On the first runs I went on with Windy City back in 1996, I had no CB. Soon I found out I was missing out on half the fun. The very first mod I made to my 1981 FJ40 was to buy a CB, and it's still in use today.
On the Ghost Town Run in the summer of 2006, we had an enormous group. We soon found that the back couldn't communicate very well with the front with our CBs. Later, we had one group go to town for lunch, while another group of us chose to hit another trail and have a picnic. Even though we were only a few miles apart, we couldn't communicate. The need for something better than a CB became clear.
I wasn't completely convinced until I did the pre-run of Hotel Rock and Arch Canyon with the Wasatch guys in early March of this year (2007). The guys with CBs couldn't talk with one another from front to back, while the guys with Ham had no problems. As we left on Sunday morning, Ben Ashcraft and Dan Reinmuth did a test to see how far the could transmit without a repeater. Result was about 30 miles. That was when I made the decision to get my license and buy a radio.
It's not an elitist thing. It's just a better tool.
I wasn't happy to spend more money on another radio when I already had a CB in each of my Land Cruisers. But as soon as I used it on the trail, I was glad I'd spent the money. Like a Toyota, it just works. No need to constantly tweak it.
If you already have a CB and you don't see the need for another radio, no worries. If you have neither and are wondering which one to buy, I'd make the case to go straight to ham.
I don't understand this hostile and negative campaign against the use of ham radio. I think it started as a joke. Is it still a joke?