The Wilderness Protocol
The Wilderness Protocol is a dedicated effort to insure emergency communications help either in areas beyond normal repeater coverage or in the event local repeaters are off-the-air and not reachable in an emergency situation.
Here is some information provided by the ARRL and others:
ARES Field Resources Manual
Appendix 6, page 87
Various references to QST articles
Trinity County Amateur Radio Club Wilderness Protocol
The purpose of this initiative is to offer stations outside or without repeater range capability an opportunity to be heard when needed the most!
The Wilderness Protocol suggests that radio operators in the Amateur service monitor standard simplex channels at specific times in case of Emergency or priority calls.
The primary frequency to monitor is 146.52 MHz; secondarily or alternatively 52.525, 223.5, 446.0 and 1294.5 MHz respectively. The idea is to allow communications between hams that are hiking or backpacking in uninhabited areas, or outside repeater range an alternative opportunity to be heard.
NOTE: Though it’s mainly used in the wilderness settings, it’s NOT just for hikers, back packers, or similar situations….it is also available for ANYONE to use at ANYTIME assistance might be needed.
Recommended procedures for “Wilderness Protocol”:
MONITOR THE STANDARD CALLING FREQS: *146.520* and/or any of the SECONDARY FREQUENCIES.(52.525, 223.500, 446.00, 1294.500)
MONITOR TIMING: Every 3 hours starting from 0700 HRS ..on the hour until 5 (five) minutes past the hour.(7:00-7:05 AM, 10:00-10:05 AM, …,10:00-10:05 PM)
ALTERNATE TIMING: 0655 to 0705, Etc 5 before till 5 after.. (to allow for differences in peoples watch settings). You can always listen for longer if you want and your battery source allows.
ENHANCED MONITORING: Fixed stations or portable stations with enough battery power levels LISTEN EVERY HOUR. (Obviously Continuous Monitoring is also an option.)
LISTENING / MONITORING: Listen to the calling frequencies until 4 minutes past the hour, then make a few calls asking if there are stations listening that may need assistance. This calling traffic should only start at 4 minutes after the hour preceded by listening for 30 seconds…Unless of course you’re the one making an emergency call. LISTEN FIRST-CALL CQ with short transmissions. LISTEN FIRST! – always a good idea!
NOTE: 146.52 IS A CALLING FREQUENCY…. Make your Calls, and then move off the frequency so others can use the frequency. Suggested frequencies to move to; 146.55, 146.43, etc. etc.
PRIORITY TONE SIGNALS: Suggested for Priority Radio Transmissions ONLY. USE the LONG TONE ZERO (abbreviated LiTZ). Begin calls for assistance with about 10 seconds of TONE with the LiTZ signal. Do this by keying up and holding down the zero key to continuously transmit the zero DTMF tone ( hence: LONG TONE ZERO ). Then proceed to make your emergency call. This should help those listening to recognize that an emergency or priority call is coming through.
Lastly, remind people of the protocol at your club meetings and on radio nets. It a good thing to know.
That concludes tonight’s training. Are there any questions, comments or suggested additions to this material?
Thanks, this is (callsign) clear to net control.