JustRuns strongly recommends that all 4 Wheelers carry a 2 Meter Ham Radio in their 4×4.
A license isn’t required to buy or monitor ham radio or to transmit over Ham frequencies in an emergency situation. We hope all 4 Wheelers will ultimately get their Ham license but a $30 Ham Radio is an important and inexpensive safety item.
Recently, several of our Run Leaders are requiring all participants on their runs to have a Ham Radio.
If you don’t already have a Ham, and don’t want to spend a lot of money, We recommend the Baofeng UV-5R radio which is available on Ebay and Amazon for about $30. We also recommend getting a “Battery Eliminator” attachment that allows you to replace the battery with a cigarette lighter attachment. The hand held Baofeng UV-5R costs about $30 with FREE shipping and the battery eliminator is less than $10. The UV-5R transmits 5 Watts on high power. There are a couple of other Baofeng radio models that are rated at 8 Watts. They are more money. I have both and can’t tell the difference in performance. That’s why I recommend the UV-5R . I also recommend getting an Extended Battery that doubles battery capacity. Finally consider getting a USB car charger. Ham radio offers far better sound quality than a CB is excellent for use with the group on the trail. In an emergency it can also reach local Repeaters to summon help.
If you want even better communications I recommend that you get a 2 Meter or Dual Band Mobil radio installed in your 4×4. These can cost from about $150 UP and they also require an antenna mounted on your 4×4. In most vehicles, finding a place to mount a Mobil that is visible and convent to the driver is a “challenge” One good way to go is a radio with a Remote Head which is about the size of a cell phone while the radio is mounted behind or under the seat. These will run over $300 with an antenna an additional $50 or more.
A low cost solution to mounting a radio is made and sold by Arizona Rocky Road . Their mount allows you to mount any radio near the top of the windshield between the driver and passenger. There the driver has excellent access and view of the radio and the controls. You can also mount multiple radios on the mount.