My wife, also a ham, has basically the same view. Some people activate from inside their vehicle in a parking lot, and that's fine, but they also might be missing out. It's within the rules though, and I happily support anyone activating however
they chose, within the bounds if the rules. My preference is a picnic table, but I won't force that upon anyone else. And don't think I don't sit here pondering a vehicle activation when the high for the day is 20F.
At 100w, and with CW possibly, sure the 44 isn't hard at all usually. But we all don't have 100w rigs, or 100w rigs we can operate portable, or batteries enough, or muscle enough to hike that much gear into every park. And, for me at least,
getting out of the car and operating *in* the park, that's been a real joy. I've only been in 10 or so parks, but I feel like I have a compelling story to tell from almost every one. And I've learned a lot every time, and had a blast.
But here's the thing: even if there aren't 44 people chasing WWFF when you're at a park, you can still reach that number:
- work FT8, I got almost half the necessary contacts this way at my last park with a KX3 and 15W. Most of those contacts probably weren't chasing WWFF.
- spin the dial and answer someone else's CQ: they don't have to be chasing WWFF for it to count for you, and you might turn someone else onto the program. I had a nice chat, via cw, from Diablo Lake in Washington with an op who was mobile in
- ask people to spot you, especially if contacts are slow coming, spots draw contacts out of the woodwork
- switch bands and modes. If there are only 10 people you can work, and you work them all on cw and voice, and across 20, 30, and 40m, you'll have 60 contacts in the log. The reality is you won't get all 10 to follow you across bands and modes,
but you *will* get some who do.
Now don't get me wrong: there's a part of me that's real sad about the change from 10 to 44. My biggest goal is activating parks in 7 states. I worked from three parks in WA, getting 4, 9, and 13 contacts in them. Until January 1 that was enough
for WA to count for me. But when I'll get another chance to go clean across the county, and even then back to those same parks to get at least one of them up to 44 ... well, I just don't count on counting WA anymore. Not until I can retire anyway.
But this is short term pain, and better for us all in the long run, I think. It's harder now, but that will lead us to find creative ways to make more contacts, and better the program in the long run.