Greater Seattle area virtual campfire

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Ties

Rank II
Member
Adventure

Contributor II

301
Seattle
First Name
Ties
Last Name
de Kok
Member #

25474

Ham Callsign
KJ7RJT
@Ties summed it up pretty well. A couple of things to clear up though. CB even though it’s 40 channels, only 6,19, and 21/22 (depending on the area) can become congested. And when I say can become, I mean they used to be back in the 1990’s, but CB here in the northwest is almost non existent... my Galaxy 959DX has been on for the past 18 months set to channel 19 (the unofficial “trucker channel”) with about one contact per quarter. So in other words very seldom used.

Second thing to clarify. It is illegal to use any radio not intended for GMRS on the GMRS frequencies. This includes using a Yaesu FT-4XR unlocked to transmit on the GMRS frequencies. A typical amateur radio walki-talkie puts out 1 watt on its lowest power setting, GMRS is 1/4 watt at the lower channels.
Thanks @M Rose, those are important details I should have included, I was a little too pragmatic there. I should pick up a handheld CB radio as well at some point, doesn't hurt to round out the arsenal.
 

Otis Porsche

Rank 0

Traveler I

Our HAM is great for comms and calling in wild fires which we did once to the FS in Randel. We always take our CB especially in areas being logged where CB radio traffic is frequent. This is a Canadian video but also applies here:
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Yes, I did much of that route (maybe a slight variation) last year from Ellensburg to 410. I'd be happy to do it again.

We could meetup in Ellensburg or I'd be happy to join up earlier if anyone is coming over from the west side along I-90. What time are you thinking?

@Haris I will have spare FRS radios that you can use. FRS/GMRS is great for ease of use. I have the Midland MXT115 GMRS mounted in my Jeep and I have a couple Midland FRS handhelds. I also have a Midland handheld CB just in case I end up with a group where it is needed, but most are getting onto FRS/GMRS. I know Ham is also popular and I may eventually get licensed for that.
Depending on where you travel... out here in my corner of the NW, most of us run 2m and most of the “Jeep” clubs are making the move to ham away from both CB and GMRS. I relapse over there GMRS is popular, but I talk with quite a few overlanders every night on HF as they are roaming around the Washington Cascades.
 
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Haris

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Contributor I

233
Kirkland, WA, USA
First Name
Haris
Last Name
Husain
Member #

27185

Thanks @M Rose and @Ties for your help. I had read up about these and that ham is the most flexibility, and had wondered what would be a good balance of capability, cost, and ease of use for the occasional use scenarios I laid out. I’ll look into the suggestions you made.
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Thanks @M Rose and @Ties for your help. I had read up about these and that ham is the most flexibility, and had wondered what would be a good balance of capability, cost, and ease of use for the occasional use scenarios I laid out. I’ll look into the suggestions you made.
If you’re just wanting something easy to use, and occasional use, just pick up a couple of cheap FRS radios... if you want a little more power get GMRS and your GMRS license.
 

Haris

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Contributor I

233
Kirkland, WA, USA
First Name
Haris
Last Name
Husain
Member #

27185

Picked up GMRS (and filed for license) and programmed channels 1-7 and 15-22. Thanks for all your guidance.

Should I also program in repeater frequencies? Do they come in handy when going on trips?
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Picked up GMRS (and filed for license) and programmed channels 1-7 and 15-22. Thanks for all your guidance.

Should I also program in repeater frequencies? Do they come in handy when going on trips?
Not really... there are only a handful of Public GMRS repeaters in the whole northwest, with most of them inside the greater Seattle Area and Portland Metro.
 

Haris

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Contributor I

233
Kirkland, WA, USA
First Name
Haris
Last Name
Husain
Member #

27185

Picked up GMRS (and filed for license) and programmed channels 1-7 and 15-22. Thanks for all your guidance.

Should I also program in repeater frequencies? Do they come in handy when going on trips?
Not really... there are only a handful of Public GMRS repeaters in the whole northwest, with most of them inside the greater Seattle Area and Portland Metro.
Thanks
 

Haris

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Contributor I

233
Kirkland, WA, USA
First Name
Haris
Last Name
Husain
Member #

27185

Hey folks, I’d like to see if a rooftop tent is the right decision for me, however would like to try before I go all in. Does anyone know any places that rent RTT in the PNW? Thanks
 

outside.perception

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Member II

664
King County, WA, USA
First Name
Brian
Last Name
Aurich
Member #

26163

Ham Callsign
GMRS: WREY362
@Haris since you are in the greater Seattle area, there is a repeater that covers a pretty good stretch and is pretty active. I think they may still have a weekly net as well:
myGMRS.com - SEATAC REPEATER ASSOC. GMRS: Issaquah, WA

I think I've heard folks from Marysville on it while I'm in Covington. Hop on in the evening and ask for a radio check and you'll usually get a response. However, it doesn't reach far into the mountains. Garmin InReach is my backcountry line of communication to my wife and in case of dire emergency.
 
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Hogman

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

357
Everett, WA, USA
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Balsley
Member #

23615

Ham Callsign
WRHS363
Question out of the blue. The WABDR routes are south to north. Has anyone ran into problems with two big groups road blocking each other going opposite ways? Just a question as this route is backwards.
 
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Ubiety

NorthWest Region Member Rep Seattle WA
Member

Educator I

5,048
Sammamish, Washington, USA
First Name
Greg
Last Name
E
Member #

6193

Question out of the blue. The WABDR routes are south to north. Has anyone ran into problems with two big groups road blocking each other going opposite ways? Just a question as this route is backwards.
I have seen a giant trailer wedged in the mud and trees and blocking the trail on the WABDR. Hahahahahaha
 
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Haris

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Contributor I

233
Kirkland, WA, USA
First Name
Haris
Last Name
Husain
Member #

27185

I think I've heard folks from Marysville on it while I'm in Covington. Hop on in the evening and ask for a radio check and you'll usually get a response. However, it doesn't reach far into the mountains. Garmin InReach is my backcountry line of communication to my wife and in case of dire emergency.
Thanks. The inReach is my second line of defense as well.
 
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Ties

Rank II
Member
Adventure

Contributor II

301
Seattle
First Name
Ties
Last Name
de Kok
Member #

25474

Ham Callsign
KJ7RJT
Question out of the blue. The WABDR routes are south to north. Has anyone ran into problems with two big groups road blocking each other going opposite ways? Just a question as this route is backwards.
Good point! No personal experiences to add here but I guess we could consider driving it south to north instead of starting at Ellensburg?
 

outside.perception

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Member II

664
King County, WA, USA
First Name
Brian
Last Name
Aurich
Member #

26163

Ham Callsign
GMRS: WREY362
Good point! No personal experiences to add here but I guess we could consider driving it south to north instead of starting at Ellensburg?
When I did this last year I saw people going both directions. I went North to South, however, I was also able to head back to the west side via Hwy 410. But I think that Hwy is still closed at Chinook Pass and the snow clearing work isn't done yet.
Chinook and Cayuse Passes | WSDOT (wa.gov)

For those coming from the westside if we wanted to start in the morning, we'd need to drive I-90 to 82 and then 82 or 821 down to Hwy 12 to get over to the South end near Naches. I'm ok with this as well, it might be better to put the longer drive in earlier rather than at the end of the route.
 

Hogman

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

357
Everett, WA, USA
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Balsley
Member #

23615

Ham Callsign
WRHS363
Question out of the blue. The WABDR routes are south to north. Has anyone ran into problems with two big groups road blocking each other going opposite ways? Just a question as this route is backwards.
I have seen a giant trailer wedged in the mud and trees and blocking the trail on the WABDR. Hahahahahaha
I saw that also, what a moron. Just before that I saw a JKUR winching out of the mud that the trailer made it through:)
 

parrotheadnw

Rank II
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

357
Issaquah, WA, USA
First Name
Charlie
Last Name
Poggemann
Member #

24540

Ham Callsign
GMRS - WRMP701
That'd be awesome, can't wait to see your LR4 with those new wheels.



Great, looks like the Wenas area is a hit so let's aim for that!

Do you have a route in mind or are we talking about the WABDR section that goes from Ellensburg to Hwy 410? According to the WABDR FB group this is clear and open (as per the report from today, see below):
View attachment 197387
View attachment 197388

I suggest we get a route mapped out and then we can figure out who is coming from where and we can settle on a meetup point + time. Do you have radios? I have FRS/GMRS/HAM and a spare handheld radio in addition to my mobile unit (I am not an expert but @Ubiety and @M Rose are an amazing wealth of knowledge in that regard).
@Ties, the Wenas area looks great. I have the same route mapped up and am stoked to get out next weekend.

Just in case anyone wants to head north of I90, here is a route I took in the Naneum Ridge and Whiskey Dick area exactly two years ago. I originally intended to go up to Wenatchee, but had to turn around due to deep/soft snow (the out and back portion on the west side). I liked the west side more than the east side because there were more trees and wildlife with lot's of potential camp sites. The east side was wide open and completely exposed to 30+ mph sustained winds. Makes sense, that is where the windmills are located.

1620620535971.png
 

MrWilsonWJ

Rank IV
Member

Traveler II

1,221
Kennewick, WA
First Name
Dustin
Last Name
Wilson
Member #

23384

I will probably be up in the Wenas area camping and running trails this weekend. Do you guys have a set plan for when and where you're starting? Is this just a day trip or are you camping? Let me know what you're plans are and I if things work out I'll try to meet up with you somewhere along the trail.
 
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