I’ll start with saying I originally got into this from 4 wheeling and camping about 5-6 years back. We started out with GMRS radios WRBM678, whiskey, romeo, bravo, mike, 678 but the consensus later was to go the Ham route.
Ham Study Guide dot org is a great place to learn about Ham, study for exams and they also have an app which is nice. Be sure to download the app and study, I found it best to just click (I don't know) so the answer appears and that's all I read. It made it easier for me to remember that way. https://hamstudy.org/
Repeaterbook is a great resource for repeaters in your area. https://www.repeaterbook.com
Here's a link to the Intermountain Intertie System which links more than a dozen repeaters together, click the link to see where the repeaters are located. https://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/feature_search.php?system=Intermountain%20Intertie%20System&state_id=%&type=systems
My GMRS is another great place to find repeaters https://mygmrs.com
AmRRON & Local Nets
AmRRON is a network of Preppers, Patriots and Redoubters who have volunteered to keep each other connected when other means of communications are unavailable or unreliable. AmRRON operators participate in scheduled nets to practice using non-conventional communications.
I’ve purchased three radios from these guys and they’ve been great so far. They also sell antennas and other Ham related items https://www.hamradio.com/
I've purchased a few antennas from these guys and now you guys have as well although you guys were lucky and saved a bunch thanks to Ammon and Scott. He's also the responsible party for Ham Study Guide https://signalstuff.com
Great antennas for your HT, Mobile or Base Station
Baofeng antenna (dual band) https://signalstuff.com/product/super-elastic-signal-stick-sma-female/
Yaesu or other higher end radios SMA/M (dual band) https://signalstuff.com/product/super-elastic-signal-stick-sma-male/
Home or base camp https://signalstuff.com/product/signal-staff-osj/
If you're looking for what Ham people consider a great antenna, look no further https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/cma-gp-9n
Another great antenna recommended by Scott that a local ID Area 3 user is using with a 50 watt icom mobile unit is https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dmn-x300a
Base Station Equipment Scott Recommends
rt systems https://www.rtsystemsinc.com/
There’s obviously YouTube which has some great info unfortunately
He’s a good resource https://youtu.be/aRNMiK3w4k4 https://youtu.be/9mcVLxQUSak
Jim is another great resource https://www.youtube.com/c/JimW6LG
Bonus material, figured it was worth the share
Hope this information helps!