Ham Radio Go Packs


Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. First off, let me apologize for not posting in over a week. My wife and I are becoming foster parents and we are in the final stages of it so my life got a little hectic last week, so lets see if we can get back on track, OK? So what are we going to talk about this time? Well, one thing that every ham radio operator should have is a Go Pack.

Whats a Go Pack you ask? Well it is a bag that you have a bunch of different things that you might need in the field during an emergency. Something that you can grab as you walk out the door and not have to collect everything up before you can leave to go help with some event. So probably one of the most important things your going to need is something to carry all your stuff in. You can use a back pack, duffle bag, suit case, 5 gallon bucket, whatever you want to.

Now what you put in it varies from person to person. I’m going to tell yall what I have in mine and maybe some other options that would be good to have.

  • Copy of FCC License, and RACES/ARES ID Badge
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Spool of Red/Black 14AWG wire
  • Auto battery clips. I have my battery clips connected with a short piece of wire to a quick disconnect plug. It’s about a foot in length total.
  • I have a short power cables with a quick disconnect on one end and a radio specific power connector on the other. I have one for each handheld radio that I own and a couple with mobile radio connectors on it.
  • I also have a pre-made power cable about 25 feet long with a quick disconnect end on both ends. If I am ever in a vehicle that is not mine and that doesn’t have a radio in it already. I take the Battery clip cable and plug it into the 25 foot power cable and then into the appropriate radio power cable.
  • Soldering Iron and Solder
  • Electrical Tape
  • Flash light
  • First Aid Kit
  • Extra AA and C Batteries. AA batteries are for my HT non-rechargable battery pack and C batteries are for my flashlight.
  • Rain Poncho
  • VOM Multimeter
  • Connector Box. I bought a fishing tackle box that is like this one and Ive put all the different types of electrical ends, extra quick disconnect ends, a few SO-239 ends, a couple SO-239 to BNC adapters, a SO-239 to SMA adapter, a spare set of auto battery clips, and some electrical and coax barrel connectors. I’m sure there is something that I missed, but you get the gist of it I’m sure.
  • Hand sanitizer, which can double as a fire starter if needed.
  • Matches and a lighter
  • Leatherman Multitool
  • A few pens and pencils
  • A small flip book style writing pad
  • A small clip board
  • Chapstick
  • A collapsible drinking cup
  • A couple protein bars for snacks
  • Gloves – 1 pair of leather work gloves and a few pairs of latex gloves
  • A bottle of pain killers. Something to think about with this, if you take any prescription medication or have allergies its good to have some of those in your pack to. However, something to think about is that if you prescription medication especially they need to be in a bottle that you get them in. It can be an old one but it needs to have what it is, your name and the doctor that prescribed it on it due to legal issues if you get pulled over or your bag is checked by an officer

All the above stuff is always in my go pack and either in the trunk of my car or in a closet in my house. My HT radio and extra battery is always in my charger since it has a trickle charge function. Whenever I get activated for something other than like an incoming storm, I will grab my HT and extra battery and changer and put the whole thing in my go back before I walk out the door. I also grab a couple bottles of water.

My go pack is constantly evolving. Anytime I use it in the field and find out that I need something but don’t have, if it is something that I think it might be needed on a regular basis and its not to big, it will probably be added to my pack for the next time. On the flip side of that if there is something in my pack that I haven’t used in a long time I may take it out of it to make room for something else.

Please remember, than my list of items may not be exactly what you need in your go pack. This list is just my opinion as to what I have found that may be needed in the field. My father, KC5PWQ, and I got our license on the same day and both of us have volunteered in several events and while there are a lot of things that are the same in our packs, there are some things different to.

As I was doing research for this article I came across several pages that give good examples of go pack item lists, some of which I may be adding to my own. Below is a list of pages that I found during my research. Check them out and make your list of things that you might want in your go pack from experience and/or a combination of these pages.

These are just a few of the pages that I found, but there is a lot of good information in them and if you want some more ideas, just do a search on your favorite search engine. I hope that you found the information on this post helpful for you and either gave you some ideas to start your first go pack, or just something that you might want to add to yours. Please share this post with your friends and like to my Facebook page and follow me on twitter, links to both are at the top right of the page. Thanks again for reading my post and I hope that you will come back and read more of my posts.

73 de K5CLM

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