What to pack for SOTA Hike? The "HQD" Load Out Equipment List Summits On The Air

What to pack for SOTA Hike?  The

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All. Right everybody I was requested, to make a video on my loadout, on what I carry it for my soda hikes so, taking. Me some time to give this together just, just, been a little bit busy but make, some changes since my last video on what I'm carrying out the field and so. What I'm gonna do to make this easy for everybody is I'm gonna actually I. Got the scales right here it's just a Maggie Maggie OH sport it's a fishing scale so he goes all the way up to 110. Pounds 22 pounds to 110 pounds and also from 0 to 22 so basically it's 0 to 110, pounds I also, have a scale. Here just, a food scale digital, one for the smaller items but, I think the most efficient, way this is how I weigh my stuff and how I determined, the. Weight factors on things I started trimming things down and one, of my goals is everything. That I carry, I tried at least have it have at, least two functions, if possible, some, of it obviously isn't always possible have two functions but where they are I'll try to identify them, as. I stuff them in the pack so the first thing I'm gonna start with is the pack that I'm carrying the. Pack that you carry for the last couple years is. The the, Osprey. Kestrel. 48, liter pack I've. Done overnight, trips with this pack and I've, also done. Most. Of my day trips are all done this pack this, pack is actually really light it's super comfortable very. Durable and I really like the Osprey, brand there's. A lot of packs out there this. Is the one that I like if I were to do it all over again I would consider maybe close to I think they have a 58, liter but. Since I've scaled my kit back I think the 48 litre is fine I and, actually what a smaller pack does to is it, forces you to think about what you're gonna put inside. Of it and it limits you and if you're limited, well, then you have to make tough decisions on, what you're gonna carry and I think that's a critical way to assess, whether or not you need something, or you want something so anyways without, that any more explanation I'm gonna get started on I've emptied I, believe, I've emptied every pocket out of here and. I'm. Gonna just take everything that's on the table in front of me what you can't see and. I'm going to stuff it all in here one thing on here is this little d-ring, but for the most part and I didn't go, so crazy is to cut these excess, off on straps here some, of the thru-hike, do that to figure out what they need they'll trim off even the extra, I'm. Not that crazy because I feel like the flexibility, do. We have here so what I'm gonna start with right now is going to turn the scale on I will, tell you how much this pack weighs bone, dry with, just a little bit of sweat still etched in it I'm sure, so this. Pack right here as it. Sits is three. Point four five pounds, I don't, know if you can see that or not but it says three point four five pounds so now what I'm gonna do to prove to you that I am seriously. Under 25 pounds, I'm, gonna start stuffing this thing with everything I carry. Starting. With water so. I carried. A, platypus. Bladder. This is a three liter bladder right now I have two liters in it upside. Down I can see I'm at the two liter mark right there I. Can, go three liters I would add extra weight of course if I did do that but. Three liters is more, than I ever use usually it's two liters two liter and a half so. For a day hike two, liters good to go, our. Pack weight now get. It stopped moving. Seven. Point two one pounds, so we added a couple pounds there so, water being one of the most important essentials, there follow, that by with. Food so, my food kit and, yes I'm going kind of fast because, I know YouTube. Likes fast videos so, my food kit to include food I generally.

Stuff Everything inside of a little stuffs tag this is another Osprey, three, liter little stuff sack right here and this, is what I've stuff in it I bring. A ziploc bag with. Like about three coffees, and three splendas maybe, a little more maybe a little less depending upon who's go with me my younger, daughter likes coffee so sometimes I'll bring her some but. I always I love coffee on the trail so I always bring coffee so we'll throw that in there I like. These cliff, protein. Bars so, I usually bring two of them I share, them with tayo my dog and I usually stuff those in, my side pocket when I go so. They're accessible, so. We'll, get to the weight here in a second I, have, a. Titanium. 450. Milliliters snow-peak cup, with, a little soft lips on there I bring, a little piece of a little bit of foil I, use this to, use as a pot holder when I'm cooking because there's a little. Handles. Here get pretty warm so I can pick it off of the fire pretty good but also when it's really pulled out or windy I open that up and I can make a lid out of it this one doesn't have a lid and that's one less thing to carry i stuff, it inside I'm good to go the other thing I have obviously is this Titanian, see two summits deep spoon really nice in these big meals and, I like the, mountain house meal it's a whole variety of in this particular one is a two serving, breakfast. Skillet normally. I had the one serving ones but. Two serving ones are really good too so I'm gonna go with the heavier weight just because so. Let me throw these items inside of this stuff. Sack here. This. I'm just gonna throw it in here it doesn't really matter at the end of the video. We'll see how much everything ways the, other thing I carry is just. A little. So, I've, used a variety of skills I have another video I can link it one of these places over here on aluminum, stove that I made out of soda pop cam it's actually, really sweet I like it a lot. But I've been using this one right here this is another, Opie. Asst small. This stove it's like super lightweight right, there and I. Can shut this thing down, it. Fits right into the bottom of the. Way. Right, on the bottom a little deal here and then. There's different size of. These little canisters, I. Have. Three different sizes just, to show you the difference this is the one that I like this. Is the small, what. Is this one 400. And, how. Many milligrams this one this, is 247. I think and then, I have this right here's the 460. Milliliters, or 230. Grain grams, 230, grams here oh, here, it is I weighed this one this is 201, grams when I weighed it fully marked it on the bottom this, one fulls 230, grams so for the size I, go, with a smaller one and, then if I'm gonna camp out of the truck I can always bring the big giant one this thing would last like forever. 659. Grams of fuel. Each. One these canvases are like five bucks they last, a long time and, then a way you can tell if they're there running empty or low as you. Put them in some water and you see if they how they flow kind, of steaming milk or something or. You can just weigh them out as well so putting. That little case right there d-ring, it shut and, if, I had to you if my packable stuff I do, this little thing like this I could always put this to the outside of the pack if necessary, but it's not how, you do it in there so I'm gonna throw the. Other. Stuff in there so to. Light the stove I've. Showed this on my other videos before I love. This thing here this is a flint, set. Up right here I don't bring matches because this can be wet and it still works. Pretty. Cool little deal turn. That on works it works on my other stove, there's. Some smoke I usually, put this in one of my front pockets, I like. A reliable, source of spark and and this works really good so. With that is a. Chapstick. And sunblock, you, get these little bottles right here, and. Like REI for like a buck or something I don't know put a nice SPF, 50 in there I should wear sunblock more than I have been shame, on me, chapstick, obvious. Reasons but also good for kita white, a little fire you get some wax in there too and, of course. There's. Multiple reasons for this but there's one really important, reason and I need not say more I usually take about a half a roll or less and I bring it thin it down I always fits in the pack better I don't need a lot of TP, but, when I bring my daughter's I need like eight rolls of toilet paper just kidding, but, anyway so toilet paper inside, this. Stuff I usually put one of the front pockets up here and. It doesn't really matter where it goes right now and interest time we're just stuffing in it in a pocket. Two, other things, I don't. Always bring them, but. I probably, will start a little bit more is my just, just a little Coleman LED light red.

Lighter. And then brighter and, then off nice, little headlamp thing runs, on I think two triple A batteries. Super. Awesome little light I don't bring it all the time less I know I'm going to be in the dark, or I think I'm gonna be close to it then I'll bring it so, I'll set that aside for now it's middle expense and this is a Leatherman squirt, I haven't been bringing this cuz I check I just found it again but, the Leatherman squirts pretty cool and I realized that I think I need it because it's real pain in the butt to get. My. SMA, antenna off the. BNC connector, on my DX 8 when I got change antennas, but anyways although, this in the pack because it's. Important to have. Glasses. Old, guys need glasses so, I always try, to bring my reading glasses and, I also have sunglasses that I wear but reading glasses is what I do bring so. That's kind of the food. Stuff there I must I'm gonna kind of move into the next phase of things and, I'm gonna call it my my protective, gear a hat. One hat or another well, there's this one or, my, bald cap whichever. It is I have, a. Couple, different hats that I wear but either way I always, like to have a hat I'm. Gonna throw that in lasting a little bit crunch love this. North Face jacket almost. Goes with me everywhere. Super lightweight they, are kind of spending you can zip it up into its own pocket you. Can use it as a pillow or you can reverse it for you know emergency, signaling if need be and this, is actually one of the shelves for it and you can actually wear it as a coat around town which I do and I also have the gore-tex version. Exterior. Shell I'll be paying on what the weather forecast, is what my plans are so, this always goes with me if. You start sweating you get up on a summit it's windy and your, backs all wet and you just get cold and it's just nice and comfortable to have that couple. Other pieces of snivel gear that I don't, usually bring unless it's winter time like right now we do have snow a, beanie. Will. Be one so some, of my old military, just the wool gloves just to knock the edge off of my hands and this, is one of my Harley, Davidson neck gaiter things, that. Just basically slide over my neck if. I I saw it with my last videos where I cover. My face keeps. The Sun off of me if it's hot you get this thing wet and. It helps cool you down so it's good for cold, weather or hot weather or even just a sweat rag it's. Got a lot of purposes, so I do like, bringing. With, I'll, throw all those in there minimal weight not even worried about the weight on that so. I'm. Gonna move into, the. Radio, deer neck, actually know what let's. Talk about trekking poles I use. The the leaky, trekking poles these. Ones right here I, usually. Usually, carry them often, if. I'm doing overnight or steep hikes for sure I have them obviously. They're good for your knees heavy. Loads if you're carrying them but. They also work is impromptu, antenna, masts and for. Putting. My shelter. Up if I need to I use them as tent stakes so they have multiple uses I'll, stuff them in there laughs because they're kind of 20 objects. So. Now I'm gonna move into one, other thing, I always, bring my my.

Drone Well I have been bringing my drone lately and. My GoPro. So. It's, a GoPro hero3. Nothing. Fancy about that and then, the drone the DJI Mavic, pro, so. I've got the Mavic in there I've, got the controller in there and then I have three batteries one is on the Mavic itself and, then, two in. Each one of the pockets here and then there's some extra propellers in here a couple of things this is kind of heavy actually itself, I'm. Gonna take this off for just one second, I'm gonna tell you how much this drone itself weighs. The. Drone all by itself. 4.21. Pounds. Just, for the drone and. Sometimes I only use one battery and I try, to make it work as much as I can to the foilage will dictate on that that's, four pound potential, of dump if I need to go. Pro I'm. Just gonna stuff that in a pocket on the side because it's, all about just finding out how much everything weighs right now and. Then, with. The. GoPro I also. Bring. An. Extra battery and I. Bring the charger, so. I bring these two things here and then, I also have a solar-powered. Battery. Charger. Thing it actually is in my pickup truck outside that. I'll get in just a few minutes I'll show you what that's about and I'm gonna leave the links below if everything that I'm talking about I'm, gonna put links for everything that I've seen this pack that I can find links for so. You know where to get it how Costin, have more details on it them all this really is about as what I'm carryin and the weight that it's costing me to carry this so I'm just gonna stuff this GoPro. Battery you. Know when these pockets, here with the charger I do bring the charger and then you know what my cell phone also. Is one of the items cuz I use my cell phone just an iPhone 6s, I use, it to log and I. Use it to I, use it as my GPS with, a the GAF GA ia again, up with the link down below so. This. Right here it's my all-purpose thing I am able to spot with it sometimes. Talk to the family text message get emails, whatever. Cell, phone use it for all kinds of things but logging, the, soda go tap for spotting, 73. App or the ham log app for logging, I should say and that, helps efficiently. Put things online so. We're. Gonna go ahead and move. It to the next clip. Alright, so I went, out and I got the, the, charger thing I was talking about this, little bad boy right here again, Amazon item, Gazoo, I'll tell you about it a little later but I think it's uh, how. Many this is 5,000, milliamps, and it, puts out 5 volts at 1 amp but, this thing is enough. Sorry. Output is 5 volts at 2.4, amps but, this is enough to charge my cell phone. To. Bring it up and I usually try to leave in the Sun with a cell phone plug in if I need to and it. Also keeps my GoPro batteries going so this. Is what I use there but I wanted to get that to make sure an accurate, weight stuff. That in there so. Let's. Put the drone here as well and then. Alright. So with these items in here one more thing before we, close.

This Out so the other thing I bring is you've. Seen this part of my videos that's, sticky because Haley spilled coffee on it, Taiyo but. Anyways, it's just a thermo rest pad this, is a short one and. It's super lightweight I use it to lay on I used to sit on I need you to keep my butt dry and I. Will strap this to the bottom of the pack here toward the end of the video when, we go for the total wave so I put the trekking poles on there so. Now I'm gonna move into actually. Let's just stop right there look at the weight so, right now with. Everything I've talked about so far we. Are fifteen. Point three, six. Pounds, fifteen. Point three six pounds, all, I have left is. My ham radio gear, that's, it so, ham radio gear number, one items, the. A suit VX 8dr, with. The little. Antenna, on here again I'll link everything I put, a BNC, adapter on, here because with the, GPS, on to this I have a hand mic and the GPS thing I think, it actually might work for signal, reasons but. I'm able to get spots out with this and then I use the slim-jim J Pole with this when I get on. To the summit so I'm kind of not too worried about this infecting, the signal I think, the hand mic and that is more of an inconvenience when you're trying to log and hold things this, is working for me right now but I did change to a BNC SMA, adapter, because, that slim jims a polite habit so I'll show you a second has a BNC. Type, fitting, to it so I just put that on and run it up and I'll, show you in a ten a second, and it kind of mitigates everything but so, this is what I carry I strap, it right here we've, seen this in my videos on, the front of my pack I have enough v to zero almost. Every single time when I'm hiking in and the other band is on the APRs. Frequency, ping in a signal about every three to five minutes, one. Thing I will mention there was somebody that had questions, about batteries. I bought. The external. Extra, capacity battery I have, the original one I lost I don't work put it so I only use this one is the 1800. Milliamp 14 watt hour battery, seven, point 4 volts with, EMI on this is a yaesu battery this. Thing will last me two days. It's. Not like I am non-stop, hammering, down talking but I can do two full soda peak activations. With a PRS, running and, listening to FM radio, easy honest. And. I still do really well on this. So. Not too worried about that, that. Works really good and goes right here on the front of my pack so moving. Into a, couple. The other bigger items. The, other bigger items so I've had questions about my. My. Antenna mast this, right here is I don't know what it's called it again I the link down there I can't. Read the name because it's got some. Japanese. Writing or something on it but basically it's a five point four meter fiberglass, telescopic. Fishing pole, that's, it 18. Inches long I reinforced. The bottom with a whole bunch of electrical, tape just. To keep that cap on there to keep from Chaffey keep the bottom for coming out and if I have any electrical tape I've got so so, that's kind of why I put some electrical tape on the bottom of the pool here this, being the top I put a, some.

Zip Ties around it and then some of these other zip ties that have the screw holes through and I use those, to. Fasten, down. The. Pole if I have if, I don't a tree to tie it off to anything and I just tied off to a log or tree I'd bring some twine which. This. Is the stuff that I've got right here and I just ordered this there was one of the YouTube subscribers that, suggested. That hey buy some of this stuff and I did so, it just just came in kind, of expensive Michael I but, it's like a non sticky, stuff I was using just some regular, some. Line cord so I'm like chalk line cord and then, I've done 550. Cord I was using 554 lasting so I'm integrating this into the system now just to see how it works, so. I look forward to tell you more about that so this, the good thing I like about it is it fits inside. My, pack so I don't have this big giant pole sticking up outside. Of my pack very. Handy I like that I'll. Show you my other one. The. Other one was a wonder, pull, it. Was a Shakespeare, wonder pole and I think this one is 20 feet yeah. 20 feet six inches but, this. Thing man it's. Like three and a half feet long so. That had to go on the outside of packing would catch on branches, when I'm walking and here's some that cord I was talking about how I used it so I Canada somewhat, retired this I'm leaving it more for probably, if I just go poor work out the vehicle, anyways chickens occur. Yeah. So. We, put the cord inside. Of this pocket right here cuz it's all about just finding out the weight and. Then the. Slim-jim J Pole so. I have these little these, are metal wire kind of tie things and just around it to kind of keep it in place I do. Like the orange ones so if I drop on the ground I can find them but, just a slim jim rollup, J pull the. Guy, named Dave pls. Set one, of our guys in the machine gave me what, a giver he's awesome thanks Dave and. This little bad boy right here pretty. Good size well, it's been a coax, it's not a lot but. This thing makes a significant. Difference in my ability to get out working so, when, I first started soda I did some stuff with the arrow beam I've done a lot of stuff with just the HT and, it all worked so you. Know if you don't have one of these they're pretty cheap, you, can make one but. I would rather do this over, a narrow beam any, day because look weighs nothing so, I'm gonna set this I'm just gonna stuff it in here right now so. I've. Already made a video I'll, link it again right here on my, speaker wire antenna, that. Is my antenna, and that is. All so here's. A couple of those little things around this to pull it on place I took, it off the wire winder, because they're just getting all tangled up that way and I'm gonna show you how I wind this up on maybe another video but this.

Thing Is the, bomb, it cost me probably two dollars to make and it. - from 40 to 10 all, day long and it's, I cut it resonant one to one on 20, meters. Contacts. All over the place, no, coax, necessary. This, has just some open-ended wire, that. I just plug right into this, wire this requires, a regular speaker wire into, a BNC binding, post that I'll show you in just one second in the radio kit so this there's, my antenna that's my HF antenna 42:10. All day long. Tx2. Tunes it up like a champ so now we're into the heart and soul of the. Soda operation, this, is the Ella, craft KX to get, the shack on the Box kid this is a low pro CX. Cs6. Tea bag that, came. With the kit when I bought it. Inside. Of. A kit I have obviously to kx2 I do have, two, batteries this. Is the electric, battery. 2600. Milliamp 11.1. Volts I have one that's already inside, and then, have one external, once I have two batteries for it I was. Carrying the Zippy 4,200 milliamp battery which is laying over in the workbench I don't. Need to carry that anymore because I, can get two, summits two days I get a lot out of this I'm not worried about at all I was. Carrying, their seating so my videos this. Little mic which is still an option, but. You know I'm I also have the mh3. My, honey it's mh3, this, telecraft, mic so. Anyways. In this bag is the mic a. Battery. Inside the kx2 on. Extra, battery. And. Usually I've set an iPhone. Headsets. In here iPhone earbuds that's what I use if I need them BNC, binding, post, other. Than that inside here I have this little thumb drive thing, here, SD. Card reader but that's no big deal so that's what's in here and. Close. That up. I'm. Gonna weigh this with the heavier microphone, so I'm leaving this thing out so I'm trying to stack the odds against myself here so right now we're at seventeen point zero five pounds, we're, gonna have the K X cube, set. Up we are now at around. With wall radio gear and there. We. Are at, nineteen. Point five seven pounds, right now all, I have left to add is my. Trekking poles that I showed you my, hat and my. Butt. Pad if you will so, I will, put the butt pad anywhere. I could find them to hold it okay. So, I went, ahead and put everything into, the pack, you. Can see all I did really was throw my hat in there and fastened, on my trekking poles and put, my butt pad on the bottom so. I'm. Also gonna do this just because. Because. I'm not my zoom h1. Audio. Voice recorder, is right here in front of me recording this I'm gonna use the audio out of that so, I kind of want to make up the difference for even that miniscule, amount of weight so, I'm going to go ahead and add, the items I don't generally bring. Both. Of them usually bring two hammocks and I'll always bring this but I have these two things so they weigh about the same as, the zoom each one so. I'll put those in here as well. And. Now. Everything. I'll put together everything, is on there. The, zoom h1 the GoPros in there if I, bring my DSLR, that thing's another, 5 pounds, I did that on one of my last videos you just saw so. I won't always bring that I'll probably bring that here and there but this is my base weight here here's where I'm at you spin, this around I, don't.

Know If you probably can't see that but. Let me try to reset this there we go like came back on and, if we're lucky we'll see you'll be able to see this. 21.9. Let's. Say it's 80/20, 1.88, pounds, locked. 21. Point 88 pounds that's, 2 liters of water so, even if I add an extra liter water gloomy to water bottles out of fridge as if I added two extra liters, are two more. Water bottles which, are. You. Know about a liter total, in weight make, sure these ones are these ones are actually a little heavier I think so this is just worst, case scenario loadout, so. These are the which, ones are these these. Are 20 fluid ounces these are. These. Are a little more these are like 600, milliliters so this is like 1.2. Liters more than. A carrier, so let's just throw them in there anyway just for fun and, you see how much this place now you can find we're carrying 3, liters of water remember the drone the, radio my, lunch, my, snacks, everything. Is in here right now stop. We're. At. Twenty. Four point six six, pounds. Let's. Just say I bring. Myself. See. How much we can go here this. Is like really loaded for bear I don't even bring this we. Will put it on here just to see what happens. Twenty. Six point three six, pounds, I. Don't. Know what else I could bring other, than I got a tent I mean. That's. That's pretty much everything so, I hope. That answers your questions, about, what. It is that I'm bringing, if. You have any questions specifically, on the gear please make sure you include them in the comments, again, I'd appreciate it if you'd subscribe to my channel give me some ideas of things that you want like, this video it's, a little bell thing for me so you get notified. There. Is quite a few people that hit. Me with them emails they put some of those emails out there the public comments, if you don't mind so that other people can see the different informations. Going back and forth I really, appreciate everybody that's been following me so far I look forward to making more videos and, for now I hope, you enjoy the video thank you. You.

2018-03-17 20:10

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Another Osprey fan! I use the same pack and find it pretty decent, though I don't care for the lid or straps. I may go back to my UL pack at some point as I like the simplicity of it all. I guess one can never have too many backpacks!

Great video Jerry. It helps out a lot in giving me an idea of what to pack for a SOTA trip.

Thanks Tim, glad it helped.

Great video as usual

Thank you!

Very interesting Jerry, thanks!

Thanks Tim! Depending on weather or location with expected weather (extreme heat or cold) I would of course modify this a bit. However, this is my basic kit that I do use on nearly every outing.

Awesome video!! Thanks for sharing Jerry.

You're welcome Tony and thank you for watching. Let me know if you would like to see similar videos on related topics.

Given our last conversation, I had a big smile when I saw this video pop-up. You got to < 25 lbs. you're the boss. I can get down to 30 lbs pretty easy. Any less than that and I have to trade in my stupid military style pack for a Osprey or Gregory pack and switch to the 817. I like the scale :)

KG6HQD Jerry 5.4 lbs. http://www.n1clc.com/2018/03/why-is-my-loadout-so-heavy.html?m=1

Hey Chris - I'd highly recommend making a speaker wire antenna so you can drop the co-ax as that stuff is heavy. I have my full size rucksack from my Army days and it's not too far off from my Osprey. How much does your pack weigh?

Great video! Great gear!

Thank you Gabriel. In the beginning it's almost a moving target as you figure things out. I hope this helps some consider ideas that hadn't thought of yet and help save some people some money if they can understand why I use what I use. If there are any questions on any piece of gear I have or use please let me know I'd be happy to elaborate.

GREAT video, Jerry! 3-things: #1 Always carry a light source...be it your iPhone 6, your headlamp or cheap LED key light (I guarantee you someday you will unexpectedly have to hike or limp out in the dark for whatever reason! It's no fun without a full moon or LED light especially when Mr Cougar is tracking his next meal and you're hearing weird noises in the darkness! ...just saying) FYI- cavers carry 3-lights minimum their motto is "Your light is YOUR life"! #2 is carry some kind tarp, poncho, tent or even a sturdy trash (which doesn't weigh much and also can be used for cleaning up other uneducated (I didn't say dumb!) peep's trash) plus some dental floss for guying a makeshift tarp-tent. If you have to spend a (unplanned) night out you'll have another layer of protection from Ma Nature which is priceless ...trust me! #3 file a 'flight plan' with a loved one (aka someone who cares and knows where to send SAR! when you're a no show!) ...15-years in SAR I've seen a few things and where a light or trash bag and where to look for your warm body would have saved a life!! Sorry one last thing ...Practice, putting up your tent, tarp, radio/antenna better yet every item in pack in the backyard first before you're on the windy freezing summit using you bare hands and talking like a sailor wondering WTH why am I doing this? ...Most of all have FUN but be safe! ...good stuff, Jerry!

Yup. Had some unexpected dark descents. I pack a super light weight sleeping bag in case of unexpected blown out ankle, knee, etc. (Wait... nobody “expects” that).

Good stuff Steve and thanks for the extra input. You are so right about the flight plan. I have a white board on my wall under my radio that I leave my planned peaks on, parking spots etc to include sending my planned routes to my wife via the GAIA.com app. She's a ham as well and on my overnights checks in with me which is nice. Great tip on the dental floss too, hadn't thought of that one. I have used a trash bag as a liner for my pack and emergency item, but didn't include it here probably because it hardly ever rains or snows here in our neck of the woods. All great info from you so thanks for adding to the list of essentials.

Great video, Jerry, thanks for sharing. You can always find more to leave behind. I did an overnight Sierra trip to bag 4 SOTA summits in the Kearsarge Pass area a couple of years ago and used just a 17 liter pack weighing under 13 lbs fully loaded, including the 2 lbs of radio gear. It's all about trade-offs. Your chosen load-out will definitely result in a much more fun and comfortable excursion than my bare-bones pack did

Thanks man! True that everybody has to find that sweet spot of comfort mixed with sensibility. You really don't need to bring as much as you think you do, and you won't realize that until you leave it behind. I have a rule that if I haven't used an item on the last three trips, barring emergency items, then it gets left behind until I realize I needed it. Forces me to always evaluate what it is I'm doing. Example, Steve mentioned a poncho or tarp. I've carried one when I "thought" I'd need it and I'd still employ that rule today, but where I'm at it's infrequent and if it did rain well, after 8 years as an Infantryman and the last 20 in law enforcement I've been wet and functioned before so I'd suck it up to get out. I've spent many nights traversing swamps in the pitch black nights in the South and across the mountains of Germany and I feel comfortable in what my outdoor skillset limitations and capabilities are. That doesn't mean one should do whatever, but you need to evaluate these things based on your own experiences and some common sense for sure. Steve's words are very wise.

KG6HQD Jerry, I meant to express that your pack would make for a more comfortable trip. Reworded the comment for clarity. It'so worth recognizing the other trade-offs of lighter gear - most notably, durability. Your load-out is a great balance of being light, but with some creature comforts to make your summit time more enjoyable. Keep doing what you're doing. You're crushing it. Hope to catch you on a summit soon.

Agreed on lighter being more comfortable on knees and the money spent on lighter gear is worth it to me but gets expensive. I recommend buying what you can when you can for sure and evolve.

Good Job Jerry!

Having a small creature comfort like a stove to make a hot meal and cup of Joe can make all the difference in the world sometimes. Can't wait to see your new gear / video man!

KG6HQD Jerry It’s funny was out in the field today and used my little pocket stove for a cup of joe! I picked up a Teton Summit 1500 pack. A little bigger than my Oasis 1200. I also pulled the trigger on a 5105..should get it tomorrow.

What did ya get?

KG6HQD Jerry Yeah That’s seems a bit much. Just picked up a new rucksack myself. Let’s see how that goes..

K9ARV RADIO thanks man. I cringed when I hear people are dragging around 40+ pounds for a SOTA Hike

Hey Jerry that was me who told you about the “Dyneema” line which is super strong and hard shell so it’s not “Sticky” like had before. Dyneema is also super strong for its size. The Clips are what is known a “S” Biners and those strings you attach to your poles are called “guylines” and guyline flange. Thanks for mentioning me

Thanks for the tip. Putting that new cordage to use today. I decided to use the Dyneema for the guylines I may buy another length of it for the dipole ends but we shall see.

Thanks for sharing, good video. I'm liking the KX2 but keep talking myself out of buying one. Cheers de W5IJH

I love it so far!

Cool set up! I'm gonna watch your antenna video now. I'm using a 9:1 UNUN on a 30' wire and it works good. Do you mainly do voice or data or CW? ...oh! Don't forget the Glock! #1 item!

I am on SSB exclusively for now until I refresh my CW memory from 20 years ago. The best antenna is the one you can build or afford, that's effective and not too heavy. Biggest problem for me with most of the typical setups out there is the coax. I think that stuff is just too heavy and not necessary if you have the right antenna. Hope you enjoy the antenna video as it's really quite simple and it's been effective for me to work all across the US and some DX too. Let me know what you think?

Cost wise they are pretty similar. The one I have is from Six Moon Designs and while they no longer make it, it is similar to this one: https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/backpacks/products/minimalist

Too funny, and so true. Packs can be like antennas or radios as they just seem to fornicate on their own

Decisions we all must make.

Watched your video man and everybody enjoys what they do or else why do it so keep on having fun out there.

Used the new cordage today and great stuff.

If you are choosing to not use the Dyneema line for the guylines instead of the throw line to hang your antennas because its expensive you can use EMMAKITES kit string on amazon its very slick and wont snag either but is cheaper then Dyneema. 100 ft 100lbs test line is 10 bucks. Great video by the way.

I collect packs like women collect purses. It's sad really.

Nice video. I wish the lighting was better

Thanks for feedback Brad, it’s a work in progress shooting in my makeshift garage “studio” but lighting is high on my list. Any recommendations on good ring lights? I was thinking of running a couple vertical strips of fluorescent lights but not sure how to mount them yet. Hope you were able to see enough to get the idea.

Great video Jerry. My son is a back country hiker and he bought me a 40L backpack for day hiking. I've been looking at it, thinking of using it just like this for portable radio ops. Not too many summits here in north central NC but plenty of parks. Between you and Tony K9ARV, my wallet is doomed. Saw the KX2 shack in a bag at a recent hamfest and thinking my KX3 needs a companion. New subscriber and btw retired 31 year leo. Keep up the good work. 73 Gregg KE2SX

Ha, ya the KX2 is a sweet little radio & I’ll probably do POTA once I reach MG with SOTA. CONGRATS on those 31 years now the good part of life kicks in. I’ve got 5.5 years left til I hit eject on CA myself & very much looking forward to it. Thanks for the sun & comment & look forward to hearing from you more.

Hey there! Excellent Channel you own. I am currently just walking across the whole of Spain for charity aand would really like you to look at my videos and subscribe. I dropped you a like in this video additionally :P

Great video Jerry. I recently got interested in SOTA. Love the attention to detail you have in all your videos. Thanks for sharing your awesome journeys! I hope to get some of my own videos up in the near future.

Hey Jeff, that’d be cool to see more people doing SOTA & making videos man. We can use more attention to the niche and hams can always stand for a bit more exercise hi hi

Awesome load out, you may want to consider a first aid kit.

I have a small zip lock baggie with my 1st aid essentials. I probably should’ve shown that as well. Thanks for checking out the video and the comment. I totally agree on the kit

I’m new to Ham, studying for my Tech license and I’d like to invest in a decent HT. Like your Yaesu VX-8DR, but see it’s discontinued. Is it worthwhile to track one down or does Yaesu have another radio that you’d recommend?

Can’t go wrong if you do

KG6HQD Jerry Thanks for the reply. I really like the rugged nature of the VX-8DR, so I’ll try tracking one down

I have been getting this question quite a bit and my answer is to either try and find a good deal on a used one or look at the FT2DR as an option. Be aware that the FT2DR has a soft screen face and not as rugged or waterproof like the VX-8 series but is a decent little radio still. HTH

Jeezzzz Jerry you planning an apocalypse or what haha? Good stuff. Gives me alot to think about for my pack.

Haha, apocalypse? Nah, only carry what I need other than camera gear, all that stuff is for sure optional (drone too) but then you wouldn’t have these videos though so

I once knew a very great man, he was my scout master. His name was Dr. Baine In a day far, far and away. He had sons named Greg and Damon. These folks ,along with a few cousins played a role in my life that to this day I'll never have a full grasp on. To my last day, I can only say... Look forward to seeing you again. I sure miss those days...

T/P abounds, wherever I'm around... What the hell were those leaves!???

What's the one creature comfort item you just can't leave home?

Thanks for another great video, Jerry. I have an Osprey Kestrel 38. Today I went to the local REI Co-Op store to look at the Osprey Daylite Plus day packs. They're nice--takes the full 11-lb test load that Osprey supplies the stores for fitting packs. However, it is disappointing that the Daylite Plus doesn't attach to the Kestrel packs the way it does with some of Osprey's other packs. Also considering a crammable day pack to go inside the Kestrel but I'd prefer one that actually fits the Kestrel because it would be so nice to just pop it off the main pack for day hikes during camping trips. Know of anything like that?

Hi Rus, If I understand you correctly you are looking for something like this system: https://amzn.to/2A7MK7O so maybe consider an option such as this: https://amzn.to/2mD5se2 and modify it to fit your rig or use it as a stand alone. I do recall having something that looked like this: https://amzn.to/2NIAzAa (notice how the small attached sack is along the back) but I can't seem to find the day pack that sat on the top of the backpack that you could remove for a day hike while on a multi-day outing. Might just call for a little ingenuity.

You will never, ever regret buying a KX2 or a KX3!


A stool, for sure

KG6HQD Jerry a stool

Great video Jerry. Do you ever SOTA overnight? Is so what do you use for that, hammock? Tent? What additional stuff for that? More water and food, but still all under 30 lbs, I suppose.

Hey Dennis, I do and have. My gear load out will totally depend on location and season. I much prefer my hammock, but if above the tree line that obviously make it harder. If interested I can do a video on all my gear options and when I would elect to deploy one option over another in a given situation...

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