What follows is an updated version of my HF “Go Bag” Kit.  It weighs in at 28lbs with 3ltrs of water on board and is designed to travel light but NOT freeze at night. 🙂

Over half of the space in the bag is dedicated to the HF Comms kit so I will be able to give status updates to my wife waiting at home 50 miles away as I travel as well as listen to news reports on the bands.  My phone carries the excellent Repeaterbook app that keeps all the local repeater stations on 2M and works offline,  my radio is also pre-programmed with Oregon’s 2M repeater system (W7PRA).

One significant change from the 2016 version is that I’m using 80M NVIS as my primary comms with the LNR 40/20/10 as secondary.  This is accomplished with a simple 84/17 random wire on a chalk reel.

While I was researching which length would be best for 80M, I found several sites that listed many lengths, but the deciding factor for the 84ft element and 17ft counterpoise was two fold.  One, was 84ft of Wireman #534 26AWG fits on the reel perfectly (97ft was max) and two, the fact that this combo has been used since 1936 with success.

The resonant LNR Trail-Friendly 40/20/10 makes a great backup in case my ZM-2 ATU fails me though, and the general rule of 40M during the day and 80M at night gives me NVIS capability at anytime of the day even though I plan to make check-ins in the evening using a modified version of the “Wilderness Protocol” that I have setup with my wife.

HF Comms Kit

Since my site tries to focus on SHTF Comms, I’ll start with the kit and then list the rest of the pack contents last for those interested in another version of the “GHB” of which there are million versions on the internet, but if you are like me your bag is always evolving and usually it’s from looking at other peoples that causes those changes to be initiated.


  • Pelican 1170 case
  • FT-817 w/ Mic, flat CAT6 cable, 2M antenna, 2000mAh Enloops in tray.
  • ZM-2 ATU tuner
  • 84ft of #26AWG wire on chalk reel
  • FT-817 Batt-Pack w/ inline fuse patch cable
  • Te-Ne-Ke
  • Battery jumper with alligator clips and powerpoles
  • 3ft coaxial w/ BNC converter
  • 50ft Micro cord (not shown)

I’ve had good luck so far checking into the Oregon Emergency Net nets using the 84ft wire without the 17ft CP. The net control just so happens to live where I work 50 miles away so this is very encouraging to say the least.

I will be adding a video to the post when I have complied a few true field tests from work to home on 80M/40M just for practice, but am confident that communication with my base unit is not going to be an issue.

While my primary mode is SSB, I have finally included the TE-NE-KE because I feel my CW is good enough to have a QSO (albeit slow one) in an emergency situation.  While the FT-817 allows for CW on it’s mic, it’s very unnatural and the itsy-bitsy key takes up practically no room at all.




GHB Contents

Below is a list of the components in this bag broken down into categories.  My first layer is always my EDC “Every Day Carry” items so I’ve included them here.  My EDC and greyed-out items not shown are kept on me or in the car at all times with this bag.


  • Glock G17 9mm & spare G17 mag
  • Surefire 6P with Malkoff P61 LED
  • Small fixed blade
  • Benchmade AXIS folder
  • Zebra light headlamp
    • (2) AA Batts
  • Bic lighter
  • CAT tourniquet
  • Keychain


  • SOL Emergency bivvy bag
  • Boonie hat
  • Shemagh
  • Leather insulated gloves
  • 6″ FB survival knife kit
  • `SOG Multitool`
  • Folding limb saw
  • 20ft 550 cord
    • 3ft duct tape
  • 50ft micro cord


  • 3ltr camelback
  • Life Straw
  • Blowout Kit
    • Quikclot
    • Izzy-D bandage
  • TP
  • IBU
  • Spare glasses


  • Strikefire
  • Bic lighter


  • 33rnd G18 mag
  • (2) 17rnd G17 mags
  • Alessi shoulder holster for G17
  • SPARK NV Monocular
    • (4) extra CR123 batts
  • Tripwire kit (360deg detection)
  • Quality 7X Canon Binoculars


  • FT-817 radio kit
  • Red Led flashlight
    • (2) AA Batts
  • Lenstatic compass
  • Topo maps of treck
  • Rite-In-The-Rain notebook, Pen, Pencil, Razor Knife

5 thoughts on “2017 “Get Home Bag” & HF Comms Kit

  1. Hi, I have been enjoying reading through your various pages and have learned quite a lot. I have a quick question if you don’t mind… How do you connect your wire antenna to the ZM-2 ATU? Using the black/red binding posts? Thanks!


  2. Great, thanks! You connect the antenna directly without a feed line? I suppose there wouldn’t be any tension issues onto the binding posts with a light 26AWG wire.


    1. I usually use a piece of 550 cord with a “taunt-line” hitch to act as a strain relief on the wire. I work NVIS 99% of the time so the wire is about 6-12ft in the air horizontal. Even though it’s very light (wireman #26AWG linked to above) it is too much tension on the ZM-2 without some strain relief to hold it horizontally.


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