Before smartphones and LTE towers were the norm; your options for communications while hiking were limited. Basically you would go for your Ham Radio or Amateur radio certificate (call sign) and prepare a communications kit. Now with new technology like satellite communicators like garmin (delorme) inreach and spot, you save a lot of space in your pack.
- What I want when hiking in the wilderness:
- be in communication
- be able to communicate with party
- people are following me
- check the weather
But I decided to dust off my kit to show you what I was working with. Make sure you add in the comments your setup.
Dual band short whip antenna
Long whip 2m antenna
SMA to coax adapter connecters
extra battery packs
With the above you can carry this in your pack with no problem, but if you are car camping or have a long term basecamp then these additional items can improve the gain.
DIY j-pole antenna using TV antenna wire & PVC tubes
telescopic painters pole
I chose going with COAX connectors as it was easier to get, better prices and easier to trade or find components at a flea market.
Building a J-pole antenna and finding parts to make a tower using a painters pole and a camera tripod. The benefit of a j-pole is that the higher off the ground, the better the gain.
This being all fun learning about radio theory but with new technology like inReach and SPOT, it saves a lot of room in your pack, so depending on your area it’s a toss up which option to choose.