How far can I communicate?
The local terrain will greatly determine how far you can communicate with a Dakota radio. For example, if you are in an urban environment and there are lots of obstacles in your way, you won’t be able to communicate very far.
However, if you are outdoors in flat terrain, you may be able to communicate over a good distance. It really is dependent on the area where you are trying to use the radios. These estimates are on the conservative end of the spectrum. And you may be pleasantly surprised at how far you are able to communicate using your radios.
Why do department store radios claim longer distances?
Simply put, these claims made by the typical radio you find in a department store are greatly exaggerated. They assume the best possible scenario — like standing on a mountain top and having a line of sight view to someone below.
If you had a perfect scenario, then you might be able to get an extended range. However, that is very unlikely in real life, and you will probably only get a small fraction of the range that is promised on the box. In short, some manufacturers exaggerate their claims a bit for marketing purposes. So you shouldn’t assume you will get anything close to that range in a real life scenario.