There are many elements to a successful portable operation. There are, however, a few main areas that are critical to making successful contacts while out in the field, while also not spending your entire camping trip setting up your operation. It has taken me quite a few number of trips to develop these techniques, and I figure I would share with you what I have found so far.
Antennas are the first and most critical area when remote and portable. Without an easy to deploy and effective antenna, the rest of the equipment does not matter. Second, and not far behind that, is the radio itself. Third, you must somehow power all of this equipment. And finally there is the setup of a remote campsite itself that allows you to operate comfortably far from any campsite, house, or store.
Once you get a system setup and operating nicely, you will enjoy breaking free from the shackles of a traditional ham shack. No background noise, fresh air, and a view than can not be beat are just some of the rewards. Never mind you should put the radio down and get out for a hike while you are there as well!
Antennas are always a compromise. Here are several systems I have found to work in remote locations that break down small, are flexible in how you use them, yet still get you out to all over the world. I have thousands of contacts at this point using these antennas and I usually get a comment of 'You sound amazing. You can't be portable...'
If you are operating truly portable, you will need a source of power. I never camp at traditional campsites, so I have no access to commercial power. In fact I use the same power system to run not only my ham radio equipment, but also my coolers and other camping items such as charging my camera, or the battery on my drone. Here is the setup that has let me operate for extended periods of time in the backcountry in comfort.
Operating off of portable power systems in primitive camping requires a totally different setup than you would ever use at home. That said, with today's modern and portable equipment, that does not mean going without the same features you have at home. Here is a look at my fully portable solution that gives you up to 100 watts, a full panadpater, and full computer control and logging.
Setting up a remote campsite that is both fun to be at, and friendly to radio operations requires a bit of finesse. There are several things you will need to take into consideration. Also, safety and comfort are important factors. So here is a spot a bit about my camping setup and equipment that might help you out in your own adventures.