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Walkie talkies in mountain sports. What to pay attention to?
In mountain sports – as everywhere in life – the right communication is extremely important. But especially outdoors, when there are large distances or maybe even peaks between two people, this does not work without tools. This is why small radios are so popular with outdoor friends on the go. But not every device is also suitable for mountains.
When Guglielmo Marconi set up the first radio connection in 1895, he certainly had no idea that everyone would use this “invention” nowadays. Be it on the cell phone or the PMR radios described in this article.
The term PMR radios is nothing more than the term for walkie talkies. These small devices can be purchased by anyone interested in the trade and can be used freely in many countries. This is due to the fact that the walkie talkies operate in the license-free frequency range of 446 MHz, for example.
All of this knowledge is all well and good. But how do I choose the right walkie talkie for mountain sports?
What is important when choosing walkie talkies?
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right PMR radio. I.
Especially in mountain sports or hiking or camping, the walkie talkies are subject to greater loads than in other applications. Therefore, the radio equipment must be made very robust and sometimes have to be able to deal with a blow or scratch. Therefore, every interested party should make sure that the walkie talkies are of high quality and that stable materials are used. This is the only way to ensure that they last long and do not break quickly.
In addition to the robustness, the PMR radios should have a good battery. Since a mountain athlete is usually on the go all day, the walkie talkies should accompany him all day and not give up after a few hours due to an empty battery. For this reason, when making a purchase, you should make sure that the built-in battery has a high capacity and that the devices use it sparingly.
Normally, walkie talkies only send when the PTT button is pressed. PTT stands for Push to talk. Often, mountain athletes don’t have a free hand because they need it for their sport. But what if this is punked at that moment? For this reason, many PMR radios have integrated a so-called VOX function. This function works as follows: The walkie talkie notices that the user is speaking. From a certain noise level, the device automatically switches to send, and when this level is fallen below again, it switches back to receive. Therefore, the PTT button does not need to be pressed to send. This makes the life of a mountain athlete much easier in many situations. Consequently, it is advisable to ensure that a VOX function is integrated.
Headsets are used to keep your hands free. These can be plugged into the well-known headphone jack of many models and then used. Thus, the hands can be used for the actual purpose. A VOX function is a prerequisite, otherwise the PTT button would have to be used and the headset would be useless.
These four selection criteria should definitely be considered when choosing the right walkie talkie. Likewise, for longer trips, you should also consider how you can recharge the radio. A solar charging unit is recommended for this. You can of course also find these here in the store.
Why is it better than mobile phones?
A clear advantage: two-way radios also work where there is no network!
In addition, it may be that you have not yet bought a SIM or that cell phone use in the corresponding country is extremely expensive. It is also an advantage that everyone involved can take part in the conversation at the same time. If we had wanted to call everyone to take a pee break or a break to eat, either the bladder would have burst or we would have starved.
Even when briefing in a narrow parking lot, the passenger does not call the driver from outside. This is simply faster and better with handheld radios. One speaks when it is necessary. Otherwise you have no phone call.
When camping or in the mountains, of course, it also has the advantage that there is usually no network there anyway. Then of course there is only communication with the radio.
Hands-free devices naturally also make cell phone use practical when traveling. Nevertheless, according to our current experience, they cannot hold a candle to such a simple, small radio. Sometimes less is simply more.
The radios are more robust than a cell phone. This can make a crash landing, especially when used outdoors. So there is no expensive phone that is no longer available for other important things during the trip.
And last but not least: It’s really fun!