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  5. The Gear: Rugged Radios
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  5. The Gear: Rugged Radios

The Gear: Rugged Radios

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Rocky Talkies

Rocky Talkies two-way radios

Photo Credit: Rocky Talikes

Sure, your phone’s a little powerhouse, but sometimes the best campsites have zilch for cell service. Rocky Talkie Mountain Radios—built for the outdoors, with shatterproof screens and rubber-encased, water-resistant bodies—are some of the lightest, easiest-to-use two-way radios on the market. Fans rave about clarity and range: the company says to expect 1 to 5 miles in the backcountry. The carabiner and backpack leash sure beat a plastic clip, and the user-replaceable lithium-ion battery feeds off USB-C and goes four days on a charge. Coming soon, a Rocky Talkie dashboard mount. $110 each.

Range Against the Machine

A two-way radio’s transmitting power—measured in watts—affects its range, but terrain and obstacles have the biggest impact. Two Rocky Talkies, for instance, can communicate up to 35 miles apart in a flat, completely open area. Manufacturers call this “line-of-sight” or “ideal” range but don’t expect to reach as far when trees, hills, mountains, or structures are in the mix.

Milo action communicator

Photo Credit: Milo

Milo Action Communicator

Compact, wearable discs that clip to armbands, helmets, handlebars—you name it. Sync with up to seven other Milos for hands-free communication with your crew. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours. $249 each. okmilo.com

Garmin InReach Mini 2

Photo Credit: Garmin

Garmin InReach Mini 2

An alternative to a traditional walkie-talkie, the InReach Mini 2 relies on a satellite link to send texts, GPS info, and SOS alerts. The tiny device (less than 4 inches tall) also pairs with your smartphone for two-way communication and provides backcountry routing. $399.99, plus satellite subscription. garmin.com

SPOT X satellite messenger

Photo Credit: SPOT


A little less capable than the pricier Garmin, this two-way satellite messenger has a built-in keyboard to send texts or an SOS, along with GPS tracking and digital compass capabilities. $249.99, plus satellite subscription. findmespot.com

This article originally appeared in Wildsam magazine. For more Wildsam content, sign up for our newsletter.

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