Communication while skiing is important for the safety and enjoyment for all those on the slopes. Cell phones coverage may be limited in the area and impractical to carry during outdoor activities. Two way radios (or walkie talkies) are an excellent way for groups to stay in touch while skiing. Families, church groups, business groups can enjoy the convenience of being able, at the touch of a button, contacting all members of their group. Parents or group leaders can keep accurate accountability of all individuals, which is an important concern while outdoors in cold weather.
When shopping for a two way radio to be used for skiing, the following features will be most important:
- Range – Slopes and mountains range in size and terrain. Starting and ending points can be several hundred feet to miles apart and keeping in touch is important. Range is absolutely the most critical consideration when considering radios for shopping.
- Battery Life - Without power outlets being readily available, keeping your radio charged is a big concern while skiing. Getting turned around or becoming disoriented may occur and if the batteries are dead or weak, contact may be lost with other members. Look for models with extremely long battery life, those that have the ability to operate on standard AA or AAA batteries in a pinch.
- Size/Weight – Carrying a heavy two-way radio around the slopes can be impractical. While in the mountains with all the other gear, a heavy radio will only add an extra weight burden and possibly slow you down. Because an extremely high powered radio isn't required for coverage on most mountain slopes, a small and lightweight radio may be a better choice.
- Waterproof/Resistance – Dropping a radio in the snow or stream is bound to occur and a waterproof or resistance is a feature to look for just in case an accident does occur.
- NOAA Weather Information – Knowing that severe weather is approaching in advance is extremely important, especially in remote areas.