FRS3 For Colorado Backcountry

The Colorado Search and Rescue Association is promoting FRS (Family Radio Service) Channel 3 as “the default during backcountry search and rescue (backcountry SAR) emergencies.” FRS channel 3 is the same as GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) channel 3. There is more GMRS info here. To keep things simple, no CTCSS (“privacy code”) is used…carrier squelch only.  See the CSAR announcement here: FRS Radio Use for Backcountry.

For backcountry exploring, it is important to emphasize self-sufficiency and to avoid reliance on electronic gizmos that may fail. Avoiding an emergency situation is way better than having a device to call for help, which may be many hours away. See this article for a discussion of The Ten Essentials for Hiking.

Still, the FRS3 concept has merit. Many backcountry hikers already carry FRS or GMRS radios, so designating a preferred channel makes sense. My read on this is that randomly calling for help on FRS3 will not be very effective due to the limited range of FRS radios. However, it does not hurt to try. More likely, FRS3 can be used for local comms once Search and Rescue crews have been deployed and are within a few miles of the party in distress.

Ham radio operators may want to carry a handheld transceiver capable of transmitting on 462.6125 MHz. For emergency use only, of course.

73 Bob K0NR

The post FRS3 For Colorado Backcountry appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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