As promised, I said I would share when I heard from Neal W3CUV about his QRP trip to the Allegheny National Forest. Here's the e-mail and a few of the pictures he sent me. I'm not a camping out kind of guy; but this definitely looks like fun!
Thanks for getting on the air and listening for me on your busy Saturday afternoon. Working you and another ham (WB4WZR) who I alerted beforehand, made my trip a complete success. I made a total of 12 contacts operating now and then over a 4 day period.
I was camped at a beautiful spot deep in the forest which had been the site of an old farm many years ago. I had camped there dozens of times in the past and knew it would make a good place to put up an antenna and operate. It required a hike of about 5 miles to reach, which threw off my intended operating schedule. Most of my operating was on Friday and Saturday, instead of Saturday and Sunday.
My SW40 performed very well, that little rig receives my highest praise. I sent Dave K1SWL an email and told him so. It is a real power miser, and the 10 NiMH AA cells I took were still going strong at the end of the trip. The EFHW antenna which I tried for the first time, also worked well, "as good as a dipole", and easier to put up.
My pack, including all my camping gear, food & water, tent, sleeping bag, and radio stuff only weighed 29 pounds. The ANF is about 75 road miles from my home here in Erie, PA My 3 recent QRP backpack trips are the fulfillment of an idea I've had for many years, and are a highlight of my ham career. Like you say, it's hamming at its best.
73, Neal W3CUV
Neal, thanks for the kind words; but I can't imagine how working W2LJ made your trip successful. The fact that you were doing what you like to do ... being outdoors and making QSOs and having fun in the process sounds like a big success to me!
Your camping spot looks idyllic; and it ALMOST makes me want to take a crack at doing something like that. Somehow, I think I'm more of an afternoon or day trip hike kind of guy.
But whether it's an afternoon outing; or a full blown camping trip, there is nothing like Ham Radio in the big outdoors.
73 de Larry W2LJ