Deep Woods Ill Communication
August 26, 2011 7:24 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for walkie talkies/two-way radios for hiking?

Hiking season is approaching and I will soon be going into some wilderness areas where there is no cell phone coverage. I'll be leading some hikes as point man as well as going on some group hikes in the role of sweep and really need a sturdy pair of walkie talkies with good coverage in deep/thick forests.

I've been looking at these Motorolla two-way radios as well as these Uniden two-ways.

I've read many of the reviews at Amazon, but I thought I would consult the hive mind to se if there were any other suggestions.

P.S. I am willing to get the FCC license required to operate on certain frequencies....
posted by cinemafiend to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have these and I really, really like them. Battery life is pretty good in my experience, although I've never drained them. I picked these because of their range, all the ways to charge them, and because they're waterproof. We often stand in trout streams, and although I've never dropped them yet, I can imagine it. Additionally, NOAA radio seemed like a good idea.

They also use regular AA batteries, so it's no prob to pack replacements if you're going out for a while.
posted by TomMelee at 9:14 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would avoid Motorola walkies if possible. I have used them in the past and found them to be unreliable, short-ranged, and with poor battery life. When I returned a pair to REI they told me they get returned all the time, and frequently people just keep buying and returning them over and over, due to continued failure.

I have been VERY happy with these. They have LiIon battery packs, which have provided excellent battery life in cold weather. I was able to use these for constant communications all day (about 6 hours) while skiing, while the Motorola radios which cost twice as much only lasted 2 hours of only transmitting/receiving for 30-40 seconds total.

How long will you be out in the woods? The compatibility with AA or AAA batteries would make a big difference if you'll be out for days and need to bring.
posted by MonsieurBon at 10:42 AM on August 26, 2011

We use the Motorolas you posted here at our rural property. The manufacturer's range claims are absolutely ridiculous (probably FTC-action ridiculous IMHO) but that said, we do get a solid 1 mile range on 25-mile units, and they have proven 100% reliable. I've gotten almost 2 years of battery life on mine (and still going) but I've kept them on the chargers almost constantly, which might make a difference (and they operate while on the chargers, which is a plus).
posted by crapmatic at 7:55 PM on August 26, 2011

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