If you’re thinking of going hiking soon and are unsure about what to take with you on your trip – let me start by saying, that two-way radios can be an ABSOLUTE lifesaver when hiking in groups or alone. A walkie-talkie (also known as a two-way radio for hikers) is just as important for a hiker’s journey as the tent to sleep in.
These little gadgets allow hikers to perfectly communicate with each other when exploring different areas, and are a great safety tool if you need someone to come to your aid or if someone else gets lost or injured.
Besides keeping hikers safe on their journey, they also provide a bit of fun for families wanting to play hide and seek in the woods. If you’ve never played hide-N-seek with walkies talkies, you probably should – it’s a whole new level of fun!
Why are walkie talkies used for hiking?
Walkie-talkies are used for many different purposes and regardless of the type of hiking you’re doing, from family hiking to hiking up mountains, they can be a vital safety tool.
Walkie talkies are great for:
When trekking in groups, there are always people walking at different pace that end up way in front or at the back of the pack. With a walkie-talkie, you can communicate to your fellow trekkers easily with the press of a button.
It’s not always plain sailing when carrying a foldable map around with you to navigate your way to a destination, but walkie-talkies can help. These days they can prevent hikers from getting lost with a built-in accurate GPS feature. Hikers can get detailed information of the location they want to go to as well as coordinates to inform others of their whereabouts.
Having a walkie-talkie on hand can be really useful at night-time especially if you don’t have a flashlight with you to help you through the dark trails. Most walkie-talkies are built with an LED light on the side specifically for these purposes, as it gets pretty dark at night in the wilderness.
There’s no better way to inform your party of an accident than with an alarm!
Walkie-talkies built with a panic button are commonly used for hikers venturing in dangerous terrain in large groups. If someone gets into distress, they can simply press and hold the button to sound an alarm for someone nearby to hear or for other units listening on the channel.
Your walkie-talkie can even keep you updated on any weather changes, which can be life-saving information if you’re planning to climb a mountain and don’t realize that a storm is coming your way.
Another cool feature that most hiking walkie-talkies come equipped with is a voice-activation button that allows hikers to move and talk hands-free.
It’s a good idea to find the best walkie-talkies with this feature particularly for arduous hikes or when you’re rock climbing with both hands and still need to talk.
Things to notice
Walkie-talkie battery life is something all hikers need to take into consideration, as some last longer than others.
If you plan on using the walkie-talkie for lengthy periods, you’ll need a long-lasting one of up to 40 hours with a USB connection or AA batteries for a quick charge.
Most walkie-talkies come weather-proofed with near-indestructible casing to withstand extreme weather conditions, but not all are waterproofed.
If you’re thinking of kayaking, then a walkie-talkie with a waterproof keypad will be a smart choice.
Walkie talkies come with 2 types of ranges – FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service). FRS has a shorter range of around 2-4 Kilometres, and GMRS has a larger frequency range of up to 30 kilometers.
The number of channels
Having a walkie-talkie with a lot of channels is useful when you’re in big groups and want to have several private channels for communication.
Although, having more channels to operate does come at a higher price.
Walkie-talkies are hikers’ best friends because they keep you safe, provide you with up-to-date weather information, help you collect firewood at night, and serve as a great map to get you on the right track.
So make sure you’ve got one packed when you head out on your next adventure!
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.