How about hiking or skiing with someone who lives elsewhere? Would you like to contact them? Two-way radios offer an effective solution in these situations due to their lightweight, portability, and ruggedness. Read on to find out which model is best for your needs and Choosing Two-Way Radios.
Two-way radios offer a number of advantages
Look for smaller, lighter models when purchasing trekking gear, especially when backpacking. Lightweight, bulk-free clothing is the best choice. If you wear gloves, you should always choose equipment that has an ergonomic shape. Consider a model with an antenna that is similar to the device’s size if you are looking for the greatest power in the smallest package.
A two-way radio, which is commonly used for outdoor recreation, has 22 channels, including FM (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service).
Under optimal conditions, the range of a typical two-way radio is 25 miles, according to many manufacturers. When realistic conditions are not ideal, radios have an actual range of less than 2 miles.
It is possible to reach a distance of 5 to 6 miles with the NX1300 with a power output of half a watt. A GMRS base station can output up to 50 watts of power, but most handheld devices only transmit 1 or 2 watts due to size and weight restrictions. Most handheld devices have a range of eight to 25 miles.
With higher-power radios (of 1 and 2 watts), coverage dropouts can be filled in behind hills or buildings (for example), which frequently occur in line of sight of a radio user. Signal quality improves with increasing power.
Depending on how you use your radio, determine whether you need a longer range or a longer battery life. Higher-wattage radios require more energy to run. An FRS device with a low power output could be used to primarily track your family on the trail.
In busy areas, such as ski resorts, there may be an excess of 22 channels.
Often, radios limit main channels that are overcrowded by using continuous tone coded squelch systems (CTCSS) and continuously digital coded squelch systems (CDCSS). An alternative to communicating with a friend only via channel 5 or code 3 is the privacy code, which enables communication through both channel and code.
CTCSS and CDCSS “codes” may be used on the main channel to reduce (but not eliminate) chatter.
You cannot make your communications private by using a “privacy code”. The term “safeguard codes” is sometimes substituted for “interference-elimination codes”.
If you want to attract the attention of your party members before you begin speaking, you can use “calling” tones. Some models make an audible tone rather than vibrate.
By scanning channels, you can determine your group’s channel. This feature can also be used to locate an empty channel that your group can use.
You can prevent accidental changes to your settings if you lock the keypad and leave it outside.
After applying a noise filter, the signals will be clearer and the range will be wider.
You can access NOAA’s weather station online for free. These features may be necessary for backcountry adventurers, but they are useful to everyone.
With an audio jack, you can use a headset with a microphone for hands-free operation.
You may not be able to answer your phone when you are participating in active sports, such as skiing, kayaking, and cycling.
The text/GPS unit can be linked to your smartphone and exchange texts with a second user who has set up their unit in the same way. It is known as a “nontraditional radio” because it does not allow you to talk. GPS coordinates can also be transmitted.
AA or AAA batteries are commonly used in radios. Most radios use alkaline batteries as well as nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Other models may come with replaceable batteries.
More powerful radios have a tendency to drain their batteries more quickly. If there is some time between broadcasts, choose a low-power, battery-saving model. On-site solar chargers can recharge rechargeable batteries.