January FTX will be a one-day event commencing at 1500Z on the 27th,  at  Training Area North.  Gear check and a little target practice, followed by a briefing on this years events and training goals.



Happy NewYear.  Expecting great things to happen this year.  Also expecting more “great moments in cultural enrichment”  this year.  Undecided whether to write the book now myself or wait till the historians write it 400 years from now.



Ol’ Remus over at the Woodpile Report offers this tidbit for us to ponder while warming our feet around the pot-belly stove.



“There’s an ugly, unavoidable reckoning building. The cynic in me says however remote you are, or self-sufficient you are, however well-appointed your hidey-hole, however much ammo you have, however deep your deep larder, however much training and comms and meds you have, it probably ain’t enough for what’s coming.”


Beyond the scope of the “Alamance Ranger Notes” to delve into the whys and wherefores of the culture wars.  Only to point towards the planning and preparing for the day it gets “past resolution by normal means”.  For now, for most folk, this is just a small sore spot that makes suitable material for humor.







To that end, this spring we’ll be adding some ideas from the GO-RUCK people to our road-work and trail-work.  Seems they sell some real pretty gear for those city-dwellers that want the experience of getting outdoors for the day and can afford to look good while doing it.  For those of you that already have a nice sturdy pack filled with 30-80 pounds of important crap, ( yes, looking right at you) you can skip the shopping on their site.  But do look at their chart for “rucking”.






Max has amended his training classes to now include a minimum level of fitness as a condition for enrollment.  Maybe a good idea when you’re training 20 people who have paid real dollars and expect to get the most for that money.  Bear in mind that “others” have also altered their training standards to achieve their new goals, though not necessarily for the better.  No insult taken here.


Brushbeater has pointed out that while low-power portable radios are highly desirable for field operations, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us noobs to learn basic skills on one of the standard 100 watt hf rigs.  And this type of radio can be had, used and in very good condition, for not a huge investment.  Some examples from ebay —



A used Kenwood TS-440 for just $270.



A used Yaseu FT-897 for $395.


And a used Icom IC-706 also for $395.


There are many other sources of used equipment in good shape.  Most Hams take very good care of their equipment and most is very well constructed and nearly idiot proof.   Well suited for those just learning to operate a radio, especially in digital modes.


And ITS Tactical has a good background story that tells you some of the basics for when you go shopping for your gear.



And, and, and….. you’re in such luck.  Winter Field Day 2018 is the weekend of the 27th and 28th.  Imagine that.  Mostly aimed at the lower bands and any/all modes with the point of making as many contacts as possible without really caring who is on the other end, or what kind of antenna they’re using, or if they’re running 10 watts or a thousand.  Just like most contests.  It’s an exercise in listening too!





Finally,  just a reminder — these cold winter nights sure would be a good time to work on some of that free FEMA training and/or studying for that General class exam like you’re supposed to be doing.  Just saying….