Lately I have been spending a bit more time in the Alaskan backcountry. AT&T, ACS, or any other cellular phone company have coverage in most populated areas but the rest of this large state goes uncovered (excluding satellite). Being prepared is one thing you must do living here. I believe many of the Alaska reality shows have kinda showed that in one way or another. The key to survival here is knowledge, preparation, and communication. This is where ham radio kicks in for me.
After first moving to Alaska, being so far removed from civilization was a bit intimidating. I don't find the backcountry as intimidating anymore because I respect it. When things go wrong here, it's not a matter of will it happen, it's more a matter of when.
Part of my survival kit is taking along my Icom 703 and portable antennas. It may take up a bit more space but no matter what happens, I will most likely have contact with the rest of the world. It gives me that extra piece of mind knowing that if something did go wrong, I have a means of getting help. And not only for me! I could easily drive up on an incident that required emergency personnel response.
What made me think about this today was the fact that in viewing my station logbook, I have not made a contact in well over a month. Does that mean I have not done anything with ham radio? Nope, it's here and I have been enjoying the summer and spending time outdoors and ham radio has been with me all the time. That's the great thing about this hobby, you can take it with you where ever your travels lead. Think about it. A license that is good for ten years, the many modes and bands that we have, and it's there when YOU want or need it. It's nice having that extra piece of mind when we are many miles from the nearest town or cellular tower.