Two-Way Radio Accessories for Park Rangers

There are 63 National Parks in the United States, and over 400 others. The parks 20,000 National Park Service (NPS) employees protect our parks day in and day out. Communication is key to protecting not only the parks but the 325 million people who visit the parks yearly.

Two-way radios not only play a huge part in communication but it's accessories too. We'll go over the radio accessories park rangers should be using that aid in helping keep communication running smoothly.

  • Antennas
  • Batteries
  • In-Vehicle Chargers
  • Cases
  • Speaker Microphones


Two-way radios come in three frequencies – UHF, VHF, and 700/800 Mhz. Typically, 700/800 MHz is reserved for public safety, but most radios use either UHF or VHF frequencies. The difference between UHF and VHF depends on your environment.

VHF, or Very High Frequency, is used mainly for outdoors free from obstructions such as buildings, while UHF, or ultra-high frequency, is mainly used indoors and is less likely to interfere with other radios.

Since park rangers are typically outside in large areas or even in boats, VHF frequencies are typically used. You want antennas that are compatible with your frequencies and allow you to have the best range and coverage.

VHF antennas use less battery capacity to operate, and they are inexpensive compared to UHF antennas.


Two-way radio batteries are a must have, without it you have no radio. There are three types of batteries we recommend to keep your radio powered all day long.

  • High Capacity Batteries
  • Extra Batteries
  • Non-Rechargeable Batteries

High Capacity Batteries

High capacity batteries have a higher capacity (mAh) and are necessary for operating a radio for longer than 8 hours at a time.

Extra Batteries

Some days might experience unpredictable hours, it never hurts to have an extra battery in the vehicle and on your person to swap out when your radio is dying. Additionally, extra high-capacity batteries can be in the car for those extra-long shifts.

Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Park rangers do not always know how long they will be in the field and away from their vehicle, so a non-rechargeable battery is good to swap in place of your rechargable battery when needed.

Non-rechargeable batteries have a shelf life of up to 10 years. As the name suggests, non-rechargeable batteries cannot be recharged, once they are done, they're done.

In-Vehicle Chargers

In-vehicle chargers are the next line of defense for staying connected during long shifts. When a ranger is patrolling all day, in-vehicle chargers are great to have on-the-go.

This technology is useful when you're away from a physical office without access to a charger. These chargers have a compact design so it won't take up too much space in your car.

Lastly, in-vehicle chargers are quick to install and plug into the cigarette port in your car.

Photo by Yaroslav Muzychenko on Unsplash


Two-way radios are expensive so keeping them protected from outside elements and accidental drops are a must. Holsters hang securely on a duty belt and protect it from rain, dust, and prevent dropping which can damage a radio. It also holds your radio close by you so you don’t have to carry it and risk leaving it behind.

Speaker Microphones

Speaker microphones are the last communications accessory that is extremely useful to park rangers. This accessory features a convenient PTT or push-to-talk button in an easy to reach spot. Speaker mics allows for fast radio communication which is important for any emergency.

Final Thoughts

Some days park rangers are patrolling and giving informational talks, other days they are providing emergency services and combating dangerous situations like poachers. With constant moving variables and navigating the unknown, communications accessories are of utmost importance. These accessories keep lines of communication open and reliable to keep employees, rangers, and park attendees safe.

We hope this article provided you with the right information to determine which accessory you would like to add or update in your rangers’ arsenals.

How Waveband Communications Can Help

Waveband Communications has provided hundreds of two-way radio accessories to the National Park Service employees. Our two-way radio accessories are compatible with the most popular two-way radio models and use the same comparable components. Need to accessorize your radio fleet, we're here to help!

DEANNA PARENTI is a Marketing Copywriter at Waveband Communications. With her experience in critical communications, she helped safety clients enhance their team communication through the help of two-way accessories.

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