Where do you keep your BOB ham radios and how do you store them?

This is a quick question for (radio) hams. Not those of you who have radio gear up to your ears in every space you occupy, but those who just have radios for emergencies (are there any hams like that?) I have one main, handheld Yaesu FT-60R radio, which I intend to have handy for emergencies. I do also have one spare, cheap, Baofeng handheld radio, but I’ve decided that that’s not emergency-worthy, so it’s just sitting in my basement.

However, for the Yaesu, my plan is to store it in my BOB and to take it out of my BOB when I want to use it at home. I know, we’re discouraged from double dipping, but it seems silly to spend money for another, identical Yaesu when the one I have is sitting just a few feet away in my BOB. My question is, how do you store these? I could just seal the radio in a plastic bag and throw it in the BOB, but that seems a little precarious?

Second, followup bonus question. I was considering keeping the cheap Baofeng in my car, but I understand that the batteries don’t do well in heat and can possibly catch fire! Which makes me wonder where people keep their mobile radios?


  • Comments (9)

    • 4

      Hi, Jonnie. I keep a separate BOB for radio equipment. (For me, multiple small BOB’s make more sense than one or two large ones.) I’m in the process of turning a spare bedroom into my radio room.  If I had to leave in a hurry, I’d go to the radio room and gather what I wanted to take, add it to the already mostly packed small overnight case on wheels, and leave.

      • 3

        P.S. I don’t keep a radio in the car.

      • 2

        LOL. If you have enough equipment for a radio room, you’re WAY ahead of me. But how (in what) do you actually pack your radio(s)? I wouldn’t want mine to get wet or too banged up.

        Also, just curious how you manage multiple BOBs in the event that you have to walk?

      • 5

        Hi, Jonnie. There’s not much in my radio room yet. I’ll try to attach some photos. For bug out purposes, I pack the HT radios in a roller bag. I have batteries, so it’s heavy enough that I want the wheels. I would leave behind the mobile radio that I use as my base station. It’s not installed yet. I’m waiting for my antenna “Elmer” to have time to assemble the beam antenna (bottom shelf)  and mount it on the roof. It will be oriented to the repeater in the next county, which has an ARES/RACES Net.

        If I have to walk, I would pull a roller bag with each hand and balance another bag on each of the roller bags (four smallish bags in all). Smaller bags are easier to maneuver, consolidate, ditch if I have to, and they work better within any limitations of back and arm strengthIMG_20210811_103121047, etc.  In, say, a fire emergency at home with no time to spare, I’d just take one bag over each shoulder and leave the radios and any other roller bag behind. I’m not going to be walking far in any reasonably foreseeable scenario. 


      • 2

        I guess you don’t live in a place where wildfires are a danger. I, unfortunately do and may need to walk, leaving the car behind. (I hope not because I have foot problems!)

    • 3

      I keep a radio in my EDC backpack so I always have one on me. I have lots of repeaters programmed into it, but only have my cheat sheet in my car of which ones they are, so I should get around to making a laminated pocket guide for myself. 

      I also have a spare radio in my car with the battery removed. It’s been in there for over a year and I haven’t had any issues. Every six months I charge both radios and they are good to go. 

      Baofengs have lithium ion batteries and according to this site, they are safe to be stored in -4 to 140 degree temps. But then it doesn’t say that they will automatically break beyond those ranges but just says that it will lead to degradation of performance and irreversible damages. Keeping your radio out of direct sunlight will keep it within the safe zone.

      • 2

        I didn’t realize the Baofengs can be stored up to 140 temps! I can’t imagine a car getting hotter than that. I guess I can just keep it in my trunk then?  How do you store the radio in your EDC? Is it wrapped in anything?

    • 4

      I keep my handheld Baofeng stored a dry bag in the BOB. The battery is fully charged and separated to prevent discharge. The entire package is padded with sundry items to reduce potential for damage, including the whip antenna.

      Of course, all this means that in a BO situation, the priority is bugging out. Gathering intel/information is secondary to safety. Once safe, I can pop open the BOB and assemble the radio to establish comms.

      I actually do this with the family walkie talkies, too.

      I have regularly-scheduled battery checks and radio checks each month.

    • 2

      We disposed of 99% of our radio equipment as we could never find a real use for it.  I have kept my Bearcat scanner tuned into assorted radio stations.  but all the UKs emergency services are encrypted so we cannot listen to them.

      I have kept the President Grant 2 Export model , its Ham and CB  ( AM FM, USB, LSB) as it can listen in to most of the worlds assorted CB bands, plus some ham frequencies.

      When we did keep PMR radios ( like American FRS) Baofeng UV5Rcs tuned to the 144 Mhz band at 5 watts, we kept them in Cool Boxes meant for food n drink.