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Is There A Geocacher-specific Frs/gmrs Channel?


jiminpotomac
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I was wondering if there was a "standardized" FRS/GMRS channel for us geocachers to use, perhaps specifically for emergencies. After an incident a few weeks ago I witnessed where a geocacher was disabled in the bush, I had the thought that perhaps we (or geocaching.com) should/would have a specific FRS/GMRS channel that we could use for calls for help to fellow geocachers?

 

Perhaps this is a moot point as most radios have a scan function, but I think it may be a good idea to standardize on a channel just in case of such a situation. For example, make a call on channel 4 and the likelihood that some other geocacher in the vicinity/radio reception area would here it would go up dramatically. It could also be fun, as we have a common channel to talk on/listen to as we all descend upon a cache or a series of caches. Use it if we wish, but we always have the freedom to do as we please.

 

Perhaps this could be a suggestion for each cache? Include waypoints and a recommended channel to listen/broadcast on while on the hunt?

 

Thanks!

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Channel 2 is the standard Geocaching channel according to the FAQ. :D

 

Do you have an FRS/PMR channel to find out if other Geocachers are in the area?

 

Yes. The community has decided on channel 2 as the primary for both FRS and PMR, and 12 as the alternate FRS (Family Radio Service) channel and 8 for the alternate PMR (Europe). FRS and PMR radios are longer distance walkie talkies, like the Motorola Talkabout.

Edited by Mastifflover
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I monitor FRS channel 2, and several ham frequencies, while geocaching. (A ham radio with a scan function and extended receive makes it easy!)

 

:D Unfortunately, there are two issues regarding emergencies and FRS radios:

 

1. They have incredibly short range if you are "in the bush". Two miles or so line of sight--but that means no hills, rocks, buildings, etc. in the way.

 

2. Unless there are geocachers in the area it is unlikely anyone is listening on a "geocaching frequency".

 

There have been various other suggestions: cell phones, ham radio (which already has a "wilderness protocol" for such emergencies), etc.

 

The best safety communications plan is the good old fashioned boy scout buddy system--have someone around to know if you have fallen and can't get up so they can call for help.

 

The best alternative is to have a plan on where you are going and when you will be back, and leave this information with someone who will call for a rescue if you are overdue.

 

FRS channel 2 is often used by geocachers, but how much are you going to count on there being one around when you need them?

 

Dave_W6DPS

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What if another organisation in your area has claimed ch2? How could you let cachers from out of area know that. Guess it really doesn't matter does it? It's free airspace

 

A good whistle has further range than most FRS radios in the bush and is able to be heard by people that don't carry radios. A continous barrage of whistleing will eventually be recognised by anyone as a call of distress.

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:laughing:

 

So...my fellow convicetd felon...you are worried about others getting out of the bush.... Your benevolence astounds me. I was hiking to a cache late Saturday night and I was calling out in need to a dear friend on channel 15 sub 8 (I believe) and his radio was off! Can you believe it? If we had only read the FAQ

 

"Do you have an FRS/PMR channel to find out if other Geocachers are in the area?"Yes. The community has decided on channel 2 as the primary for both FRS and PMR, and 12 as the alternate FRS (Family Radio Service) channel and 8 for the alternate PMR (Europe). FRS and PMR radios are longer distance walkie talkies, like the Motorola Talkabout.

 

Actually, I can only assume that if I were in need of medical attention (or trapped etc.) I would do everything in my power to find help...Whistle, FRS GMRS Cell phone etc. Most of the places we hike are close enough to civilization that a whistle would work quite well. I carry two with me at all times while geocaching. I'll happily let you have one...just don't get stuck, or we'll have to call the Park Police, and you know how they can be...flashes back to a cold Saturday night... Of course for an FRS/GMRS or cell phone or whistle to work, one has to be conscious. Small issue. Hiking with a buddy is aslways the way to go.

:D

-E :D

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I am a Ham also and agree with Dave_W6DPS so I'll just add a ditto to his post. Like the previous post said; carry a whistle. 3 short bursts is the international call for help. I would add a mirror and these days small Laser pointers are very cheap and can be seen quite a distance at night. Worst case: mark the persons position as a waypoint and go get help.

 

BTW do NOT believe the exagerated claims on most FRS radios about their range. At BEST the claimed ranges could only happen from mountain peak to mountain peak with nothing in between. They can be useful if you do like Dave said and always let others know where you are going and when you will be back. You can also tell your friends what channel you will be on so they can tell the SAR team.

 

A quick edit: My advice would be to NOT use any sub channel. It only complicates matters. If I scan the FRS channels, I might hear you on Channel 2, but unless I knew what sub channel you are set to I CANNOT talk to you!!! The sub channels are not separate frequencies, but are "tone squelch". They just keep you from hearing other radios not on your same sub channel. So when in the bush, turn the sub channels OFF.

Edited by two left feet
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:D

 

So...my fellow convicetd felon...you are worried about others getting out of the bush.... Your benevolence astounds me. I was hiking to a cache late Saturday night and I was calling out in need to a dear friend on channel 15 sub 8 (I believe) and his radio was off! Can you believe it? If we had only read the FAQ

...

 

Actually, I can only assume that if I were in need of medical attention (or trapped etc.) I would do everything in my power to find help...Whistle, FRS GMRS Cell phone etc. Most of the places we hike are close enough to civilization that a whistle would work quite well. I carry two with me at all times while geocaching. I'll happily let you have one...just don't get stuck, or we'll have to call the Park Police, and you know how they can be...flashes back to a cold Saturday night... Of course for an FRS/GMRS or cell phone or whistle to work, one has to be conscious. Small issue. Hiking with a buddy is aslways the way to go.

:D

-E :D

Hey E!

Agreed. I've got the whistle and take my cell phone with me. I believe your friend's radio had died... poor quality rechargeable battery! SHIVERS thinking about calling the Park Police :laughing: I also agree that bushwhacking with friends is the best option! Oh, btw, I'm not concerned about my safety. We know I'm immortal!

 

Now if I can only convince my buddies that we need to tackle a psycho backcountry cache or two ( http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ea-923f322cc5ab )... we'll really need the emergency gear then! LOL

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FRS channel 2 is often used by geocachers, but how much are you going to count on there being one around when you need them?

 

That's right. Because of this it is always best to go geocaching with a buddy and save the geocaching channel just to see if there are any fellow geocachers nearby, not to call for help.

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The local Explorer troop (co-ed scouts) made it a policy to always go in groups of three. If one got hurt, one could remain with them while the third went for help.

 

For longer trips out, they grouped in fives. Two to remain with the injured person and two to go for help.

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What if another organisation in your area has claimed ch2? How could you let cachers from out of area know that. Guess it really doesn't matter does it? It's free airspace

 

FRS radio is first come first served. No person or group has the right to claim a channel for their exclusive use. Broadcast stations like FM radio or TV pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that privilege. FRS is free and we have to share the channels. Two channels were chosen 2 and 12 so that if there is conversation going on on channel 2 we know to move to channel 12. Instead of interrupting the conversation on channel 2. Hopefully other groups that want to use channel 2 as their main channel have also thought about using an alternative channel ahead of time. This way they won't have to interrupt our conversations.

 

95.191 (FRS Rule 1) Eligibility and responsibility.

 

(b.) You are responsible for all communications that you make with the FRS unit. You must

share each channel with other users. No channel is available for the private or exclusive use

of any user.

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What if another organisation in your area has claimed ch2? How could you let cachers from out of area know that. Guess it really doesn't matter does it? It's free airspace

 

FRS radio is first come first served. No person or group has the right to claim a channel for their exclusive use. Broadcast stations like FM radio or TV pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that privilege. FRS is free and we have to share the channels. Two channels were chosen 2 and 12 so that if there is conversation going on on channel 2 we know to move to channel 12. Instead of interrupting the conversation on channel 2. Hopefully other groups that want to use channel 2 as their main channel have also thought about using an alternative channel ahead of time. This way they won't have to interrupt our conversations.

 

95.191 (FRS Rule 1) Eligibility and responsibility.

 

(b.) You are responsible for all communications that you make with the FRS unit. You must

share each channel with other users. No channel is available for the private or exclusive use

of any user.

It's not officially "claimed" by geocachers. It's only designated as the geocaching channel to avoid confusion. Edited by BCProspectors
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locally we keep our radios on 9.

 

usually our radios are off.

 

the two times i have required assistance i was rescued by use of an old-fashioned whistle the first time, and new-fangled cell phone the second.

 

oh... three times. chalk up two for cell phone.

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What if another organisation in your area has claimed ch2? How could you let cachers from out of area know that. Guess it really doesn't matter does it? It's free airspace

 

FRS radio is first come first served. No person or group has the right to claim a channel for their exclusive use. Broadcast stations like FM radio or TV pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that privilege. FRS is free and we have to share the channels. Two channels were chosen 2 and 12 so that if there is conversation going on on channel 2 we know to move to channel 12. Instead of interrupting the conversation on channel 2. Hopefully other groups that want to use channel 2 as their main channel have also thought about using an alternative channel ahead of time. This way they won't have to interrupt our conversations.

 

95.191 (FRS Rule 1) Eligibility and responsibility.

 

(b.) You are responsible for all communications that you make with the FRS unit. You must

share each channel with other users. No channel is available for the private or exclusive use

of any user.

It's not officially "claimed" by geocachers. It's only designated as the geocaching channel to avoid confusion.

I was responding to canningclan's question about what to do if another organization has claimed channel 2. By asking that question it is clear that canningclan either has not read the FCC rules regarding FRS or doesn't fully understand them. Thanks for restating what I said in simpler terms.

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