I’ve been licensed since 2008, and though I’ve seen mention of Wilderness Protocol, I’ve never been clear on what that means.

I generally carry an HT when I venture out into the woods, and I definitely carry one along with my vehicle mounted mobile when I’m traveling cross country. Cell phone coverage is generally good, but…

Knowing that the 2 meter and 70 centimeter calling frequencies are 146.520 and 446.000 respectively, I never gave much more thought to what to use beyond having those programmed into my HT.

I came across a couple of articles recently that were both news to me, and a common sense approach to both receiving help in a time of need, and to being willing and able to lend help.

ARRL ARES Field Resources Manual

TCARES.net Article

Harris County ARES Article

This is probably old news to many, but I’m posting here to increase visibility and keep as a reference for myself.

Hopefully it is useful to you and you never need it.


This is what the ARRL has published on the matter:

The Wilderness protocol (see page 101, August 1995 QST) calls for hams in the wilderness to announce their presence on, and to monitor, the national calling frequencies for five minutes beginning at the top of the hour, every three hours from 7 AM to 7 PM while in the backcountry. A ham in a remote location may be able to relay emergency information through another wilderness ham who has better access to a repeater. National calling frequencies: 52.525, 146.52, 223.50, 446.00, 1294.50 MHz.

ARRL ARES Field Manual pg. 87 (linked above)

I am hoping that this is helpful to folks, especially now as temperatures are warming up here in the northern latitudes and more people are getting outdoors.

Have fun out there! (safely)

The featured image in this post is from Yosemite National Park, taken during our family road trip in 2019