Almost exclusively among the Prepper and Survivalist crowd the first couple bands that get referenced (and used, or at least planned to be used) are the 2m and 70cm, and their MURS and GMRS parallels, respectively. That’s definitely understandable, because the majority of the equipment on the market, especially at the entry-level, for line of sight (LOS) is manufactured for these two bands.
Identifying that fact, we must also understand that sometimes we end up thinking around our equipment, rather than adapting our equipment to our needs. Buying an inexpensive HT or mobile and getting our Tech license (to make the best use of our gear and open the most options) is a great first step, along with getting on the air and creating that communications network tying our communities together. 2m and 70cm are great due to how common they are, but maybe we want to walk of the beaten path a bit. 2m can be crowded, 70cm can be too in some areas, and further, anybody and everybody with a $35 dual bander can jump into your conversation. Maybe you want to talk to only those who have similar equipment, or have put the thought into venturing into new territory, just because.
For Line of Sight, there’s plenty of very viable options out there past the usual offerings. 1.25m, or 222mHz, is a fun band with small amounts of activity. It behaves very much like 2m, giving solid performance in rural areas. The antennae are a bit smaller (and you can build your own, right?) with a lot of used equipment being found at a reasonable price, like those two VX-5Rs pictured above.
6m, or 50-54mHz, sometimes known as VHF Low Band, has increasingly less FM traffic these days, but performs in the woods very, very well with home brewed antennae. The Jungle/292 Antenna was originally designed around VHF Low Band as most military ground communications work within it.
The 23cm band is yet another frequency allocation for Tech license holders that gets nearly no attention in the US. But it is there, it is available, and it works well in urban areas and especially if you’re building Yagis and creating a low power point-to-point network.
Each of these bands get far less attention than their 2m and 70cm counterparts, but can and do fit very well into a Survivalist or Prepper networking paradigm for working outside of the typical natural lines of drift (those routes commonly traveled…) of the 2m/70cm dual band radio which will not only provide a bit of security through obscurity but also will get you thinking, learning, and diversifying your equipment to meet specific needs. But most importantly, the opportunity is out there, and no Survivalist should let an opportunity go to waste. Having the most options possible at our disposal, I think you’ll find the flexibility appealing.