The Baofeng UV-5R.

While I wouldn’t recommend the radio as a go-to radio for bug out bags or emergency operations, for experimentation purposes or if you are on a tight budget, they can be a good way to get into Ham Radio.

Because the Baofeng UV-5R is so popular with the Prepping community, and I know people are going to keep buying them because they are dirt cheap, I’m going to show you how you can get the most out of these cheap Chinese radios so you can get on the air.

Installing Chirp: Programming your Radio Baofeng the Easy Way
Manually programming your radio is a real pain in the ass; that’s why we are going to download and use CHIRP to make things easy.

What is CHIRP?

CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It can be used to program a wide variety of radios, including the Baofeng. But when it comes to emergency preparedness, this is where the software shines. During an emergency or filed operations where you may be moving in and out of multiple regions, nobody has the time to manually program new repeaters every time you enter a new town or region.

With CHIRP and a laptop in your go-bag, you can store repeaters and custom frequencies in region-based files which can then be uploaded into your Baofeng in a matter of seconds. The other great thing about CHIRP is that if you are buying your radios for your family or a group, you can use CHIRP to clone them so they all have the same memory channel set up.

Why we love CHIRP

The ability to program different frequency, repeater, and power configurations from your computer.
The ability to save multiple different configurations for different areas of the country or travel.
It’s 100% Free!