I'm lost..

How far do FRS radios go? I need a radio that will go at least 4 miles in the woods and hills. Am I gonna have to get a GMRS license?

low cost frs radios only can use up to 1/2 watt power. usually range is less than a mile. It may be longer if you are in direct line of site (like at a beach) with no obstructions but not too much more.

you will likely need either a frs/gmrs or gmrs radio. GMRS will allow outputs up to 5 watts, but height is going to be more important than power (i.e. top of a mountain to another mountain)… if you get a better radio with “repeater” capability (means your message is repeated by a local radio repeater tower (sometimes free to use) you can get many many more miles range…
Anyway I would defer to some of the more senior members in this forum…but that is what I think is true…

oh and yes. get a license. its easy. it is $85 though.

It’s more the crappy antenna that come permanently mounted on cheap GMRS radios that hinders the performance.

DO NOT EVER expect to get anywhere near the distances claimed by the manufacturers. You will be lucky to get 1-3 miles in wooded terrain from a typical high-end GMRS “bubble pack” radio, even though the manufacturer will claim 25-30 miles in some cases.

If you can spend some money on radios, ones like the Icom F21 with an aftermarket antenna should get you what you want, but not much more.

Thanks… You guys answered my question it is almost hopeless to think that I can get away cheap.