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2020 May TD News -- Upgrading radios

Dean Eppley  | Published on 5/5/2020

Her master

TD4WD Club activities, other than virtual Board Meetings, remain shutdown at this time.  We will resume trail runs and other activities as soon as it is safe to do.  Check out for the latest information.


Last month we gave an overview of trail navigation tools and briefly touched on radios. You might be thinking why do I need a two-way radio on the trail?  I won’t be able to use it to reach home if I’m stuck as their range is limited.  Because you should never hit the trails alone and you need to communicate with people in other vehicles in your group.  For example what if you need to stop quickly to see wildlife, or you have vehicle issues – you would want the others to know.  Club members David Gray and Dennis Austin have done a nice write up discussing FRS (Family Radio) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and offer suggestions.  Please see  for the full article. 


CB radios have been used off-road for decades and still are.  Amateur (Ham) radio has also been used by ham radio enthusiasts, and is a top choice on the Rubicon Trail because a repeater in the area allows longer distance communication.  Simple Family Radio walkie-talkies became available about twenty years ago, but are adequate for only short distances.  Most recently GMRS radio has emerged.  GMRS retains most of the simplicity of Family Radio but with substantially greater range.  The TD4WD Club uses channel 20-20 FRS/GMRS for off-road communications.