Virginia is famous for its impressive mountain landscapes, like the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park and stretches of the Appalachian Mountains. One of the best ways for people who live or work in these mountains to keep in touch with each other is with two-way radios.
Our team has over 100 years of combined experience serving those in the Richmond, Tidewater, and Southside, VA, areas. Our expertise in two-way radio solutions for businesses is state-renowned; in fact, we are the official E-911 Equipment Provider for the state of Virginia. However, we at Radio Communications of Virginia also outfit wireless communications solutions for recreational use, too, partnering with Motorola to provide high-quality two-way radios.
Why You Need the Right Two-Way Radio for the Mountains
Make the most of your time in nature, whether it’s for work or play, with two-way radios for the mountains.
It’s important to unplug every once in a while, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely disconnect. With a portable two-way radio, you can call for help in case of an emergency, keep in touch with other members of your crew, stay alert of weather events, and more.
Should I Bring a Cell Phone or Two-Way Radio to the Mountains?
Cell Phones vs Radios
Cell phones are convenient— you probably already have one on you right now. However, when it comes to ensuring connectivity in remote areas, a cell phone doesn’t cut it.
Cell phones rely on cell towers to send and receive messages, but sparsely populated areas—like the middle of a forest—aren’t usually covered by cell towers. Radios, on the other hand, rely on radio waves to send and receive messages. Radio waves work regardless of other external infrastructure, so they offer greater coverage for added peace of mind.
In addition, many smartphones are not built to withstand rain, drops, dust, or extreme temperatures—everything that a hiker, park ranger, or anyone else in the mountains can encounter in just a day.
Two-way radios last longer, too—not just in terms of durability, but in terms of battery life as well. Some two-way radios have battery lives of up to 24 hours.
Choosing Two-Way Radios for Your Outdoor Adventure
When looking for the best two-way radio for the mountains, there are many factors to consider, such as battery life, range, durability, and more. We partner with Motorola to help you find the two-way radios that suit your needs.
The Motorola TALKABOUT® Series is a line of portable two-way radios designed with the outdoor enthusiast or worker in mind. From casual summer picnics to long outdoor work days, there’s a portable for just about any activity.
TALKABOUT® handheld radios offer impressive range, rugged construction, and ease of use—no FCC licenses are required to operate them. Depending on your outdoor entertainment of choice, there’s a two-way radio for you.
Best Two-Way Radios for Hiking
The Motorola T380 is the do-it-all two-way radio for the do-it-all adventurer. From mountaintop to valley, its range reaches up to 25 miles. Best of all, users are not required to obtain an FCC license to use it.
The Motorola T480 is also a great fit for hikers because it features NOAA weather channels and weather alerts, keeping you prepared for any potential downpours.
Two-Way Radios for the Water
That’s right, there are even specially designed two-way radios for sports or outdoor work that can leave you soaked.
For mountain resort employees, ski instructors, and anyone else who braves the cold for work, the fully waterproof Motorola T600 H2O is a great fit. In case of an emergency on the ski lift, for example, an employee at a mountain resort can count on this radio to get in touch with the appropriate help without worrying about how the elements might affect the call.
If summertime fishing is more your speed, this radio is still a great fit. With its VibraCall™ feature that can alert you of notifications via a silent vibration, you don’t have to worry about interrupting the tranquility of a day on the lake—or about scaring the fish away! Emergency capabilities include face-up floating for easy retrieval.
With a range of up to 35 miles from mountaintop to valley and up to nine miles in open water, the T600 H2O Series can be a great companion on your next adventure.
Two-Way Radios for the Mountains
The Motorola TALKABOUT® T800 is a rugged travel companion that can help keep you safe in even the harshest environments. Share locations, texts, and more to stay connected while on the go.
Its range can reach up to 35 miles, and its battery life can last up to 25 hours. For added security getting around in low-light conditions, there is also a built-in flashlight. Despite all this power, however, it will only add about seven ounces of weight to your pack.
Get the Most Out of Your Two-Way Radios
Increasing Radio Range on the Go
One of the most important factors in your two-way radio’s range is the environment. Radio waves are powerful, but they cannot travel through large mountains. There are a few ways to make the most of your two-way radio:
- Opt for higher wattage. More power means more range.
- Get to higher ground. A two-way radio on top of a 200-foot hill has a range that is upwards of four times greater than a two-way radio at sea level.
- Make sure your batteries are fully charged. A stronger battery can transmit messages more powerfully, resulting in clearer transmissions.
Increase Range with Base Station Repeaters
Serious treks call for a little more power from your two-way radio, especially in the mountains, where radio signals may not be able to travel over or around the more extreme topography. When your adventures take you off the beaten path, extend the range of your two-way radio with a base station repeater.
A base station repeater is a radio that amplifies your signals, allowing them to travel farther distances. This option is recommended for the most serious of treks, since operating with such increased strength often requires FCC licensing.
A base station repeater is also a must for anyone who works in the mountains. Park rangers rely on them to keep connected as they assist hikers and assess wildlife populations in remote locations. Keeping a base station repeater at the park’s headquarters can help any professional who heads to the woods for work: arborists, conservationists, loggers, and more.
Some of the best repeaters we offer include:
SLR 5000 Series Repeater: This sleek, power-efficient repeater offers a lower-cost solution to increasing two-way radio range in the mountains. It’s compatible with both digital and analog systems, so you can integrate it into a legacy suite.
SLR 8000 Series Repeater: Integrates voice and data for greater coverage in one small package. With twice the wattage of the SLR 5000 Series Repeater, it can extend coverage like never before.
MTR 3000 Base Station Repeater: This MOTOTRBO™ integrated voice and data base station/receiver is also operable in analog mode for flexible integration with existing equipment.
These repeaters can be installed in your vehicle or camper, and our experienced techs are pros at in-vehicle installations for radios and radio equipment. Reach out to Radio Communications of Virginia to see how we can outfit your vehicle for your next excursion.
Make the Most of Your Mountain Time with Two-Way Radio Accessories
When you’re on the go, optimizing efficiency is one of the best ways to keep your adventure moving. With two-way radio accessories, you can enjoy all the capabilities of your portable to the fullest.
- Car Charger: Charge your batteries on the drive with chargers outfitted specifically for cars. To prep for longer outdoor excursions, you can even use a car charger to juice up your extra batteries for 24/7 connectivity.
- Handlebar Mount: Attach your portable radio to your mountain bike handlebars to keep it close.
- Earpiece with VOX Microphone: Elevate the convenience of one-touch push-to-talk capability by going completely hands-free. VOX, which stands for voice-activated transmission, automatically broadcasts when it detects your voice. When you win the race to the top of the mountain, you can say hello to the rest of your crew without taking your hands off your hiking poles.
Outfit Your Next Adventure with a Two-Way Radio from Radio Communications of Virginia
The mountains are calling—whether for work or play—and you must go. Make sure to take a two-way radio with you, so others can call, too, just in case.
Radio Communications of Virginia has been a leading provider in wireless communications for over 60 years, serving the Richmond, Tidewater, and Southside, Virginia, areas and beyond. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the best two-way radios for the mountains!