Above: Jerome, VE7JAR operates on 40m.

A dozen or so NORAC members headed down to Kin Beach, Vernon to catch some winter sunshine and join in with the 2023 Winter Field Day (WFD). Many new hams were present, checking out equipment and setups for future adventures.

Temperatures were into minus double digits with the wind chill, but thoughtful members brought along warm drinks, Timbits and even hot cinnamon buns for all. The event ran from Saturday through to 11am local time, Sunday 29th January. Jerome, VE7JAR organized the NORAC event and set up a 40m dipole between trees, while Wilf, VE7OHM, set up a multiband vertical for 20/15/10m.

While contesters can operate from a warm home station, operating outdoors definitely has greater challenges, and the rules favour hardy operators by giving generous bonus points.

The WFD Association states:

"We passionately believe that Ham radio operators should practice portable emergency communications in winter environments as the potential for freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards present unique operational concerns. WFD is formatted to help increase your level of preparedness for disasters and improve your operational skills in subpar conditions."

There was plenty of activity - even on 10m - so things are starting to look good for the peak of cycle 25.

Below: Alex, VE7NOC makes his first HF contacts.