetization turned off on YouTube, although that doesn’t stop them from inserting ads before and after my videos.

Note that Patreon supporters can watch and even download this video 100% ad-free through Vimeo on my Patreon page:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Field reports resuming!

Hazel was absolutely running wild as we walked back to the house. I snapped this photo of her as she was jumping around.

I decided to push this short video to the front of the line. You’ll soon see more field reports pop up from December.

As I mentioned in the video, I took a good two week break because I simply didn’t feel like writing or making videos–I was taking some time with family to grieve and be there for my father and sister. My policy is that I never, ever feel pressed to post on QRPer or YouTube because that would make this feel too much like a job.

It’s not a job: it’s a pure labor of love!

And I will keep it that way. This is why I never look at my YouTube stats and only rarely check out my website stats. Those things don’t really matter to me and they’re certainly not a motivator. What is a motivator is the amazing community we have here–that means more to me than my subscriber count, views, and all of those metrics ever could!

Thank you

Thank you for joining Hazel and me on this little POTA hunting session!

And thank you again for the outpouring of kind and compassionate messages as we’ve navigated the past couple of weeks as a family. It’s appreciated more than you know.

Of course, I’d also 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.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me and have a wonderful week ahead!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

7 thoughts on “Pedestrian mobile POTA hunting on the back forty!”

  1. Thomas:

    Thanks for this report. I am thrilled you took some time for radio therapy for you and a romp outside for Hazel. One step at a time, one day at a time.

    Onward and upward…Teri KO4WFP

  2. Thomas,

    My condolences at the passing of your Mother. I appreciate all that you do, from the videos, and reviews, QRPer, and all the rest.

    If your love for our hobby is any indication, it seems clear to me, that your love and devotion for your family, surely surpasses it in great measure. May God grant you comfort at your loss.

    72 de W7UDT

  3. Dang, Winter SYP weekend snuck past me undetected! Had I remembered, the hemming and hawing about going out in the wet conditions would have been a definite “Go” instead of opting the spend the soldering on various projects.

    I really must put these things on the family calendar.

  4. Great report Thomas.

    I’m only 20 miles south of you and the lowest we have been so far is 10 degrees. No snow this winter. The difference is probably mostly due to elevation as I’m only 900’ at my home QTH. Still, it’s quite a change from when we lived in Florida.


  5. The only explanation for Hazel staying with you for the hunting session is that she must love the sound of CW 😉

    Take good care, my friend.

  6. I lost my father in 2009 and then my mother in 2016. Both had long lives, gratefully. CW is good therapy for dealing with the loss. My condolences on the repose of your mother. Take care. 73/72 de AE5ZX

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