Two Way Radios For Camping
Two way radios (or walkie talkies) are a necessity when camping in a group of two or more. Cell phone coverage is
unavailable in many camping areas, making radios the only way to keep in touch. It is also common
for a GMRS two way radio to provide access to NOAA weather information. This can be critical, even
life saving, when staying in remote outdoor locations.
When shopping for a two way radio for camping, the following features will be most important:
- Range - Terrain at camp sites is commonly hilly and wooded, the opposite of what
is ideal for a two way radio. A higher powered model can often provide around a mile of range
in tough terrain. A weaker model may limit you to a quarter mile or less.
- NOAA Weather Information - Knowing that severe weather is approaching in advance is
extremely important, especially in remote locations.
- Battery Life - Without power outlets being readily available, keeping your radio
charged is a big concern. Look for models with extremely long battery life, or those that have
the ability to operate on standard AA or AAA batteries in a pinch.
The Midland GXT1050VP4 is a very popular consumer radio, and offers a lot for campers. It supports
weather channels and alerts, has the best range of any consumer radio on the market, and can operate
on standard AA batteries (if necessary). It is also the only radio the comes standard with a vehicle
charging adapter. The GXT1050VP4 is also more waterproof than other radios in this price range, meeting
IP4 specs. Two hands-free (VOX) capable headsets are also included.
As far as weather support goes, the Motorola T9680R-SAME is the best in this class.
It is the only two way radio on the market that offers support for S.A.M.E. (Specific
Area Message Encoding). This feature allows you to get pro-active alerts when
critical weather or other emergencies occur, and you can limit these alerts
to your specific area. An abbreviation for the type of alert appears on the radio's
display during an emergency, and you can quickly activate the weather channel for more
detailed information. The T9680R-SAME has above average range, and can operate on
standard AA batteries as well as the included rechargeable battery packs.
The Cobra microTALK CXR925 delivers a surprising amount of power, especially considering it's relatively
small, lightweight design. This model is capable of delivering 1.5 to 2 miles of range in many
environments. It also uniquely operates on a lithium battery, which gives it excellent battery
life while remaining light and thin. This is a great radio from Cobra, and one of the best
range consumer models on the market.