Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band HAM Radios, Best Budget Survival Radios? Initial Impressions

Check out the Baofeng UV-5R:
Also, the Baofeng BF-F8HP 8 Watt:

The Baofeng UV-5R is an inexpensive dual band HAM radio. Can it live up to preppers expectations as a good survival radio? Check out the Tin Hat Ranch’s initial impressions of this budget radio.

In the video we also discussed:
Baofeng 3800mAH Battery:
Chirp Software:
Baofeng USB Cable:

Help keep the Tin Hat Ranch going in 2014:

“The Descent” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Isle Sanctum says:

Baofeng ……what would be the next step up in a Baofeng
Or any other make of radio
I thought Baofeng had a walkie talkie /ham short wave model

cyberjack says:

i just put it in frequency mode then just type it in …job done.. no need to “save” them .. out in field anyway…

The jerky shack says:

What after market antennas do you recommend for max range

pm0501 says:

I wish these radios were available when I was an Emergency Management volunteer 4 years ago. We had a limited number of digital radios available to volunteers so these would have worked well on our conventional VHF frequencies including one freq. that was linked to the digital system for Interoperability. I have used these radios on simplex ham frequencies with a mag mount antenna as far as 3 miles. The ones I programmed on GMRS work great within my township. I am seriously considering setting up a GMRS repeater in the area to serve three recreational lakes.

AJ Usog says:

+TinHatRanch Ha ha… Baofeng, the gateway drug to Hamming….

O.G brandon says:

i have the same ones

JG74857 says:

No, the first question is 1. what is the fine if we are caught using this without a license and 2. How the hell would anyone catch us in the woods using these.

Radio Survivor guy says:

did the battery falls on the radio is a problem

JDBTitanic says:

I am having issues with my radio when you turn it on it has a frequency of 000.000 and when I enter a frequency on the 6th digit or last it will say cancel. So every time I enter a frequency it says cancel and will not accept it. So I have done a factory reset and it does the same thing. So I am wondering if it is a defect. I just barely got the device and it was working fine when I got it for about an hour. I have tried switching bands and everything.

Janah says:

What can this type of radio be used for if you are alone and only have 1 ? can you detect others communication within range and talk to them ? can you listen to radio on them and get news that way ? or are they just for communicating with 2 radios?

D&C says:

Its probably the antenna. Get a better one and you will get several miles of range

Sulfen says:

You never put a link in the description on how to get a license to operate those frequencies.

jake keys fit sam says:

did sam people like the uv82

AJ Usog says:

+TinHatRanch Ha ha… Baofeng, the gateway drug to Hamming….

Jay Dog says:

The first line had me in tears XD

Mark Becker says:


fidel catsro says:

great radio but did you have to kill the poor man to make this video? now interpol is looking for you and theyre using satellite phones

Hissatsu5 says:

What’s the difference between a CB and a ham radio?

Stephen Jones says:

These radios CAN NOT BE USED on GMRS regardless what is stated they ARE NOT i repeat THEY ARE NOT PART 95 FCC Certified

Mike W. says:

Buy FRS radios from garage sales no more than $3 each. Test them and give out to passer byes for intel.

GMC TECH says:

Great video! You pretty much nailed it. I have 6 of these and abused the living hell out of them, dust, rain, snow, dropping, bumped into, pushed against, etc etc, they’ve handled it all. I used them on the pipeline in Alberta up here in Canuckistan and in the High Arctic. I supplied these to the men on my crew and had them all connected to external mic assemblies. I bought the programming cable and watched hundreds of YouTube videos about how to program and such and use CHIRP to program them and hand them out Locked to my crew and haven’t had any issues. I can attest to the fact that I have used the UV5R Plus down to temperatures of -53 degrees Celsius and the only problem was a bit of LCD fade out and batteries dropping off a lot quicker. Another little overlooked workhorse is the Baofeng BF888S, as it only has a 16 channel dial and an on/off dial. no keypad. I have the BF888S as backup radios and also have used them with people who cannot keep there hands off the keypad and messing around with the UV5R settings. The BF888S is not as tough as the UV5R but it does the job well enough to be part of my kit. All in all if you learn the menu and how to program them you will soon realized these are not simple radios but very powerful versatile hand held communication systems. I’m currently waiting on my newest orders of two UV8000E’s and two TYT MD390 DMR radios. I’m thinking of going completely digital with the MD390’s if they meet my expectations and requirements as it adds another level of communication security. Again thanks for the video and your take on the UV5R and have a great day!

karen bonds says:

EMP no way to charge lol…Gotta have other tech to charge. EMP ..nothing works anyway.

Bill Johnson says:

This model of radio was recommended to be by a friend in SAR. This is what he uses on a normal basis when out searching for lost people. I have decided that this would be worth my money to purchase one of these and give it a try. This video was very informative and helpful. Thank you.


hi I’m getting to this real late I saw a new HAM BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio, what you think about this?

hrdknox2000 says:

Are you familiar with M.U.R.S.? It’s another band that doesn’t require a license.

steven knight says:

Well done, a full series of five videos I watched. You are a credit to the community.

Ironman05 says:

Thanks for the educational videos. We do appreciate them . I getting ready to purchase a few. My son has a Baofeng Uv 5R my buddy said to get the Uv -5X instead .What do you recommend me. I’m in process
Of getting my technician license.

Juan Ortiz says:

Can you operate these without a license or is there some sort of fail safe that prevents you from doing so? Also can the government track you and are there ways to avoid it?

AnimalMotherV2 says:

Will this fit in a condor radio pouch?

Jimmy Vivas says:

hi, I want to be able to talk to home here in san diego, we are apart about 10 miles from office to home. I believe I need to use this radio in order to communicate with them. So question is, Does everyone that talks to that radio have to have a tech license as well me of course? Will these radio work if I buy two, one for home and one for me? THanks ffor your time…any help will be appreciated.

Evan Black says:

This can operate on the MURS. MURS is limited to 2 watts on 151 – 154 MHz and no antenna restrictions. However the FCC says the radio “must be certified by the FCC”, which these are not. When the SHTF I doubt anyone will stop and ask if yours is a “certified” for MURS lol
BTW in true emergency situations FCC rules allow for communication by any means necessary to facilitate rescue/help.
This of course does not mean you broke a nail and dropped your precious iphone in the mall. lol
Nothing stops you from listening though. This radio is also good for receiving NOAA and other emergency services as well.

OccamsRzzr says:

Love this. They should get an academy award for that acting.

Kaleb Pueblo says:

“heavy duty plastic”

Dan Guilfuchi says:

Just entering in the discussion on the random. Live in NY and don’t know if any Talkies would make sense here….really a novice. Please let me know what ur thoughts are ANYONE it appreciated

bigbangnone says:

I would not call a UV-5R “A Quality Radio”.
They use the absolutely smallest cheapest CPU they can find, which is why it is so quirky to program.

UK NEWS says:

what are you on aboutt you need a licence YOU NEED TO WAK UP BUDDY

Gordon GMan says:

I have a couple of these radios. Fully charged and turned off the charged has lasted over 3 years.

Synthematix says:

can these be used as a standard CB radio instead of ham?

RelentlessHomesteading says:

The Ham is greater than the sword,…

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