Stop making excuses and try! What we learn from the experience will be worth it!
Far too often on the channel, people say there is no point in trying, because things are too difficult, too expensive, too whatever. I rarely talk about my personal life, But I too have physical challenges to overcome. Today I will try to inspire some operators to stop complaining, and just get out and try!
Some years ago I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease. I have one “good” eye and one practically useless eye. It took a while to adapt to the situation, but ultimately, I did. After a lifetime of motorcycle riding and few accidents, arthritis plagues me daily. I’m not complaining, it just is what it is. There certainly were days when I wanted to eat a bullet, but I sucked it up and dealt with the situation. This didn’t stop me from my portable ham radio work! It also didn’t stop me from living! I get outside whenever time permits. I do solo adventures on my bike or hiking, and sometimes Snapper joins me for added support.
For more difficult adventures I join up with my buddies. The bitter cold is probably the only show stopper, where I take care not to bite off too much. Still, there is no reason to make excuses for not getting your gear together, and heading out for some off-grid comms work. This, regardless of life or gear limitations.
At the end of May 2023, several of my friends and I headed up to the Arctic Circle for a ham radio expedition. It wasn’t my first time at that location, but it was nice to be back. Although it could be considered a “failure”, the lessons we brought back were priceless.
The first time I was there, it was a solo adventure. No dog, no buddies! Just hiking from a drop-off point some tens of kilometres away, and solo camping for 4 days, 3 nights. I wasn’t sure if I could do it by myself, but I did. Far too heavy load, current hungry radio gear, and lots of rain! Still, that was a great learning experience. It was also an experience, setting the stage for portable off-grid power and comms strategies on the channel today.
The point being made is not allowing our perceived disadvantages to get in the way of achieving our goals! This morning I watched a youtube video of a young man in good condition, making excuses for setting up in his backyard, rather than being out in the field. “If you’re that injured, why are you making videos?” I thought quietly. Get some rest, then try again another day. Anyway, the backyard is a starting point! It should never be used as a crutch!
Sometimes the point just isn’t getting across. Off-grid comms and survival radio are serious topics. What may be preppertainment for watchers on YouTube and Rumble, are serious business for others. These are not our hobbies! Emcomm, survival radio and off-grid comms and power are a potential lifeline. The topic may be “entertaining”, but thats not it’s goal. The network building, the off-grid power strategies, the gear design and diy projects, the fixed station and fieldwork, all contribute to a reliable communications and power framework. For any of us deciding to grow a pair, suck it up, get out there and try!
In a real disaster, where we need to put our skills to work, we can’t just decide we don’t “feel” like stepping up. We may need to exit our comfort zones to get it done. Alternatively, we can quit and end up as a statistic. Thankfully, the choice is our own.
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