I figure there are at least two amateur radio folks here so I figure I might as well ask you folks this question . . . our ATV Club is looking at getting a couple of portable, hand-held two way radios for use on club rides for better communication . . . we've had a few instances where the leader didn't realize there was a problem in the back of the pack.

I'm looking for suggestions for a decent, affordable solution. Some options considered.

Marine Radios: Apparently a lot of hunters here in Maine use them and like them as they are water-proof (which is good for us ATVers as well) and they have 5 watts of power and do not require a FCC license. The bad news is that it appears as though many of these hunters and others are using these illegally since my reading indicates that marine radios are only supposed to be used on the water.

Family Radio Service (FRS) Radios: No license required, but they only offer a 1/2 watt capability.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS): Often paired with FRS, to use the GMRS side of the two way radio one is supposed to purchase a FCC license . . . although I kind of wonder if many folks actually do. It seems these radios range from 1-5 watts in power.

Multi Use Radio Service (MURS): Supposedly this was supposed to be a good license free alternative for folks who wanted more power and transmitting distance than the GMRS without having to get a license. Most radios I've seen go up to 2 watts . . . but it seems as though finding one of these in a well known radio company is pretty rare.

Citizen's Band Radio: Maybe it's just me, but as a kid I just remember this being very crowded with lots of heehaw hicks and the reception was pretty crappy . . . of course it could have also been the equipment. Handhelds seem to range up to 4 watts in power.


So for what I need what would you suggest? I am leaning one way right now . . . but I am curious as to what you folks think might work.