Would there be any advantage in having a small two-way radio system attached to your rock-climbing helmet? Basically so you and your partner can talk to each other easily while climbing. Tim Dunedin, New Zealand

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My wife keeps bugging me about getting a phone so I can keep in touch with her when I'm out backpacking for several days. Is there something light and somewhat affordable available? Peter San Carlos, CA

The Gear Guy Reports from Outdoor Retailer 2004

I've seen quite a few hikers with two-way radios on the trail. What's your take: recreational gimmick or worthwhile piece of equipment? Our family of four hikes together a fair amount, so I can see their worth. But, then again, does trail etiquette mean this is akin to using a cell phone on the bus? Philip Burlington, Vermont

I looking for a two-way radio. I don't know much about them and need some advice on a dependable and weatherproof model for outdoor activities such as camping and boating. So it would need to be. I hear you need a license for anything that has range of over five miles and would like to avoid that. KJ San Diego, California

What is your opinion of two-way radios for climbing and skiing? What features should I look out for when selecting one? Tjaard Breeuwer Eindhoven, Holland

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