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Old 03-01-2011   #1
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
Waterproof Radio

RDNEK brought up the use of radios for backcountry travelers in the "Backcountry Rescue" thread.

Does anyone use them on the river? If so, does anyone have a suggestion for a waterproof radio that has a long battery life?

I am teaching my kids how to kayak. They are 7 and 9 (6 and 8 last season). We kayaked the Roaring Fork and the Grizzly section on the CO a bunch last summer. My youngest is a boy with a mind of his own. A few times his sister would swim, I'd be helping her out and he would be headed downstream oblivious to what was going on.

It would be nice if I had a radio in his life vest so I could tell him instructions. Sometimes the noise of the train, highway or river make it hard to yell.

Any radio users out there?

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Old 03-01-2011   #2
Osprey's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
Only times I've used them I just used my Motorola type walkies and an Aquapak.

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Old 03-01-2011   #3
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
not sure about battery life as we've only used them on one trip. but they lasted the whole trip (3 days)
got a pair of the ipx7 uniden submersible rechargeable radios.

Uniden UN-GMR2872-2CK Uniden 28-Mile Submersible Frs

they float. they are bright yellow so should be able to find them downstream if they fall out of your hands.

upgraded to them when we had to do a river portage and we lost functionality of a motorola talkabout to moisture and lost another one to the bottom of the river.
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Old 03-01-2011   #4
~Bank's Avatar
Ashville North Carolina, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 274
Use a tether...Anybody make waterproff helmet radios?

I think we should all have built in radios in our helmets like a motorcycle gang...I had some Motorola radios they worked great and were rechargeable with many mile radius I think 18mi or something...I let my friends share them and they ended up downstream real quick...the batteries lasted all day maybe 2 days...
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Old 03-01-2011   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 255
A Marine VHF is permissible on any waterway. Although I think a few rules have to be followed, more so than with a CB anyway. They're all designed for wet conditions.
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Old 03-02-2011   #6
boogercookie's Avatar
Wheeler, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 59
Marine vhf is the way to go. Much better range and most are submersible. You can also get noaa weather broadcasts and contact the coast gaurd (if near the coast). Thanks captain obvious... The only channels that you shouldn't use are 16 & 22. Those are researved for coast gaurd/emergency broadcasts.
They are about double the cost of the walkie-talkie type radios, but well worth the money.


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