What’s the best ham radio for preppers? There is a lot happening in the world today. From unprecedented weather events, to financial dealings that seem to be out of our hands. Plus, a government system that doesn’t seem to be prepared to look after anyone but their own. Basically, we need to be prepared for anything. Surely it can only be a good idea to start to learn how to be more self sufficient, because when the time does come you are going to have to look after yourself and your loved ones.
What are ham radios?
Also known as amateur radios, ham radios use an adjustable frequency spectrum to allow for non-commercial communication between people for a huge variety of reasons. Private recreation, self-training and messaging are all common uses for them.
When the mobile phone networks go down and the landlines are overloaded, radio may well be the best way to communicate vital information and warnings. There is much to learn in the world of ham radio and their enthusiastic fan base will be more than happy to guide you through their dizzying array of call signs, shorthand terms and rules of etiquette.
It goes without saying that when the proverbial poop hits the fan, those who have prepared themselves correctly will stand the best chance of helping themselves and their loved ones. They will also be able to help others who did not see the inevitable coming. A ham radio is invaluable in this regard. It can allow contact between like-minded folks to relay important information and advise on possible further actions before everything returns to normal.
It is important to note that while it is legal for anyone to buy a ham radio, it is necessary to acquire a license in order to legally talk on one. It really is a great idea to get the license. Not only will you be able to talk and help your fellow survivalists (as opposed to just listening in), you will also learn a great deal about how to use the full potential of these devices.
You don’t need to be a super techie type and the course only takes two days to complete. It is a fun course and you will meet like minded souls who can advise you on many different aspects of ham radio use. Including the best model for where you live and what situations you may have to deal with. A proper ham radio can be more than ten times as powerful as some of the glorified ‘walkie-talkies’ in sporting goods stores at your local mall, so they are well worth having in your bug-out bag.
Some of our favorites
Yaesu FT-60R Dual Band Handheld
As a handheld dual band radio, the Yaesu may not have some of the extras such as GPS, but it is a reliable and powerful machine. It has been proven in the field under the most exacting of circumstances and come through with flying colors.
At just over 13 oz it is very easy to keep on your person at all times and is robust enough to handle a few falls or showers. It can store 1000 memory channels, receives emergency signals between 800-900Mhz and regular signals between 108-520Mhz and 700-999.99Mhz, while transmitting between 144-148Mhz and 430-470Mhz. The locking mechanism is very handy and prevents accidental changes of frequency, which could lose you valuable seconds in an emergency situation.
BaoFeng UV-82HP Dual Band
The BaoFeng UV-82HP Dual Band Ham Radio is another model we like and it compares very favorably against the Yaesu but costs less.
It is a great way for beginners to get into them as it gives you an opportunity to hone your skills. It covers FMRS and GMRS frequencies and also provides some basic FM radio access.
Midland GXT Handheld Radio Set
If you just want something to communicate with your loved ones or within a large property, the Midland GXT Handheld Radio Set will do the job just nicely.
With a range of up to thirty-five miles, they can be used in conjunction with some dedicated ham radios to disseminate information very quickly to those who may not be in your immediate area.
There is no doubt that to be truly prepared for any eventuality a ham radio is a must. Especially if you are serious about protecting yourself and your loved ones to give them the best possible chance of surviving a disaster or an emergency situation.
For us, the Yaesu is the cream of the crop. It has everything that you really need and dispenses with some of the bells and whistles that just aren’t that important. The price is right and it won’t let you down.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Richard T