Best Walkie Talkie for Camping

Now in the era of smartphones/GPS/satellite phones, people hardly think of walkie talkies as a mode of communication. But when you’re going camping and there’s no cell phone reception, what are you going to do then? That’s where walkie talkies come in.

Moreover, during severe weather or an emergency situation, your walkie can be the only lifeline for you. Most important of all, it should be reliable and easy to use, so in times of need, you won’t be left with a dud.

There are so many models from different brands with different builds; how do you choose the right one for you? To help you with that, here are some of the best options currently on the market. After consulting the buying guide, you yourself will be able to assess which one will be more suited to your needs and which one won’t. Here all the products are of top quality, but only you’ll be able to tell which one is the right for you.

7 Best Walkie Talkies for Camping – Which one is Worth?

ProductsRangeChannelsPrivacy CodesDimensionWeightWater ResistanceBattery Type
Midland GXT1000VP436 Miles501421.5 x 2.4 x 7.9 inches4.8 ouncesJIS4Lithium-Ion, AA
Motorola Talkabout MR350R35 Miles221211.4 x 2.3 x 7.6 inches5.1 ouncesIP-51NiMH, AA
Cobra ACXT 1035R FLT37 Miles221211.5 x 2.4 x 7.5 inches5.6 ouncesIPX7NiMH, AA
Midland X-Talker T1020 Miles22382 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches3.91 ouncesNAAAA
Motorola T600 Talkabout35 Miles221211.5 x 2.4 x 7.78 inches8.6 ouncesIP67NiMH, AA
DEWALT DXFRS800300,000 sq. ft./ 25 floors221212.17 x 2.58 x 7.27 inches1.85 poundsIP67Lithium Polymer
Uniden SX507-2CKHS50 Miles221423.5 x 4 x 7 inches1.5 poundsJIS7Ni-MH, AA

Midland GXT1000VP4

Midland GXT1000VP4

Specs

  • Range: 36 miles
  • Channels: 50
  • Privacy Codes: 142
  • Batteries: Rechargeable battery pack or 4xAA
  • Water Resistance: JIS4
  • FRS/GMRS: Both
  • Extra Features: NOAA weather alerts, SOS siren, vibrate alert, eVOX
  • Accessories Included: Batteries, headsets, belt clips, desktop charger, AC, and DC adapters.

In the world of communication, Midland is a popular and trusted name and has been delivering quality products for decades. Whether for recreational or commercial use, the Midland GXT1000VP4 is one of the most popular walkie talkies out there. Affordable, long-range, durable, safety features – everything you want in a walkie, the Midland GXT1000VP4 has it all and more.

The GXT1000VP4 offers up to 36 miles of range in clear conditions, making it ideal for outdoor camping. It comes with a massive number of 50 GMRS channels with 142 privacy codes. These give you up to 3124 channel options to have a secure conversation. There’s also an NOAA weather scan feature which will automatically scan through available weather channels and give you weather updates. In case of emergency weather, NOAA weather alert will signal an alarm.

The walkie may not be fully waterproof, but it’s water-resistant with a JIS4 rating. Being ultra-lightweight, it’s very easy to carry around. You can even put it in your pocket or clip it on the belt without having to worry about the weight. Moreover, the GXT1000VP4 features eVOX technology. With nine sensitivity levels, this voice recognition technology allows you to operate your device hands-free.

Pros

  • Impressive range plus hands-free transmissions
  • Automatic alerts in case of emergency or severe weather
  • Privacy codes run interference to keep communication private
  • Both A/C adapter and car charger option available
  • Powerful microphone with whisper mode on
  • Excellent battery life and dual battery option

Cons

  • Less range while using AA batteries
  • Complicated setup for some users

Motorola Talkabout MR350R

Motorola Talkabout MR350R

Specs

  • Range: 35 miles
  • Channels: 22
  • Privacy Codes: 121
  • Batteries: Rechargeable battery pack or 3xAA
  • Water Resistance: IP-51
  • FRS/GMRS: Both
  • Extra Features: NOAA weather alerts, VibraCall alert, SOS button, PTT power boost, iVOX
  • Accessories Included: Belt clips, drop-in charger, earbuds with PTT Microphone, extra faceplates, charging adaptor, emergency preparedness checklist, accessories’ sheet, user guide

If you’re looking for good walkie talkies for camping, then you’re bound to come across Motorola devices. Whether you want a high end or casual model, Motorola has the exact option suitable for your needs.

The Motorola Talkabout MR350R Two-way Radio is perfect for camping in extreme conditions. With its exceptional 35 miles range, it belongs to the higher range walkie talkies from Motorola. However, under perfect circumstances, the actual coverage for open waters is up to 6 miles and for urban areas up to 2 miles.

The MR350R offers 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. Moreover, being dual-band enabled, it can broadcast over both FRS and GMRS bands. Thus, you’ll be able to get more channel combinations. Not only that, but it also has 11 weather channels (7 NOAA) and sends alerts for upcoming weather conditions. In case of a difficult situation, you can use the emergency alert button to send SOS.

This walkie is lightweight and has an ergonomic design with large buttons. So, it’s easier to carry around and operate even when you’re wearing gloves. Besides, it has a sturdy build and has an IP-51 rating, meaning you’ll be protected from dust, light rain, and water splashes.

Having dual power feature, you can use rechargeable batteries or three standard AA alkaline batteries to power up this walkie talkie. The NiMH battery provides up to 8 hours of charge, and the alkaline can provide up to 23 hours. making it one of the best rechargeable walkie talkies for camping. The built-in flashlight offers safety from darkness, and the iVOX feature allows hands-free action. These features come off as great help during emergencies.

Pros

  • Weatherproof and durable design
  • No licensing required
  • Stand-up charger docking station for simultaneous charging
  • VibraCall vibration alert or 20 different call tones
  • No need for an audio accessory
  • Ideal for every weather condition

Cons

  • Fast draining battery
  • Difficult to program

Cobra ACXT 1035R FLT

Cobra ACXT 1035R FLT

Specs

  • Range: 37 miles
  • Channels: 22
  • Privacy Codes: 121
  • Batteries: Rechargeable NiMH battery pack or 6xAA
  • Water Resistance: IPX7
  • FRS/GMRS: Both
  • Extra Features: NOAA weather alerts, Rewind-Say-Again, VibrAlert, VOX, LED flashlight
  • Accessories Included: Rechargeable batteries, two-port charging dock, micro-USB cable

If you’re camping near water or planning on going kayaking, the Cobra ACXT1035R FLT is a great choice. This walkie-talkie is apt for outdoor activities as it offers quality communication over a long-range.

It has a weatherproof, waterproof design with an IPX7 rating, and the best part, it floats! Also, having a compact body and rubber armor, it’s protected from drops and easy to grip. Rechargeable NiMH batteries power the walkie talkie, but regular AA batteries can also power it. A dual-port charger and micro-USB cable also included in the package.

There’s a built-in NOAA Weather & Emergency Radio receiver, along with the standard 22 FRS/GMRS channels. The alerts and warnings will be sent to your walkie automatically so you can always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. The range is supposed to be 37 miles, which may not be possible most of the time. However, this model still gets 2-4 miles of clear reception, and that is a pretty good range compared to other similar models.

Cobra offers a unique feature called Rewind-Say-Again, which allows you to replay the last 20 seconds on any incoming message. It’s a really convenient feature to have if you couldn’t follow the original transmission clearly. Also, it offers VOX technology for hands-free transmissions, VibrAlert to notify of incoming transmissions, and a built-in LED flashlight.

Overall, the Cobra ACXT1035R FLT is a solid choice for communication over a shorter range and on-water.

Pros

  • Waterproof and floating design
  • Replay missed radio calls
  • 121 privacy codes ensure secure transmissions
  • Rubberized grips and belt clip make carrying easier
  • VOX function for hands-free transmission
  • Perfect for camping, hunting, boating adventures

Cons

  • Limited range
  • Low maximum volume

Midland X-Talker T10

Midland X-Talker T10

Specs

  • Range: 20 miles
  • Channels: 22
  • Privacy Codes: 38
  • Batteries: 3xAAA
  • Water Resistance: NA
  • FRS/GMRS: Both
  • Extra Features: NOAA weather alerts, silent operation, eVOX, channel scan
  • Accessories Included: Belt clips, owner’s manual

If you want a budget-friendly option and don’t mind basic features, then you should go for the Midland X-Talker T10. This walkie talkie offers the best value among other models in its price range.

The T10 offers a 20-mile range communication in open areas where there’s hardly any obstruction. It has all the standard 22 FRS and GMRS channels plus NOAA weather alerts. With 38 privacy codes, you can get up to 836 channel options for private communication. It’s the only model you’ll find with this feature in its price range.

It also has convenient features such as silent operation, keypad button lock, channel scan, and the most prominent of all, eVOX. Hands-free operation is a pretty common feature in walkie talkies; however, you’d hardly find such exclusive options available in a budget-friendly option.

The T10 is one of the best lightweight walkie talkies on the market, and you won’t even feel you’re carrying a device. It doesn’t have a definite waterproof rating, but it’s water-resistant and able to withstand extreme weather as well. The best part, perhaps, is its long battery life. The X-Talker T10 runs on three AAA batteries and can last over up to 21 hours, which is an astonishing feat for such a low-end option.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Long-lasting battery performance
  • Compatible with all Midland FRS/GMRS Walkie Talkies and accessories
  • Versatile features present than most in its price range
  • Water-resistant and durable build
  • Perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking

Cons

  • Inaccurate battery indicator

Motorola T600 Talkabout

Motorola T600 Talkabout

Specs

  • Range: 35 miles
  • Channels: 22
  • Privacy Codes: 121
  • Batteries: Rechargeable battery pack or 3xAA
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • FRS/GMRS: Both
  • Extra Features: NOAA weather alerts, VibraCall, water-activated flashlight, SOS button, PTT power boost, iVOX
  • Accessories Included: Whistle belt clips, rechargeable batteries, charging adapter with dual micro-USB connector, user guide, accessory guide

Another Motorola walkie talkie on our list, the T600 H2O series, is specially geared towards water-based activities.

Not only just water-based activities, but it’s also perfect for camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and any outdoor adventure. With its eye-catching color, it’s had to misplace the walkie or not being able to find it. You’ll be able to retrieve it easily. Even if you drop it in the water, you don’t need to worry as it can withstand submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. IP67 waterproof rating being one of the highest, your walkie talkies will be protected from water.

Officially the T600 offers 35 miles range, but in actuality communicates up to 6 miles away. And that range is above average compared to other similar range models. There are standard 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, which give you up to 2662 sub-channels combinations. Along with the VibraCall option, there are also 20 different call tones to choose from.

Another great feature is the built-in flashlight. It’s not just an LED flashlight; it takes the water protection feature even further. The walkie is designed so that the presence of water will activate the light, and it’ll float in a face-up position. That way, even in the dark, you can easily spot the radio and retrieve it.

Pros

  • Excellent waterproof design with a great range
  • Advanced Built-in Flashlight with White and Red LEDs
  • Compatible with other FRS/GMRS radios regardless of brand
  • Rechargeable battery life up to 9 hours and alkaline up to 23 hours
  • Keypad lock prevents personalized setting from being accidentally changed
  • Low battery alert to remind when batteries running low

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • Flashlight frequently turning on accidentally

DEWALT DXFRS800

DEWALT DXFRS800

Specs

  • Range: 300,000 sq. ft. / 25 floors
  • Channels: 22
  • Privacy Codes: 121
  • Batteries: Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • FRS/GMRS: FRS
  • Extra Features: Power saver, VOX, auto squelch, 360° swivel holster, Viber alert
  • Accessories Included: Batteries, dual charging dock, charging adapter, belt clips

The DeWalt DXFRS800 is a popular choice for construction and hands-on jobs. However, with its rugged and easy to use design, clear, consistent, and portable communication, it’s a great choice for outdoor activities as well. If you want a dependable, feature-heavy model and don’t mind the higher price tag, then you won’t find a better walkie talkie than the DeWalt DXFRS800.

This two-watt heavy-duty walkie talkie provides up to 300,000 sq. ft. / 25 floors of long-range. Moreover, the 22 preset channels with privacy codes offer 2662 channel combinations. The volume knob lets you adjust the volume level quickly and easily, and the key lock feature prevents accidental channel changes. The battery runs ultra-long, and you can continue to use it for 18 hours. There’s also a power saver mode, which automatically turns off the device if there’s no transmission within 10 seconds.

One of the best parts of this DeWalt walkie is its weatherproof and durable nature. It has an IP67 waterproof rating, which is one of the highest ratings available for consumer products. Therefore it can withstand being 30 minutes in 1-meter deep water without damage. Not only that, but it’s also shock-resistant and dustproof. Its rugged anti-slip design protects the device even after a 2-meter drop. You have to commend its reliable and resilient features.

Pros

  • Ultra-clear long-distance reception and excellent battery life
  • Waterproof and shockproof rugged design
  • Automatically shuts off weak transmissions or unwanted noise
  • 360°swivel holster allows rotating sideways for multiple positions
  • VOX and keypad lock utilizes hands-free operation
  • No license or service fees needed

Cons

  • Lack of emergency features
  • The belt clip needs to be removed for charging.

Uniden SX507-2CKHS

Uniden SX507-2CKHS

Specs

  • Range: 50 miles
  • Channels: 22
  • Privacy Codes: 142
  • Batteries: Rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack or AA
  • Water Resistance: JIS7
  • FRS/GMRS: Both
  • Extra Features: NOAA alerts, VOX, Vibrate Alert, Group Mode with Direct Call,
  • Accessories Included: Belt clips, rechargeable batteries, dual charging cradle with a USB adapter, hands-free earbuds, printed materials

The Uniden SX507-2CKHS offers an impressive range of up to 50 miles, which is the highest on our list. Sure, the actual range may vary due to hills, trees, buildings, and other obstacles; still, this two-way radio provides clear communication without interference over long ranges.

The SX507-2CKHS has 22 channels with 142 privacy codes and 142 direct call codes. As this walkie talkie operates on industry-standard frequencies, you can easily communicate with others regardless of the models or brands. Uniden offers an exclusive direct call feature that allows for private communications. Using this, you can call anyone in your group while everyone else’s walkie remains silent.

If you’re worried about your walkie-talkie taking a plunge into the water and, as a result biting the dust, no need for that. Because this model is specifically equipped to handle unfortunate scenarios and can be submerged in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes, having a certified JIS7 rating, it also floats, so you don’t have to dive underwater to get it back.

This high-performance walkie use rechargeable batteries, which give 14 hours of battery life. You can also use AA batteries in case of emergencies. It features a VOX headset jack for hands-free operation and NOAA weather channels, which sends weather alerts to keep you updated. Along with emergency and SOS alerts, it also offers to vibrate alert and ten call tones.

Pros

  • Highest range reception over a long distance
  • Channel frequencies have industry standard
  • Private group mode functions with a direct call feature
  • Floatable and can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.
  • Rugged design and long battery life
  • Clear and uninterrupted communication

Cons

  • The range is limited by obstructions
  • Slightly costlier than other models

Types of Walkie Talkies

There are multiple ways to categorize different distinctions of walkie talkies based on use, design, range, types, frequencies, etc. However, the most common difference between types of walkie talkies is the signal or frequency bands.

The two major types are:

  • UHF frequencies
  • VHF frequencies

UHF Walkie Talkies

The Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios operate at 400-512 megahertz (MHz). UHF walkie talkies have shorter waves and a more penetrating signal. That’s why they are ideal to use in dense urban areas or woods, as their ability to get through interference. Moreover, UHF walkie-talkies can handle more powerful and larger antennas.

The Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) both fall in the UHF class. FRS radios don’t require any licensing for use, but GMRS radios do. Nowadays, many UHF radios combine FRS and GMRS systems to get better flexibility in communications.

VHF Walkie Talkies

Very High Frequency (VHF) radios operate between 136-174 megahertz (MHz). Their major advantage is covering greater distances with less power. That’s why VHF walkie talkies are more suitable for open areas.

VHF radios are mostly used in aviation and marine communications. Because two-way VHF walkies need a clear line of sight between the sender and receiver. Physical obstructions in the form of buildings and landscapes tend to run interference. Also, they usually have a longer antenna than UHF radios.

Buying Guide

Buying a walkie-talkie may not seem like such a difficult task but choosing a model just so it looks good enough isn’t advisable either. Especially to purchase the best walkie talkie for camping, you need to consider some important factors before making your mind. Even if you already have a model on your mind, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about the specifications. That way, you can pinpoint the features you need and the ones you don’t.

Range and Transmission Clarity

Rang and clarity is the most important factor to consider because transmitting a clear message across a long distance, that’s the whole point of having a walkie talkie. Manufacturers normally specify the estimated distance or range the walkie talkies can communicate with each other. However, take those numbers with a grain of salt as these are applicable under ideal conditions with a direct line of sight. In a real-life scenario, this is not often the case. In order to communicate clearly, walkie talkies can’t have barriers such as buildings and landscapes between them. For instance, a walkie talkie with a range of 30 miles may only cover about 10 miles max.

So, our advice is to consider choosing a model with a bigger range than you need. Because while camping, there will be walls, hills, trees, or mountains surrounding you, which will definitely obstruct the transmission range.

Channels

Walkie talkies typically have way more channels compared to basic radios, and the more channels you have, the easier it is to communicate. Even though walkie talkies offering more channels would cost more as well, it’s better to have multiple channel options.

Nowadays, most walkie talkies are either standardized 16-channel or 22-channel models. Any walkie talkies can be communicated with any FRS / GMRS radio. On 22-channel walkie talkies, 8–14 are usually FRS channels, while 1–7 and 15–22 are GMRS channels.

Some walkie talkies have programmable channels, and you can have access to more frequencies. But you need to obtain a license or permit to operate. If you don’t have any reason to use specialized channels, then there’s no need to get a license for your device as the 22-channel walkie talkies work just fine without requiring any license to operate.

Many models include NOAA channels (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) as many as two dozen. You don’t need so many NOAA channels, to be honest, as having just a few options will be enough to keep up with the weather updates.

Moreover, some of the channels include privacy codes that keep your transmission private while sending a sensitive message. These are only needed in a professional setting where you want to avoid interference from other channels. Using interference codes is more like having an extra set of channels for communications.

Battery Life

While camping in the wilderness, a dead battery feels akin to being stranded and dead to the world itself. You need to consider the battery life and power options very seriously, as this will ensure your safety during emergencies.

Different batteries power all walkie talkies, but the most common are the AA or AAA disposable batteries and rechargeable batteries. Most of the current models use a lithium-ion battery, a Nickel-Cadmium battery, a nickel-metal hydride battery, or some combination.

You need to know the estimated time of usage on the walkies to figure out if you should carry some spare batteries. Generally, the life of a battery is estimated to be 90% standby time, 5% transmission time, and 5% reception time. You should consider battery life and power-saving options as well. Walkie talkies last much longer while operating on standby mode or when sending considerably fewer transmissions.

The power and size of the battery also play a significant role in determining how much it is going to last. The battery with higher wattage will consume power faster. Although battery size varies from model to model, the bigger sized the battery is, the more power it’ll have.

Durability and Weather Resistance

A rugged walkie talkie will cost you more than the basic ones, but for outdoor activities, rugged design is a must. Durability can even become the key to your survival in case of emergencies. To prevent breaking down in the middle of nowhere, make sure your walkie talkie is made of sturdy and high-quality materials.

Moreover, look for weather features such as being water-resistant or waterproof. Water-resistant models have rubber material that resists splashing water and rain to some extent. But if you’re going to be near a river or water bodies, then waterproof models would be more suitable. Some walkie talkies come fully waterproof and are advertised to float in the water even.

Size and Weight

When looking for a walkie talkie, you need to check out the design first. Several points go into design considerations, most prominently the size and weight of the model.

Whether you’re camping, backpacking, or hiking, your concern would be how much the device weighs and how much space does it take. So, naturally smaller and lightweight model is the priority here. However, the battery takes a lot of space and weight, so if the walkie talkie is too small, then it won’t have sufficient power for long-distance. Also, using flimsy materials makes the device lightweight, but the durability gets busted.

The shape also plays a bigger role in the design. For instance, a blocky square-shaped walkie talkie would look and feel bulkier and heavier. Whereas a sleek, thin device would feel noticeably lighter. Thus you should look for a balance between size, weight, and durability.

Emergency Features

Having emergency and safety features in the walkie talkie is very crucial when camping in the wilderness. All the best models offer emergency channels, and you should look for the one with weather reports and alerts as well.

NOAA Weather Alerts

Some walkie talkies have built-in weather band channels and broadcast weather reports around the country 24/7. There are also seven emergency channels that receive natural disaster updates and NOAA weather alerts. So that you don’t have to monitor emergency channels manually. The NOAA weather

SOS Options

You should also look out for walkie talkies with SOS options. Features like SOS flashing, sirens, flashing beacons, alerts sent to other radios in range, etc. are very handy during an emergency. Some models have LED flashlights with red and white light, which help to signal in darkness.

Extra Features

Most radios come with additional features than just transmitting and receiving signals. Some of them are premium features, while some are more practical. Check them out before making your choice. Some of them are:

Backlit Display

The backlit LCD screen and keypad can help you see and use the walkie talkie in the dark. You won’t have to turn on a lamp or fumble with the buttons. The LCD screen even shows left battery life, compass, timers, and alarms, etc.

Keypad Lock

It’s a smart feature to prevent mistakes. Keypad lock can help you from accidentally switching channels or frequencies or pressing the talk/end button.

Belt Clip

Walkie talkies with belt clips are a huge advantage during camping. You can use the belt clip to hang it, and your hands will be free.

Microphone, Earbuds, Speaker / Mic Support

Walkie talkies with jack support external mic or speaker or earbuds. That way, you don’t have to raise the device every time you listen or talk.

VOX

VOX is a great feature that allows hands-free transmission. You can use your voice to command the walkie talkie instead of using the buttons. During emergencies, this feature comes in handy.

Weather RadioYou’ll be able to choose weather reports and monitor the weather. In case of emergencies, the weather alerts will surely save your life.

Incoming Alerts

This alert will notify you when there’s a transmission coming.

Talk Confirmation

Generally, it signals the start and the end of the transmission so you can safely reply instead of being cut off in the middle of the transmission.

Channel Saver

This feature allows for saving particular channels so you can easily find them later.

Conclusion

Effective communication is crucial for survival in the wild. So your walkie talkies play a larger role in keeping you safe and connected during camping.  Hopefully, our review was helpful enough to point you in the right direction. While choosing the best walkie talkie for camping, remember to keep looking until you find the one.

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