I am planning a trip with a large group in 6 weeks. We will be spread out in small groups on a trail in a mostly desert plateau landscape perhaps 5 miles apart, but mostly in a straight line.
I'm new to amateur radio, but I have been studying and I intend to take the test for my technician license next week. I have just ordered a Baofeng uv 5r and a Nagoya NA-771. My initial plan was to just change out the antenna on the radio and clip the radio to the side of the backpack, but I've been thinking about it and wondering if there would be sufficient advantage to make it worth mounting the antenna to the backpack frame, or even possibly mounting two with about 16 inches of separation to make my transmissions slightly more directional in front of and behind me. There is a repeater in the 70cm band 10-20 miles from where we will be hiking, but we will only use that if needed to call for emergency help.
It seems like with 5 watts, and the distances involved, I probably don't need to worry, but there will be no cell coverage, so I want to make sure I'm prepared. Would it be worth mounting on the backpack? Should I just add a rat tail on the radio and call it good?