Wilderness Protocol


Calling Frequencies (FM Simplex):
Calling Times (Local):
52.525 MHz
7:00AM to 7:05AM
146.520 MHz
10:00AM to 10:05AM
 223.500 MHz 1:00PM to 1:05PM
 446.000 MHz 4:00 to 4:05PM
 1294.500 MHz  7:00PM to 7:05PM


In the February, 1994 edition of QST magazine, William Alsup, N6XMW from Oakland, CA, wrote an article proposing a Wilderness Protocol "for effective simplex use of handheld VHF and FM transceivers in the backcountry." In the August, 1995 QST, William reported enthusiastic support of the proposal and reminded us to spread the use of the protocol.

OST Features editor Brian Battles, WS1O, added a note, "Remember, though, this protocol won't work if it's only used by hams who need to call for help - someone else has to be listening." William's original proposal was only for 2-meter use, but Brian's note urged us to, "Check the national calling frequencies on all bands for which you're equipped, and give your call sign once or twice so that others will know you're there."

The Wilderness Protocol is now included in the ARRL ARES Emergency Resources Manual. Per the manual, the protocol is:

"The Wilderness protocol (see page 101, August 1995 QST) calls for hams in the wilderness to announce their presence on, and to monitor, the national calling frequencies for five minutes beginning at the top of the hour, every three hours from 7 AM to 7 PM while in the back country. A ham in a remote location may be able to relay emergency information through another wilderness ham who has better access to a repeater. National calling frequencies: 52.525, 146.52, 223.50, 446.00, 1294.50 MHz."