Adding a powerful Ham Radio to your Bug Out Bag!
Hello, my friend and welcome back! We all understand the value of having good reliable communications in any emergency. In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through adding a powerful Ham Radio to your bug out bag for times when you need more than a 5-watt hand-held radio. Grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
You can reasonably be sure that in any emergency, there will be a lot of traffic on both VHF and UHF radio frequencies. There will be people trying to find out what is going on, as well as those updating others on what is actually happening. You’re going to want to want to monitor the frequencies for information in your local area.
Hand-held radios are inexpensive and easy to carry or throw in your bugout bag when not in use, but sometimes, the 5-8 watts they put out just isn’t enough to talk to others or even receive others. Sometimes, things such as buildings or heavily forested areas can greatly reduce signal strength.
Not to worry, here is how you solve that problem. First, you decide if you want to keep it in your bug out bag, or in a separate smaller bag. In any case, you’re going to need a bag, with a large pocket and a smaller one. Here is what you will need to finish the project.
- For a radio, I recommend the BTECH MOBILE UV-50X2. While you can use other radios, I suggest this one because of its small size and weight. It puts out a whopping 50 watts from a very small package. Cost runs about $160. There are cheaper radios as well.
- Next, you’re going to need a battery to power it. These run about $20 and are small 12 volt batteries normally used to power deer feeders. Their compact size and light weight make them ideal for this purpose. You will need to change the connections on your power cord to fit the battery which is very easy to do.
- I recommend a good dual band magnetic mount antenna as well. There are many out there and I’m sure you can find one you like for very little money. These run about $25 or more.
- Then, you will want to get an “L” bracket for a 4X4 board. This is to set the antenna on. When traveling.
Attach the Radio mounting bracket to the inside of the smallest pouch that it will fit in. I would use plastic rivets and be sure you can still close the pocket for rainy weather. Then cut a small slit on the inside, to fit the power cord and antenna cables through .
Place the battery in the bottom of the large compartment and attach the power cord to it. After doing that, you will need to attach the “L” bracket to the outside of the bag, so it provides a platform for the magnetic base of the antenna to set on. Connect the antenna cable to the back of the radio and roll any extra cable below the radio.
That’s about it. There really isn’t a lot to it. You can power on your radio when you’re walking to listen to wat’s going on in your area. The large antenna will give you much better reception that of a hand-held radio. If you’re having trouble hearing or transmitting to a particular frequency, then simply remove the antenna and attach it to the top of your vehicle or any metal surface to increase your range. With the 50 watts that this radio puts out, you should easily be able to reach out and touch someone.
Well, I know that today’s post has been a long one, but I really wanted to share this with you. If you have children in your group, a small back pack with this setup could easily be carried by a child. Total weight is usually less than 10 lbs., depending on the radio you choose. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will try to answer them for you.
Until next time my friend, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Bless America.