5 Best Backcountry Walkie Talkies

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If you’re looking for the best backcountry walkie talkies for your next adventure, you’re in the right place. Our last post was about the best backcountry snowboards, this post is about one of the most important items to have.

Communication devices are crucial for survival and overall safety in the wilderness. Especially when you’re far away from any health facility. Safety is paramount for those exploring the outdoors. Survivalists and outdoor adventurers utilize walkie-talkies as part of their security system.

The best backcountry walkie-talkies are durable. They are capable of working over long distances.

This article discusses how to pick a 2-way radio. In addition, it shares the finer points of the 5 best backcountry walkie-talkies on the market.

Best Backcountry Walkie Talkies

  1. Dewalt 2
  2. Backcountry Access BCA Link 2.0 Radio
  3. Garmin Rino 750 2-Way Radio/GPS Navigator
  4. Midland 50 channel GMRS two-way radio
  5. Cobra RX385

 

1) DEWALT 2 DXFRS800

Dewalt creates walkie-talkies that can stand up to the rugged backcountry. They excel in sturdy communication devices that allow friends to stay in touch with each other when exploring nature’s bounty.

Dewalt walkie-talkies are essential when you find yourself in precarious situations. You can communicate with someone up to 300,000 square feet away. With a 360 degree holster and voice-activated control, your hands remain free to accomplish other tasks.

Expect privacy when communicating through the Dewalt walkie-talkies; they offer 2,663 channel combinations to conduct private calls.

Specs

  • size: 7.27″ x 2.58″ x 2.17″
  • Product weight is 12.23 ounces (350 grams).
  • Rf output: 2 watts
  • The walkie-talkie uses one 2000mAH rechargeable lithium-polymer battery for each communication unit.

Features

  • Roger beat tone announces transmission end to notify you when you are free to speak on your device.
  • The LCD screen provides current data.
  • The auto squelch feature clamps down on the sound of weak transmissions.
  • Keypad security promises to stop accidental channel changes on the device.
  • After ten seconds, the walkie-talkies switch to power save mode to extend the battery life.

How well do the belt clips function?

Customers have had complaints about the clips they received with the radio. Usually, customer service will send out replacement clips if there are any issues with the belt clips.

Do these walkie-talkies work in the wilderness?

This device works well underground, through trees, and in valleys.

Can you attach the radio with heavy-duty Velcro to the belt clip?

Yes, you can. If you add Velcro, the radio should remain attached.

Pros

  • shock-resistant and waterproof
  • easy to read display
  • two batteries included with the 2-way radio purchase
  • the convenient location of the call button
  • A limited number of buttons on the device makes it easy for novices to use.

Cons

  • belt clip integrity

 

 

2) Backcountry Access BCA Link 2.0 Radio

The Backcountry Access 2-way radio has a smart-grill that can handle snow. These walkie-talkies can function at cooler temperatures. If you like to explore the wild in winter, you may want to select this device.

You can even operate these walkie-talkies without removing your gloves. Your hands can stay warm while you utilize this versatile communication device.

Specs

  • smart mic dimensions: 3.5″ x 2.1″ x 1.5″ / 9.0 cm x 5.4 cm x 4.0 cm
  • base unit dimension: 2.1″ x 1.0″ x 1.9 ” / 5.5 cm x 2.7 cmx 5.0 cm
  • battery: rechargeable lithium-ion

Features

  • The device is waterproof. It is up to IP56 standards.
  • minimal interference
  • 22 FRS /GMRS channels and 121 sub-channels.
  • protected channel selection dial prevents accidental channel change
  • The battery can last up to several days without being recharged.
  • compatible with Float Avalanche airbags

What color is this model?

It is black and gold.

Can the 2-way walkie-talkies connect to a CB radio?

No, it cannot. A CB radio uses a 27 Mhz AM frequency. These backcountry walkie-talkies operate under a 462 Mhz FM FRS and GMRS frequency.

Can you use the device for emergencies?

You can communicate with another user during an emergency. The other person must have their 2-way radio on, and they must be in range to receive your call.

Pros

  • can work with other two-way radios.
  • Customer support interacts well with consumers.
  • You can use walkie-talkies with challenging terrains and ski lifts.
  • quality sound reception

Cons

  • sometimes resellers send out used radios without all accompaniments.

3) Garmin Rino 750 2-Way Radio/GPS Navigator

The Garmin’s Rino 750 is the most expensive walkie-talkie on the list. It retails for over $480.

The device’s GPS navigator takes the powerful 2-way radio to the next level. If you ever need help out in the backcountry, your travel mates would have access to your GPS location.

The Rino 750 provides accurate location data and does not solely rely on GPS data. It uses GLONASS satellite reception.

With the extra information, you can be confident that your friend’s listed location is up to date. Your companion’s coordinates appear on the device’s touch screen.

Specs

  • size: 2.6″ x 1.6″ x 7.9″
  • weight: 1.49 ounces

Features

  • 3″ touch screen with sunlight readability
  • dual battery system works with a lithium-ion battery and AA batteries
  • You can communicate by voice
  • unit to unit text messaging
  • communication range of 20 miles

Can you use Bluetooth to sync your radio with wireless headphones?

No, your headphones cannot connect to your walkie-talkie through Bluetooth. You would have to use wired headphones.

The Bluetooth’s function allows connection with your smartphone. It works to provide data for features such as text messaging and weather alerts.

Is geocaching possible with the 2-way radio?

Yes. The device comes preloaded with geocaches. You can even download more if you wish.

Can you use hunting cards with the device?

Absolutely. The device accepts SD map memory cards.

Pros

  • The Rino 750 comes with an AC charger, documentation, a lithium-ion battery pack, USB Cable, and a carabiner clip.
  • Eighteen hours of battery life when using the lithium-ion battery in conjunction with optional AA batteries. Fourteen hours of battery life when only using the rechargeable lithium-ion pack.
  • position reporting ability
  • can use maps to navigate

Cons

  • does not come with a car charger
  • optional AA batteries not included

4) Midland 50 channel GMRS two-way radio

Midland’s 50 channel walkie-talkies are affordable and include everything you need to start enjoying your next backcountry adventure.

Besides the two radios with two rechargeable batteries, you receive two belt clips and two boom mic heads set. The package also includes an AC adapter, a DC adapter, and a 120-volt dual charger.

The walkie-talkies offer a 36-mile communication range for open areas; this allows users to interact with their companions over large distances.

Specs

  • product dimensions: 7.9″ x 2.4″ x 1.5″
  • The product weighs 4.8 ounces.
  • GSRM frequencies: 5.17 KHz

Features

  • uses X-TRA Talk Power to provide an extended communication range
  • employs Midland’s OAA weather scan and alert technology
  • auto-notification of hazardous weather conditions
  • 50 channels and 142 privacy codes available
  • vibration alerts for calls

Is a GMRS license needed to use this device?

Yes. You need a GMRS license if your radio’s capacity is more than 2 watts. A ten-year license is about seventy dollars. The whole family can use the credential.

What kind of range will I get?

In open spaces, you get a range of 36 miles. The span deteriorates as more obstructions appear in the environment.

For partial obstructions, you have a 2-20 miles range. For completely obstructed areas, you only cover about one mile.

Is it possible to use AA batteries with the unit?

Yes, you can use AA batteries to power up your 2-way radios. Each radio will need four batteries.

Pros

  • works with all Midland FRS and GMRS devices and accessories.
  • low price point
  • easy to operate
  • Whisper mode allows you to speak quietly and transmit your message clearly

Cons

  • The receiver is noisy.
  • AA battery operation reduces output power.

5) Cobra RX385

The Cobra brand is over 50 years old. The company specializes in communication and navigational devices. In fact, the Cobra RX385 showcases the company’s legacy in an affordable package.

This light-weight walkie-talkie only has an output of 1.5 watts. Despite this, the 2-way radio pair can transmit up to 32 miles. This unit of measure assumes that you are in an open space environment.

Specs

  • size: 1.7″ x 2.4″ x 6.8″
  • weight: .96 lbs

Features

  • NOAA radio receivers can access up to 10 weather channels.
  • The device is water and weather-resistant.
  • The battery has 18 hours of continuous use until it needs charging.
  • uses VOX
  • use auto squelch technology
  • provides 40 communication channels
  • emergency alert

With interference and no sight-line, what distance will the device be able to transmit?

The two-way radio will only function in a span of 1-3 miles.

Does the included clip function correctly?

Yes, it does. A plastic tab locks the clip into place.

Can you use AA batteries with Cobra’s walkie-talkies?

The device comes with a rechargeable battery, but you can use AA batteries instead. Note the battery life of the device will decrease when only using AA batteries.

Pros

  • product is durable
  • readable screen
  • installed LED flashlight
  • cost-efficient
  • has anti-slip grip coating
  • you can hear alerts over loud noise
  • ability to keep conversations private

Cons

  • baby monitors and other radios can cause interference in an urban environment

What To Look For

There are two design types of walkie-talkies on the markets: business and consumers. If you plan on heading out to the backcountry, you will want to look at consumer-grade 2-way radios.

The consumer walk-talkies are good to take hiking or on a family vacation. They allow you to communicate within the wilderness, so you do not have to bring fragile equipment with you.

Ideally, you will want to choose GMRS or FRS walkie-talkies. Their frequencies are lower and fall under the consumer sub-heading.

FRS 2-way radios do not need any special licensing to operate. They do not have a long-range of communication. Also, these devices are unable to penetrate obstacles.

You could use walk-talkies with FRS to monitor your family when camping, but they are not the right choice for conversing over long distances.

For contact across long distances, you will want a GMRS frequency communication device. These devices require a license from the FCC before you can legally operate them.

What to Avoid

Generally, you will want to stay away from business walk-talkies that utilize UHF or VHF frequencies. They have a signal that can penetrate objects. These frequency devices work well in urban settings.

That said, you may find one of these walkie-talkies works the best for your purposes. If you’re in a place with plenty of obstacles, you may want to try one of these devices.

Conclusion

Backcountry walkie-talkies are a safety necessity when out in the wilderness. These devices allow you to keep track of your companions when you are in different locations.

They could save your life if something tragic happens when you are out adventuring.

I hope you liked this post on the best hunting packs for packing out meat. If you liked this post, you may also like our guides on the best backcountry skis and our guide on the best backcountry hunting packs.

 

Additional Sources

Walkie Talkie Buyers Guide