As part of my communications set up Ive purchased a GME TX 6160 UHF hand held radio. I may at a later time purchase an installed radio set up within my 4WD but Ive found a handheld does most of what I require.

When I was younger I didn’t see the need for off grid communications. I went bush to get away from all that and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Now I’m older and have injuries and health issues, as-well as after a few incidents Ive reconsidered. I still have to upgrade a PLB too.

I was driving up in the hills in Northern NSW by myself and was only 50 meters off the main road and sunk into clay. I managed to get out but thought. One I had left my GHB at home half completed and Two no phone signal. I couldn’t even open the doors to let the dog out and walk back to the main road and with lock-downs and paranoia rampant, had no chance of getting help.

I had turned around before sinking any further and limped back to the main road. I didn’t even have my air compressor with me to drop the tyre pressures to 10 pounds to get out of the soup easily. Where I drive now there is no phone reception on the tracks and that’s only 15 minutes from a township.

My Fly fishing instructor was also telling me about carrying a PLB after he tripped and hurt his leg in a stream crossing. Fifty feet from a main road and no way to get help trying to crawl up a river bank. You don’t have to be in the middle of no where to need a PLB. Fifty meters from a road may require one, especially in snake season.

They were just little things not far from home where I should have been more watchful, thinking I’m not going far I wont worry about packing recovery gear. Now I always have the back of the 4WD packed with recovery gear, communications equipment, cooking gear, tarps and first aid, tools, GHB, food, etc.

Having said that I continually break that rule by needing to help people move, use the back of the tray for building equipment. In three weeks time I have emptied everything out to travel three hours to my bushcraft course and need the room for my backpack and hiking trolley and to drop off all my dogs bedding , food etc to a mate to baby sit the day before.

I’m not a big radio freak and want to talk to people (People give me the shits) but the two systems Ive brought will let me either let me know whats going on around me or get me out of trouble in combination with a Slim Jim antenna for extra range.