Winter Field Day is coming up at the end of January!

The idea originated from Charles, N5PVL in 2006, when he asked the Society for the Perseveration of Amateur Radio if they would be interested in sponsoring the WFD activity. After discussion and great effort, the first event was held in January 2007. Walt/W5ALT and Charlie/KY5U helped promote the event early on, but were forced to back off due to health issues.

Tom/W8WFD, Dave/W3DET, Ken/K8KC, Erik/WX4ET and Bill/VE3FI stepped up to take the reigns and formed the Winter Field Day Association in late 2015. For the next several years WFD increased in popularity.

In 2022 the torch was passed on to to new leadership to continue the great work of their predecessors. These current board members include a trio of Tennesseans, including brothers Marvin/W0MET and Mikel/W4OPD from Murfreesboro, as well as Melinda/KC4CCL, from Chattanooga. In addition, James/KD0ICP from Kansas, and Jason/KC5HWB (of Ham Radio 2.0 fame) from Texas help round out the board.

With the new board, comes new sponsorship from Icom.

The core purpose of Winter Field Day is to provide an seasonal alternative to the ARRL Field Day (held in June,) where amateurs can focus on the core principles of providing portable emergency communications. They believe amateurs should be prepared for all manner of natural disasters, including snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

Their core principles (from their website) are:

  • Natural disasters are unpredictable and can strike when you least expect them.
  • Your training and operating skills should not be limited to fair-weather scenarios.
  • Preparedness is the key to a professional and timely response during any event.

Winter Field day is held the last full weekend in January. You can work it from home or a remote location; as a club, with friends, or alone. The event starts 1900 UTC on Saturday, January 28th, and ends at 18:59 UTC on Sunday the 29th. Frequencies include HF, VHF and UHF, with any mode that can use the exchange. All bands, excluding the WARC bands and 60m, are permitted. Power is limited to 100 watts PEP. The exchange is your callsign, class (number of simultaneous transmitters,) category (Home, Indoor, Outdoor, Mobile) and location identifier (ARRL/RAC Section — “TN” here in Tennessee.) For example, if I was working from home on one rig, I would be “N4POD 1H TN.”

One last note, as a fan of digital modes, FT8 and FT4 are not accepted due to their limitations in passing the proper exchange. JS8Call, as well as other digital modes that support the exchange are permitted.

You can find the full WFD rules here.

For more information about Winter Field Day, visit their website here: