June 27, 2023
Midland Radio donated GMRS two-way radios to the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association's TrailFest.
Two of the associations members spoke with Midland Radio about how they leveled up GMRS two-way radios for better communication.
Founded in 1987, the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) is a collection of individuals, members, business, and OHV clubs.
The SFWDA focuses on conservation, education, and recreation. Because of this, the SFWDA has been working to maintain OHV trails so they can stay open for use. OHV trails are Off Highway Vehicle trails used by off-roading, motorcycles, and other four wheel drive enthusiasts.
“Our goal is to teach people how to responsibly and sustainably use OHV trails so that we don’t have to fight to keep them open. That feeds into recreation- getting people out and on the trails," Bo Rosa, SFWDA President said.
TrailFest 2023 was hosted in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina. TrailFest is one of SFWDA's largest events of the year.
“Trail Fest is an evet that has been going on for almost 30 years. It’s a traveling event so it’s designed to be a festival of trails, hence the name. We want to get people out on trails that might not be in their home area," Rosa added.
The event drew in people from all over the country including Florida and California. The SFWDA puts on education courses, giving attendees the ability to learn and then off-road. Rosa said he enjoys the opportunity to show others trails they've never visited.
“Wheeling out West makes for a way different experience than here on the East Coast. Out West there aren’t a lot of trees and there’s a whole lot of traction. It takes different techniques, different styles. Those guys had a blast. They came out and got to see a different aspect of it. I was really proud because it means that we’re sending our message of conservation, education, recreation out west. Other people are going to hear what we’re doing and the people that we’re partnering with.”
For Rosa, the event was made special by the people who attended.
“For me, I love the camaraderie. People plan their vacations around being able to come out. They bring their kids, they bring their dogs, their buddies they haven’t seen in a while. The camaraderie and the fellowship is what it’s all about.”
Member Sarah Morrison echoed Rosa's comments.
“For me, it’s about community seeing as my full-time job is outdoors. My husband and I run Morrison’s Outdoor Adventures so we teach people how to drive off-road, we do guided trips and guided trail runs, and classes so for me it’s just that community coming together and meeting new people. A lot of our friends in the off-road industry have become more like family," she said.
The money raised at the event through the raffle will go towards the SFWDA's work to keep OHV trails open and accessible. Midland Radio donated an MXT115 MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio.
Communication is key for the SFWDA, especially as they navigate trails.
“Communication is very, very important. I’m a guide for Jeep Jamboree, Jeep Academy, and with Southern Four Wheel Drive. I consider it a safety feature to be able to communicate with the people like the tail gunner and the lead guide," Rosa said.
Rosa said a majority of the group uses Midland's GMRS two-way radios.
“With Southern Four Wheel Drive, we use Midland Radios at basecamp on designated channels. We have a designated for if we have a problem, if someone gets hurt, all we have to do is pick up that radio. A lot of these places, cellphone service just doesn’t work. It’s just a huge safety thing and we encourage everyone to use Midland GMRS two-way radio.”
While Rosa uses GMRS two-way radios now, that wasn't always the case. As he began using GMRS two-way radios, he's noticed improved communication.
“I’ve run CBs, but then made the switch to GMRS. I got the MXT275 bundle so it has the radio, the mount, and antenna so you have everything you need right there. GMRS has really simplified the whole process.”
Not to mention, the quality of communication makes staying in touch on the trails that much easier.
“The reception is so much clearer than the old style CBs where you had to play with the squelch all the time. GMRS is just a much nicer, crisper, clearer way of communicating especially when there is not cellphone access.”
Morrison reached out to Midland for a donation specifically because of the GMRS two-way radios' reliability.
“I personally reached out to Midland because we use your radios all the time. We trust them and I always recommend them to others. We’re so thankful for Midland. It means a lot that Midland supported us and our mission.”