Field Day is not just for summertime anymore. Winter Field Day, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), will take place over the January 28-29 weekend, and it can be a terrific time to prep for ARRL Field Day in June. The annual event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. According to the WFDA, getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place each June during ARRL Field Day, and — let’s face it — it’s not cold and snowy everywhere during the winter months. Your local climate could be quite the opposite.
“Don’t let those winter doldrums keep you locked up in the house,” the WFDA says. “Get out and play some radio!” The WFDA said it believes that maintaining operating skills should not be limited to fair-weather scenarios.
The event, which got its start in 2007, is not restricted to North America. All Amateur Radio operators around the world are invited to participate, and there are three entry categories — indoor, outdoor, and home. The rules are similar to those for ARRL Field Day. Operation will take place on all HF bands except 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters, as well as on VHF, UHF, and satellite. The event runs 24 hours. US and Canadian stations exchange call sign, operating category, and ARRL or RAC section.
The WFDA encourages both group and solo operation, and if you’re not up for an outdoor winter adventure involving Amateur Radio, you can operate from the comfort of your shack. As the WFDA says on its Facebook page, “The object is winter fun!”