Author Topic: Gear that I was glad to have taken  (Read 1742 times)

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Offline donald.stewart.92

Gear that I was glad to have taken
« on: September 22, 2022, 08:15:32 am »
Earlier this week I went cycle camping on the Pine Creek Rail trail. I knew cell coverage in the Gorge was non existent but I didn’t know how much of the 62 mile trail didn’t have coverage. I came across my NOAA Weather radio while rummaging through my gear box. I hadn’t used it in years. I threw it in my pannier. It’s really small and light. I had checked the weather before going out there. No rain in forecast for 2 1/2 days. But I thought it’s only a few ounces.

It alerted me next morning at camp that severe thunderstorms & 1” size hail was predicted that night with up to 1/2” of rain. Instead of a leisurely ride that day, I rode 75 miles roundtrip to see the southern section of the trail. I had ridden the northern section including the Gorge years ago. I was able to pack up and get out before the storm.


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Offline froze

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2022, 05:31:05 pm »
I have no need for a NOAA weather radio, my iPhone has two weather apps on it, and they both alert me to weather problems just like a NOAA radio, and since I have to take the phone there is no need to add the weight and bulk of a weather radio.

The one gear I do take that seems a bit odd, is my 2-pound camping chair, it's nice to be able to sit and relax.  The one I bought was the Eureka Tagalong Lite.  It came with a bag, and the weight includes the bag, but I don't use the bag, I put 2 small bungee cords around it instead, I think the bag weighed close to half a pound.  For several years I was going without a chair, thinking I needed to pack light and less, but now I'm glad I'm taking the chair.

Offline KF8MO

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2022, 06:12:50 pm »
In areas with no cell coverage (most of our riding in the Canadian Rockies) the weather apps on my iPhone do no good, but I can get forecasts on our Garmin InReach Mini. Plus it'll let us text from where cell coverage isn't. It's tiny, light, and worth the peace of mind.

Offline donald.stewart.92

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2022, 08:42:40 pm »
You’ll be amazed at the lack of cellular connectivity there is out there. An NOAA Radio is my safety net.


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Offline KF8MO

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2022, 08:47:51 pm »
Out where we ride, I'm more amazed at when we do have connectivity  :)  My wife and I are ham radio operators (my name on the forum, KF8MO, is my callsign), and we take our HTs (very small portable ham radios) on tour with us. They receive, among other things, the NOAA/EC frequencies. NOAA in the US, EC (Environment Canada) up here. Don't leave home without it!

Offline canalligators

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2022, 11:19:07 pm »
I started my tour this year with my HT, but had so little luck making QSOs (and had no time to tinker) so I sent it home.  I did use it on Wx one night.  But it was one more thing to keep charged.  I might take a very compact weather radio on another epic tour.  Maybe.

Dale, K2DCO

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2022, 09:29:40 am »
Out where we ride, I'm more amazed at when we do have connectivity  :)  My wife and I are ham radio operators (my name on the forum, KF8MO, is my callsign), and we take our HTs (very small portable ham radios) on tour with us. They receive, among other things, the NOAA/EC frequencies. NOAA in the US, EC (Environment Canada) up here. Don't leave home without it!

While I've never taken an HT on tour, I've set up a bike many times to run portable for community service events. What HTs do you take with you? Do you use them during the day or just to pick up weather or emergencies?

73,
K6JRS
ACA Life Member 368

Offline ray b

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2022, 01:51:01 pm »
I too am an amateur extra, but in the context of my Garmin Mini with satellite text capability for emergencies, I carry only an emergency Baofeng with a 19 or 42 inch (foldable) antenna, depending on where I'm headed.

K2REB
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline froze

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2022, 04:16:05 pm »
So far I haven't had problems with the cell phone, but point taken!  What NOAA radio do you guys use? 

I have had several NOAA radios and they were all built poorly, and were large and bulky, not something i would want to take on a ride.  The smallest one I've seen is the Eton Hand Turbine radio, but I've had 2 Eaton radios, not that particular one, but larger ones (the Sidekick was one of them), and they had awful quality, so I doubt I would buy a Eton brand again.  I have a Midland emergency radio with NOAA in my house, but it's too big to take camping, plus the cranking thing is just plain stupid, I can crank that Midland for 5 minutes and get maybe a minute of radio use; and that's how the Eton hand crank radios I had were as well; both of those brands are junk.

Offline canalligators

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2022, 09:47:08 am »
I used to carry a Radio Shack Wx radio.  It worked very well, was of very sturdy construction and had good battery life.  But it was heavy and larger than I liked.  I kinda moved away from carrying it, but I might like something small and light, maybe the size of a small TV remote.

Offline froze

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2022, 05:46:15 pm »
yeah, something the size of a remote that is built well, with a speaker, of course, would be ideal for a NOAA radio, I don't even want a crank radio because those were just pure nonsense, try cranking one of those radios for a half an hour and see how your hand feels, then only able to listen to the radio for about 5 maybe 10 minutes at the most, stupid idea.

Offline donald.stewart.92

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2022, 09:33:53 am »
My NOAA radio was a tiny one from Cabelas I bought years ago.  It had a n extendable antenna and ran on one AA battery.


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Offline froze

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2022, 07:48:38 pm »
Cabelas sells a very small Midland that runs on 1 AA bat for around $17, I may look into getting it since it was the smallest I could find.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2022, 11:55:03 pm »
Cabelas sells a very small Midland that runs on 1 AA bat for around $17, I may look into getting it since it was the smallest I could find.
Be sure to run a test to see how long it runs on that battery, just so you'll have an idea of how many batteries to take. These radios serve their purpose best if you leave them on all the time.

Offline froze

Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2022, 12:21:03 am »
Cabelas sells a very small Midland that runs on 1 AA bat for around $17, I may look into getting it since it was the smallest I could find.
Be sure to run a test to see how long it runs on that battery, just so you'll have an idea of how many batteries to take. These radios serve their purpose best if you leave them on all the time.

good idea, I also have to check out how well it's made, a lot of the ones I've seen or owned have been junk.