December 15, 2015

Kitting Out for Winter


Winter's here in the high desert, and long past time to change out all the summer stuff in the kit.  I find myself lugging more contingency gear during the winter, so the change-out also includes a bigger pack:

Got one of these in OD at Clothing Sales back in 2004, and it has held up admirably since then.  They don't sell them in OD anymore, but you can get one in "Coyote Brown" which is just as good.  Or in Multicam if that's your thing.   Only thing I found better so far is my London Bridge 1476A, but you definitely get what you pay for when you buy LBT.

For those of you who run Yaesu FT-817s as your field radio, I have found that they fit nicely in the Spec-Ops SAW Magazine Pouch:

I use the internal battery pack and stock Rubber-duck antenna (with 6 meter extension) on the FT-817, and mount the pouch on the pack's upper set of PALS webbing.  Now I have 6m, 2m, and 70cm ham band capability while on the go.

Before I ran with those packs, I used an old Medium ALICE pack:

Got mine back in the day at my local Army/Navy store (which is still there).  It was cheap, rugged, and worked.  Actually, it did a good job. Still have it.



  1. I got a similar pack from Midway a few years ago,this is the third winter I've used it as my winter hunting pack,and it's help up fine. Before that I had been using either an Alice pack,or an "assault pack" that my son in law carried in Iraq,and decided he no longer wanted.
    The assault pack was not quite big enough,the ALICE pack was a pain in the ass to use as a hunting pack.
    The pack from Midway is about right for hunting in Ohio winters.

  2. OT, but not sure of protocol for reaching you these past few months.

    This summer, did some experimenting with 2m LOS and just-off-of LOS with RZR running an Arrow dual-band J-pole from mountain to plain. Got map-measured 21 miles with rubber ducks LOS with Wouxon HTs, and a bit more than that distance with enhanced antennas on each end (house HT antenna was a quarter-wave ground plane, looks like and is the one WRSA put up a pic of a couple months ago next to the rebel flag on the porch.) Armchair copy each time. FWIW, I could see the house from that distance with Steiners, from the rubber duck location.

    Didn't try further distance. Because of favorable terrain behind the good shots, I do think that another ten miles could be done with the HTs. If that works, I'll try to coordinate people further away on the plain, to listen at a specific time. If the crick doesn't rise and the RZR doesn't quit on the way.

    Between then and now, I was reading some on lower take-off angle field antennas for 2m, specifically the Slim Jim being maybe better for mtn-to-plains commo due to other types' possibly sending the signal over and beyond its intended recipient. It appears as if I'll be getting a Slim Jim for Christmas.

    Do you have any opinion on Arrow J-pole v the Slim Jim design? The mfgr is out of Indiana, sells them on eBay, his call is N9TAX and he has a web site. Apparently has sold a bunch of his hand-mades.