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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering what trail radios and more importantly what frequencies you cats are using out there. I plan on doing some lone exploring at times as the other half cares not for the outdoors. I am trying to get set up for when I have issues out alone or if I join a trail run.
Thank you in advance.
 

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The last couple group runs I've been on, we've used CB (Ch 4 usually). Would like to upgrade my radio comm to something with a bit more reach though... I've got the book for HAM (Technician license) that I've been browsing, but haven't taken the test yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The last couple group runs I've been on, we've used CB (Ch 4 usually). Would like to upgrade my radio comm to something with a bit more reach though... I've got the book for HAM (Technician license) that I've been browsing, but haven't taken the test yet.

I am going to go with a GMRS radio as the power and range is significantly greater as well as you can bounce off of repeaters. All you need is a license from the FCC that is a 10 year ticket for 70.00. I know a lot of folks that use these blow the licensing part off but if your going to get fancy and make use of repeaters I think you should be legal and have a ticket especially since there is no test. Eventually I will get my Ham ticket but at this stage in my life I dont have time to get sucked into another rabbit hole of a hobby because that stuff is my kind of nerdy and I know where that will lead me :bop:

Here is some info on GMRS radio.
GMRS Wiki

 

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I never found a standard with CB. Some people use this, some use that. Most stuck to the lower channels, so I would usually use the higher ones and to stay far away from the horrible Ch9.

I just got my GMRS license. I've had reasonable performance with my FRS radios, when the battery is charged, so I figure those are fine. Considering putting the Midland MXT275 in the Jeep and using the handhelds for spotting. I've been watching Aussies with the super slick GMEs and the Midland seems to be a step in that direction.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I picked up a Baofeng UV-5R and have been playing with it and am super impressed with it. Granted you need to be mindful that its is a wide open radio but if you load the frequencies for frs, gmrs and stay with in the confines of the fcc rules concerning that I find that this is an awesome little radio. When I get my Ham rating then bouncing off repeaters and such for long distance coms will become a huge added bonus. But a nice feature of this radio is you can make one a repeater and say place it in the middle of your group to improve coms between the lead and trailing vehicle.
 

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Also got a Baofeng...still need to get my license. Every time I go wheeling people seem to have CBs, no Hams. One day I'll post back here when I get the license so I'll care more about meeting regular users :D
 
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I've been meaning to get some FRS radios for vehicle to vehicle and when we decide to hike out from base camp. I just haven't had the time to learn another hobby. It was much easier to buy a dialed in CB from Clay's radio shop and install that with a 3ft or 4ft antenna. If properly tuned they work well. I have installed and tuned several. I'm not raving about CB but when done right, they work well. More people have them on the trails because it's still the standard. They are inexpensive and anyone can buy them. No one needs more than 1mile range on the trail. Hell, most people are using them for 100yds or less going vehicle to vehicle. Cheap Cobra handhelds work well when I spot for people or loan it out to someone without a CB in their rig.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been meaning to get some FRS radios for vehicle to vehicle and when we decide to hike out from base camp. I just haven't had the time to learn another hobby. It was much easier to buy a dialed in CB from Clay's radio shop and install that with a 3ft or 4ft antenna. If properly tuned they work well. I have installed and tuned several. I'm not raving about CB but when done right, they work well. More people have them on the trails because it's still the standard. They are inexpensive and anyone can buy them. No one needs more than 1mile range on the trail. Hell, most people are using them for 100yds or less going vehicle to vehicle. Cheap Cobra handhelds work well when I spot for people or loan it out to someone without a CB in their rig.
I appreciate the ubiquity of CB radios and their ease of use. I think the big appeal with GMRS and HAM is the ability to reach out and get help when your in a real isolated location where cell coverage is nonexistent. Perhaps a combination of devices may be a solution.
 

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I appreciate the ubiquity of CB radios and their ease of use. I think the big appeal with GMRS and HAM is the ability to reach out and get help when your in a real isolated location where cell coverage is nonexistent. Perhaps a combination of devices may be a solution.



I agree about the range. It's why many people I know have them. I have a baofeng that a buddy(he's a HAM) gave me for emergencies. You can use a HAM radio for emergencies without risk of prosecution. Personally though, I prefer my Garmin Explorer. It's got the ability to send and receive text messages to family/friends in an emergency, signal Search and Rescue, signal a special SOS to a designated person where this person(usually your most trusted friend with an offroad rig) will drop everything to come rescue you at the following GPS coordinates. I am a big believer in 1 is none for critical components like communication.
 
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I was wondering what trail radios and more importantly what frequencies you cats are using out there. I plan on doing some lone exploring at times as the other half cares not for the outdoors. I am trying to get set up for when I have issues out alone or if I join a trail run.
Thank you in advance.
You need to join a club down there or find like minded people to go with. Alone is not good. I don't care how easy the trail is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You need to join a club down there or find like minded people to go with. Alone is not good. I don't care how easy the trail is.
I agree Chip, but some of the places I go to shoot pictures are equally remote down miles of dirt road so thats where my other need stems from.
 

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Ham radio with repeater frequencies available in case of emergency. If I'm really going out in the boonies for a long trip, like White Rim Trail in Moab, I rent a sat phone.
 

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Uniden Bearcat SSB CB here, with the 102" whip the range is impressive. I could hear miners in Superior from deep in Walnut Canyon. I have a Cobra handheld for spotting and to loan. A satellite phone is in my near future as I can write it off, possibly HAM later.
 

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Range so far with the Midland MXT 400 has been over 34 miles (and hitting a repeater with farther results) with the 6Db gain antenna. Used this setup for the just past JJAMUSA 27th Gateway to the Cumberlands with good results on and off the trails. My friend had the GXT1000 hand-held, that is a FRS/GMRS as well.

Good for comms between us up and down the interstate. Unless you use the SCAN it is worthless for listening to other travelers with FRS for traffic or local information.
 
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