Keeping tabs on the family when out camping or hiking is easy with the use of some license free radios. Two Way Radios for Hiking and Camping can come in sets of 2 and 4 so there are plenty to share around.
If you are using them for hiking then some hands free head sets are a great addition to your radio setup allowing you to slot the radio into the side of your pack leaving you with both hands free. This type of radio transmits at UHF(ultra high frequency) and while direct line of site will give you a reasonably long range they can easily have there signals blocked with a mountain between you are any other radio, but for general use around the campsite or organized walks they work fine.
Motorola FV300 2-Way Radio, Pair
A value set of radios the FV300’s are good entry level license free radios.
With the 22 standard channels and a rugged case ideal for outdoor use, standby battery time is reported at 32hrs but with constant use this will drop down to a few hours. These radios don’t have a special power pack to charge so just replacing the standard AA batteries will give continuous use when outdoors.
The 22 channels are a good feature if you are up high or climbing a mountain because at line of sight transmissions from these radios can travel a long way and they are widely used, having the choice of channel will give you the option to find one that isn’t already being used.
AGPtek 16-Channel (4-pack)
A complete set of 4 UHF radios with drop in chargers from AGPtek.
Powered from a lithium ion battery this radio has a good operating time but with no chance to change or charge the batteries in the field makes them a bit more limited than radios powered by off the shelf disposable batteries.
It is possible to change the radios to transmit anywhere in the 400-470Mhz frequency range with the correct software(not included) by creating a new set of channels, comes with a standard set of 16 channels already programed in and ready to use.
Even though these radios give you a wide operating frequency (if you reprogram the sets) only sections segments of the radio spectrum are available for you to transmit on without some sort of license.
Make sure when you reprogram these sets that you are not going to get yourself into trouble or interfere with some critical radio systems.
A professional set of radios with some good flexible options but to get the most out of this package its advisable to spend some time learning how these radios operate.
The Range of License Free Radios
Every radio that is built to operate on the license free sections of the radio frequency have their power output fixed to a relatively low level, this is part of the whole license agreement that lets many different manufactures produce these sets.
You may see ranges that these two way radios can achieve stated by advertisers but be aware that this range is when the radio is operating under optimum conditions and not something that they will be able to do every time you use it. If there are no obstructions between two of these radios and no interference they can go a long way but be aware that at the high frequency they operate on even a thick clump of trees can limit the range of the signal be a good degree.
Using CB Radios for Camping
You can get some good range from CB radios and are usually OK for using as campsite communications especially in the UK as the channels are not use much these days and they may seem like a good option.
But they do suffer from a few drawbacks, when camping at altitude signals from far away can sometimes block out local ones, because of the low frequency there are times of the year when transmissions from all over the world can swamp the radios closing down communications and sometimes you will experience bad language from other users (not good if the children are listening).