Winter Field Day

Hello Operators

Winter Field Day is quickly approaching. This year I’m approaching the event, from the perspective of a winter time, grid-down scenario.

No electricity,  no grid heat, no traditional food preps. My goal is to remain operational in the field, sheltered, heated, with HF communications, away from home, for around 24 hours, whatever the temperature, whatever the WX.

I repeat this same thing almost every year. Winter Field Day has been turned into a ridiculous contest. The spirit of the event is negated, in exchange for higher participation. I really don’t see the benefit of turning up with contest stations in the field, when the point is learning to operate in less-than-ideal conditions.

Consider this for a moment. Rather than deploying with the club, an unlimited Supply of diesel fuel for a diesel generator, and all the Comforts of home, we actually deploy as a one or two person station. Do so with our own gear, our own shelter, our own source of heat, our own food, and running our own Communications. That very well may be the best way to get real experience, during an event like winter field day. We throw ourselves in the fire, to gain experience of operating “in the fire”. Back in the day we had a saying in the Marine Corps. “Train as you fight!”. If you’re serious about personal preparedness or emergency communications, then lets give ourselves the best chance of learning, by getting away from the “groupthink”.

There are benefits to adopting this type of training strategy.

  • We learn to think on our feet.
  • We learn to adapt to varying operational conditions.
  • We gain valuable experience, operating in more realistic conditions.

Do you agree, disagree? What’s your plan?

73, Julian oh8stn

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