*EDITORIAL* DXpedition Logistics

Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) members deem DXpedition ‘logistics’ as a fundamental consideration for all dx adventures; deliberations which essentially determine an activity’s success, or, a lack thereof.

Part of the DA-RC culture since day 1, given our penchant for DXcapades, is that methodical ‘logistics’ efforts are expected of all DA-RC teams.

This is to not only ensure the satisfaction of our respective members but also to make sure we continue to deliver first-class DX opportunities to our relevant communities — regardless of the band we TX on.


BS7H SCARBOROUGH REEFWhile ‘reconnaissance’ covers efforts to gather infos as a prelim to operating a DXpedition station (See https://www.delta-alfa.com/reconnaissance/), ‘logistics’ encompasses EVERYTHING we do as DX travelers, including the recon!

The DA-RC defines it, in fact, as:

“the detailed preparation, planning, coordination, administration and execution of a dx adventure through effective resource management…”

This includes…how possessions are obtained, stored and moved to and from the DXstination at which they’re required; how time is managed by the DXpedition team; how relationships are nurtured to ensure the spirit of ham radio, in general, is maintained; and more!


In the DA-RC, such resources are categorized under the following two sub-headings…



ASK Online Dictionary defines physical resources as “possessions made by man through his abilities and skill…”

In DXpedition logistics, such assets may include:

  • Station Equipment (Antennas, transceivers, computers/logging software, cables, electronics, tools, etc.) — Procuring, supplying, storing maintaining radio equipment, packaging it, using it, back-ups, etc.
  • Team Members themselves —  Who? Why? What qualities they bring to the table (personalities, physical traits, skills, qualifications, experience, attitude, etc.)? etc.
  • Power considerations for Rowley Shoals DxpeditionTeam Roles — Who will cook/clean, whom is qualified in first aide/CPR, etc.
  • Transport — Planes, boats, cars, taxis, bookings,  transfers, rendezvous points, etc.
  • Ham friendly accommodation/Shelter — Selection of, bookings, rates, etc.
  • Medical resources/needs — First aid kit, paracetamol/aspirin, vaccinations, insurance, medicines, etc.
  • Food and clean drinking water
  • 3C1 CookingPower/electricity — Generators, petrol, solar, etc.
  • Security — Registration with embassies, padlocked luggage to prevent tampering, curfews, travel insurance, etc.
  • Information — Website promotions, Cluster uploads, QSL Managerialship, Facebook pages, emails, direct postcards to sponsors, letter of thanks, etc.
  • Documentation — Passports, VISA, licensing applications, etc.
  • Financial — Fares, receipts, joint costs, sponsorship monies, etc.

For DA-RC members, managing the flow of such physical resources between the point of origin and the intended DXstination is an essential logistics contemplation; as is the organisation of these resources upon the team’s arrival, and, the appropriate distribution of resources upon the Team’s return.

Sable Island Logistics


While efforts to direct physical resources are significant, consideration is also given by DA-RC DXpedition teams to ‘abstract’ ones.

These might include:

  • Time — hours, days spent organising/participating in a DX activity
  • Energy — Given the enormous energy expenditure by DXpedition team members, sufficient sleep and a healthy diet are important to ensure they recharge their batteries.  An informal roster for time on the mic should also be implemented.
  • Relationships — Establishing positive relationships with locals, including accommodation and services staff, are equally important.  Some large DXpeditions in fact have human relations officers; guys whose primary role is to build productive partnerships/make positive connections with others whom might influence the team’s participation.

Of course, the relationships between the DXpedition members themselves is critical also given the ultra challenging conditions which are often present.  Lack of sleep, disrupted diet, and living in each other’s face for an extended time, etc. are all challenges which need to be addressed.

To ensure team harmony, teams can’t afford to carry a guy who is ‘high maintenance’ and abrasive with team mates.

This is one reason why teams might include a packet of playing cards, a football, surfboard, IPod, etc. and also indulge in the occasional cold beverage so as to keep spirits high.

The minimization of the use of resources is a common motivation in logistics for any DA-RC DXpedition team.  Reducing costs, including excess baggage costs, flight costs, and securing ham friendly accommodation/shelter, is an ongoing challenge we face as avid DXpeditioners.


Chuginadak Island NA-234At the DA-RC, we don’t believe in one guy doing all the logistics work while the others sit back for an armchair ride.  If you’re on a DXpedition team then it’s YOUR job to contribute and help make it work.  It’s as simple as that!

We do, however, believe in dxpedition team leaders; guys whose role it is to bring the team together and delegate responsibilities where necessary to ensure the team is fully prepared.

While it’s impossible to plan for some scenarios which might crop up along the way, with the additional support and encouragement of the HQ Team, as well as fellow members, most bases are usually covered.

This ensures Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) members continue to provide booming DX experiences for the world’s DX Hunters!

73 de Darren, 43DA001

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