Communication is an important part of any successful trail ride. Especially in our area, where cell communication can be very poor. We’ve established several avenues to make it easier for everyone to get connected. Below we have listed some options and the standard channels we use. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Vice President, Aaron West. He would be happy to help.
CB Radio has been the most commonly used in the past. The main advantage to it was no requirement for a license. However, it has some pitfalls. Mainly tuning, and range at legal wattage.
Amateur/Ham Radio has been around a long time. It offers the most flexibility, range, and highest power. However, it requires a test and a license. The equipment used to be pretty expensive as well. The Baofengs that you now see everywhere are amateur radios, and very inexpensive. But keep in mind they require an amateur radio license to use. And are only legally allowed to transmit on amateur radio frequencies.
GMRS has really taken the off-road world by storm. You can use handheld GMRS radios that will generally reach out just as well as CB. GMRS requires a license. But there is no testing required. Currently the license fee is $70 for ten years. Linked below are a couple of options for GMRS.
FRS channels are the same as GMRS. FRS is just lower power. Most of your blister pack radios available at places like Walmart will be labeled as “FRS”. They do not require a license. They will talk with GMRS radios. The biggest disadvantage is power. They will have the least range.
***Note 1: If handheld radios are labeled GMRS, you must have a GMRS license for those.***
***Note 2: Regular Baofeng radios are NOT legal to transmit on GMRS/FRS frequencies***
GMRS/FRS Equipment Options
CLICK HERE for a GMRS 15 Watt Mobile (license required) – This is the recommended option for in vehicle. Based on price, performance and use needs.
147.480 – Simplex