My activations so far have been day hikes.  I avoid round trip hikes of more than about 12-14 miles, and scrutinize hikes rated difficult to ensure they are not beyond my capabilities.  As I typically hike solo, I do not want to end up in a bad situation.

I start my planning the night before, to ensure an early start.  Here are some preparation tasks:

  • Load trail into Alltrails assuming one exists.
  • Load relevant Caltopo maps into my phone.
  • Print three copies of Caltopo and Alltrails maps: one for the hike, one to leave in my car, and one to leave with my wife.  The latter two are in case I do not come back in time and a search is required.
  • Pack wide area maps into my pack.  Tom Harrison maps are preferred.
  • Ensure I have enough Clif bars to last a whole day.  I take about 4 or so.
  • Charge my phone, my Garmin GPS, and my HT
  • Pack my HT antenna, a bandpass filter, my notebook and pencils.
  • Review AllTrails direction to trailhead.  Print this out as the GPS in my car usually cannot provide directions to trailheads.
  • Gas up my car.

The morning of the hike, I fill up my water bottles, check the directions, and go through my pack to make sure I have everything.


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