I use HAM radios. Several manufacturers makes a few hand held models that have submersible ratings. With that said, I also have a HAM license which is a barrier to use in most respects. They can be modded to xmit on FRS/GMRS but it's technically illegal and they are expensive. Speaking of radios for the snow, BCA is coming out with a radio product specifically for back country educationalists. They were showing it at the SIA show but it's not on their website yet.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.