Walkie talkies

1 12 2014

It’s not unusual that when my better half and I are out geocaching that I hear “I’ll just wait in the car while you go up that steep slippery wooded hill to the cache”. On a few of those occasions when the terrain is rather tough, in fact even on reasonable terrain in the forests, I sometimes trip and fall or put my foot in a hidden hole next to a rock. Up to now I have just got a few grazes but from time to time I think about what could happen. A broken leg or maybe just a twisted ankle that makes getting back to the car, even if it is just a few hundred meters, away a major undertaking. Telephone coverage is notoriously poor in many parts of Sweden, which is hardly surprising considering the population density in many areas. So how could I stay in contact with my better half?

As another interest is amateur radio it’s easy to say that I just need a hand held radio with me and can call to the radio in the car. Obviously both of us would need a radio amateur’s license and that isn’t going to happen. Even if I have other friends with me on some geocaching trips only a few have a radio license.

The solution is a pair of “walkie talkies”. There are a multitude of license free radio’s available for use in Sweden (and in many other countries even though conditions do vary) that operate on the UHF band at around 446 MHz. They are relatively low power and despite the claims of being able to operate over a distance of up to 10 km that is likely to be just 2-3 km or less in the forests especially in hilly terrain.

One of the Swedish hardware store chains, Jula, had a special offer on Topcom Twintalker 9500 Airsoft Edition walkie talkies. Reduced from 899 SEK to 499 SEK. A few minutes trawl around ebay and other internet sites told me it was a good deal so I bought a set. They are easy to use. I was going to write more about them but that has been done Twintalker 9500 review

Twintalker 9500 straight out of the box

Twintalker 9500 straight out of the box

So on our next forray into the forests we will obviously have to test them to make sure that they do what they say and that we are both comfortable using them. Now that it is winter here and dark most of the time they are an added layer of safety.

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