‘Summertime’ Portable Setup

Over the past couple of months Ive put off getting out with my radio to the extent that I have hardly used my new Icom IC-705. This would not be a big problem if it wasn’t for the whining noise coming from my XYL about how wasteful that is 😉

But fear not I have decided to find more ways of being comfortable when in the field and fully intend to get out both on foot and on my bike and easily be able to take shelter.

First is to make my radio as portable as possible. Normally my radios live in Peli cases, Peli cases are great to protect your gear in transit but when on foot for a few miles it can become tiring carrying them so the peli case option will change for when on the bike, more of that in another post.

For now I will return to using a bag for the radio and antennas I need. I tried this yesterday and was able to pack my Icom IC-705, MAT Tuner, headset, EFHW antenna, 6m SOTABeams carbon mast, Icom ID-52, poncho and walking pole all into a Hazard 4 Evac Watson Sling pack.

For operating in the rain one of the key parts of this setup is the Poncho.

It is the Onetigris tentsformer. you can wear it in the rain as a regular poncho, worth noting its big enough to cover me and the pack, and once you set up you can use it with a pole or hang from a tree and form a shelter, if you have a second one you can zip them together to make a small tent to keep out of the elements and even camp out for a night or two.

With this core setup I can add more equipment as required, for example one of my small batteries will fit in the pack or I could being my M1ECC antennas coil and whip in its separate sling pack and if Im not walking too far I can put an Amp or QRO radio in a bigger backpack.

However on Sunday’s walk I wanted to try out the poncho and minimal radio gear so just the IC-705 tuner and EFHW. I’ve never had much success with an EFHW so need to work on that a but more, if I can get something workable it would be handy as its small and light.

Setting up the Poncho is quick and easy, peg out the corners and then extend the walking pole to about 1.2m (4ft) and put one ind in the hood of the poncho and the other on the ground of course 🙂 the poncho weighs about 640g/22.5oz so won’t add much to your load and will be a rear benefit on top of a hill on a wet and windy day. Ive ordered a second one so that I can make up the tent and will be trying that out on a camping trip soon.

I was only out for a couple of hours but it was raining so I was able to keep myself and radio dry with very little effort. A positive experience.

Next time I will take a longer trip on the bike..