Tuesday, 29 September 2015

SOTA Tour to Czech Republic in the Eagle Mountains


I am preparing for my SOTA Tour to the OK/KR Eagle Mountains region on the Polish border, where I hope to activate for four days starting on Friday. This is the first time I have travelled on a SOTA Tour in "minimalist mode" - i.e. with no hold luggage in the aircraft. This saves money and time waiting for the suitcase to arrive on the conveyor belt, and so when I reach Prague I should be able to get to the car hire desk before many other passengers! What will security think of all this gear full of wires and batteries which they do not normally see, as most of it generally goes in the hold suitcase? We will see....

I am travelling via Easyjet on Thursday evening. The good thing about Easyjet is there are no restrictions on the weight of the cabin luggage - only on size. I am carrying everything I need in a Berghaus 38+6 rucksack, which is actually oversize when packed by 9 cms in length. In my pocket I am carrying a small pack up rucksack though, so if Easyjet turn my rucksack away I can just transfer my radio gear to that, which will reduce the height of the rucksack down from 65cms to 56 cms. Then I will have to pay to have the rucksack shipped in the hold. I prefer walking with two poles these days, sadly they aren't allowed in the cabin so none can be taken. I've purchased some plastic tent pegs for my antenna guys should I needed them. I'm leaving the alloy ones I normally use at home as I believe those would also not be allowed.

Here are three pictures of what I am taking - radio gear first, clothing and shoes next and finally the packed rucksack on my back:



Here is my parts list of items inside the rucksack. A few things like camera, GPS, pack-a-rucksack and documents will travel on my person in my walking coat, and I will wear my walking boots and extra clothing when I pass through security:

38+6 Berghaus Freeflow Rucksack Contents: Emergency Pack containing:
Spare Mobile Phone (EE network)
4 spare AA Batteries
Ibuprofen - Paracetamol - Aspirin
Wound dressing
Toilet Paper
Emergency blanket
Plastic Bivvy bag
Compass
Spare boot laces + String
Personal details
Main items: Torch
Yaesu FT-817ND + case + mic + Yaesu FT-270 handheld + whip + spare battery pack
Palm Key + Ultra Pico Keyer + 2 leads + Headphones
Logbook + 4 short pencils + biro
5m Travel pole + guy ring
3Ah LiPo travel battery + lead for FT-817ND
Link dipole 17m-20m-30m + 2 bungees
5 plastic tent pegs - insulation tape - choc blocks
TomTom Satnav and DC lead for car
Asus 10" Tablet
Garmin GPS62s (carried)
Foldaway rucksack (carried)

Small gents umbrella
Canon SX160 Camera (carried)
Mobile phone (Vodaphone network) (carried)
AC Chargers for:
Tablet - Phone - FT-817 - FT-270 - LiPo


Travel Documents: Car Park - Jet 2 flight tickets - Car Hire Voucher - Hotel Vouchers - Passport - Ham Licence - Maps - Czech currency - Message in a bottle personal details - Written Czech / German phrases Clothing etc: 3 pairs under socks + 1 pair hiking socks
2 hankies
2 long sleeve T shirts
1 pair walking trousers
3 pairs underpants
Slip on shoes
Washing kit soap - shampoo - toothpaste - toothbrush - Lynx stick


Size when packed = 65 x 40 x 22 cms (Permitted size for cabin luggage 56 x 45 x 25)

Total Weight = 12 Kgs


Fortunately, all this stuff will not have to be carried around on my tour. I will stay one night (Thursday) in Prague and three nights on the summit of OK/KR-069 at Masaryk Chalet at Serlich 1019m ASL. 
I hope to work many stations using Morse. If I have free time in my schedule I will operate also on 20m SSB in voice if I can. 

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