5 Common Problems With Walkie Talkies

Imagine it. Your cell tower goes down and the Internet doesn’t work, BUT you can still communicate with family members. Thanks to what some folks chalk up to a kids toy — walkie talkies. 

In reality, it’s not an exaggeration to say they can be life-savers, but some walkie talkies can have drawbacks.

For example, a cheap walkie talkie might have a poor or defunct speaker. What’s the sense in having a walkie talkie if you can’t even understand what your partner on the other side is saying? 

They might also be clunky and bulky. No one needs to be lugging that around when they’re trying to bug out fast, travel light, or keep their communication device hidden. 

Others might not be as secure as you might think. If your walkie talkie only has a few channels, strangers may be able to listen in on your conversations through your radio frequency. 

There are some great things about having a two-way communication device that doesn’t rely on cell towers. 

But you have to choose the right one. Otherwise you could be left with a dead cell phone and no way to call for help. 

Drawbacks to watch out for 

As convenient and helpful as walkie talkies can be, some of them do have drawbacks. Here are the 5 most common problems I’ve discovered with some walkie talkies: 

  • Many of them are big and bulky. They don’t fit in your pocket and they take up a lot of room in a bag.
  • They have a short radius and coverage area. It’s often necessary to communicate with people out of your sight range, but with some walkie talkies, it’s difficult.  
  • They have slow charge times. Once a walkie talkie’s battery dies down, you want to be able to charge it back up as quickly as possible.
  • Poor speaker quality. What’s the point of a communication device if you can’t understand what the other person is saying? 
  • Interference. When a walkie talkie only has a few channels, wandering ears are more likely to tune in and hear what you’re saying.

Shop carefully for walkie talkies 

If you’re in the market for walkie talkies, you’ll want ones that are rechargeable via USB.

Get ones that offer a number of different channels in order to avoid interference and communicate discreetly. And ones where you can stay connected for several miles. 

Some great walkie talkies are even smaller than a cellphone. That makes them very convenient for carrying with you when you’re on the go. 

Walkie talkies allow you to keep tabs on the kids and grandkids. As well as to stay in touch with family and friends while you’re camping. Or when you just want to communicate covertly in public. 

Forbes reaches out to 4Patriots

Of course, you also want to make sure you’re acquiring walkie talkies from a reputable company.

Here’s what Forbes contributor Steven John wrote regarding his search for the best walkie talkies on the market. (In the fifth paragraph below, note who he connected with to gain insight on this subject.)

“At present, I have three different walkie talkie sets at home… Do I need three different walkie talkie sets?

“Not really, but I do use each differently, and I did choose them with care for specific applications, such as camping, paddling and for the kids. Needless to say, I came to this project with a solid baseline understanding of this hardware category.

“But I wanted to go deeper, of course, so I reached out to some next-level walkie talkie experts like Joe Bassett, founder of Valiant Outfitters, a company that provides backpacking, backcountry adventure and wilderness survival guide services.

“Bassett is also a ham radio operator and training officer for the Clay County, Florida Amateur Radio Emergency Service who has deployed to provide emergency communication for six hurricanes. Long story short, he knows his communication hardware.

“I also connected with Allen Baler, CEO and Co-founder of 4Patriots, one of the fastest-growing emergency preparedness providers in the country, who specifically recommends having a walkie talkie on hand for any and all outdoor adventures even if you expect to have a phone handy.

“A walkie talkie’s superior battery life, ability to function without cell connectivity and durable construction make it a great choice for different endeavors.”

Most walkie talkies are not perfect. I listed some of their defects above. But they can be a great communication device. Just make sure you get ones that have the features you want and need.

Leave a comment

*Required Fields