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Ham is good for trail coms but its not the best for safety.


Like a lot of us I have been a HAM for many years and have used the radios for both on and off trail coms. In my rig i have a cb, 10m ham, 2m ham, and 70cm ham radios built in and cary a 2m/70cm ht as well. The radio setup works great for trail coms and communicating from the truck to base camp however it does not always connect reliably and there are times where i have no reception on symplex and no connection to a repeater. This is is why i carry a garmin inreach. Now that i have the inreach i have a solid 24/7 connection to family and emergency services from whereever i am.

My point is i see a lot of posts where people are relying on ham radio to be their saving grace in an emergency and unfortunatly that is just not the best device for the job of providing emergency coms in the backcountry.

My .02 recomendation is if you are going to be out in the backcountry by yourself or with your kids make the investment in one of the personal sat communicators. They are about the same price as a ham radio and yes they have a subscription fee but it is only @ 11.00 per month on average and they can save your bacon. There are now two companies in the us making these devices. Garmin and Spot.

Do yourself and your family a favor and look into it.


Staff member
Best is to have both. Ham for trail comms and sat for those emergency situations.
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