A quality walkie-talkie for skiers is not a matter of prestige or luxury, but safety. After all, it allows not only to coordinate movements and communicate with friends, but also to warn of danger, and in an emergency situation to give an SOS signal to save the owner’s life. So, you should choose your walkie talkie for mountains very carefully.
How to choose a walkie talkie for mountains?
The modern world offers a huge assortment of various models that differ in price, size, and extra features. Of course, a beginner can easily get confused here. Therefore, it will be useful to highlight the main parameters that you need to pay attention to when buying.
One of the main factors is strength and reliability. Still, falls are an integral part of alpine skiing, especially in the early stages. In addition, it is after fall and injury that a skier has to use a walkie-talkie to call for help. It will be inappropriate if the radio suddenly fails.
Of course, protection from moisture should also be included – snow melts and may disable your gadget.
You should also pay attention to the range. The optimal communication range for a mountain walkie-talkie is about 3 to 5 km. If less, then you could not connect comrades. For a model with greater power and communication range, you’ll have to pay much, even though such power is rarely needed. Don’t forget about convenience. The walkie-talkie should fit well in your hand – both naked and in a glove.
The best walkie talkie for mountain use – what should it be?
When choosing a walkie-talkie, you also need to pay attention to the power and the range. Experienced users recommend the power at 0.3-1 watt. More powerful models are often not needed on the slope. At the same time, the 1-watt walkie-talkies are compact and light. These are important parameters for skiers, snowboarders, and hikers.
Let’s say about the batteries. The most common batteries are lithium ones; they are cheap, have no memory effect, and can be recharged many times. On the other hand, they do not tolerate cold well, so it is better to keep them under a jacket. Therefore, it is recommended to use headsets – then you don’t have to go into an inner pocket every time to get a walkie-talkie.
What walkie talkie for mountains should NOT be
All the mentioned advantages lead to disadvantages, which are very important to know about. Let’s list what params won’t be useful or even can be harmful in the mountains:
- Absence of subtones. If a large number of skiers gather in one place, then it is simply impossible to make out the messages addressed to a specific person without using the subtone.
- Lack of water protection. The walkie-talkie can fall into the snow, which is fraught with breakage of delicate electronics – the owner can remain in an emergency without communication.
- Complicated menu – when your hands get cold, then spending extra time on long-term work with a walkie-talkie can be very unpleasant, and sometimes just impossible.
- Small buttons – in this case, you have to take off your gloves. If it’s winter, it can cause difficulties.
- Using prohibited ranges. Different countries allow to use different bands, and if you are going to Europe with an American walkie-talkie, you can get problems: the US free band FRS is forbidden almost everywhere abroad.
- Long and rigid antenna – it can be broken easily when falling.
- Lack shockproof – generally unacceptable for skiers, climbers, and fans of extreme sports. After all, sometimes the radio is the only chance to call for help.
- Low-powered batteries – they should keep enough charge for the whole time on the slope, therefore, do not save money here.
Keeping these simple rules in mind, even a newcomer will easily choose a model that will not disappoint or let him down in an extreme situation.