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When you are nearly alone and out in the woods, it’s always good to have a backup way to reach someone, especially if they are close by and members of your party. For this, we have one tool, and it is one that many think is much more complicated than it really needs to be. The Walkie Talkie, as you may know it by, also known as two way or dual band radio, is the tool we are offered to solve this issue and it makes going outdoors with your friends a much more enjoyable experience.
They are also a handy tool if you are lost, as many can access weather band or even an emergency channel with some models. But the simplest of these tools comes sold as a pair of children’s walkie talkies that are designed to only work with each other over a very short distance on a set frequency or as high tech as dual band radios with multiple channel or frequency settings to choose from, some of which can reach for miles through wooded hills.
What is a Walkie Talkie?
A Walkie Talkie is a radio transmitter and receiver combination that makes it possible to send and receive audio communications over long distances or through obstacles. How they work is simply setting a pair of handsets to the same frequency channel, and then you simply hold down the transmit button while you speak into one of the devices. Then, your voice will be transmitted through radio waves instantly to the opposite handset where they can hear you clearly and the two of you can figure out a plan to meet up with one another or whatever you need to communicate with one another while separated.
It can be an effective tool in safely exploring the outdoors with your friends or family and makes tasks like hunting or fishing an area separately easier to accomplish in a safe, responsible way. They are an especially good idea for those new to getting outdoors because it is easier than you may think to get turned around if you’re not used to navigating these types of situations or areas. Walkie Talkie handsets are relatively cheap tools and pair it with a pair of compasses, and you are all set to go out exploring the great outdoors.
You never know when even a simple hike together can turn into an emergency, and being able to talk directly to one another is a commanding advantage that experienced outdoorsman often will not go without. They know the helpful tools these can be and always have some form along to keep in touch with.
Best Walkie Talkie for Covering A Long Distance
Best Long Range Walkie Talkie
Best Waterproof Walkie Talkie
Best for City Use
Best Long Range Walkie Talkie: BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen)
The BF-F8HP was designed in the USA and because not everyone is a radio-expert we really wanted to focus on providing an easier user experience! That starts with the new in-depth manual that guides you through the capabilities and customization of the BF-F8HP.
- New and improved hopefully means just that and since these have been getting excellent reviews since they were released, we can safely say that it does.
- They transmit at twice the wattage as the older model, so this increases their range respectively.
- The battery pack is larger and expanded to increase capacity by about a third. This means when used correctly, they can last for trips that lasts days or even weeks outdoors.
- Take a little time investment to sit down and figure out their operation, but it is fairly simple and straightforward. We are confident that anyone can learn to use this interface.
Built durable and tough, so it is able to withstand a lot of use and abuse.
Frequency and Frequency Range
They cover the right frequencies to work with many different handsets out there.
Made to be 30% bigger than the predecessor model.
A hardened and durable outer plastic casing makes it fairly indestructible.
Has all the basic features you want from a walkie talkie handset radio device.
This model is a new and improved version from another previous BaoFeng model that many outdoorsmen know well. Also, this is one of the recommended emergency radios to have in an emergency bug out bag, emergency roadside car kit, and for any other prepper related collections. It has 120 Mhz of frequency range to choose from at some of the most popularly used frequencies for things like search operations.
They give you so many options that they do have a slight learning curve to get to know how to use it correctly and to set the station you want to operate on. With a number pad user interface along with a handful of other setting buttons to use when getting the frequency right, you do have to learn but there is a simple instruction manual that comes with each handset that can teach you everything you need to know in the matter of minutes.
Best Waterproof Walkie Talkie: Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio
These walkie-talkies feature 50 GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) channels, along with channel scan to check for activity. The JIS4 Waterproof Protection prevents splashing water from having any harmful effect on it (splash resistant).
- Splash resistant construction makes them more waterproof than other Walkie Talkie handsets.
- Has multiple advanced features like channel scan to look for activity across all channels quickly.
- You even have privacy codes for your channels, making it harder for folks to eavesdrop on your communications.
- Like most of these handsets that operate on GSMR channels above 2 Watts, it requires a license from the FCC to operate legally, even if you only intend to use the channels lower than that. They are exceedingly cheap and have a 10-year term to them before renewal is needed.
Built to last with solid construction and water-resistant design.
Frequency and Frequency Range
Has over 50 channels and includes an SOS band along with NOAA.
Will last awhile, but with proper planning and setting up times to call in with one another, you can go for days on a single charge.
Hardened plastic handset that will withstand plenty of use and abuse.
This model has a lot to offer, the more you want to invest in learning about it, the more you can accomplish with one of these while outdoors. It has plenty of advanced features to use out in the field.
This model was specifically designed to be used around wet climates where rain is inevitable, that is why it makes our list for the best waterproof walkie talkie. Although, since no walkie talkie is completely waterproof and prolonged exposure to direct water will eventually short one out, at least this one will last you the longest in these situations. This is the recommended model for anglers, and any boater should have one of these onboard their vessel as well.
This model handset also comes with some fairly advanced features for some people, so really learning how to use it is important, as it would do you little good to have one and not know how to operate it correctly. Plus, it can do some really cool things like have privacy codes for your channel.
Best Budget: Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece
UHF waves have the ability to penetrate wood, steel, and concrete, giving you better range and performance in urban environments and around buildings. UHF operation has less chance of interference between wireless systems.
- Has many advanced features like channel scan and 16 preset channel options.
- Is a phenomenal deal you get when you purchase these and get four handsets for cheaper than you can usually get two for.
- Strong, durable, hardened plastic shell makes them great for outdoor use.
- Its preset channel range spans across the 3 Watt range, which makes it necessary to purchase an FCC license to operate them legally. But these licenses are cheap and last for a decade, so they are easy to accommodate.
Their hardened outer plastic shell makes them very durable, handsets.
Frequency and Frequency Range
Has 16 preset channels to use across the range between 400—470 MHz.
They claim between an 8 to 96 hours of usage time, depending on amount of transmission time.
Again, the hardened plastic outer shell construction makes these handsets extremely durable and tough.
Has many advanced features and the more you want to learn, the more there is to do with these walkie talkies.
If you are a highly budget conscious shopper, then this is the model for you. It comes with just as many advanced features as some of our other models and has a long enough of a reach to be effective in the field. You have 16 preset channels to pick from easily and with some more advanced knowledge you can change the frequency of those channels. It is easy to scan across channels for traffic, and the communications are clear and concise through the handsets.
Plus, you get a whopping four handsets in this kit instead of the typical two, which is just incredible. That is what topped it off to be our best budget set, because you cannot beat the deal of getting four walkie talkies to use.
Best for City Use: Uniden SX507-2CKHS Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkie
Up to 50-Mile Range - Uniden FRS radios keep you in touch whether you are out camping, shopping, biking or caravanning on the highway. Rated at up to 50 miles, these two-way radios provide great range when there is a clear view between the radios. Your actual range may be limited by hills, buildings, trees, and other obstructions.
- Ulta long range makes these handsets effective in city streets because they are strong enough to pass through most building materials.
- One of the best model walkie talkie handsets available anywhere on the market.
- Multiple advanced functions that you can take the time to learn and use in the proper manner.
- Not the strongest construction of all the handsets, although these were made to last.
Strong, durable materials assembled in a mega strong fashion.
Frequency and Frequency Range
Can be used through city streets and building after building, making these the best for city use.
Extended battery capacity means you can transmit for up to 8 continuous hours.
Made to last, with super powerful connections between assembled pieces.
Has an endless amount of advanced features you can learn to use with just a few minutes invested.
This model was a runner-up for the best extensive range walkie talkie because it boasts a stunning 50 mile range over open terrain. That is an incredible claim for its ability to work over extreme distances, but with a little brush or woods that range is greatly reduced. Still, it will reach out a longer distance than many other models of walkie talkie handsets.
Plus, these sets have many other extremely advanced and useful features, including NOAA weather band channel along with alerts and even privacy codes for the other communication channels. All of these features are easy to learn and use, it just talks some practice and time to read through the instructions all the way.
Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Two-way Radio
When picking out which walkie talkie handsets are best for you and the usage plans you have for them, there are a couple key points to consider first. For example, you need to consider the range of the handsets and the power output they have for transmitting. This will give you information of how far away you can expect your sets to work, and you can plan your excursions accordingly.
You will also want to have multiple choices for channel frequencies to choose from, just in case there is traffic in the area of other people using the same frequency to communicate. You should have a pre-planned backup channel set with your party so they will know to automatically change over to that channel without you having to give it away over the airwaves.
Next, you need to consider extra functions and what you just cannot live without. Do you need the NOAA broadband channel to warn you of any weather alerts in your area while you are out and about. Maybe you need a good, quick channel scan function or privacy codes to operate effectively, in either case you have options that include those functions.
Third, you will want to look closely at the handset’s construction. Is it made of a single pour plastic mold or is it assembled from multiple pieces? Is it designed to be waterproof, or at least water-resistant? All of these questions you will need to consider before purchasing your next pair of walkie talkie handsets.
Are there Walkie Talkie with GPS?
There are not Walkie Talkie handsets with built in GPS functions, although with recent smart phone construction and design that future is becoming more possible every single day. That being said, you can easily navigate and triangulate your position on a map using a compass and landmarks and with this skill you can combine your walkie talkie skills and have mastered the outdoors in a huge way.
Walkie Talkie handsets are wonderful devices that allow us to do many advanced communications in the wilderness. They can help us escape an emergency and they can make managing a simple hike more effective. Just make sure when purchasing your set of handsets, that you make sure they are compatible with each other in ways like privacy codes. This is important if you want the two handsets to communicate with each other effectively over extensive ranges.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and these are just the best of the best appearing in our recommendations list, so choose wisely. Make sure that the model you want does everything you will need and want it to do for you for field-work.
Is Walkie Talkie the same with Two-way Radios?
Walkie Talkie are the same thing as two-way radios, it is just like a Walkman versus a portable cd player, one is just the brand name version. The original models were called Walkie Talkie and the name just stuck to the devices and to this very day people refer to regular two-way radios as walkie talkies.
So, when we talk about either a walkie talkie or two-way radio handset, we are talking about the same devices. They are the same thing, and it is really just a preference on which way you like referring to them as.
Can Walkie Talkie be traced?
Walkie Talkie transmissions can actually be traced, with the right technology that is. But this tech is costly, ineffective, and difficult to manage, so it is widely dismissed as part of a rescue or first responders gear provisions. This means that while they might get a bearing on which direction the transmission is coming from, they cannot trace you using your walkie talkie transmissions.
You can freely communicate over the airwaves knowing your location is secret unless you give away the information over the open channel. Other than that, no one will be able to find you by your two-way radio communications alone.