Even in the age when mobile phones have dominated the communication industry, the best walkie talkie for hunting in woods are still highly practical and far simpler.
Hunters trekking in the woods or mountains may find that they are so isolated that the usual communication networks will not work for them.
Communication between units is not dependent on stations or towers – the units connect directly.
The effectiveness of two-way radios, however, is not limited to outlying and isolated locations.
In the heart of bustling metros, two-way radio systems provide businesses with a means to coordinate and work closely.
This is evident in emergency teams where time and coordination are foremost. Employees in a high-rise company cannot let miscommunication get in the way.
Unlike cell phones, there are no bills to pay periodically. Two-way radios are the practical means to enable work teams to get things done efficiently at the least cost.
Here are important things to consider before buying one of the best two-way radios on the market.
Number of channels
Two-way radios offer from 2 to 14 channels for you to access. The more channels are available to you, the better accessibility you have especially in areas that are high-traffic.
Ask for models that allow accessing to sub-channels. A model that has 10 channels and 38 sub-channels per channel, for instance, actually connects you to 380 contacts and makes communicating much easier.
Naturally, the more channels you can use, the expensive the model will be.
Range and frequency
Two-way radios usually work on 1- to 2-mile radius, but the weather and landscape of the area where the equipment will be used are factors that you must always consider.
At this range, you will not need special licenses. A band of radio frequencies, called Family Radio Service (or FRS), is provided free by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for these communication devices.
Some models can be extended beyond the FRS range to provide clearer quality of communication and bigger range through a different frequency, called Ultra High Frequency (UHF).
If you are interested in these models, however, be aware that the FCC will require you to obtain a General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) license with the corresponding fee.
For family and recreational use, the lower-range models usually serve the purpose.
Many models now come with expanded functions. Some features may not be very useful to you and may just add up to the cost, so decide which features are actually important to your purpose. Here are some of the functions featured in most models:
Channel saver – this is a common feature, but offered either as manual or automatic.
Vibrating alert – a particularly useful setting option when you’re hunting. Incoming calls are often indicated by a ring which can be quite annoying when you’re poised to shoot a game.
Beeps to signal end of sentence – this is a cue that one party has stopped talking and that the other party may start talking.
Last-channel recall – similar to “redial.”
Channel scanning – shows in-use channels.
Frequently-used channels memory – stores the channels and sub-channels that are often used by the owner. This allows for fast access.
Hands-free feature – check for speaker-and-microphone jacks even when you don’t find need for them or own these accessories at present.
Privacy call or code
Other equipment with the same frequency and number of channels as yours can tune in to your channel, so look for a model that has a privacy call feature.
Ninety per cent of your battery is used up on standby, the remaining 10% is used transmitting and receiving calls.
Different models use either nickel cadmium or alkaline batteries. Nickel cadmium batteries are more expensive and require a charger.
Analog or digital
The traditional models of two-way radios use the analog system.
Radio makers and users are making a big switch to digital systems, however, because of greater voice clarity, noise and interference elimination, higher capacity, guaranteed privacy, and other enhanced features.
While the analog system’s usefulness is not completely obscured, it is safe to say that the digital system is the future of two-way systems.
Make a choice that works for you
Radio equipment comes with many features, such as special buttons for making emergency calls, high power ratings, weather information channels, and display screen for notifications and info (on time, compass, temperature, altitude or atmospheric pressure).
As in any other equipment that you buy, choosing a good two-way radio in 2017 generally depends on what its purpose will be to you.