Best Walkie Talkies for Survival in 2020 [Additional Features & Buying Guide]

Planning a trip in wild with friends? Or going far away from home for a break? Well, in either of the cases it’s always better to be ready with your survival kit.

And yeah, a walkie-talkie is integral part of survival especially when it’s a group tour or trip. That’s the reason we’ve came up with our curated list of best walkie talkies for survival on the market.

Also, we’d like to mention that our list comprises of variety of options falling under all sort of conditions and budget criteria. Moreover, our curation team of experts have filtered out only selected options after comparing with hundreds of other options.

So now, let’s move ahead with our list of reviews for best walkie talkie for survival in wild.

Best Walkie Talkies for Survival

#1. Uniden SX327-CK Two Way Walkie Talkie

If it’s all about one of the best walkie talkies for survival, first thing that comes in our mind is the brand name Uniden. Yeah, they’ve established a name and reputation in the field of communication devices. 

Firstly, both variants FRS & GMRS are available in this model and you can opt for one based on license availability.

It acts as a two way radio and can help in transmission of messages during all sort of undesired situations.

Uniden SX327-CK comes with all the features that one needs during extreme emergency situations. Yeah, this device have 22 maximum allowable channels with 121 privacy codes. So, you have 2662 channels available to opt for.

Moreover, it’s an NOAA enabled device which means it keeps you in touch with upcoming weather updates from nearest weather stations and with an alert feature.

Another feature that’s worth a mention is its operating range. Yeah, it caters and operating range of around 22 miles. However, according to our experts and their practical experience this is the range for most ideal conditions which is rare in real world situations. So basically, this range reduces to around 4-5 miles because of the obstacles and obstructions at your preferred location.

It features 10 call tomes with a vibration alert functionality.

As we’re concerning to the best walkie talkie for situations of survival, we need a device with multiple power options. And, we’re glad to mention that this set can be powered with a rechargeable battery that comes with the device. Or, you can power it up using a set of alkaline batteries.

Moreover, rechargeable batteries comes with a USB charging port and hence recharging is available almost everywhere you have some power input.

Above all, this set of walkie talkies is completely weatherproof and can bear small to medium wear and tear moments. It’s waterproof as well so you don’t need to worry if it falls on a body of water as it’ll simply float itself on the surface.

Pros & Cons of Uniden SX327-CK

Pros

  • Priced reasonably.
  • Ergonomic handy design.
  • Lightweight device suitable for survival mode.
  • NOAA enabled with alert feature.
  • 22 maximum allowable channels with 121 privacy codes.
  • Rechargeable batteries.
  • Weatherproof device. 

Cons

  • It’s non-programmable device.
  • Prone to occasional malfucntions.

#2. Motorola Talkabout MH230R

Don’t get surprised if you come across one more review for a product from Motorola in this list. Yeah, the brand itself has best in class reputation among many manufacturers of communication devices and hence one can’t simply neglect their products.

When walkie talkies and long distance communication was a dream back in those times, Motorola was busy in developing the thing that people are talking about. Yeah, first long distance communication was established using a walkie talkie model of Motorola in the US.

Now, if we talk about this particular model then it seems like they’ve rinsed all their expertise and experience in designing this variant. Yeah, MH230R caters an operating range of around 23 miles in ideal conditions. Well, it might reduce to 5-8 miles even in worse conditions but yet it’s worth considering this model.

With larger operating range, one can stay in touch with you all the times when they need your help to get back to camp during situations of survival.

Also, if we talk about available channels and security codes then there are 11 channels available on this gadget along with 121 security codes. So, you’ll have 1331 channels available for establishing connection.

All channels are available with an alert function so your teammates or group members will quickly get a notification if you stuck in any adverse situations.

Moreover, design is completely ergonomic in nature and one can hold it comfortably in any kind of trip. Also, it’s compact in shape and lighter in weight hence storage won’t ever become an issue for you.

It’s fully weatherproof and can face worse conditions while supporting you to get out of it.

Motorola MH230R comes with a rechargeable battery of 8 hours uptime. However, manufacturer has not mentioned anything about alternative power options.

All in all, this is one of the best walkie talkies for survival mode in outdoor camping trips or hiking adventures.

Pros & Cons of Motorola MH30R

Pros

  • Result of years of experience and expertise.
  • Ergonomic design which is handy.
  • Lighter in weight.
  • 11 available channels with 121 security codes.
  • 8 hours battery life with rechargeable battery.
  • Completely weatherproof.

Cons

  • Alternative power option isn’t mentioned.
  • In cold temperature performance reduces drastically.

#3. Baofeng BF-888S Walkie Talkie

Yeah, another great pick on our list is from Baofeng. Well, model BF-888S comes with plenty of features that one can’t simply neglect.

It’s designed ergonomically by keeping comfort and emergency in mind. Yeah, handling this gadget is fun and won’t ever be tiresome.

Moreover, it’s light in weight and compact in size so one can easily store it in side pockets of their carry bag or can simply carry it in the hand.

Also, if you’re working on a construction site or as a guard then this gadget might become your go to tool for all communication related activities. Yeah, it works great when it comes to communication at real time.

It also comes with a rechargeable battery that makes it convenient when you with your friends on an outdoor trip. Also, car charger adapter is available for charging the batteries so you can charge it almost anywhere you like.

Supports over 16 channels and that’s something making it a versatile communication gadget.

Now, if we talk about other features then it features 1500 mAh Li-ion battery, a built-in VOX function, compatibility for PC programming, 105 CDCSS/50 CTCSS, an in-built battery saver, NOAA Radio, emergency alarming system and much more.

Yeah, it’s packed with more features and functionality that you might have imagined. And, all these comes at an attractive price which almost anyone could afford without any issue.

Also, as additional amenities, you get low voltage alert function, time-out timer, and an inbuilt flashlight.

Now, foremost important characteristic of a walkie talkie one might be waiting for is its communication range. Yeah, it provides a communication range of around two to four kilometers and it further depends on the obstacles present in within the range. Yeah, lesser the obstacles, better the range.

All in all, this two way radio cum one of the best walkie talkie for survival guarantees smooth and relentless communication for everyone, no matter where you’re planning to use it.

Pros & Cons of Baofeng BF-888S Walkie Talkie

Pros

  • Long lasting rechargeable battery.
  • Smooth and easy communication.
  • Broader communication range for survival during hard times.
  • Plenty of additional features and functionalities.
  • Two-way communication goes on very nicely.
  • 16 channels support.
  • NOAA radio for staying in touch with weather updates.
  • Affordable for all.

Cons

  • Prone to occasional defects.

#4. Craftsman Walkie Talkies

And, here it comes from one of the most prominent brand of communication industry “CRAFTSMAN”. Yeah, they’re known for most efficient and effective communication gadgets lineup.

Now, if we talk about design and form factor then Craftsman walkie talkie serves the purpose with an attractive and eye catchy finishing of red and black colour and it still remains compact and ergonomic for day to day usage.

Moreover, this is one of very few available walkie talkies in the market that provides 5 different and selectable tones between different sender parties in the communication. Yeah, most fascinating feature of this gadget. Isn’t it?

Apart from that, it’s fully weather resistant and hence one can utilize it during hard times of outdoor trips and activities.

Also, range extender is one of rare feature we find in today’s modern walkie talkies that comes within this gadget. Yeah, when your family is on an outdoor trip, this feature can override and auto squelch the range to its maximum extent possible. Well, it may sound ordinary, but it’s not because it helps a lot in locating lost team members or family members.

As built-in feature you gets an NOAA broadcasting radio that helps you to get prepared for storms and other weather related emergencies.

Also, voice activated transmission is one of the great features of this fascinating gadget. Yeah, it helps in detecting sender’s voice and transmits the information without any interactions with any buttons.

Comes with 2662 channel combinations and serves the purpose in manufacturer tested range of 25 mile radius. Well, this might not be possible in outdoor locations but still you can utilize it well for 4-5 miles range.

Pros & Cons of CRAFTSMAN Walkie Talkie

Pros

  • Attractive and elegant design.
  • Compact for easy handling.
  • Weather resistant.
  • Wider range of 25 miles. (Utilizable for 4-5 miles)
  • 2662 different channel combinations available.
  • VOX feature.
  • Auto voice detect and transmit action.

Cons

  • Sound quality is ordinary.
  • Some users reported issues in range when using around bunch of obstacles.

#5. Midland LXT118 FRS Walkie Talkie

And, here it comes for budget bound people. Yeah, our best budget walkie talkie for survival is from Midland.

Well, the set of Midland LXT118 FRS comes with 2 pairs and is selling at most modest price on the market. Yeah, cost is the key factor behind its success on the market.

Firstly, this walkie talkies for survival provides a broader range and hence assuring you for most comfortable communication experience with your team members no matter on what location you’re using it.

Moreover, it is backed by Handsfree feature, by which you can make contact and communicate without using your hands. As stated earlier, this feature comes handy during hard times and emergency situations.

If you want more information about handfree feature then it simply identifies your voice and gets activated even when it’s mounted on belt clip.

Now, if talk our subject matter of being useful for survival, then automatic channel scanning capabilities is one of the most essential features we’re getting from Midland LXT118 FRS walkie talkie.

Also, keypad lock functionality helps in avoiding accidental activation of other features and functionalities.

Feature we liked the most is auto-squelch for range extension. Yeah, it helps a lot for smooth and flawless reception of signal as well as of information transmitted.

Moreover, signal strength indicator and battery life extender are couple of additional features it’s featuring at a very affordable price range.

At last, if we talk about available range then manufacturer claims that it goes smooth within range of 18 miles. However, as we all know, their range is for most ideal and obstacle-less locations and hence in outdoor and wild we could expect it to work well within 3-4 miles of range.

Pros & Cons of Midland LXT118 FRS walkie talkie

Pros

  • Best budget choice for budget bound people.
  • One of the best walkie talkies for survival.
  • Comes with 18 miles tested communication range.
  • Auto channel scanning.
  • Handfree mode for emergency situations.
  • Supports 22 FRS channels.
  • Keypad lock and other additional functionalities.

Cons

  • Not suitable for long term usage.
  • Lags experienced during communication when in mountains.

Buying Guide

Now as you’ve already studied reviews of best walkie talkies for survival, let’s take a quick look over some of the considerable factors.

As we’ve survival as our subject matter, we’d focus more over things which can get yourself out of an undesired situation. But, still location could impact at scale. Yeah, before we decide our preferred model we should have a clear idea about the location where we’re planning to head towards.

For instance, open grounds will have less impact on communication range on the other side locations with denser obstacles and obstructions would have major impact on communication range. So, it’s always a good idea to go after an all-purpose walkie talkie which has largest communication range.

Also, consider the fact that, for FRS walkie talkies you don’t require to obtain any license while for GMRS unit you require to possess a license before you use it legally.

These are some of the basic factors which are must to have when you purchase a walkie talkie. Apart from that, there are some other crucial factors which should be considered as well.

1. Range :- Maximum distance between set of devices for effective communication range is termed as operating range. In a nutshell, beyond this range the device can’t transmit or receive messages.

First of all, we’d like to clarify that majority of manufacturers mentions distance for ideal conditions which is practically impossible in real world situations. So factors like density of trees or rocks, mountains, uneven terrain etc has major impact and hence reduces the range drastically. 

In real world situations and after a lot of practical experience, our experts have concluded that even best walkie talkies for survival would deliver a range of 3-5 miles in wild conditions.

Moreover, device category also affect in communication range. For example, an FRS set can utilize at max 1W of power to transmit message and in such case range comes under 2 miles or even less.

2. Weight & Form Factor: – As one of the best walkie talkies for survival will feature as less weight as possible. Yeah, as you’re supposed to carry along for a long time it shouldn’t be bulky. So lesser the weight, better the experience.

Moreover, design also plays a crucial role. Yeah, if it’s designed in an ergonomic way then it’s always better as you can hold it comfortably anytime.

Another good feature one should expect is a belt clip. Yeah, as it’s not always a good idea to open up your carry bag to take your device out. It can even result into legged communication when responses required are of emergency nature.

3. Channels & Privacy Codes: – In case, there are so many RF sources available in your surroundings, then you might find it difficult to transmit data because of too much of interference.

Usually, most of modern walkie talkies come up with 22 primary channels which one can use for hybrid connection of FRS/GMRS sets. Well, our experience says that 22 is more than enough for easy communication because it’ll be hardest to not find a single available channel.

Moreover, with available privacy codes and convenient to set channel specific privacy codes enables one to set up to 2000 available frequencies to communicate.

So, even if you don’t find an available channel then you’ll have an available frequency for yourself in even worst case.

So, always aim to get at least 22 primary channels with as many as possible available privacy codes.

4. Battery Life: – As we are focusing on survival specific gadget here, it becomes essential to grab something that lasts long enough with a single charge.

Also, operating a 2-way radio with a battery is a bit complicated because you have to predict everything for multiple channels as even if you don’t keep communicating constantly, people in your team will surely require your device to be up and running.

Usually, most of walkie talkies for survival are supported with rechargeable batteries. However, as recharging is not possible in wild, ideally one should select a device with multiple power adaptability. 

And, according to our experts, many of the walkie talkies available on the market nowadays, offers rechargeable battery option along with AA or AAA separate input compatibility.

Well, these battery cells are available in all general stores and hence you can carry couple of batteries in your rucksack as well.

5. Weather Resistance: – As wild conditions are always unpredictable, we should keep durability in mind all the time. Yeah, one should opt for a walkie talkie that not just last longer but also resistant to all sort of weather conditions.

After all, you might require to walk miles with a walkie talkie in your hand in extreme weather conditions like rain, storm or thunder. So, your selected option should be resistant to all these weather types.

And, this feature is something that makes an ordinary walkie talkie one of the best walkie talkie for survival.

So, always opt for a talkie that can do well with water, dust or sand. And, expect waterproofing rating of at least IP67. As, such devices can become resistant against water for up to 30 minutes in case it accidently falls in the water.

Additional Features

As market is stiff and competition is high, most of manufacturers are trying to provide best value for their users money. And, hence they serve them with more and more additional features within their gadgets.

Here are some of the most prominent additional features that you should also consider as bonuses while buying or selecting your best walkie talkie for survival.

1. VOX: – This feature allows you to communicate without handling the gadget physically. Yeah, with your voice you can activate your device and start communicating directly.

2. NOAA Radio: – As survival is thing of uncertainty, this feature helps you in predicting emergencies before it actually arises. Yeah, NOAA broadcasting radio sends weather updates to the all devices and by staying in touch with NOAA you can prepare yourself for adverse conditions before it comes in front of you and your team.

3. Flashlight: – This is another feature that eliminates need of an extra gadget with you in your backpack. It helps during night, and we’ve experienced its need so many times.

4. Emergency Alerts: – This feature helps in transmitting emergency messages among team and other nearby devices prominently and quickly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best two way radio for survival?

It solely depends on your requirement, however by selecting as many features and functionalities for you that helps you for all purposes during hard time we’d like to mention Uniden’s model as one of the best walkie talkies for survival.

2. What is the strongest walkie talkie for survival?

Baofeng BF-888S is the most durable pick on our list. It’s not just strongest but also fully weather resistant and hence capable of handling uncertain and adverse weather conditions that we face in wild.

3. Are walkie talkies good for emergencies?

Yes. Walkie talkies allows you to send emergency messages to nearby available help and hence could save you from hard times. However, it again depends on what sort of walkie talkie you’re carrying with you.

4. What should I look for while buying a walkie talkie?

We’ve crafted a detailed buying guide for you regarding this question and hence we’d like you to go through it once and you’ll know what all you need to know about walkie talkies before you buy it.

5. What is longest range walkie talkie?

All manufacturers mentions 15-30 miles range. However, it’s not true in most of the cases. Yeah, as their mentioned range is for ideal location without any sort of interference in the frequency. So, at last you’ll achieve around 2-5 miles in best case. However, it again depends on device to device and hence you should look over each product separately regarding this information.

6. Can walkie talkies be traced?

In most of cases, it’s not possible to trace a walkie talkie with any GPS tracker unless and until you don’t mount a separate GPS chip on a walkie talkie.

Bottomline

So, that’s all for one of the best walkie talkies for survival. We’ve covered everything you need to know before buying or even selecting your preferred choice. And hence, you could choose one based on your requirements.

In case, you’re not so sure about which is the best walkie talkie for all your needs then we’d like to help you a bit by referring you one of the most prominent piece. 

Yeah, you can choose Uniden’s SX327-CK model as it comes with all required features and functionalities that you need on hand during emergency situations.

Moreover, it’s not so pricey and hence you could afford it pretty well. Just go for it and share your experience with us too.

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