Best Walkie Talkie for Survival: Top 7 Picks for Emergency Communication

best walkie talkie for survival

When it comes to survival situations, communication is key. In such cases, a reliable walkie-talkie can be a lifesaver. Walkie-talkies are portable, two-way radios that allow for communication between two or more people.

When choosing the best walkie talkie for survival, there are several factors to consider. The most important one is range. You want a walkie-talkie that can transmit over long distances, especially in a remote area.

Durability is also crucial, as your walkie-talkie needs to be able to withstand harsh weather conditions and accidental drops. Battery life is another factor to keep in mind, as you don’t want your walkie-talkie to die when you need it the most.

I spent countless hours researching and testing different walkie-talkies to identify the ones best suited for survival situations.

In this article, I’ll share my top picks and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase.

7 Best Walkie Talkies for Survival

Walkie-talkies are a reliable way to stay in touch with your group and get help when needed. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or facing a natural disaster, having a good set of walkie-talkies can make all the difference.

In this roundup, I’ve gathered the best survival walkie-talkies, based on their range, durability, battery life, and other key features.

Read on to find the best survival walkie-talkie for your next adventure.

1. Midland GXT1000VP Survival Walkie Talkie

Midland GXT1000VP

If you’re in the market for a reliable all-purpose walkie-talkie, the Midland GXT1000VP4 is definitely worth considering. With 50 GMRS channels, this device offers a wide range of communication options.

Plus, it comes with an automatic channel scan feature that allows you to check for activity on any given channel.

One of the standout features of the Midland GXT1000VP4 is its waterproof protection. Which means you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged in wet conditions. This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay connected even in challenging weather.

Another feature that sets the Midland GXT1000VP4 apart is its 36-mile range. Its easy voice and sound activation transmission with 9 sensitivity levels, makes hands-free operation a breeze.

The Midland GXT1000VP4 also comes with 142 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes. Which gives you up to 3,124 channel options to block other conversations. This ensures your communication stays private, even in busy areas.

One of the most useful features of the Midland GXT1000VP4 is its NOAA weather scan + alert. The NOAA weather scan will automatically scan through 10 available weather band channels. Then lock onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates.

The NOAA weather alert will sound an alarm indicating that there is a risk of severe weather in your area.


  • Feature-rich
  • Good signal strength and range
  • Crystal clear sound quality
  • Reliable battery strength and longevity
  • Dual power options (AC & DC)


  • The plastic casing is softer and less durable than others.
  • Bulky
  • Achieving the 36-mile range only happens if the radios are used in perfect object-free conditions.

2. Cobra ACXT1035R FLT Floating Walkie Talkies

Cobra ACXT1035R FLT

The Cobra ACXT1035R FLT is a feature-rich device that offers reliable communication in a variety of outdoor situations. One of its most impressive features is its extended long-range signal. It can reach up to a maximum range of 37 miles. This makes it ideal for use in remote areas or during emergency situations.

You can feel confident that your information is secure when using this device. As it comes with 2662 channel combinations and 121 privacy codes.

Another standout feature of the Cobra ACXT1035R FLT is its voice-activated transmission, which allows for hands-free communication. This feature is particularly useful when you need to keep your hands free for other tasks.

The walkie-talkie is also able to float and is waterproof (IPX7 standard). This means you’ll never lose your radio if it accidentally falls into water. Its floating design and orange core make it easy to retrieve if dropped in water.

The Cobra ACXT1035R FLT also has a built-in LED/S.O.S. flashlight. Which can be a lifesaver in emergency situations.


  • Extended long-range signal
  • Voice-activated transmission
  • Floating and waterproof (IPX7 standard)
  • Built-in flashlight with SOS signal
  • Compact design and rubberized edges


  • Some users may find the buttons to be small and difficult to press
  • The battery life may not be as long as some other walkie-talkies on the market
  • Some users have reported issues with the belt clip breaking easily

3. Uniden SX507-2CKHS

Uniden SX507-2CKHS

The Uniden SX507-2CKHS walkie-talkie is an excellent choice for survival scenarios. It boasts an impressive maximum range of 50 miles, making it ideal for use in remote areas. Its 22 channels and 142 privacy codes ensure secure and uninterrupted communication.

One of the standout features of the Uniden SX507-2CKHS is its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. It is waterproof and can be submerged in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes, ensuring its durability in wet environments.

Additionally, it has NOAA Weather alerts, which provide crucial weather updates and warnings.

The Uniden SX507-2CKHS also has a long battery life of up to 14 hours, so you can stay connected for extended periods of time. This is particularly useful in emergency situations where reliable communication is crucial.


  • Impressive range of up to 50 miles
  • Dual charging cradle for convenient charging
  • Waterproof and floats, ensuring durability in wet conditions
  • 22 channels and 142 privacy codes for secure communication
  • NOAA weather scan and alert for weather updates
  • Includes 2 headsets


  • Some users have reported issues with the battery life not lasting as long as advertised
  • Bulkier and heavier than other options on the market
  • The buttons may be small and difficult to press for some users

4. Baofeng BF-888s

Baofeng Walkie Talkies

If you’re looking for a reliable and durable walkie-talkie, Baofeng BF-888s Walkie Talkies are a great option.

The Baofeng BF-888s is equipped with 16 preset channels that are frequency programmable within the range. The 1500mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides a long sustainable use time of 8-12 hours.
The high-quality built-in speakers and microphones with a unique noise reduction feature ensure clear voice communication even in noisy environments.

However, the range of communication depends on the terrain and can be scratchy at longer distances. Additionally, they may not be suitable for extreme outdoor activities.

Overall, the Baofeng BF-888s is a reliable and durable option for those looking for a walkie-talkie for camping or hiking trips.


  • 16 preset channels and frequency programmable within the range
  • 1500mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery with a long sustainable use time
  • High-quality built-in speakers and microphones with unique noise reduction function


  • The range of communication depends on the terrain
  • Sound quality can be scratchy at longer distances
  • May not be suitable for extreme outdoor activities

5. KOMVOX GT-60 Survival Walkie Talkie

KOMVOX Walkie Talkies

When it comes to long-range outdoor communication the KOMVOX GT-60 is a great choice. This incredible walkie-talkie is designed with survival in mind.

With its 36 channels and 142 sets of privacy codes, you’ll have unparalleled communication options. Ensuring you stay connected with your group in even the most remote locations.

The rechargeable battery is not only convenient but also essential in emergency situations. With easy voice and sound activation transmission (VOX) and three sensitivity levels, you can communicate hands-free. So, you can use your hands for other important tasks.

In the event of severe weather, the KOMVOX GT-60 has you covered. It supports NOAA weather channels with automatic scanning through ten available weather band channels. Keeping you informed and prepared for any changes in the weather.

Although range may be reduced in areas with obstructions, this device is built to withstand the toughest conditions.

And while it’s not water-resistant, with proper care and attention, it will keep you connected for many adventures to come.


  • 36 channels and 142 sets of privacy codes for a total of 3,124 channel options to help block other conversations
  • Rechargeable batteries with easy voice and sound activation transmission (VOX) and 3 sensitivity levels
  • Supports NOAA weather channels with automatic scanning through 10 available weather band channels


  • May experience reduced range in areas with obstructions
  • Sound quality may not be the best when it comes to clarity
  • Not water-resistant

6. Retevis RT29 Military Grade Walkie Talkies

Retevis RT29 Military Grade Walkie Talkies

Looking for a heavy duty walkie-talkie that can help you survive in the toughest conditions? The Retevis RT29 Military Grade Walkie Talkie is the perfect solution.

With its impressive long-range capability and durable design, this two-way radio is specifically built to handle outdoor adventures and emergency situations.

This survival walkie-talkie comes with a sturdy body design that meets military standards. Ensuring that it can withstand falls, friction, and harsh conditions.

The strong penetration and sound transmission keep communication clear, even between buildings.
Its 3200mAh battery capacity ensures that you have over 24 hours of continuous use and 250 hours of standby time. So, you’ll always be able to stay connected in critical moments.

The secure call feature ensures that irrelevant signals are prevented. Providing a secure and private communication channel.

The Retevis RT29 also comes with a VOX feature that allows for hands-free operation by voice activation. Making it easy and convenient to use even when your hands are busy.

However, note that the settings for VOX must be changed through a computer first. But it’s a small price to pay for the added convenience and functionality it provides.

One downside is that the channels are pre-set with CTCSS DCS. Which means it cannot talk directly to other brands of radios. However, Retevis offers firmware to address this issue.


  • Strong penetration and sound transmission for clear communication even between buildings
  • 3200mAh battery capacity for over 24 hours of use and 250 hours of standby time
  • Secure call feature and VOX for hands-free operation


  • Channels are pre-set with CTCSS DCS and cannot talk directly to other brands of radios
  • Settings for VOX must be changed through a computer first
  • Not ideal for personal use due to its large size and weight

7. Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkies

Retevis RT21 Walkie Talkies

Stay connected even in harsh conditions with the Retevis RT21 Survival Walkie Talkies. The Retevis RT21 is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable two-way radio that can withstand tough conditions.
With a long antenna design and stable reception and transmission, these walkie-talkies have a longer range than other radios in the same environment.

They are also rugged and durable, with a dust-proof, drop-proof, and shock-resistant design. Making it capable of handling harsh conditions.

These SHTF walkie-talkies are easy to use, with all radios set up and ready to use out of the box. They also have rechargeable batteries that support 10-12 hours of frequent use and take about 3 hours to fully charge.

The VOX feature allows for hands-free operation, and the remote emergency alarm can help protect your safety in case of an emergency.

One drawback of the Retevis RT21 is that it is only FRS and not compatible with GMRS frequencies. They are also not water-resistant, so they may not be the best choice for use in wet conditions.

Additionally, while the battery life is decent, it may not be as long as some other models on the market.


  • Long range with stable reception and transmission even in harsh conditions
  • Rugged, dust-proof, drop-proof, and shock-resistant
  • Easy-to-use portable two-way radio that is ready to use out of the box


  • Only FRS, not compatible with GMRS frequencies
  • Not water-resistant
  • Relatively short battery life compared to some other models

Survival Walkie-Talkie Buying Guide

Factors to Consider

When buying a walkie-talkie for survival, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Range: It is crucial to look for a walkie-talkie that has a range appropriate to your needs. For instance, if you plan to use it in a rural area, you may need a range of 3-5 miles. Whereas a range of 1-2 miles may suffice for a city.
  • Battery Life: A walkie-talkie with long battery life is essential to ensure it doesn’t die in the middle of an emergency. Look for a battery life of at least 8-10 hours.
  • Durability: A survival walkie-talkie should be durable and able to withstand tough conditions. Look for a walkie-talkie that is waterproof, ideally being able to be submerged without any issues.
  • Channels: Look for a walkie-talkie with multiple channels. This will allow you to communicate with different groups of people without interference.
  • Size and Weight: Look for a walkie-talkie that is compact and lightweight. You don’t want it to be too bulky or heavy to carry around. The ideal size should range from 5-7 inches in height and 0.5-2 pounds in weight.

Features to Look For

Here are some features to look for when buying survival walkie-talkies:
SOS Button: A button that, when pressed, sends an emergency signal to other walkie-talkies within range.
Weather Alerts: An alert system that automatically notifies you of severe weather conditions in your area.
VOX: A voice-activated system that allows you to communicate hands-free.
Privacy Codes: A feature that allows you to communicate on a private channel without interference from other walkie-talkies.
Flashlight: A built-in flashlight that can be used in emergency situations.
Considering these factors and features will help you choose the best survival walkie-talkie for emergency situations.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Survival Walkie Talkies

Are walkie-talkies good for survival?

Walkie-talkies can be a valuable tool for survival in certain situations. They allow communication over short to medium distances without the need for cell phone towers or other communication infrastructure.
This can be particularly useful in remote areas or during natural disasters when traditional communication methods may be unreliable or non-existent.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that walkie-talkies have limited range and are susceptible to interference. This can limit their usefulness in certain scenarios.

Are walkie-talkies good for SHTF?

Walkie-talkies can be a valuable tool for emergency preparedness and survival situations. In a “SHTF” scenario communication is critical for coordinating efforts, sharing information, and staying connected with loved ones.

Walkie-talkies offer a number of advantages over other forms of communication in these situations. For one, they are portable and easy to carry, making them ideal for use in the field.
They also operate independently of cell towers and other infrastructure. This means they can work even in areas where other forms of communication are unavailable.

That being said, it’s important to note that not all walkie-talkies are created equal. Some models may have a limited range, poor battery life, or other issues that could make them less effective in certain situations.

What is the best radio communication for preppers?

When it comes to radio communication for preppers, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best radio communication system for preppers depends on several factors, such as the intended use, range, and portability.

For short-range communication, handheld two-way radios or walkie-talkies are a popular choice. These radios are easy to carry, simple to operate, and often come with features such as weather alerts and emergency channels.

For longer-range communication, ham radios or amateur radios may be more suitable. These radios require a license to operate, but they offer a greater range and can be used to communicate across the world in certain circumstances. They also offer more customization options and can be integrated with other technologies such as computers.

Satellite phones are another option for preppers who need to communicate in remote areas. These phones operate using satellites and can be used to make calls, send messages, and even access the internet in some cases.

What is the best walkie-talkie long-range for the forest?

My personal choice for long-range forest use is the Motorola T600 H2O TalkaboutRadio. It has a range of up to 35 miles and features a waterproof and durable design. It also comes with a built-in flashlight and emergency alert button. Making it a versatile choice for outdoor activities.

What type of walkie-talkie does the military use?

The military uses a variety of different types of walkie-talkies, depending on the specific needs of the mission. Some examples of walkie-talkies that are commonly used by the military include:

These radios are often equipped with encryption capabilities to ensure secure communication. They also have advanced features like GPS and digital signal processing to enhance their performance in the field.

What is the best long-range walkie-talkie in the world?

Determining the “best” long-range walkie-talkie is a subjective matter. As it depends on individual needs and preferences. However, in my opinion, the Uniden SX507-2CKHS is one of the best long-range walkie-talkies on the market.

The Uniden SX507-2CKHS has a range of up to 50 miles in optimal conditions. Making it suitable for a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and hunting.

Final Words

Having a reliable survival walkie-talkie can be a crucial tool in emergency situations. When it comes to selecting the best survival walkie-talkie, there are several factors to consider, including range, durability, battery life, and ease of use.

I’ve highlighted five top picks that I believe offer a balance of these features and are suitable for various emergency scenarios.

Benjamin Hughes

Benjamin Hughes is a Vietnam Vet who has been camping, hunting, and fishing for most of his life. He enjoys testing out the newest tactical and survival gear and discussing survival in general.

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