I’ve sold quite a few J-Pole antennas to Campers, RVers, Search and Rescue Teams, and outdoors people. A good antenna on a mast will greatly increase your communication range especially if you are using simplex frequencies.

The concept of setting up a base of operations is the same regardless if you are using the 2 meter amateur radio band, MURS, or UHF GMRS bands. My base setup consists of a 2 meter mobile radio, 18 amp hour gel cell battery, eight foot painters pole, and a 2 meter J-Pole antenna. When we are camping or I’m working as part of an event. I set up my base station and go to it. The battery has enough power to last the entire weekend and the short mast and J-pole is usually enough to hear just about every other station I’m working in the event.

VHF communications is primarily line of sight, so the higher you can get your antenna the better. This is especially true if you are using portable radios or are in a heavily forested or hilly area. You may require a taller mast for effective communications, but seldom will you need something taller than 10-15 feet for temporary use. Your terrain may also be way to rugged for effective communication. In that case setting up relay stations may be in order to keep everyone in communication.

Good luck with your base camp operations and please send me your success stories using the J-Pole antenna. I’d love to hear them.