Yes, there are two things you can do. The GXT1000 series is capable of 22 radio channels (NOT 50, which I’ll explain in a bit), and a large number of privacy codes, by using them you can ensure that only your party is heard on your radios.
Radio channels are different frequencies. The GXT1000 can use two ‘services’ (FCC-defined sets of frequencies)- FRS and GMRS. Use of GMRS channels requires a license, but FRS does not. On the GXT1000-
Ch 1-7 are shared (they exist both in FRS and GMRS, and can be used without a license)
Ch 8-14 are FRS-only (and thus restricted to Low transmit power)
Ch 15-22 are GMRS-only (and thus require a license)
I suggest sticking in the Ch 1-7 area.
Privacy codes (also known as PL tones, CTCSS tones, DCS codes, etc) don’t actually give you any privacy (they are NOT scramblers, other people will be able to hear your transmissions), but they DO let you screen out other peoples transmissions. When a privacy code is enabled, your radios will ignore transmissions from other groups- only radios set to the same channel AND the same privacy codes will be played.
Privacy codes let two groups use the same channel at the same time without hearing each other- they do NOT let two users transmit at the exact same time. So if a channel seems crowded, don’t be surprised if your transmissions get dropped, two transmissions on the same channel at the same time (regardless of privacy code) = nobody hears anybody.
Disclaimer- the following is from what I remember of Midland programming from working with the GXT740’s I got for a friend, and a quick browse thru the GXT1000 manual, it could be wrong.
The first thing you can do is change the channel. to do this, press Menu once (display should say cH) and use up/down to pick a channel, then Menu again to select and hit PTT (transmit) to get out of the menu. When you turn the radio off then on the new channel should stick. I suggest channels 2-7, depending on your area. Whichever one you pick, use it like this for a while (no privacy code) to make sure it’s relatively empty (for the reason stated above).
Next you want to put on a privacy code. Hit Menu twice, then up/down until CTCSS is blinking. Then hit Menu again and use up/down to pick a number between 1 and 38. Menu to select it, and PTT to get out of the menu. The display should now show both the channel (big number), the privacy code (little number), and CTCSS should be lit.
After you do this to both radios and confirm it works, you may want to hold down Call for 5 seconds (locks out the settings so you can’t accidentally change it)
As for the extra channels (23 thru 50)- the guys here have explained it great in their blog: See Here. Basically those ‘channels’ are just shortcuts to put in real channels and privacy codes. So “channel 23” is really just channel 1 with CTCSS code 38.
Hope that helps!