Going on a journey in a desert is not child’s play. You have to have an adequate supply of food and water because the desert is not only hot; it can be dry too. It is quite exciting when you travel in groups.
The more the merrier, remember? Apart from the fun in travelling with friends and family within a desert, it is also safe. The journey becomes even easier if you and your companions make important decisions on the trip. But how can you communicate with them?
You’ll agree with me that shouting can be strenuous after a while, especially as the risk of getting sand and dust down your throat increases when you shout.
A mobile phone is a good means of communication, but there is a high possibility that mobile network might be non-existent in certain spots, especially in the desert- making it impossible to reach your companions in case of an emergency. This is why you need a walkie talkie.
The best walkie talkie for deserts should be one with long range, excellent audio quality, resistance to wear and tear, and extra features like access to weather alerts and SOS signals.
This article reviews the 5 best walkie talkies for deserts. But before we go ahead with the list of products, there are certain factors that should influence your choice of walkie talkies.
Best Two-Way Radios for Desert : By Best Feature
Buyer’s Guide: Critical Factors to be considered before you Select a Walkie Talkie for Desert
It is very easy to think that a walkie talkie can be used for similar activities e.g. Camping and Hiking. But this is not the case when it comes to choosing a walkie talkie for deserts.
There are certain critical factors that make the difference in choosing a walkie talkie that you should use. Some of these factors include;
A good walkie talkie should not just be able to send and receive audio signals; it should be able to give excellent audio quality even when this communication happens over a long distance.
The relationship between audio quality and distance is what is called range. Deserts are usually open sandy areas with undulating topography. A good walkie talkie for desert should have a minimum range of 20 miles.
2. Audio quality/Clarity
This is one of the most important features of a walkie talkie. Communication is not complete if either the sender or receiver cannot hear what is said.
This leads to a loss of the message, thereby ruining communication. Sometimes, the audio quality of a walkie talkie reduces with the presence of obstacles.
Another factor that determines audio quality is the type of audio frequency used, either FRS or GMRS.
FRS (Family Radio Service) is used to transmit signals over a close range, whereas GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) transmits signals over farther ranges. The catch is, in most regions, GMRS cannot be used without a license.
3. Battery life
Depending on the type of frequency used in transmission, the battery of a walkie talkie can easily run low. GMRS works at a higher frequency, and is going to consume more power than FRS signals.
There is almost no place in the desert where you can stop to charge your walkie talkie; so you need to consider the battery life of the product you eventually buy.
A good walkie talkie for desert should be able to go at least 10 hours without going off suddenly. Another option would be to get a walkie talkie that uses replaceable AA batteries.
This is just as important as the other factors. You may prefer to hold your walkie talkie; but hanging it around your neck with a strap or on your belt with a belt clip just adds to your convenience.
Imagine having extra batteries and a USB charger in addition to the other accessories. You are probably nodding your head in agreement. The more accessories you have with your product, the easier it becomes to use your gadget.
As much as you will need a walkie talkie that has a good battery life, clear signal, good enough range, etc., it will be of no use if you cannot use it comfortably because it is too big to fit in your hand or the buttons are so small that your fingers cannot comfortably press the buttons.
This is why the best walkie talkies for deserts should have a functional design that makes it easy to hold and use. You may also like a walkie talkie with screen and button LCD backlight.
In addition to the other features, ensure that you get a walkie talkie that is durable and weather resistant. This way, you do not have to worry about the product slowing down in function due to dust and sand.
7. Weather Alerts
Deserts are very dry because the amount of rainfall in them are very small, less than 10 inches annually. This does not mean it doesn’t rain at all in the desert.
You are, however, more likely to get caught in a thunderstorm or desert storm (with lots of sand and dust). Whatever storm it is, you don’t want to be caught in a storm or rain. This is why you should get a walkie talkie with weather alert features.
This is the epicenter of the other factors; as your budget determines the kind of walkie talkie you will get as well as the kind of features it will have.
Many walkie talkies are affordable, so you should not have any trouble finding a suitable product for you. However, there is nothing wrong in spending a little beyond your planned budget to get the walkie talkie you want.
With these factors, let us show you our top 5 picks of walkie talkies for desert.
Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Desert
1. Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio
Best for: Value for Money
This 2-way radio combines functionality and design to give you value for money. The Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkie has a range of 36 miles, with 50 channels each with 142 privacy codes making it easy to remain in contact with your travel party in the desert.
In case of an emergency, this walkie talkie allows you send SOS messages and location signals. There is also access to NOAA weather alerts which you can easily see on the screen due to its LCD Backlight.
You don’t need to worry about the battery life because it comes with a rechargeable NiMH battery as well as other accessories that make it easy to use in hands-free mode.
Specifications of Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio
- 50 GMRS channels each with 142 privacy codes
- Access to NOAA Weather alerts with weather scan feature
- 36-mile range
- Call alert and vibrate feature
- JIS4 Waterproof feature
- Dual power mode
- Battery life of up to 16 hours
Key Features of Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio
- This product has a long range.
- The call alert feature allows you use the product to detect specific calls.
- Large number of channels for private, seamless communication.
- It is quite affordable.
- This product is compatible with other Midland devices.
- It is very easy to hold, with colorful designs.
2. Motorola MS350R Waterproof Two-Way Radio
Best for: Long Range
Where other walkie talkies may give you hassles in an area filled with obstacles (or irregular terrains like deserts), this one will not.
The Motorola MS350R Two-Way radio has a range of 35 miles, with a total of 30 channels each with 121 privacy codes. It is waterproof, built to IP67 standard and also gives you access to weather alerts.
The audio quality of this walkie talkie is high with its Push to Talk (PTT) voice activated function. This walkie talkie has a rechargeable NiMH battery with a battery life of over 15 hours that can be extended with 3 AA batteries.
Specifications of Motorola MS350R Waterproof Two-Way Radio
- Range of 36 miles.
- 30 channels with 121 privacy codes
- Access to NOAA Weather updates
- IP67 Waterproof Feature
- Dual audio transmission
- Battery life up to 16 hours.
- Push to Talk (PTT) function.
Key Features of Motorola MS350R Waterproof Two-Way Radio
- Long range for easy communication.
- Repeater channels allow you send confidential messages.
- Access to Weather alerts in case of emergency.
- Attractive colors.
- PTT function provides excellent audio quality.
- Good battery life.
3. Uniden SX407-2CKFHS
Best for: Durability
Uniden is no stranger to producing walkie talkies of high quality and the SX407-2CKFHS model is no exception. This product is very durable and built to withstand the harsh weather conditions in deserts.
The walkie talkie has a range of up to 40 miles, providing access to 22 channels and 142 privacy codes. You also have access to weather alerts. It is waterproof.
You can also use this walkie talkie like a phone, as it has direct call features that allow you group your callers. It also has accessories such as flashlight and headsets for easy use.
Specifications of Uniden SX407-2CKFHS
- 40 mile range.
- 22 channels with up to 3000 privacy codes.
- More than 5 NOAA weather channels.
- Power boost feature
- 14-hour battery life.
- Adequate number of accessories.
Key Features of Uniden SX407-2CKFHS
- The range of this product is quite long.
- Provides a number of privacy settings both for calls and signal transmission.
- Weather channels keep you updated during emergencies.
- Ergonomic design with durable materials.
- The accessories allow you use this product in hands-free mode.
- USB fast charge on the go.
4. Baofeng UV-5R MK5 Walkie Talkie
Best for: Battery life
The Baofeng walkie talkies are usually built to military standard, and the Baofeng UV-5R MK5 adds a long battery life to its durability.
You can be sure that your gadget will not just trip off during a desert safari because this product runs on a 3800mAh battery. This means you can use your walkie talkie for as long as 20 hours.
The device also comes with added accessories such as a built-in stereo, LED flashlight, USB charger, microphone and lanyard. You also have access to 50 channels with 104 privacy codes, all transmitting with high audio quality.
Specifications of Baofeng UV-5R MK5 Walkie Talkie
- Range of 13 miles.
- 50 channels each with 104 privacy codes.
- Voice Exchange (VOX) function.
- Large screen with LCD Backlight.
- LED Flashlight
- Frequency and Power switch button.
- 20-hour battery life.
Key Features of Baofeng UV-5R MK5 Walkie Talkie
- This product has a number of accessories for easy use.
- 50 channels with over 4000 codes.
- High audio quality due to VOX hands-free function.
- The battery life of this product is long, and can be extended up to 3 days.
- Has a built-in FM radio.
- Screen and buttons are large, with LCD backlight.
5. Motorola Talkabout T460 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio Pair
The Motorola Talkabout T460 offers you excellent outdoor communication in a rugged manner worthy of desert travel. This walkie talkie has a range of 35 miles, offering you 22 channels with 121 privacy codes.
You do not have to worry about hazardous weather as you have access to NOAA weather alerts on your gadget round the clock.
The audio quality of the Motorola T460 can be improved with the PTT VOX function; which also allows you use you gadget hands-free. All of these come at a great price.
Specifications of Motorola Talkabout T460 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio Pair
- USB Charging port
- Range of 35 miles.
- IP54 Weatherproof standard.
- Dual Power
- Built-in LED Flashlight
- 22 channels with 121 privacy codes each
- Inbuilt Voice Exchange (iVOX/VOX)Hands-free function
- Button for emergency alerts.
Key Features of Motorola Talkabout T460 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio Pair
- Provides access to 24/7 weather alerts.
- Weather resistant materials.
- VibraCall Alert.
- Push to Talk (PTT) power boost
- Has a number of useful accessories.
Comparison of Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Desert
|Range||Weather Alerts||Channels||Battery Life||Flashlight|
|Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio||36 miles||Yes||50||16 hours||No|
|Motorola MS350R Waterproof Two-Way Radio||36 miles||Yes||30||16 hours||Yes|
|Uniden SX407-2CKFHS||40 miles||Yes||22||14 hours||Yes|
|Baofeng UV-5R MK5 Walkie Talkie||13 miles||No||50||20 hours||Yes|
|Motorola Talkabout T460 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio Pair||35 miles||Yes||22||10 hours||Yes|
Our overall pick is the Midland GXT1000VP4 Walkie Talkie because it is highly functional with a number of useful features, all at an affordable rate. You’d also do yourself a favor by looking through other reviews; you need to get the best fit after all.
No matter the product you choose, we can assure you that the other products in this category come highly recommended. Now, hurry to the market and get the walkie talkie that you desire and continue to have a truly amazing time out in the desert.