Although you can use your cell phone to communicate with your group members, you should try using a walkie-talkie in your next outdoor adventure. Mainly because you don’t know how much fun you are missing. Come on, admit it — wouldn’t using call signs and the over-and-out routine be cool? You probably pretended doing so as a child. Now, you can have the real deal.
Communicating using a walkie-talkie has several advantages over doing so with a mobile phone. First, the batteries on walkie-talkies last much longer than cell phone batteries. Second, using a walkie-talkie with the Family Radio Service (FRS) is free. But with mobile phones, you have a tall bill to worry about. Next, walkie-talkies are robust and durable. Even if you drop them, it’s not going to wreck the equipment. However, you have to be much more careful while using a cell phone. Another perk to using walkie-talkies is simultaneous communication with many people. You can have your entire party on a single channel, and you all can talk to each other as you would in a conference call. Also, you don’t have to worry about signal strength or reception quality.
Considering all these advantages, it makes sense to say “Yes!” to a walkie-talkie. In fact, walkie-talkies should be a part of every camper’s essential gear. But, with so many products in the market, it becomes hard to separate the good ones from the bad ones. The good news is, this walkie-talkie buying guide does the job for you. So, look at the list of top long-range walkie-talkies and read the reviews. Then, pick one for you and your fellow campers, and enjoy endless walkie-talkie fun… Over…
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Best Long Range Walkie Talkies
Budget Pick: BaoFeng BF-888S (5- pack)
List Price: $79.99
Promotional Price: Check on Amazon
The Baofeng BF 888S is one of the greatest long range Walkie Talkies on the market. It gives you the convenience of communicating with each other in a range of about 4 miles. While this product comes cheap at around $20, don’t let the price fool you. These are great walkie talkies, and they are a great value compared to walkie talkies that’ll cost you about $100.
- Operating on a frequency of 400-469.995MHz.
- Operating with 16 channels.
- Enjoying the convenience of charging on a 1500mAh Li-on Battery with a low voltage alert function.
- Having an equipped VOX Function, voice prompt, PC programming, and 3 watt transmit.
- An emergency alarm, a time-out timer, and a flashlight.
Best 30+ Miles Range: Midland GXT1000VP4 (Pair)
List Price: $69.99
Promotional Price: Check on Amazon
The Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio gives you an impressive 36-mile range. This is quite a feat, especially if compared to other walkie talkies in its class. You will also have peace of mind knowing that you are buying a product that is made by an international industry leader in wireless communications.
The 50 channel walkie talkie works on an up to 36-mile mid-range 120V Charger. In addition, it has NOAA/All hazard weather channels with alerts and sun scans. Enjoy the convenience of 142 privacy codes. It also has a vibrate alert and 9 levels of VOX for hands-free operation. Radios of this brand manufactured after 2009 include the whisper feature, which allows you to speak quietly but still be heard with great clarity. They also have an SOS feature to send out a distress call in emergencies. A group call feature allows you to make direct calls to other people within the group, without alerting the entire group.
Best 20+ Miles Range: Motorola MH230R (Pair)
List Price: $59.99
Promotional Price: Check on Amazon
The Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio will show you why Motorola is the trusted name when it comes to walkie talkie manufacturing. This radio works very well, even in mountainous areas where the need to communicate with others is paramount.
This walkie talkie features a 10-hour alkaline or 8-hour rechargeable battery life. It is also equipped with 11 weather channels with alert features. Your privacy is guaranteed with 22 channels, each with 121 privacy codes for that much-needed interference protection. The package includes 2 radios, 2 belt clips, 1 dual drop-in charger, 1 Charging adapter, and 2 NiMH rechargeable battery packs. The battery life for this radio is quite impressive.
The one thing that makes this radio a leader in its class is its ability to transmit across mountains. If you are on one side of a mountain, you can still speak to your companions easily.
This two-way radio lives up to the Motorola quality by offering a great range, and an impressive battery life.
Motorola MT350R FRS
One of the great things about this radio is that it’s waterproof. This feature protects the walkie talkie not only from dust but also from harsh weather conditions.
Like the other walkie talkies, this one uses NOAA channels to provide emergency alerts when dangerous conditions arise. It is also equipped with a mini-USB charger for portable convenience. This is great for charging at home, or taking along to recharge in a hotel.
For your convenience, the package arrives with 2 radios, 2 NiMH rechargeable battery packs, 2 belt clips, 1 Y cable wall adapter with 2 mini-USB connectors, 1 Emergency Preparedness checklist sheet, 1 user guide, and 1 accessory sheet.
These features provide the complete emergency preparedness communication solution. You will always have peace of mind during those evening adventures or unexpected emergencies and power outages.
TalkPod Walkie Talkies Long Range
Manufacturers of this radio are willing to offer a phenomenal guarantee because they stand behind their products 100%. Simply follow the directions when you receive your Talkpod two-way radio for you to be eligible for the guarantee. The guarantee is simple: if you find anything wrong with the radio within 30 days, it will be replaced, no questions asked.
Apart from having a durable design, this product comes with an impressive after sale service. The radio is easy to use, and is easy to carry because it’s so light and small. In addition, it is very comfortable when held in your hands. It has an 1800mAh for the battery, meaning that it will last longer and charge faster.
For your convenience, in your package you will receive two of each of the following;
- A TalkPod TP-825 (UHF 400-469.9)
- An 1800mAh Li-ion Battery
- An SMA-Female Antenna
- A Belt Clip
- An English Manual
- A Desktop Charger (110V /220V )
Before you buy a walkie-talkie, there are a few critical decisions you need to make. First, you need to set an upper limit to the range. Second, make a list of your group members so that you can order the right number of units. Next, compare brands based on the range, features, accessories, and price per unit. Remember; go through the features one by one. If you don’t know what a feature is, and you’re not interested in learning about it, don’t bother paying for it. After all, features are for cell phones; walkie-talkies are supposed to be plain and simple.
In summary, if you’re looking for the best value for money, you should go for the BaoFeng BF-888S because you get five sets for about $75. That works out to just $15 a piece. But, if you have a small party, you may not need these many sets. In that case, the TalkPod Walkie Talkies are your best bet. And if you need walkie-talkies with more than a 20-mile range, consider buying the Motorola MH230R, the Motorola MT350R, or the Midland GXT1000VP4. However, these models are relatively more expensive.
Since its invention in the late-1930s, walkie-talkies have become more sophisticated and portable. The core principle, however, remains the same. That is why using a walkie-talkie has a rustic charm to it. Communicating via cell phones is the mainstream method of keeping in touch in the digital world. But, a lot of people go camping to break free from the grid. So, replacing cell phones with walkie-talkies gels perfectly with the outdoor lifestyle. You will still need a cell phone; but you can give it some well-deserved rest. Let the walkie-talkies do the talking. The amount of fun you can have with a walkie-talkie is limited only by your imagination. So, how far can you push the fun-velop? Over and out…