Best Emergency Ham Radio for Backpacking in 2022

In today’s world, people don’t necessarily use ham radios as smartphones are becoming more prevalent. Still, ham radio becomes valuable in an emergency situation where traditional smartphones become obsolete. If you are on a trip or an adventure to a remote place and find yourself in an emergency, ham radio becomes useful to communicate with others in these situations.

Traditional smartphones that use radio waves don’t work in remote places, so you should have a ham radio with you at all times during your trip as it will be useful in an emergency. Choosing a good ham radio to keep in your backpack can be a bit difficult as there are a lot of ham radios available in the market. Let us see the top five emergency ham radios for backpacking in this post, so you can decide the best device for your use.

Top Emergency Ham radios for Backpacking

1.The Mirkit UV5R MK4 Portable Radio

Mirkit Radio Baofeng UV-5R MK4 8W MP Max Power 2020 1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery Pack, BaofengRadio corp.

The UV5R is a compact and portable ham radio that makes it a perfect fit to carry in your backpack. This radio comes with three power settings (1, 5, & 8), and you can choose between any of these power settings to communicate with others. The 8-watt power setting will give a maximum transmission range but will consume more battery.

You can use the 1-watt power setting to get more battery life out of this device. The 5-watt power setting is the optimal setting that balances battery life with the transmission range. This device has a backlight LED display with a broad range of frequency spectrum integrated with the dual-band display and dual-frequency band. This compact ham radio is also compatible with the CHIRP (open-source radio programming software), which makes this device easy to program and use. This device comes with a decent 1800 mAH battery capacity that gives it a good usage period. You also get a hands-free VOX feature, LED flashlight, FM radio support, keypad lock, and more with the purchase of this device.


  • It is compatible with CHIRP.
  • It is portable and easy to carry.


  • It is a bit expensive.

2. Tri-Band Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Amateur Ham radio

Tri-Band Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver (144/222/440)

Designed for outdoor activities, the Yaesu VX-6R is a compact and portable ham radio. The sturdy build of this radio makes it less susceptible to wear and tear, so you get a long life out of this one. The VX-6R ham radio from Yaesu has Emergency Automatic Identification features, which makes this device really valuable in emergency situations. With memory support of 900 different channels, you don’t have to physically remember channels again with this device.

It also features password authentication functionality, weather alert feature, multicolor LED backlight, and more. This ham radio from Yaesu is capable of receiving AM/FM transmission, Aircraft transmission, Police transmission, and more. The 1500 mAH battery that is included with this device will give you decent battery life. Overall, this device is one of the best emergency radios to have in your backpack on your next adventure.


  • It features a waterproof aluminum case.
  • It operates on multiple power output settings.


  • It is a bit heavy.

3. Kenwood Original TH-D74A APRS Handheld Transceiver

This is an image of ham radio by kenwood in black color

The TH-D74A ham radio from Kenwood is a lightweight one that is packed with a lot of features. It features a rugged design with IP54 waterproof certification, so it will give you a long life. There are four different levels of power output setting from 0.5 to 5 watts present on this radio.

The TFT display may be small but it gives a wealth of information on it. This radio also has wideband and multi-mode reception support with APRS communication and a D-star radio communication network. The battery life may not be great but this device includes a good amount of extra functionalities such as Bluetooth-compatibility, GPS, external decode, DSP, audio processing, voice recording, and more. Made from premium quality materials, the TH-D74A is a great device to have on your backpack on your next adventure trip.


  • It is highly durable.
  • It comes with a lot of features like DSP, Bluetooth functionality, and more.


  • The battery life could have been better.

4. Yaesu FT-60R Amateur Radio Transceiver

Yaesu FT-60R Dual Band Handheld 5W VHF/UHF Amateur Radio Transceiver

The FT-60R is another Yaesu product on our list that gives you a lot of features for a decent price. This radio is made of rugged material with a waterproof design, so it has high durability and will give you a long life. This device also has 1000 memory channels with different scan modes.

It features a dual-band design that gives this device an excellent transmission capability. Even the weak signals are amplified and transmitted in this radio as the antenna is a high-quality one. With a 1400 mAH battery capacity, you will get a decent usage with this one. It also has a set of useful features such as NOAA weather alert, keypad lock, alphanumeric display, and more. With a good set of features, the FT-60R is one of the best emergency ham radios available in the market.


  • It is made from good quality materials, so it has high durability.
  • It is capable of receiving aircraft and emergency bands.


  • The battery life is not up to the mark with this device.

5. TYT UV800E High Power Dual-Band Transceiver

This is an image of ham radio TYT in black color

The TYT UV800E is a great portable ham radio to keep in your backpack. It is a UHF/VHF device that comes with multiple power settings. You can use the 10-watt power output setting to get an excellent transmission range with this device. But this mode consumes more battery life.

You can also choose the 5-watt output power setting to get a good battery life with a decent transmission range. The 3600 mAH battery capacity present in this device gives it a good usage life even in the highest power output settings. You won’t find needing a charger when using this device. You also get additional features such as privacy codes, emergency alarm, low battery alarm, FM receiver, VOX functionality, and cross-band repeater function with this device. Overall, the TYT UV800E is a great ham radio to use it in emergency situations.


  • It has excellent battery life.
  • It is compact and portable.


  • The build quality is not great.


Ham radios are far more valuable in emergency times than a normal smartphone. You get much use from it during an adventure or outdoor trip. But choosing a great emergency ham radio to keep it in your backpack may be difficult but with this post, we hope you get a good ham radio to use it on your next adventure trip.

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