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February 05, 2021

SOS: a term you never want to mutter on an outdoor adventure -- unless you're talking about Switchback Outdoor Safety. We spoke with Aaron Paris about why he started Switchback Outdoor Safety, which Midland radios he trusts, and how they get the kids involved in their outdoor pursuits. Keep reading to make sure you check off Aaron's top 8 things to remember before venturing into the wilderness.

Can you tell us about your company?

Switchback Outdoor Safety was born out of the desire to help others explore safely. Our purpose is to provide education and equipment for those who desire to take the road less traveled. With over 12 years of public safety, 4 years of workplace safety, and 17 years of outdoor experience, we strive to give guidance for those who wander. We provide off-road safety and first-aid courses. We sell products we use.

Switchback Outdoor Safety members in front of truck.

How do you use our radios at your company?

Midland Radio has been a integral part to SOS. We were early adopters of GMRS radio line. Midland Radio has led the way innovating new radios that have excellent clarity, clean installation, and are easy to use. Encouraging others to adopt has been easy. Handing them a handheld usually gets everyone hooked. We love using the mobile and handhelds for overlanding/off-roading, hiking, camping, exploring, and training. The radios are used exclusively for our training events. Instructors can easily communicate to students to keep everyone informed and safe. Midland radios are around for all our family adventures. Our kids have learned to use the radios and it's a fun way to get them involved.

Switchback Outdoor Safety kids in front of truck.

Which radios do you use?

We’ve used the MicroMobile MXT400, MicroMobile MXT275, MicroMobile MXT115, and a variety of handhelds. They are all great. Our favorite is the MXT275. The controls on the mic look great and keep the install neat and tidy. We love the 3db antenna. We were lucky to get one of the first antennas to do marketing photos. The antenna pairs well with the Midland radio line. The low profile antenna design keeps it protected from trail damage.

What do outdoor enthusiasts need to remember about safety?

Outdoor enthusiasts should remember to plan and prepare no matter where their adventures take them. Nature can be exciting and lots of fun. It should also be respected. Here are the top 8 things to remember before venturing into the wilderness:


  1. Be sure to tell someone responsible where you are going and when you plan to return.

  2. Know the weather.

  3. Know first aid/bring a first aid and trauma kit.

  4. Dress accordingly and be prepared for various conditions.

  5. Have enough water and the ability to acquire more.

  6.  Have means to communicate.

  7. Keep your gear in good working order.

  8. Have a map.


Switchback Outdoor Safety's Toyota.

Anything else you would like to add?

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, preparing for emergencies (weather, natural disasters, medical), or looking to be able to communicate needs with others, the ability to receive and transmit information can be a matter of life and death. Everyone should consider how they plan to get information and communicate with others should the normal sources be unavailable. Learning the basics of first aid (Airway, Breathing, Circulation), trauma care (tourniquet use, wound care, burns, shock) can make the unexpected a planned and prepared for event. Knowing where you’re heading goes a long way to keeping you safe. Basic navigation skills should be learned. Have a little fun.


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