I'm presenting to the Escondido Amateur Radio Society on January 12, 2023.
If interested, you can open the presentation HERE.
Much of this SOTA hobby is mostly about activity, taking an amateur radio, that maybe you built, to the top of a mountain, and get at-least four direct contacts (without aid of a repeater) and you get some “points”. The higher the summit, the more points it’s worth. The “points” are part of the made up / gamified part of this hobby, but I do enjoy tracking some other things that are more substantial.
I track how many summits I’ve humped my 25 - 30 lb pack up to. Sure, some are drive-ups, but most aren’t. Some are very hard, some are a simple walk up hill. I also keep track of the number of miles that I hiked (zero if it’s a drive-up), mountain biked, and free solo’d (zero). I also track the amount of elevation gained for each hike. For fun I’ve also been tracking how many “uniques” (first time I have ever done that summit), and “first activations” (first time anyone in SOTA hobby has done that summit). Note, if I do a summit more than once in a year, it doesn’t count for points. I do a local summit near my house all the time to test my radio, new antennas, hiking gear etc. I also do summits more than once if someone is visiting and they want a hiking buddy, or, just for fun. (Click on pictures for larger)