Thank you for this post! Pretty much answered all the questions I had about getting into mobile communication platforms, for that matter base systems. After reading through this post and seeing some of the terminology and skimming through some other sites, I feel like I could pass the technician test with just a little bit of studying. Who would have known all that time operation the radio overseas would benefit me later in life. I've come to the conclusion that I still need a CB radio, for the simple fact I don't think all people I will be traveling or exploring with will operate a HAM system. So my first step is to pick up a Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio, this appears to give me the flexibility I want. I don't have to keep it mounted in my vehicle, I can take it out from base camp on extended hikes, etc. That leaves room for me to mount a base system in my 4Runner. I'm excited about the concept of reaching out to friends/family back in Colorado or associates back on the East Coast. I really love the concept of being able to communicate with family/friends in a emergency situation if cell networks go down. I'm going to have a lot of research to do, the best part is my wife seemed interested when I brought up the concept as well! Just have got to try and get other people on board now.