So you want to get some real commo gear and stop using those walkie talkies from Walmart? This means Ham Radio.
Ham Radio requires a license to do it legally. So you might say “I don’t need no stinking license”. You could go that route, but you will never acquire the skills you need to be effective in radio without lots of practice and practice means airtime. Hams WILL KNOW IF YOU ARE NOT LICENSED and it just will not go well for you. Get your tech license, it is easy and will give you access to many bands including the much used 2M and 440mhz.
You decided? Great!
OK, here is the free tech study guide. If you read it with the idea that it come DIRECTLY from the test, it makes sense and will give you the basics.
Now, once you read it, really read and digest it, then you start flash cards. Online flash cards do two things very well, they drill into your brain the actual questions and answers from the exam, and they give you instant feedback as to your answers. Positive reinforcement.
Do the cards for an hour or so each night or give yourself a break of a few hours if more than once per day so you don’t burn out, and you will be able to pass the test.
There are two flash card sites I recommend (you can also take practice exams).
And another place to take practice exams
Do a google search for (your county, state)ham exam and you can find where the test is being given. Many Ham clubs offer testing and the cost is $15. While you’re at it, go ahead and study for your General test as well, you can take it for free the same night. I passed both on one evening and you can too. It’s easy if you spend a few nights with the flash cards to get your Tech license and even General license.
I have personally tested $30 Chinese dual band handhelds in the mountains of NC, over hills and forest at over 6 miles. I was not at the end of their range. Yes, they are line of sight and it depends on your terrain but 5w Chinese dual bands beat the heck out of 1w FRS radios from Walmart.
With repeaters many miles of useful communication is available. The big 2M tower in my area has a huge footprint at 1800 feet high and I have hit it from my truck at over 75 miles away.
Get on it, nothing good happens without comms.
Get. Your. License. 10 year old boys and girls get their tech license every month where I live, you can do it, with a few nights of study.