Volunteer for Hike Across Maryland support

The Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM) will be sponsoring the Hike Cross Maryland on Saturday May 11th. This hike starts at Pen Mar Park in Highfield-Cascade MD and progresses south along the Appalachian Trail (AT), ending in Harpers Ferry, WV. As a club, our goal is to provide:

• Communications between checkpoints and net control, then then on to MCM folks.
• Communications with sweep hikers via Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) HTs.
• Assistance and input with tracking hiker and sweep progress via shared spreadsheet.
• Sweep hiker tracking via Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS).

To support this event, we’ll need volunteers to cover:

• Ten checkpoint locations along the AT. Most of these locations are where the trail crosses a roadway, so access to checkpoints is fairly painless.
• Net Control operator first (6am to 1pm) and second (1pm to ~8PM) shifts. Net Control can be stationed at a home shack for one or both shifts.
• One or more backup net control operators, in order to give primary net control periodic breaks. Backup net control can also watch the APRS map to help know where sweep hikers are located, as well as assist in getting data into the shared info spreadsheet.
• Shared Spreadsheet Manager, ensuring that shared documents are current for both hiker progress and sweep location. This can be a home-shack volunteer.
• Hilltop operator – mobile vehicle to shadow sweeps via accessible roadways. Vehicle will provide standard amateur capability, plus MURS with high-gain antenna, and APRS digipeater/iGate capability. Know that volunteer doesn’t necessarily need to provide all of this capability, as club or others will lend equipment for success.


We expect to use the three UHF linked repeaters (Frederick (N3ITA), Thurmont (K3KMA), Clear Spring (N3UHD). At least one of these repeaters is accessible from many of the checkpoints via HT.

This is a GREAT opportunity, particularly for new ham operators, to get out and really exercise your license. We’re happy to pair you up with an experienced operator if you’d prefer – just put it in the note on sign-up form. It’s an event that you’ll certainly remember!

To volunteer, please use this link for the sign-up form: https://forms.gle/cszFRzv9BEYp6MFm8

As always, let me know if there are questions – my email address is valid on qrz.com.

Mike Forrence K3MMM

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