/ Walkie-talkies

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Arbu - on 13 Nov 2017
Having just seen walkie-talkies for sale in Decathlon I'm wondering why I haven't bought a set for use in the hills before. I can think of so many occasions when they would have been useful. Like walking with a porter in Nepal, or taking short hikes by myself away from a camp. Even if there is phone access this is often not ideal because you have little idea what it will cost and you certainly can't go asking a porter in a poorer country to phone you up on your UK mobile phone if you get separated.

But I haven't actually seen many people using walkie-talkies. Do you use them, and have you found them helpful?
Babika - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:

I have a few friends who have microphones with them and use them climbing on sea cliffs to avoid endless shouting into the wind. I've also used them skiing when separated from the kids.

You don't see them much now as phone charges have reduced so much including Europe and its yet another thing to carry.

I Ebayed a pair last week and there was plenty of interest so I guess someone still uses them!
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:

I use them all the time in the mountains especially scotland in winter. You can communicate whatever the weather and more than just shouts and rope tugs.
Rob Parsons on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

Which ones do you use/recommend?
Route Adjuster on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> I use them all the time in the mountains especially scotland in winter. You can communicate whatever the weather and more than just shouts and rope tugs.

Me too! Use them on winter climbing days when the weather is less than perfect. Phone signals are unreliable in the hills, and handling smart phones with gloves is a right faff whereas walkie talkie use is OK. Batteries usually last ages too and it's easy to take spares.


yesbutnobutyesbut - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I have some Binatone ones that I got for about £40 from Argos. Motorola are probably better but mine have lasted about 10 years so far!
garycrocker - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:
I use them mountain biking, particularly when guiding groups. I also use them when biking with my wife as it means I can go ahead on descents and keep in touch with her. I use Motorola TLKR T80 Extreme two way radios. They are really tough and have great range.
GarethSL on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Motorola TLKR T-80 Extreme often come up as some of the best for mountain sports.

https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_xu/products/consumer-two-way-radios/t80e.html#tabproductinfo
Rigid Raider - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:

Yes, they are useful when mountain biking if the "sweeper" carries one so as to stop the group if somebody punctures. I have found them useful when night riding and separated from the group. We did have an amusing moment one night when mountain biking on a hill overlooking Burnley and we found ourselves on the same frequency as a local vigilante gang who I had met a couple of times when they were patrolling the north-west side of the town. We gave them a bit of banter and they threatened to come and duff us over, saying: "We know where you are!" We took pleasure in responding: "We can probably see you but you can't begin to imagine where we are!"
david100 - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:

I always take one in winter and on big summer multipitch and they can make life a lot easier. The problem is how to carry them so they are easily accessible. If you stuff it in your sack then it will stay there. I found that hanging it on my belt or harness worked best in summer although it may be easily knocked off.
wercat on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:
I was calling the wife, on our old Motorolas, a few years back - I was somewhere above Nan Bield, and someone called me back from N Wales asking who and where I was!


check the build quality and ergonomics - you don't want any where the channels can change in your pocket or it gets switched off. And one that does not behave randomly if it gets damp. Motorola are good in that regard - we have some of the original TA200s which we got in 2001 and it wasn't a new design then
Post edited at 11:03
Jim 1003 - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:

Ive used them in Scotland and the Alps, was sceptical at first, but they were good, Don't know how I managed for the previous 30 years with out them.....
In reply to Arbu:

Yep, we use them all the time. Invaluable when it's windy in the peak or rush hour in Avon gorge or any time on sea cliffs. Actually, other than really short single pitch stuff it's rare for me not to use them now. £20 binatone from amazon have been fine.
mypyrex - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Arbu:

Curious to know in they can be used to contact emergency services?
mypyrex - on 15 Nov 2017
Bump
Rob Parsons on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

The answer's no.
Martin W on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to mypyrex:
In all practical terms: no. PMR446 has limited transmission power and limited range, and there is no "channel 16" distress frequency like there is for marine VHF radio (for which you need a license).

It's basically line of sight - as is a mobile phone, but at least that's line of sight to a base station which relays your call directly to the intended recipient, rather than just some other bod who has his PMR446 radio turned on and tuned to your channel. That's not to say that you couldn't get lucky with freaky propagation conditions and manage to raise someone who could get on the phone and pass on your message to the emergency services, but it absolutely couldn't be relied on.
Post edited at 12:58
mypyrex - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin W:

So little point in having one for solo walks
Martin W on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

No point at all!
wercat on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin W:

unless you're going to call home from a high point ...
Rob Parsons on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to wercat:

> unless you're going to call home from a high point ...

Or you like talking to yourself.
In reply to mypyrex:

We found ourselves clashing channels with a local taxi company when we topped out on Gimmer. I suppose that could be some use if you decided you'd had enough of your solo walk...
Arbu - on 16 Nov 2017
Think I'd better get some then before my next trip. They're not expensive. I like birding too so they'd be useful if I'm with friends and we go off our separate ways to look for a rarity and one of us finds it.


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