This looks like the best forum for this question since I do not see a sub-forum specific to emergency communication (unless I missed it.) We've been riding some of the forest rtes in the Angeles Crest and Los Padres National Forests (before the fires and extreme fire danger.) We expect to explore some other national forests nearby as well. On a couple of rides we were 20 - 25 miles in, and that brought up concern about what we would do if we had an emergency. The two-way satellite units like the Garmin 66i are quite useful but expensive and i was thinking they might not be as necessary for our reginoal purposes. The question I am posing here is whether anyone can opine as to whether a handheld VHF/UHF radio can fulfill this role, and if so, if there are any recommendations as to what unit to purchase in the low/modest/midrange for cost. I hold an amateur/HAM radio license. Was also wondering what frequencies might be monitored in these specific areas for emergency use for the public, if they are consistent between the nearby forests, and what kinds of distance one might get in the terrain, or at the top of a ridge. Also, any info if repeaters are present.