Winter SOTA Tips

KNOW THE ROUTE and backup options Please feel to email aj2i if any you have any tips to add

· Research your Route and plan for more time then you think ~ 2 MPH and add an hour for every 1,500ft of Ascent

· Get outside in the winter even if you’re not doing a SOTA, getting your body acclimated to winter temperatures and conditions

· Tell others where you are going and times (APRS,Satcom, local repeaters)

· Keep spare copies of offline maps, take picture of trail map prior to leaving trailhead

· Be aware you make not be able to access the trailhead at all before or possibly after (see car notes at end)


· Layers Layers Layers (Base, Mid, Shell)

on the hike you want to regulate your temperature so that you don’t overheat. If you sweat too much on the ascent and then sit at the summit, you will get cold very quickly. So have layers that you can take off as you heat up on the climb. Usually when I get to the summit I will pull on a sweater that I have taken off during the climb, add a down jacket from my pack and pull my shell over top. Depending on temperature I carry three hats, a light one

Use Hot Hands over feet/gloves if needed.

· Breathable, Wicking, Quick Drying and waterproof Base Layer

· Carry spare mid layer, dry shirt and a Bivy in pack

· Waterproof Jacket with hood over Fleece, Parka in Pack when stopped

· Windproof hat, Cover ears)

· Waterproof pants and base layer pants

· Good socks,gloves/mittens and Waterproof Boots

· Whistle

· 10 Essentials (matches, compass, headlamp etc) First Aid Kit


· High energy food (Protein bars)

· Emergency reserve (Trail Mix)

· Drink 1 Liter before leaving car, less to carry later

· Store Water in Nalgene bottle upside down to prevent freezing

· Don’t use Water packs as the tubes can freeze

The Activation

· Stand and move around if possible while On the Air

· Plan for quick deployment of antennas and station. Only focus on a few bands if needed. 20m/40m

· Keep Batteries in pocket or insulated bag if possible

· Double and triple check all equipment is in packed (check before leave home), create a checklist. Keep extra items in back, tie wraps, tape.

· Protect your equipment from the elements (Shower cap) and plan to get bad weather at any moment


· Keep key in safe place in pack

· Carry shovel, traction material (if get stuck)

· Dry clothing, food, water, sleeping bag, plenty of gas

· Wrap large themos of hot drink