I've had my amateur license since November of 2000 and have had some good times operating VHF and UHF for various ARES exercises and public service events. This is a fine aspect of the hobby and I won't give it up, but I've been itching to wade out deeper into the water.
I already own a Yaesu FT-817 but was still missing a few parts to get on the air. Using some of my fun budget I purchased a Buddistick Deluxe antenna, a Z-817 auto-tuner and some coax cable with the proper connectors on the end. Once they arrive I will have everything needed to get on the air. Everything should fit in an easy to carry bag and while it might not be light enough for a serious backpacking trip I will be able to hike out and get on the air. In the future I will add some external batteries and other antenna options to expand the operating options.
(This November will be the 10th anniversary of being a licensed amateur radio operator. Where does the time go? Only have 15 years until I can join QCWA. ;)