Being adventurous, spontaneous, and prepared for any scenario is one of the best qualities of a great hunter. That’s precisely why hitting an out-of-range zone or no network zone, among other unpredictable situations like a thunderstorm, blizzard, or ice storm, isn’t uncommon. Even more unpredictable are hunting zones at extreme altitudes. The above is precisely why having a portable long-range radio should be prioritized before embarking on any hunting trip.
Since the insurrection of the 10 meter radio, two-way communication during network downtime or out-of-range zones has become a no-brainer. Today, the 10-meter radio’s most crucial function remains its resilience and functionality during emergencies, which are also not uncommon during hunting trips.
The following guidelines should prove helpful in choosing a long-range radio for a hunting trip:
Maximum Range Feature
Losing communication with a hunting partner isn’t a jolly feeling, especially when hunting in uncharted areas. The actual distance that long-range radios can communicate varies depending on many factors, including topography, solid barriers, and even the general weather, with 20–30 miles being the average cap. 10-meter radios produced by companies like Stryker Radios and others always provide reliable communication, with advantageous high-power transistors that can be used to reach a range of more than 30 miles.
- Short Wavelength: Understanding the formation of the hunting area will assist in making sure you pick the most efficient radio for the exercise. Because they diminish more gradually over wider distances, radios with shorter wavelengths typically have a greater transmission range. But obstructions can decrease the signal and create dead patches.
- Long Wavelength: On the other hand, longer wavelengths have a higher probability of passing through densely built barriers. The decision is, therefore, dependent on the construction and topography of the hunting area. If a dense forest is your preferred hunting ground, a longer-wavelength radio will be more suitable for the task.
- Ultra-High Frequency (UHF): Long-range radios use radio frequencies to receive and send signals. Typically, they employ frequency modulation, and the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band is ideal for hunting.
- Very-High Frequency (VHF): On the other hand, the very-high frequency (VHF) band often functions best in a clear environment with little to no obstruction.
As it’s been established that cell phones are more often useless in zero network zones, the need for a two-way radio can’t be overstated. Get radios that are meant for long ranges, as certain ones can only work within specific range levels because it’d be unsafe if both your cell and radio went out of range during a night/day hunt.
High-Capacity Battery Feature
It’s no news that there’s no electricity in the wild. With the chances of finding a modernized cabin even slimmer, one should prepare ahead. Investing in a long-range radio with a high-capacity battery is highly recommended. Spring for radios that have at least 18 to 24 hours of guaranteed battery life. If you widen your search enough, you should find long-range radios that can work for more hours.
This battery life is, however, subject to mode of use and weather, which can critically affect durability. On hotter days, battery life tends to drain faster. Power-saving elements are sometimes incorporated into long-range walkie-talkie designs to guarantee optimal battery performance.
Premium Audio Feature
Audio quality can’t be overlooked, as the point of communication with a two-way radio is to hear the other party or parties loud and clear. This purpose will be defeated if the right long-range radio isn’t acquired. The practical choice is to go for long-range radios that measure, filter, or compress signals using advanced noise reduction techniques. Also, watch for talkback control systems that don’t screech. With noise-suppressing abilities and a crisper sound cancellation feature, noise and distortions can be reduced to a minimum.
Another feature to watch out for when choosing the perfect long-range radio is the hands-free feature. It can be challenging to hold and operate a radio while hunting. The fundamental ‘push-to-talk’ button remains the basic action to initiate communication. However, most long-range radio upgrades offer hands-free communication features like earbuds, earpieces, and headsets, as well as a voice-operated microphone, belt clips, and carry-on cases, which are all necessary accessories that’ll facilitate communications during a hunt. We strongly advise using them to prevent any hiccups.
Water And Dirt Resistance Feature
Hunting adventures tend to take daunting turns, with obstacles like marshes, lakes, and rivers as common adversaries. Even if you don’t have to cross over water bodies during the hunt, the radio will still run the risk of exposure to dust, filth, mud, and rain.
For extra caution, invest in durable dirt and waterproof radios to avoid any break in communication. Some of these radios can even float on water, reducing the chances of misplacement. We suggest investing in dirt and waterproof models because they’re more adequate for outdoor use.
Weather Resistance Feature
Unpredictable weather isn’t within anyone’s control, even on days when everything checks out and favorable weather forecast provides extra support. Nature can still switch things up. That’s why having a long-range radio that can survive all conditions is essential, as the weather can be utterly unpredictable. Springing for radios with global positioning systems (GPS) and weather alert features is also recommended for hunting in daunting locations with erratic weather conditions.
Even under the toughest conditions and weather, radios with receiver shielding and filtering can function. They also improve the rejection of nearby channels. So, if you happen to be in a hunting competition, such radios operate without issue, even when numerous operators are also using high-power radios.
Multiple Channel Feature
For larger hunting groups, we recommend choosing long-range radios that can accommodate at least 20 channels. Look for radios with Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) or Digital-Coded System (DCS). With extremely distinctive CTCSS and DCS, all encoded phrases can be utilized on the same channel without interfering with each other. This will facilitate communication on a larger scale and reduce interruptions.
With the best long-range radio, hunting trips are about to become a lot more interesting without communication hiccups. The above guide and hints will assist you in making the ideal choice for seamless and uninterrupted transmission.