With Field Day 2021 just two-weeks away things are gearing up for amateur radio’s largest annual operating event. Some think it’s an exercise in emergency preparedness, others think it’s a contest. Still others think it’s just a great time to hangout outdoors with friends enjoying radio, good food, and good fellowship. As it turns out, everyone is right as Field Day is all three things rolled into one summertime weekend extravaganza of radio fun and action.
Field Day is also the largest public relations event of the year for amateur radio. Local newspapers love to report on the activities of radio enthusiasts involved in this event. You can’t throw a rock and not hit another feel-good story about our hobby in the two weeks before and two weeks after Field Day. It’s a great opportunity to explain what we do for our community, and let’s face it, a bunch of hams operating equipment from tents with gasoline powered generators, solar panels, and make-shift antennas is precisely the kind of photos that editors love to publish.
As for me, I’ll participate the same way I have for decades. I’ll be in the backyard using batteries and QRP equipment with temporary wire antennas attempting to put 100 CW contacts in the log. When I’m done with that I take a shower and then head to the shack to listen to the cacophony generated by thousands of operators struggling through poor band conditions and mosquitoes, often in pouring rain while I enjoy a few cold beers in the air-conditioning. You may think I’m doing it “wrong” but the way I do it is why at the end of the long weekend I always earnestly proclaim, “Long Live Field Day!”.