Amateur Radio Operator

KC1MJP - Michael

Wilderness Protocol

One of the reasons I decided to get into Ham radio is for preparedness. No I’m not once of those SHTF people, although I do like to make sure I am prepared for most realistic situations. I suppose that comes from my time as a Boy Scout; while I never reached the rank of Eagle, there are many lessons learned along the way which stick with me everyday. The scout motto “Be Prepared” is one of them.

Looking into fun things I can do with Ham radio I discovered Summits on the Air, or SOTA. Being a little bit of the outdoorsy type this looks like something fun to do, even as a Technician with an HT. This also got me thinking about what kind of Wilderness Code or Protocol Hams have for operating out in the wild. Oddly enough, there isn’t much info on the topic, however pretty much everyone online refrences the same QST article. So I’ll refrence it again below, mostly for my own refrence, but others may find it useful as well. The Wilderness Protocol is also included in the ARRL ARES Emergency Resources Manual. Per the manual, the protocol is:

“The Wilderness protocol (see page 101, August 1995 QST) calls for hams in the wilderness to announce their presence on, and to monitor, the national calling frequencies for five minutes beginning at the top of the hour, every three hours from 7 AM to 7 PM while in the back country. A ham in a remote location may be able to relay emergency information through another wilderness ham who has better access to a repeater. National calling frequencies: 52.525, 146.52, 223.50, 446.00, 1294.50 MHz.”

I would also extend the above to say montior continuously, if possible. Such as while driving through back country roads, or putting it into your scanner. I have the VFO B in my mobile basicly permanently set to 146.52, because you never know what you may hear.

73 de KC1MJP