It’s not a secret that self-reliance plays an essential role in a SHTF scenario. Besides the basic knowledge about making a fire and a shelter, purifying water and dressing wounds, you also have to make sure you have an ample supply of food. Canned beans and frozen meat are bound to run out sooner or later. And if you’d like a side dish with fresh game, you’d better draw-up a checklist of all the essential garden tools you need for a vegetable garden. Tending a small crop sounds daunting, but, in fact, it can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it and you grasp the essential things. Backyard farming might involve a lot of early mornings and hard work, but it’s a gift that keeps on giving. And if our ancestors aced it, we can do it too. Keeping a vegetable garden in tip-top shape will require a wide range of essential garden tools. Get some inspiration from the list of tools we’ve compiled for the beginner prepper who wants to grow his own tomatoes and cilantro.

Hand rake

You’ve got plenty of hand rakes to choose from. As long as it feels comfortable and sturdy, a hand rake will help you easily clear any type of debris around your plants and vegetables. With lengths that vary from 3-15 inches, hand rakes are adjustable and can come in handy for more than just cleaning your flower beds.

Water breaker

Vegetables will need a lot of water to grow and become plump and tasty. For a gentle, daily irrigation you can choose a water breaker that is suitable for mature plants and flowers. They’re convenient, easy to use and can even be safely handled by children helping out with household chores.


If you’re a novice to gardening, you might not know that grass and shrubs will grow everywhere and will take over fragile plants if they are not trimmed in time. This is where shears come in handy. Designed to cut tough shrubs as well as leather and other fabrics, shears will be useful in gardening chores and around the house for cutting cables or boxes.

Hand pruners

There’s a lot of cutting involved in gardening. Plant’s thickness directly influences the tool you need. To tackle branches that don’t exceed three-fourths of an inch, you’ll need a hand pruner. This tool has very sharp blades and will easily cut through anything.


Never do any gardening chores in your everyday shoes. They’re bound to get dirty and damaged in addition to failing terribly at keeping your feet dry. To make sure you feel comfortable and feel free to step in puddles and mud, choose a pair of rubber boots. They also double as rain boots, they’re comfortable and extremely easy to clean and dry. Don’t shy away from investing in a more expensive pair that will stand the test of time and safely get you through all seasons.


Gardening gloves

A pair of high quality gardening gloves is a must both for newbies and seasoned gardeners. These will keep your hands protected and won’t allow thorns to pierce through. Depending on how much gardening work you plan to do, you can choose between a really light weight pair or a thicker, heavy duty set. You’ll figure out what you need once you start working and get some hands-on experience. Stubborn bushes will require a solid pair of gloves, while handling more delicate plants a simple cotton pair will suffice.

Gardening aprons

We’re used to associate aprons with the kitchen and cooking, but their use is much more extensive than that. Gardening aprons have a self-explanatory purpose: they protect clothes from dirt, mud and water, but they also come with plenty of pouches and pockets. These are very useful for carrying around seeds, small tools, protection glasses and garden twine. You can even use them to hold your keys and phone, as long as they’re secured with a zipper or button, to prevent accidentally losing them among plants.

Wheelbarrow or cart

You might not need this straight away, but you’ll start wishing you had one as your workload increases. Wheelbarrows or carts will come in handy for moving waste, bringing in compost, taking shrubs or trees from one place to another, taking large quantities of ripe vegetables from the garden into the house and carrying around equipment. Besides being very helpful in your vegetable garden, these tools will prove to be of service on other household chores as well.

Garden pegs, fleece and twine

These bits and pieces might be small, but they’ll help any beginner prepper keep his garden in tip-top shape. Pegs will prove useful for securing nets or lines to the ground. Fleece is generally used for protecting the plant from freezing overnight in spring time. And, finally, twine is very versatile and will have a use in most of your gardening activities, such as tying plants to stakes.


Other criteria to consider before starting planting seeds:

  • Sun exposure. Second to water, Sun is the best friend of vegetables. They need at least six hours of Sun exposure every day to thrive. When you choose the spot for your vegetable garden, factor in Sun exposure and go for a spot that won’t be shadowed by buildings or trees throughout the day.
  • Soil types. Your vegetables won’t be able to grow in any given kind of soil. Find out what you’re dealing with by using a soil test it and, if it is the case, enrich it with compost.
  • Seeds and water. Research different types of seeds to know what’s suitable for the area where you live and prepare to take good care of them. Vegetables will need plenty of water daily, so if there’s not enough rain, you’re going to have to step in and water them yourself.
  • Placement and size. As a rule, it’s better not to place your vegetable garden next to a tree, which will steal all the nutrients your veggies need and cast a shadow on the plot. When you’re considering the size of your backyard farm, take into consideration that a 16 x 10 feet garden will be enough for a family of four during summer time and still offer plenty for canning.

  It’s not a secret that self-reliance plays an essential role in a SHTF scenario. Besides the basic knowledge about making a fire and a shelter, purifying water and dressing wounds,

This article continues where Part 2 left off in discussing how you can move through environments without leaving signs that you were there. This could come in handy if you are fleeing from people who are trying to track you.

Minimizing Your Trail

We have, thus far, introduced five different types of sign that can be used to track and locate a group on the move. Without trying to throw you a curve, there is a sixth type that just is as damaging, or more so. That is, the ability to visually locate you. If I see you standing on a ridge line or moving through open country, it matters little that I haven’t picked up your trail (yet). Because I saw you, I can now move in your direction and cut for sign. This means that your route movements and manner of dress are just as important as the physical sign you are depositing along your route.

There are many things you can do to lower your profile (visibility to others) and to reduce your tracks while on the move. Part 3 will address the physical sign and Part 4 will deal with your group’s visibility profile while on the move.

The Obvious

Be alert to soft soils – whether saturated with water, damp, dry or powdery (such as moon dust). Any soil type that permits the sole of your shoe to leave a clear imprint of the tread may require some type of obfuscation or outright avoidance.

Whenever possible, use hard packed soils, rocky ground, or terrain that has pebbles or gravel. In areas where rocks or pebbles rise above the soil level, you can walk long distances without leaving any trace at all.

Dry Washes and Creeks

Normally dry washes and creeks tend to reinvent themselves after a heavy downpour; sometimes violently so. Sandy areas will be wiped clean of any tracks, but damp silt deposits may remain along the margins. These can leave sharp impressions of tracks.

Hiking through a wash can be a convenient way of concealing your movement because it places you below the surrounding terrain, and there are times when it may become necessary to use them. There are, however, two important caveats: First, it is far easier to travel downhill in a sandy wash than uphill. The expenditure of energy while you are gaining elevation could be two or three times greater than what is required on a hard pack surface of equal distance and elevation gain. Second, any tracks that you leave in a dry wash could remain there for days or weeks. It will be more difficult for an inexperienced tracker to determine the age of the tracks, but they will, nevertheless, reveal your route. If the planned route takes you near a wash, my general advice is to travel above and parallel to it.

Using Booties or Carpet


In this image, the wet sole of a carpet shoe shows the outline of the shoe it was covering. The only reason this group was located was because they created a visible trail through an area of wet grass. Prior to entering the grassy area, there was no sign.

In Part One I introduced the concept of using burlap, booties and carpet shoes to mask tracks on soil types where shoe tread can be easily seen.

Burlap can be effective for relatively short distances (perhaps 10 to 20 miles), but will break down on rough terrain that is dominated by sharp-edged rock or gravel, course granite or pumice. Once burlap begins to unravel you will be leaving a trail of threads behind you. In addition, wrapping or removing burlap from your trail shoes simply takes too long.

In the case of booties made from felt type material, a worn out bootie sole will allow the tread of your shoe to make direct contact with the soil. This is not to say that booties cannot be effective, but their application should be limited to terrain where there is little likelihood of encountering sharp, jagged or coarse rocks. Bear in mind also, booties are relatively thin and will not be effective if worn over aggressive boot treads such as lug soles.

The ideal solution is a carpet shoe made with medium to high density pile that has a height of ½ inch or greater. The upper portion should be a sturdy material, such as denim or a rip-stop weave. Ideally, the carpet sole will be about ½ inch wider and longer (at the toe and heel) than the shoe it will cover. The key to securing a carpet shoe to your foot is the use of good quality Velcro strips sewn onto the upper fabric. Depending on the type of hiking shoe it will be worn over, you may choose to have either an open heel or opening at the top. Although you won’t find them listed in the yellow pages, there is a veritable cottage industry along the U.S./Mexico border dedicated to manufacturing carpet shoes and booties, so producing them for yourself will be a DIY project. Experiment with carpet remnants and scrap material to see what works and fits best for your foot.

Why you should avoid bunching up


This photo shows where a very large smuggling group gathered in a wash before crossing a 2-track road.

Photos like the one above illustrate what happens when there is no trail discipline. All of the tracks you see are the result of a single group (estimated to be in excess of two dozen people) that was allowed to bunch up before crossing a road. This is what you call a “bright trail.” In addition to the many tracks, the group also carelessly left bits of trash. In a SHTF scenario, any group that leaves trail sign like this certainly risking detection and could be gambling with their safety.

When to Walk Single File

The vast majority of your movement on a trail should be in single file formation. This is often necessitated by terrain features and dense ground cover, such as brush and trees. There are, however, three circumstances that justify a deviation from this mode, but the decision to abandon single file should be determined by your point or scout and based upon their judgment. The three circumstances are: Jumping trail, moving through tall grass, and crossing roads. The most obvious reason for maintaining a single file is that it is minimizes the spread of your tracks, making it far easier to police them up. From a practical standpoint, it is far easier to keep track of everyone in a file formation than when spread out, and a narrow column keeps foot sign confined to a single trail, making it easier to police careless tracks. Spreading the trail with ten people walking abreast means that you are producing ten sets of tracks. It becomes an impossible task to police these tracks if the group is moving abreast of each other.

Determining When to Abandon a Trail

Your primary objective is to keep your group safe and to survive the journey to your destination. Abandoning a trail does not mean you are abandoning that objective. It may mean that circumstances in front or behind you have made the continued use of a trail untenable.

Jumping trail

This describes a calculated maneuver that may be required when you believe your present route is untenable. For example, your “tail-end Charlie” has spotted a group in trail of you at some distance. You may determine that their rate of closure is such that maintaining your present speed and course will result in unacceptable risk. The need to conceal your tracks has now become a matter of some urgency. There is no cause for panic, but you need to locate a point where you can break off (or ‘jump’) the trail. Whether you choose to jump trail going uphill or downhill will depend on terrain features where you are.

You will want your group to be able to individually depart from the trail in a lateral movement (left or right, up or downhill), but in such a way that you are not creating visible sign. The last person to jump trail should be the scout or “Charlie.” Their role will be to ensure that no visible signs of trail departure can be detected. Once again, the use of booties or carpet may be needed until the group is able to reassemble at a point of concealment.

If you are under pressure from a group in trail of you, you may not have a wide range of jump locations that you would consider ‘ideal.’ One thing is certain, however; that is to put a natural obstacle, such as a hill, between yourself and the trailing group so that when you do abandon your route the maneuver will not be visible.

I dislike making recommendations based upon hypothetical terrain conditions, but I will risk this one suggestion:

Given the opportunity, break from your trail on an uphill course. The primary reason is that high ground is tactically superior.

  • You will be better able to observe the group that is closing on your position.
  • It will be more difficult for someone standing at the base of a hill to spot you. Brush, trees, rocks and the natural curvature of the hill work in your favor.
  • Their behavior (which you can now observe) will reveal whether they have been tracking you.
  • You will be able to assess their threat level and make appropriate decisions.

Crossing roads

At some point on your journey, perhaps often, you will encounter roads that require crossing. Roads with frequent curves and bends, especially in hilly country, can sharply limit your ability to detect other groups that may be using it. Do you cross the road in single file, time the crossing so that each person makes it to concealment on the other side before the next one crosses, or do you make a mad dash to cover on the other side?

Let’s say that you must cross the road from a point of concealment on one side, to a tree line or similar concealment point on the other side. The total distance, including the roadway and shoulders or banks, is 70 feet. At a normal, unhurried pace, you can cover that distance in 20 seconds. Our hypothetical group of ten people would, therefore, require 200 seconds (03:20) from start to end to complete the crossing in single file mode. That is a very long time.

A faster and safer method is to spread the group laterally and cross the road simultaneously. Total crossing time: 20 seconds. Crossing points such as these are a good time to use booties or carpet. This will obfuscate the tracks on both sides the road.

Tall grasses and weeds


Moving single file through tall stands of grass or weeds risks the creation of a very distinct path.


As I pointed out earlier, moving through large stands of grass and weeds in single file can create a very visible trail that may not recover very quickly, if at all. If the field cannot be avoided, it will be better if each person enters and emerges from the field at a different point; that is, you will be spreading the trail in a “line abreast” maneuver that permits each member to be separated by several feet. Provided that each member of the group is not ‘barging’ through the field, this tactic will make it much more difficult for a group in trail of you to locate your path.

There is one caveat. Because weeds and grasses are easily crushed, you must move slowly through the field and watch where you place your feet. Step over or around clumps.

How to prevent skids

Although the shortest distance between to points is always a straight line, it does not mean that you should attack a steep hill or decline in a straight line path. Apart from the increased exertion and risk of injury while climbing or descending a steep angle, you risk the creation of skid marks that will be very difficult, of not impossible, to conceal.

It will be much easier if you use a “switchback” method that allows you to keep your angle of ascent/descent relatively shallow. This will greatly reduce the risk of skids and conserve energy. It is important to note that scuffing of soil is harder to prevent when you are going downhill – even if you are using a switchback course of descent. The simple reason is that gravity is a force multiplier and increases the impact of each step on the soil or rubble that you are crossing. Repeated impact on the same spot by several people will loosen the soil and may dislodge rocks.

Proper brushing out of tracks


This photo shows the tracks of three individuals moving through silt. Note the heavy toe impressions – they were moving hurriedly toward nearby cover.

As noted in several places, tracks laid down on soft, damp soil or mud will be difficult or impossible to remove. The best method I have found for removing or obscuring tracks on loose and hard packed soil is to use a soft hand towel. I’m referring to the type that matches a bath towel, except that it would be 26 to 28 inches in length. A gentle flip of the wrist will propel the towel onto the track with enough force to obscure or remove it without causing a major displacement of other soil (or rock) on the trail. At minimum, this type of motion will fill in the track with loose soil, giving it the appearance of an old track. Ideally, it will completely obscure the track. In the photo above, there is no practical way to remove these tracks without it being obvious. The shoe impressions are simply too deep for this type of soil.

It is a certainty that you cannot avoid leaving some type of sign along your trail. Whether it is a dislodged rock, a muddy print or an accidental piece of trail trash, you will at some point leave evidence. The techniques described in Part 3 will help you cover your tracks to the best possible extent. If practiced and adhered to, they may well give you the edge you need to complete your journey safely.

In Part 4 we will take a look at lowering your group’s profile while on the move. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions.

This article continues where Part 2 left off in discussing how you can move through environments without leaving signs that you were there. This could come in handy if you

This article continues where Part 1 left off in discussing how you can move through environments without leaving signs that you were there. This could come in handy if you are fleeing from people who are trying to track you.

In Part One of this series I introduced some of the issues that can place your group at risk of detection when on foot and on the move. In Part Two, we will cover the remaining four types of ‘sign’ that can be left on or near a trail you are using.

High Sign

This topic focuses on evidence that is above ground level. In other words, this is evidence that may be found on brush and tree branches that line the path of your trail.

Cut and broken branches

If you are moving through areas of dense cover, such as thickets or bramble, it may become necessary to use machetes to clear a path. Removing (disposing) the evidence of cut limbs and branches is problematic by itself. An even greater issue is the stub that remains on the tree. Cutting a path means that you will have created a visual sign of your passage and course. Freshly cut branches that are left near the source will remain green for a time, indicating that you have recently used this location, or that you have cut a path in a new direction.


Tree branches were hacked off to provide a place of concealment and shade.

Hanging or suspended debris

Good trackers always look for various types of sign that are lying on, or suspended from, brush and tree branches along a trail. The most common sign will include fabric from ripped or torn clothing, sleeping bags, blankets or back packs.

The most effective method of mitigation is to maintain constant awareness. Everyone in the group should be alert to the risk, but the person occupying the “tail-end Charlie” position will be your last line of defense for the detection and removal of high sign.

  1. Night Sign

This term refers primarily to critters that commonly emerge and search for food in the safety of darkness, including innumerable bugs, mice, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, coyotes and deer, etc. Their foraging activities will leave tracks on just about any trail that has loosely compacted soil. Importantly, the combination of night sign and your tracks will provide a useful timeline. For example, if a night critter crosses tracks that you deposited the previous afternoon, it could mean that you are several hours, but less than one day, ahead of the tracker. If your tracks overlay distinctive night sign, it may mean that you are only one or two hours in front of the tracker.

In the photo below, a very crisp heel mark with an “X” pattern has been laid on top of several critter signs.


Footprints that overlay night sign indicate recent passage.


Birds that forage for seeds or insects (quail and dove, etc.) will only leave tracks during daylight hours, but footprints that lay on top of these tracks can be used to establish a timeline, as well.

Night fog and dew can also be forms of night sign when moisture is deposited in the imprint of a track, particularly if the soil inside the print shows signs of swelling. Fog and dew operate differently on tracks than rain. An astute tracker can use this knowledge to establish an approximation of when your tracks were created.

There is nothing you can do to prevent night sign on your trail, but you can limit the ability of a tracker to use these clues as time stamps. The key, of course, is to leave no tracks of your own.

  1. Poor Obfuscation Techniques

There are many ways to attempt covering your tracks. With few exceptions, most efforts that I’ve seen merely substitute the original footprint with a different clue – one that shows you are trying to hide your trail. Effective masking of footprints depends on the type of soil, surface covering, the depth and detail of the impression, and soil moisture. Obfuscation is not a “one size fits all” solution. You are better served by avoiding the creation of tracks in the first place, than your efforts at removing or obscuring them. Here are a few examples of techniques that are not effective:

  • Avoid sweeping techniques that make use of rough brush. Any attempt that leaves lateral impressions of stems or branches will be obvious.
  • Coarse bristle materials will wipe the track, but it will leave a brushed out area that may be larger and smoother than the original print.
  • Rough techniques that cause the displacement of small rocks and gravel will be obvious to a trained observer.
  • Walking single file in sandy washes may increase the difficulty in determining a group’s size, but it is impractical to eliminate the tracks.
  • In sandy or other loosely compacted soils, repeated impressions in the same foot print will only serve to enlarge the size and depth of each print.
  • The same holds true on soft or damp soil, but increases the risk of revealing overlaying tread marks from multiple shoes.

The bottom line is that obfuscation efforts that do not match the original texture and appearance of the surrounding area may result in detection. Useful mitigation techniques are addressed in Part Three.


Discarding trash and clothing along a trail is a sure way to be detected. What else is wrong in this photo?


Trash and Waste

Do not discard trash along the trail. Careless disposal of trash, such as package wrappers, water bottles or metal food containers also indicate use of the trail. The condition of the trash may tell a tracker how recently it was deposited. Importantly, it is an advertisement that, not only do you have food, it may reveal the type. For example, a carelessly discarded MRE package may reveal (or at least suggest) that you are well equipped for a long journey. Some types of trash, such as a brand of imported sardines, may uniquely identify your group; particularly if the same objects can be found at successive break points. Light colored objects, such as tissue, plastic spoons and discarded shopping bags are additional indicators that you are moving along a route.

Clothing items of any type reveal much about the person that discarded them, including size, age and sex.

Small folding shovels can pull double duty as a weapon or for digging holes to hide your trash or waste.

The best practice is to bag all trash and return it to your back pack while on the move. You can collect everyone’s discards from the day’s journey when you set camp, then bury it in a secluded spot. It is essential that you bury human waste and tissue.

Make sure that you have more than one trenching tool in your group. I would also suggest that someone have an army style folding shovel.

In this and the previous segment of the article we have identified the primary types of ’sign’ that your group is at risk of leaving along a trail. Realistically, you cannot move along any route in an invisible state, but you can use tools and practices that will greatly reduce your trail profile.

In Part Three of this series we will begin to address techniques that will help you conceal, or at least mitigate, any sign your group may leave. In the meantime, your questions and comments are welcome.

This article continues where Part 1 left off in discussing how you can move through environments without leaving signs that you were there. This could come in handy if you

The Lowly Goat

I have been a prepper since just before Y2K. It has been an interesting journey that encompassed ‘peak oil prepping’, natural disaster prepping, EMP prepping and TEOTWASKI prepping. I’ve purchased all sorts of prepper gadgets and supplies, drooled over the Lehman’s catalog, ordered from a variety of dehydrated food company catalogs, improved my gardening and food preserving skills and changed a room in the house to a storage room instead of a dining room. But after all those years, all the prepper novels, the YouTube channels and lengthy discussions with like-minded friends, I have come to the conclusion that we just have to learn how to survive as our pre supermarket ancestors did. We need to have the skills necessary to survive long-term that were needed before electricity. Because once all our purchased stuff is used, we will have to know how to raise our food and fix things by hand.

There are thousands of articles on all things related to prepping written by people way smarter than I am. But I seldom find much on how to select and manage livestock after a collapse. My gardening skills are improving, I don’t know much about guns and my cooking and food preservation skills are a work in progress, but I have been around animals all my life. I’ve cared for livestock on my hobby farm for at least forty years so it only seems natural that I would decide to focus this article on animals from a prepper point of view.

One of the animals that I think will be a major player in sustainable living after the SHTF is the lowly goat. Goats can supply milk, meat, hides for clothing and be work or pack animals if needed. It’s time to look at what the goat has to offer and why I think it is better than a cow.

Both the cow and the goat provide the same products and many think the cow is going to be the perfect prepper milk and meat source. It is generally assumed that once the power goes off, dairy farmers will be giving, or bartering, their herds away because they won’t be able to milk them. I suspect this is true. So many preppers are planning on just grabbing one of those free, or bartered, cows and their milk and meat problems are solved. Short term, that will work for some and, worst-case scenarios, get others severely injured or killed. Let’s look at the cow and goat and explore why I think the cow is a bad idea and the goat is the perfect solution in most prepping situations.


The Backyard Goat: An Introductory Guide to Keeping and Enjoying Pet Goats, from Feeding and Housing to Making Your Own Cheese

Raising Goats: Goat Safety

The first thing to look at is handling. The average prepper doesn’t have a lot of experience handling animals…let alone milking a dairy animal. While we tend to see photos of contented cows in clean barns looking happy, cows are animals that weigh over a thousand pounds and very definitely have a mind of their own. If you don’t know what you are doing, the risk of injury when a cow swings her head around and accidentally drills you into a wall is very real. Don’t forget that she may not like your amateur milking efforts and show you her displeasure with a well-placed kick. Have you ever been run over by a cow that doesn’t want to go in the direction you want her to go in? Remember, doctors will be in short supply at best, so a broken arm that means a trip to the emergency ward today may mean something much worse in an STHF situation.

The milk goat, on the other hand, is usually under two hundred pounds. A cranky goat is much easier to handle than a moody cow and the likelihood of injury due to a kick is dramatically reduced. A doe (female goat) isn’t likely, although it is possible, to be able to swing her head around and send you sailing either. So from a safety point of view, especially for someone with little or no experience handling livestock, the goat wins hands down. Of course, if you have the handling experience, then a family cow might be something to consider. But keep in mind, if the collapse has happened, you will probably have inexperienced people staying with you. While the experienced people will do fine with a grumpy cow, how will the new displaced urban residents living at your bug out location do if they are assigned barn duties? Something to consider.

Since we are talking about safety, lets mention bulls and bucks….the boys! Breeding animals are not pets and in this case, both of these animals can be dangerous. Many an experienced farmer has been crushed by a bull after making one handling mistake. While a buck goat can be nasty, the chance of serious injury from a handling error is dramatically reduced just because of the difference in size.

Raising Goats: Goat Reproduction

Most people never give the breeding aspect of milk production a thought. Cows and goats have to be bred, and produce a baby, in order to produce milk (Some contradictory info on this later) . Farmers now days solve the problem of keeping a dangerous bull by, instead, using artificial insemination (AI). The AI guy comes to the farm with tanks of semen and breeds the cows. There is very little risk of injury. But after an EMP there will be no AI guy and the only way to get the goat or cow bred so she can keep producing milk, and offspring to raise for meat, will be to have a breeding bull or buck around. Life after a collapse of society is going to be jam-packed full of new and terrible dangers so it makes sense to choose the reduced risk of keeping goats that must be bred instead of cows.


Some of you will say “I can take my cow to the bull at the neighbor’s house” and that could be true in isolated cases. But two things should be considered. The average prepper isn’t going to keep a bull for breeding so finding that bull in your region will be difficult. Then you have to get your cow to the bull. You will be able to lead a goat through the woods. Depending on the woods themselves, leading a cow through the woods in order to avoid detection on a road is going to be a big challenge. Especially if Bossy isn’t interested in walking through the underbrush and jumping over fallen trees.

The reproductive cycle of the cow is continuous all year-long so you can breed her and have calves at any time. This means you can plan when you will have the biggest supply of milk. Goats have a breeding season, usually from mid-fall to about January. You have to plan carefully if you want a decent supply of milk for the entire year. This could be a disadvantage if you choose to have goats as your safe haven dairy animal but it isn’t an insurmountable problem.

Raising Goats: Housing your goats

The bigger the animal the more extensive the housing required to keep it healthy and happy. You can keep about six goats comfortably in the same space that you can keep one cow…. And the goats are not nearly as strong as a cow so your shed or barn doesn’t need to be as rugged for goats as it needs to be for a cow. The average prepper doesn’t have a barn but is likely to have a shed or garage that can be converted to shelter a dairy goat or two. Keeping goats in a small shed or garage is much more doable than housing a cow in one. Let’s not forget that a fifteen hundred pound bull is going to need a very stout barn and paddock area, as a bull on the loose is extremely dangerous. A two hundred fifty pound buck goat does not present the housing challenges of the bull for the prepper.

Obviously, if you have the space and shelter, then a cow isn’t going to present a housing problem…however, as a prepper who understands that security is important, you will probably appreciate an animal that you can easily hide. While not ideal, a goat can easily be housed in a cellar, on a porch or even in the home itself. I’m sure keeping a goat in the house is not something anyone would look forward to, but in some SHTF situations your animals are a critical part of your long-term survival and the ability to hide them from thieves, and wandering gangs, is an important consideration when deciding which dairy animal you will decide on. Cows will be MUCH more difficult to hide or even impossible. Keep in mind that livestock of all kinds will be far more valuable when food is scarce. In our modern world, livestock thieves are not common. But in a post-collapse world your livestock may be one of your most valuable resources. Your ability to protect and hide the livestock could be the difference between surviving and starving to death.

When discussing housing we can’t overlook pasture space. Cows are grazers and goats are browsers. That means that cows need good quality pasture to produce milk. Goats, on the other hand, browse (similar to deer)and are great at converting weeds to delicious milk. They don’t need large open areas of pasture. The downside is they love to eat trees and will kill any trees they have long-term access to as they strip off the bark of fully mature trees and eat the small branches of all trees. Eating an apple tree that is part of your long term survival plan isn’t a good thing but good fences and management will prevent that. Cows, because of their size, tend to destroy the ground in small pastures so it is important to have large grazing areas for cows. If you aren’t currently farming, and your dairy choice is the cow, you will need to have all the fencing on hand so you can put it up if TSHTF. You can tie a goat out and then move it as it trims everything within reach so a failure to have fencing prepositioned isn’t the disaster it could be if you plan on keeping a cow or two.

Another aspect of housing is feed storage. Keep in mind that in a complete collapse or an EMP, it is highly unlikely that you will not have access to baled hay. You will have to store loose hay, which takes up more space than baled. Do you have the space to put enough loose hay in a building to feed a cow for the winter, or is feeding a goat a more reasonable option when it comes to hay storage space available?


Bugging out with livestock

I’m sure this topic sounds out-of-place since we are talking about dairy animals….but it is very important to discuss in a worst-case scenario. The bottom line here is you can move a goat much easier and faster than you can move a cow. Without a stock trailer, you don’t have many options other than walking. The goat, on the other hand, can ride in the back seat of a car. If you are walking, they are usually easy to walk with and much easier to hide if you are on the road and need to jump into the woods to hide from other people you come across while traveling. You can even use a goat as a pack animal and there are pack harnesses available for purchase specifically for this purpose. The cow will slow you down and make it far more difficult to hide while the goat isn’t going to slow you down, is much easier to hide and can even carry some of the supplies you have decided to take with you when you bug out.

Raising Goats: Goat Milk

Before I get into choosing the goat I should probably address the issue of goat milk. Most people I talk to think that goat milk tastes terrible. Sometimes they are right, however, sometimes they are wrong and often there are good reasons for ‘goaty’ tasting milk.

When judging the taste of goat milk some things need to be considered. Remember that the whole milk you purchase at the store is bottled after some of the cream has been skimmed off. If you have access to raw cows milk try some and you will discover it tastes much different from the product you purchase at the store. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized which means the cream doesn’t separate. So if you are used to drinking milk with reduced cream content, drinking goat’s milk that is rich in cream will either be a tasty treat or make you want to say “ugh!”

But the big complaint about goat milk is a goaty taste. The taste of goat milk is influenced by genetics so always try to sample the milk of a goat’s mother if you are buying a young goat. The food you feed your goat will also influence taste and that includes the types of plants growing in pastures. Undiagnosed illness or parasite infestation can influence taste so correct health management is important. Handling the milk after milking is critical in providing a quality product and chilling it quickly is the key to making sure you are properly handling the milk. Cow’s milk needs to be handled in the same way. And last, the condition and location of the milking area will contribute to the taste in the milk. Milk tends to absorb the odors in the air. Because of the unique characteristics of goat milk, it seems more prone to absorbing these odors. If there is a buck near the milk stand or you are milking in a garage with chemicals, the milk may absorb the odors produced by the buck or the chemicals. With all these factors influencing the quality of the milk to think about how you will store milk at your safe haven. Will you have refrigeration? If not, will you be able to use 3 to 4 quarts of goat milk a day or will you be able to find uses for 4 to 6 gallons of cow milk per day? It makes no sense to feed an animal to produce milk and then throw the milk away. For that reason alone, the goat may be the best option for a prepper.


The average goat is going to produce about three quarts of milk a day over the course of a ten-month lactation, with some producing less and others producing over a gallon a day. (Cows will produce three to six gallons a day). The amount of milk, for both the goat and the cow, is going to depend on the quality of feed, how long the animal has been milking, barn management and genetics. Remember, in an SHTF situation you probably won’t have access to good quality baled hay and grain purchased from the feed store. It is safe to assume that feed quality will go down and have a negative impact on production so choosing a goat that is an exceptional producer is important as that production will drop with the drop in feed quality.

Since one cow will produce a lot more milk in one day than one goat, you should look at your situation and decide how much milk you need at your hideaway. Do you have a small or large group of people? Are there children that will need milk daily? Do you have other animals to feed that could benefit from extra milk? Remember, you will have a much more difficult time preserving milk without electricity so planning ahead, as far as milk needs are concerned, is important. Will you be able to use four to six gallons of milk a day from a cow? Do you have children or adults who are lactose intolerant because many of these people can tolerate goat’s milk when they cannot tolerate cow’s milk?

Choosing the best goat for you

There are many different goat breeds but not all goats are the same. I am going to discuss the differences that are important from a prepper point of view. Some are dairy breeds (Alpine, Saanen, Toggenburg, Oberhosli, LaMancha, Golden Guernsey), some are meat producing breeds (Boer, Kiko, Kinder), some are dual-purpose (Nubian) and some are miniatures (Pygmy, Nigerian Dwarf). The Fainting Goat is a novelty that is listed as a meat breed but it claims to fame is a genetic disorder called myotonia congenital which causes the muscles to freeze for about ten seconds, rendering the goat prone and helpless when frightened. Then there are experiments which are crosses of two breeds and they include crosses of the normal size goats crossed with (usually) the Nigerian Dwarfs to produce a miniature dairy breed. The minis are cute and from a prepper standpoint much easier to feed, house and hide. But milk production is, on average, reduced to a minimum so it may only be an opinion for the small family or lone prepper.

Check out this article from “Mother Earth News” for an in-depth discussion of the breeds and their differences.  Based on my experience with goats I do think that some of the milk production is exaggerated however you can see which breeds milk the best and which breeds have the most butterfat.

What about a mixed breed goat? Experimentals, the crossing of two purebreds, are often just as expensive as purebreds. Crosses are usually done to achieve a certain characteristic or because the goat breeder doesn’t have access to a purebred buck to match the doe. Experiments are great if they are a good cross that was designed to improve characteristics you are looking for, like increased milk production or better udder support. If the cross goes against what you want, such as reduced size of the goat or to produce more fainting goats that are helpless to predator attacks, you should stay away from the experimental. Mixes of unknown origin may be good if the seller can show you mom, dad, sisters, and cousins of the goat you want to purchase but in general, a mix of unknown origin is a big risk as you have a good chance of not getting what you hoped for.

The cost of a mix is usually the big reason for purchasing one but the old saying holds true here. “It costs the same amount of money to feed a good one as is does to feed a bad one.” In other words, if you feed a pound of grain to two milking does there is a good chance one of those goats will produce more from that pound of grain than the other. Genetics plays a big role in milk production and the only way to have a reasonably good chance of getting what you want is to get a goat with a known history.

Genetics also plays a role in the length of time a goat (or cow) will produce milk after giving birth. The dairy industry generally determines that an acceptable length of time for one lactation is ten months and then you dry off the cow or goat and wait for the next baby to be born to start the process again. But what happens if you don’t have a bull or a buck to breed the girls? While I cannot speak intelligently about how long a cow can milk if you keep milking her past that magic ten-month deadline, I can say that there are many factual accounts of goats being milked for years without stopping and without rebreeding. Milk production is not at the peak if you choose to just keep milking a doe but you at least are able to provide some milk if you can’t find a buck to breed her. If your bug out location or safe haven isn’t located in a place where you will easily have access to a buck, or if you can’t find a buck to purchase, you need to purchase your does wisely so you have the best chance possible of getting a doe that can keep milking long after you go past the ten-month cut off date. You need to find a doe or does with a proven history or genetic background of exceptional milk production and then hope that production will help her to continue producing for a year or more.

I am currently milking a ten-year-old LaMancha doe that has been milking for almost two years. She is giving me about a quart and a half daily. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, it is still more than my husband and I need and I am told her production will increase again in the spring.

A word about udders. In the world of dairy animals, the udder is the working part of the animal. It must have certain characteristics that will contribute to the cow or goat being able to produce milk over many years. Udders should be nice and tight against the body. An udder that isn’t supported correctly and hangs below the hock join in the leg is much more likely to be damaged if the animal runs. Well attached udders on a prepper dairy goat are critical to the health of the animal and its ability to bug out with you.

The purchase price is also a consideration if you are going to get started before disaster strikes. You have put a lot of money into your preps and purchasing livestock probably isn’t something you want to do. Unless your plan is the bartered farmer cow after the collapse, you will need to plan on spending $200-$500 for a good goat with a proven pedigree. You will be able to find goats MUCH cheaper but the chances of getting a good on at the cheaper prices is basically very low. If your survival depends in part on a dairy goat, you shouldn’t skimp on the quality of that goat.

Obviously, as I have mentioned above, you want to check out any known milk production records. However, there are other things to take into consideration as a prepper. Color may be important to you. Will a white goat such as the Saanen be more difficult to blend into the environment than a brown Toggenburg, LaMancha or Nubian? If you can’t effectively hide them inside a building or shed, then you will want goats that blend into the countryside.

The Nubian is known for their constant talking. Will that talking let neighbors know you have a nice milk and meat source just waiting to steal? Or doesn’t that matter? Speaking of talking, have you ever heard the bellowing of a cow half a mile away? There will be no hiding a talkative cow.

The Saanen is probably the biggest dairy goat and that can be either good or bad. Do you want to use them for pack animals too? In that case, you want big and rugged. Of course the bigger the goat the more food it will eat. Do you have the manpower to cut and haul food from the fields in large quantities? Keep in mind that goats eat about 4 pounds of hay a day vs a cow eating about 30 pounds per day. That is a lot of hay to harvest, haul to the barn and put in the barn.

Perhaps you want the kids to do the milking and be able to handle the goats? The LaMancha is often more ‘docile’ than the other breeds and might be a better choice for those who can’t handle the bigger framed goats.

Meat Too

Just a quick note about meat production. The goat often has more than one kid…sometimes as many as four. These kids, if not being added to the dairy herd, can either be used for barter or meat production. Cows usually have one calf and, when butchered, produce a lot more meat. While that sounds great, you have to remember that you have to preserve that meat and you may not have refrigeration. Butchering one goat means less problem processing than a steer. It also means that the other goats for meat can be kept alive till you need more meat instead of having to process and store your entire meat supply at the same time.

As I am sure you noticed, I think the goat is the perfect prepper milk supply. She will be safer to handle, easier to milk, easier to house, easier to hide and easier to feed than a cow. Unless your safe haven or compound will have a dozen or so people living there, the cow will produce so much milk in a day you will end up throwing it away. If you have to bug out, dragging two or three goats with you is relatively easy but transporting a cow or two if there are no automobiles or trucks running will be almost impossible and very dangerous as the cow will make you a big target for gangs. You won’t be able to move fast enough to hide her quickly.

After reading this article I suspect some of you will still say “A cow is the best prepper choice for me” and I’m sure that in some cases, a cow is a better option than a goat. But for the vast majority of preppers, who have never milked a dairy animal, and never cared for livestock before, the goat offers a solution that will fit nicely into the average prepper’s long-term food production needs.

The Lowly Goat I have been a prepper since just before Y2K. It has been an interesting journey that encompassed ‘peak oil prepping’, natural disaster prepping, EMP prepping and TEOTWASKI prepping.


There may be a time in your future when it becomes necessary to evade detection while on foot and on the move. If SHTF forces you to strike out cross-country, or to abandon your vehicles at some point, you will be leaving a trail of your route with every step that you take. The more people there are in your group, the ‘brighter’ that trail will be.

I’m not referring to concealment while in camp or at a lay up site. Instead, this series will focus on two things:

  • Developing an awareness of the sort of activities that reveal your presence on a trail, and
  • Techniques that will hamper the ability of someone to track you while moving through various types of terrain.

Effective application will, at minimum, slow down tracking efforts of a group behind you. The less aware they are of your presence, the safer you will be. If a group is aware of you, but cannot pin down your route, they may abandon efforts to locate and overtake you.

The Risks

There are numerous reasons for being concerned about tracks that you or your group may leave:

  • Other groups may very well be taking the same route, even if only temporarily, to reach their destination.
  • Your rate of travel will be determined by the capabilities of your group. That is, you will be moving at the speed of the slowest individual.
  • Health and stamina issues may force more frequent rest breaks than you anticipated.
  • Security risks that are in front of you may force frequent breaks in travel.
  • Any group in trail of you may be traveling at a higher rate of speed.
  • You will not know the size, capabilities or intentions of a trailing group.
  • Bandits may be working in your area. At some point, this may become inevitable. They will be on the hunt for vulnerable groups. If they pick up your trail you may become their next target.
  • You can be tracked at night.
  • You may be in trail of group whose size, condition and capabilities are unknown. Information contained in this article can provide tools to help you assess some of that group’s composition and potential threat level. That knowledge will help you determine whether you can risk overtaking a group, or if you need to find a different route.

Before we launch into the techniques for covering your tracks, I suggest that you take a few minutes to watch the following collection of videos. They are linked so that one will play after the other. Pay particular attention to the one titled “Raw Footage Arivaca April May 2014.”

Apart from gaining an exposure to what goes on in the borderlands (that you may not have been aware of), this collection of video clips from hidden cameras is extraordinarily instructive in the ways smuggling groups move in terrain they effectively control, as well as areas where they are at heightened risk detection. If the route bears significant risk, or if it is being repeatedly used over a period of time, efforts will be taken to obscure tracks.

Five Types of ‘Sign’

Tracking skills require more than the ability to recognize a footprint. It involves the detection and interpretation of visual evidence on the ground, as well as above it. Basically, there are five types of sign (evidence) that a tracker will be looking for. Someone else might categorize them a little differently, but I have organized them in a way that allows you to think about evidence that you deposit on a trail and what you can do to avoid or mitigate it. Think of these categories as ‘calling cards’ that you may unwittingly leave behind as you move along your route.

1. Footprints

A comprehensive discussion of soil types and terrain conditions that allow the detection of tracks is far beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that most surfaces will reveal the passing of foot traffic to a greater or lesser degree.   Even a boulder will show signs of your passage if you deposit a muddy boot print on it. The durability and clarity of the impression are affected by many issues, including soil composition, material that is on top of the soil, moisture and wind.

The SAS guide to tracking is another great resource for learning tracking skills.

The imprint of a shoe sole reveals many important things about you and the group you are traveling with, including whether you are carrying heavy packs and whether there are women and children in the group. Tracks will also reveal whether you are walking casually, hurriedly, or if you are running. They will tell an experienced tracker that you are attempting to keep each step inside the footprint ahead of you or even that you are walking backward in an effort to mislead your direction of travel. Finally, your tracks may reveal that your group is not equipped to go the distance: highly worn tread, holes in the shoe, or the divot from a walking stick are good examples.

The sole of your shoe is a signature

Experienced trackers use tread recognition to single out one or two patterns when they are ‘cutting sign.’ They will alert others along a known or suspected route to the details of the tread, such as a ‘running W,’ concentric circle, cross trainer or lug pattern, to see if they appear farther up the trail. This helps confirm the course and direction of a group and enables trackers to leap-frog, or ‘cut ahead,’ so that they can close in on the group.

If a group is behind you and tracking, they may not be experts, but the continued sighting of any particular tread pattern will confirm that they are on your trail.

The number of tracks indicates group size

In a group of any size, the length of each person’s stride will vary. For example, the stride of a nine-year old child will not be the same as that of a six-foot tall adult male. A reasonably experienced tracker in trail of you will be able to develop a pretty accurate “soft count” your group size after only one or two hundred yards; often less. Determination will be based upon the variations in stride, range of tread types and foot size. The effort will be greatly simplified if your group does not maintain a narrow, single file column.

The size of the tracks indicate the group’s composition

Even if everyone in your group is wearing an identical brand of shoe, variations in foot size will reveal the number of children, juveniles and adults that comprise your group. In combination, the foot size and tread pattern can reveal that there are females.

Tread detail is an indicator of freshness

Full and partial tracks that are laid in a variety of soil types can retain a very sharp impression. Without an excessive amount of moisture or wind, those tracks can survive for weeks. Accurately interpreting the relative freshness (hours versus days) is a learned skill that you can practice at home and on weekend outings. Nevertheless, good observation can help pin down the age of a track. For example, let’s say that you started out with a dry day, but it rained for about a half-hour at noon. A tracker behind you will have waited out the same rain shower. If he sees your still moist tracks at 3:00 that afternoon he will know that you are no more than two and a half hours ahead. Your ‘gift’ has just lowered the skill requirements of a tracker from expert level to that of simple observation and rudimentary reasoning.

Freshly turned rubble and scuffs on the trail

Trackers will also look for freshly turned rubble and displaced pebbles. Simply stated, an overturned or displaced rock or pebble will leave a surface scuff or small hole in the soil that matches the size and shape of the rock. The rock will likely have a different color on the bottom than the side that was facing upward. The color of the soil in the hole may be different from the color on the surface.


This photo shows two scuff locations and a displaced rock. The group that left these sign moved on the trail at night. Apart from the obvious tracks, what else does the photo tell you?

General characterizations can be made of groups that leave these types of sign. For example, one or more of the following may apply:

  • Moving at night
  • Hurried – Being pushed from behind by trackers
  • Experiencing fatigue, or
  • The group has poor trail discipline

Bent grass


Bent grass can reveal a distinct trail of a group when moving in single file. This photo shows two distinct trails and a spot where people were standing while in the cover of trees and brush.


Tracks that are laid through wild grasses and other ground covers will be bent over by the pressure of passing foot traffic. Repeated, (single file) traffic will bruise the grasses, breaking the stalks near the ground. Although green grasses that have not been excessively bruised will return to an upright stance over time, recovery is not immediate. Dead, (especially desiccated), plants are easily crushed and fragmented. They will indicate a course of travel, even in the absence of a distinct foot print.

Methods to mitigate bent grass will be discussed in Part Three of the article. Other than natural forces (wind or rain), there is no practical remediation for crushed, desiccated plants that I know of.


Did you ever slide down a hill after stepping on loose pine needles, or had the soil on a steep bank break loose under your foot while you were climbing up an embankment? These are the type of skid marks I’m referring to. They can easily mark the location where you break from a trail for rest, or when changing course. Remediation is difficult, especially if you are in a hurry. Methods to avoid or limit skid marks will be discussed in Part Three.

Moon dust

This type of soil can be figuratively compared to dry talcum powder. Tracks laid in moon dust will leave a particularly sharp impression, although windy conditions will quickly erase the details. The arid Western region of the U.S. and areas that are experiencing drought will produce these conditions. Be alert to and avoid trails that take you through powdery soil.

Desert pavement

Many lower elevations in the Southwest (particularly if they are alluvial) may have a thin, fragile covering that is referred to as “desert pavement.” It is usually comprised of very small pebbles overlaying a thin, equally fragile surface crust. The pebbles are frequently coated with a thin patina (varnish) of minerals, making it reddish to dark brown in appearance. Walking across desert pavement will dislocate the small surface pebbles, and your weight will break through the thin crust.


Tracks on Desert Pavement

In the photo above a smuggling group crossed a large area of desert pavement at night; leaving the very visible trail that you see. If you create a trail across this type of soil there will be nothing you can do to mask it. Attempts to do so will only make the trail more obvious. The solution is to detour around desert pavement.

I am not familiar with soil surface conditions in other regions of the country. I mention desert pavement only because it may alert you to soil types or surface conditions that warrant similar precautions where you live.

Windblown tracks

The movement of air, (breezes and wind), can dry out surface soil very quickly. Depending on the soil type, rapid drying may preserve a sharp image of tread. Trackers will look for tread imprints that may have bits of sand or plant debris on the trailing edge of the imprint (relative to the prevailing direction of the wind). On other soil types, windy conditions may obscure or erase tracks entirely on exposed terrain over a period of time. These clues can help determine the age of the tracks.

Burlap, booties and carpet



These drug packers are wearing carpet shoes in a rocky dry wash.

If you have watched the videos referenced at the beginning of the article you will have seen many smuggling groups that were wearing various types of covering over the soles of their shoes. The videos show individuals with layers of burlap wrapped and tied around their shoes, as well as “carpet walkers” and foot coverings, known as “booties,” made of thinner material, such as felt. To varying degrees, these obfuscation efforts work. It can take an experienced tracker to recognize a trail where these methods have been employed, and it will likely take an expert to successfully locate a group on carpet in rough, rocky terrain.

At its most fundamental level, the purpose of these obfuscation methods is to make it more difficult to spot tracks and to deny a tracker the ability to identify a specific footprint. This does not mean, however, that the methods are equally effective across all terrain, or that they have equal durability. All three types merit some discussion.

Burlap is frequently used on dry hard packed soil and in dry sandy washes. On damp soil the rough burlap material can leave an impression of the fabric weave. Several layers of burlap will be wrapped around the shoe and then tightly tied with cordage. Once the burlap begins to break down from wear, strands of thread can be found lying on the surface. If the cordage unravels, a portion of the shoe tread may become exposed, leaving a direct imprint in the soil. Trackers will look for evidence of shredding.


Felt booties are effective on many types of soil, but are not the most durable method for concealing tracks.

Booties are designed to slip over a shoe and are usually constructed using a relatively thin synthetic material. The bottom may be constructed of one or two layers of material. They are primarily intended for covering lightweight walking or jogging shoes that do not have aggressive treads. Durability of the fabric is only marginally greater than the same thickness of burlap. Booties do not break down in the same way that burlap does. They don’t shred per se, but large holes can develop, allowing a major portion of the tread to make contact with the ground. The best application for booties is smooth, hard packed surfaces.


Carpet shoes have a bottom made from pile carpet sewn to a durable upper material. This pair has Velcro straps that secure around the heel.

Carpet shoes are constructed using a cut to size piece of carpet that is usually sewn to an upper portion made from durable cloth. The carpet portion is typically a pile type of synthetic material. Higher quality shoes will have a denser and thicker material. Some carpet shoes fully enclose the heel, while others may be open at the heel or use Velcro straps. In some cases, the carpet may be strapped over the top of the foot to make it more secure. Open heeled carpet shoes can be put on very quickly when circumstances require their use, but can slip off if the person is running. Well constructed carpet shoes are the most durable of the three types. Carpet can be used on virtually any soil type and, in general, is the most effective method of obfuscating tracks. In addition to preventing an impression of the shoe tread, it can reduce the overall print impact on softer soils.

It is important to note that these obfuscation methods are generally not used on steep, bare rock surfaces (especially when wet) where traction is needed for safety. Booties and carpet are usually removed when a group moves from soil conditions to terrain that is mostly rock.

We will continue the discussion of the remaining four types of trail sign in Part Two. If you have questions in the mean time, drop me a note to ensure that I address it directly, or in a subsequent article segment.

Introduction There may be a time in your future when it becomes necessary to evade detection while on foot and on the move. If SHTF forces you to strike out cross-country,


I recently read an article about what a woman learned from a weekend of surviving on stored water. Basically she learned to have her kids share their bath water and to store more so she could take longer showers and more baths.

In a disaster we all know water is going to be very precious. Water is also one of the hardest things to store. Now is the time to think about ways to get the most out of every drop. I want to stay clean but if it comes down to it and in a disaster we all know it will I’d rather have more for drinking and less for washing.

I have had many instances of not having access to running water. I live in a mobile home and my piping is PVC pipe. One day my brother accidentally ran over it with the lawnmower. Fortunately I am friends with a plumber and he would fix it for free. Unfortunately I had to wait 3 days. I’m 5 feet 6 inches tall and I can wash and rinse everything using only 2 liters of water. I wasn’t even being careful just too lazy to get an extra 2 two liter bottle.

Squeezing the last drop out of your water during a disaster

Here is what I did. Stand inside a plastic tote. Use a red solo cup etc. Pour water on head slowly and massage into hair, trying not to let any water run-off. If you have long hair, pile it loosely in a bun on top of your head and hold in place with one hand. Pour water slowly to allow your hair time to absorb it. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If washing a second time to get your hair clean you only need to rinse about half of the soap out. Be careful not to use too much soap because the more soap you use the more water it will take to rinse. Use cup to scoop water from tote to get body wet and wash. You can also just use a wet wash rag. Using this method you don’t have to get your skin wet first. Use water from tote to start rinse. Finish with cup to rinse with clean water. Using this method you can use 2 liters or less of water. Practice now and learn how little water you can get clean with.

You can brush your teeth with very little water. Put toothpaste on toothbrush. Take a small sip to wet mouth. I have also used mouthwash for this step. Spit out on toothbrush to wet paste. Brush like normal and rinse with a sip of two of water.

Grey water can be used by the next person and followed with clean for a rinse. It can be used to start to clean clothes and finally if possible to flush a toilet.


A local pond might become your new bathing spot.

When washing your hands or dishes be careful to catch water for reuse. Better yet plan on having at least some disposable dishes and baby wipes for cleaning your hands.

After a disaster everything is going to change. Most people are used to showering every day but in the past most people bathed once a week. They did this when there was no air conditioning and many had labor intensive jobs. These next suggestions may seem gross to you but they are worth considering. Even if you think you have plenty of water and a perfect bug out plan. It is highly likely that during a disaster at least once you will have to go a few days without a shower or clean clothes.

Bring out the funk!

Texsport Jumbo Camp Shower, 5 Gal – For those who want to freshen up without access to running water. Good insurance policy.

You might want to get an ideal of how it I going to feel and start getting used to it. Try going a few days without a shower to get used to it. I’m not suggesting no hygiene at all. Go ahead use deodorant. Use a baby wipe to clean up. Just forgo an actual shower. I have managed to get to 10 days before I was told I smelled. It helps that I work from home. For those of you that work with people outside of your family try skipping your Thursday night or Friday morning shower and waiting till Sunday night or Monday morning to shower. If you are used to wearing clean clothes every day try wearing the same outfit for several days.

For personal food storage I generally see the advice to store what you eat and to eat what you store. In theory that sounds good. However, during a disaster everything is going to become harder. I want life to be as easy as possible during this time so I store several things I don’t normally eat.

Some examples are canned tuna, canned ham and canned chicken. I have eaten these in the past and tried all of the brands I store. I don’t eat them regularly because it is cost prohibitive to do so. I store them because in a disaster it is likely to be the only meat available to me and my family

I store instant potatoes even though I don’t like them. I’ll eat them if I have to and I don’t expect to have access to regular potatoes. I have instant gravy to make cooking and eating faster and easier. I have canned beans because it takes so much water to cook beans. Precooked rice pouches will reduce cook time and water usage. For as long as it lasts bagged cereal requires no cooking, no additional water to cook and no water to wash dishes. It also doesn’t weigh much. My local Walmart frequently has Malt o Meal 11 ounce bags for a dollar. Picky eaters should practice expanding the foods they eat.

I also have food I would only eat if I had to. I didn’t buy most of this food and what I did buy was on sale. My local HEB always has meal deals where you get free items if you purchase something. I get even the foods I don’t like and save them. These are the foods that will be out in my visible food storage. That way when people come to loot my house or steal from me they can see and steal those. Hopefully this will satisfy them and they won’t look or look as hard for my hidden food. Some things are best kept private but I will say I have put considerable thought into places and ways I can hide my preps. I am under no illusions that no one will come and take things from me. I actually expect to have things stolen.

My plan is to not cook anything for at least 30 days. I may heat up a can of soup or fix instant potatoes but that’s about it. I don’t want people smelling my food. This will also reduce water usage. Little to no water will be needed to cook. Little to no water will be needed to clean up after eating.

  I recently read an article about what a woman learned from a weekend of surviving on stored water. Basically she learned to have her kids share their bath water and

Who are the real terrorists and what is terrorism? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word terrorist (n) in the modern times, since 1944, especially references Jewish tactics against the British in Palestine. Earlier use of the word dates to the extremist revolutionaries of Russia in 1866 as well as the Jacobins during the French Revolution in 1795. The English word terrorist is a derivative of the French word terroriste which ultimately means the tendency of one party’s terrorist to be another party’s guerilla or freedom fighter. The interplay between guerillas or freedom fighters was noted in reference to the British action in Cyprus in 1956 as well as the war in Rhodesia in 1973. The word terrorist was retroactively applied to the Maquis resistance in occupied France in World War II, found in the “Spectator,” Oct. 20, 1979.

Based on the very definition of terrorism, we see that the writers of history interpret that history retrospectively to show the agenda of the leaders of the time. Clearly, the leaders, or the winners of just or unjust wars, are responsible for the recording of mainstream history. The losers, the slaves or those conquered do not generally write or teach history books. Those in power write a history to show their great deeds and propagate their agenda. A quick review of historical events demonstrates how history is interpreted, reinvented and twisted to push agendas, many of them evil. An example is that history books in the USA used to teach that slavery was a gift from God, based on race evolution, Biblically supported and morally correct. Clearly this interpretation of slavery is wrong, historically inaccurate and meant to push the agenda of a certain slave society.

In the Post Modern Age, in the media of the USA, the word terrorism has been twisted to conjure fear which is a tool to steal liberties. Leaders can lead through two major means, love or fear. If they are not beloved, the only choice is to push their agenda and gain power through fear. Movies, the mainstream media news and television shows program viewers to associate terrorism and fear with their false flag event or whatever group they wish to vilify in order to push the agenda which surfaces in-laws designed to steal liberties and usher in tyranny. An example of this script is the well-known false flag 911 which kicked off a series of unjust actions including war and the Patriot Act, signed in October of 2001 which supposedly provides the USA the proper strength and tools to intercept and obstruct terrorism. In the Patriot Act the use of the word Patriot implies that the founding fathers of the USA and the Constitution are upheld and protected by this act. Evil throughout time twists, imitates, devalues and perverts the good in order to achieve evil ends. The Patriot act actually does the opposite of anything Patriotic. The Patriot act should be called the Tyranny Act because it allows, in the name of the feared terrorism, anything the Federal Government plans to do, like spying, disappearing, imprisoning, executing, silencing and denying of every human right.

Of course, the catch is to make sure that the audience, the students, the so-called sheeple, believe the lies. The words have to be accepted in their twisted form to take on the new meaning and push the agenda. For example, consider the following six secret usurping of words and meaning, the purposeful twisting of good things into bad:

1. It’s a secret that the Patriot Act is really the Tyranny Act. The government officials ALWAYS defend the Constitution and are NEVER corrupt.

2. It’s a secret that the abusive spouse is abusive. Instead let us all believe that really his domestic violence is loving. Just interview any abusive man or any victim of domestic abuse and its very clear that the abuser is justified and loving while the victim is insane and delusional. Never mind that domestic violence effects at least 1 in 3 households in the USA. The loving answer no matter what is to ignore domestic abuse and focus on taking children away from those horrid people who smoked pot. The government loves the children.

3. It’s a secret that many victims of war are innocent. Let us believe that the wars are just because wars are NEVER about money or power they always about justice. The government only cares about human rights and will sacrifice anything to ensure constitutional liberties for all people everywhere.

4. It’s a secret that the government is poisoning the food, water, air supply and pushing toxic vaccines. The government always loves you and protects you. Democide, Agenda 21, eugenics, genocide and infanticide do not exist in the civilized world. Conspiracy theories! Don’t become a tin hat wearing laughable, insane person.

5. It’s a secret that people kill their babies. After all, the baby isn’t a real person because the definition of person is most likely some full-grown adult. All that matters are the rights of the mother because those rights are loving. The government would never support killing people, just the young ones who are not people. Maybe even up until age three this practice is acceptable; after all China does it.

6. It’s a secret that the public education system is purposefully retarding intellects. The government loves the children. These secrets could never be exposed by the dumbed down sheeple, RIGHT? Our only option is to accept the lies, RIGHT?

The sad part is that those six examples are only a small slice of the history being taught, redefined and twisted by the true terrorists. Terrorism is not loving. We should judge people according to their deeds, not their words. When people who act in evil ways their words are meaningless. We stand at a dangerous precipice in our history as a terrorist script is flipping to innocents to usher in a final stage of tyranny that is worse than ever before. The new terrorists in the history books are: Christians of all variety, veterans, patriots, truthers, lovers of justice, whistle-blowers, Oath Keepers, preppers, pro-life advocates, those who are awake to the lies, people with high IQs, people who understand history, mainstream Muslims, Tea Party people, listeners of Ron Paul or Alex Jones, mainstream Jews, Caucasian people, Hispanic people whom they say are white, families, babies, children and any other group that is innocent, well-meaning and awake. In order to be labeled a terrorist all someone has to do is own a phone, send an email, have more than 7 days worth of food in their homes, take a photo or pose a question. Technology is enabling a new era of terrorism by the true terrorists who exploit the innocents.

Compare those six secrets listed above to Proverbs 6:16-19, “6 There are six things that the lord hates, seven that he abhors:17 a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,18 a heart that weaves wicked plots, feet that hurry to do evil,19 a false witness who lies with every breath, and one who sows dissension among brothers.”

I suggest that this quote from Proverbs is the true eternal wisdom that exposes terrorism and tyranny. Who are the real terrorists? The terrorist is the one who does those six things listed in Proverbs 6:16-19. Do not let the history writers, the mainstream media pushers define terrorism to provoke fear and control. Do not get hooked into the lies. The greatest trick of the Devil is to hook people with lies which parade as fake beauty and fake good. The only way the Devil has power is when people believe his lies.

Who are the real terrorists and what is terrorism? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word terrorist (n) in the modern times, since 1944, especially references Jewish tactics against

Imagine that the S has HTF, and you’re one of the lucky survivors. While many didn’t make it, your “preps” provided the sustenance that made it possible to ride out whatever apocalyptic event occurred. Over time, you’ve acquired many skills for self-sufficiency, and you have no interest in banding together with other survivors. In fact, almost all of the survivors prefer to live as nomadic individuals or isolated families in a post-apocalyptic world. Eventually though, that will change.

The most important rediscovery in a post-apocalyptic world will be fried-chicken. Fried chicken will not only be a catalyst for a post-apocalyptic civilization, it will divide humanity into two distinct subgroups:


Frying chicken requires vegetable oil and flour, which will lead to the reemergence of agriculture. Since there will be no home delivery, those wanting fried chicken will stay close to the source, and that’s how villages will be formed. Some men will spend their days building pens and raising chickens. These men will be known as Conservatives.

Other men will have no agricultural, or chicken raising skills. They will learn to live off of the Conservatives by doing their sewing, hair dressing, and fetching. This will be the beginning of the Liberal movement.


Growing food and surviving off the sweat of your brow is not easy.

As time passes, Conservatives will once again become big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, and generally anyone who works productively.

Liberals will not be involved in society until Conservatives have once again tamed the land. In a post-apocalyptic world, Liberals will domesticate cats, and facilitate group therapy. Although they’ll produce little or nothing, Liberals will consider themselves “enlightened”. They’ll prefer to govern the producers, and decide how to divide the fried chicken that the Conservatives provide.

Not all villages will be productive in a post-apocalyptic world. Some people will be content to sit around a campfire, moaning about their bad fortune. “It’s so unfair”, they’ll say, “that some villages have so much, while we have so little.” As luck will have it, Liberals will come to the rescue by redistributing fried chicken, taking from the productive villages and giving to the non-productive ones. To further enhance their image, Liberals will offer free cooking oil and flour to everyone. This will not sit well with members of the productive villages who will be forced to supply those things, but Liberals will counter Conservative arguments by calling them names and correcting their grammar. Liberals will become so popular with those receiving the handouts that little can be done to stop them.

Some people will not be willing to work too hard no matter the situation.

Some people will not be willing to work too hard no matter the situation.

This ends today’s lesson in post-apocalyptic history. It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above. A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more Liberals, just to piss them off.

– – – –

The inspiration for this came from a humorous story I read recently concerning the invention of beer, and from my favorite place to go to for fried chicken. I take prepping seriously. I believe that the things I’m doing now may one day save my life, or that of a loved one. I also believe that humor is often the best medicine, and I find that it keeps me going at times when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I’m grateful for the many contributions from my fellow preppers, and I’ve learned a lot from them, even when I disagree. Hopefully I’ll never have to use my preps as the result of societal collapse, but if it comes to that, I’m not going to have time for the political correctness that has permeated our society today. I’m not going to deal with non-productive people who’ll drag me down. I won’t support those who are able, but choose not to support themselves. I have friends who are skilled at hunting, fishing, building, and fixing things, but I also have friends who can’t do any of those things. I’ve often wondered what kind of childhood they had that so poorly prepared them for life. Were they more concerned with keeping up with the Kardashians?

I’ll support capitalism. I’ll help those who are less fortunate than me, but not to the extent that it puts my own survival at risk. I’ll contribute to charity based on what I think is fair, and not according to what someone else thinks is my fair share. In a post-apocalyptic world, I won’t respect “gun-free” zones, and I certainly won’t listen to those who tell me I should give up my weapons. Call me a bigot if you want, but if I’m suspicious of anyone, for any reason, that person will not be part of my inner-circle. I would rather be wrong, and alive, than right, and dead.

Knowing that my contribution will not reflect to views of everyone, I encourage alternative opinions in the form of respectful comments, or humorous stories.

Imagine that the S has HTF, and you’re one of the lucky survivors. While many didn’t make it, your “preps” provided the sustenance that made it possible to ride out


Following World War II, the small shortwave frequency bands allotted to amateur radio operators became crowded, and this is still true today. “Ham” operators were forced to switch to “single side band” transmission, which occupies only half the space of the familiar “AM” transmissions used throughout the commercial shortwave bands. In emergencies, the best information available on the radio may be from amateur operators, many of whom maintain emergency equipment for disaster situations.

Many “shortwave sets” do not receive single side band, and I recommend that anyone serious about preparedness consider acquiring one that will receive single sideband signals. Single sideband – capable sets are a little more expensive – typically in the $100 to $200 range, but in a crisis, are likely to be very much worth the extra expense.

A set which is single sideband capable will have “SSB” in the specifications, and have a switch marked “SSB” as well. If those markings are absent, it is almost certain that set will not receive single side band signals.


Single Side Band communications do not have to be complicated or overly expensive.


Let’s start with the traditional AM or amplitude modulated signal, which is standard throughout the commercial shortwave bands.

An AM station transmits a single, strong, steady signal when it is SILENT. That is the “carrier” signal. The carrier is on the station’s assigned frequency, such as 7,490 kilo-Hertz (7.490 mega-Hertz.)

When voice or music is transmitted, that carrier remains constant, unchanged in any way. The voice or music produces two small “clouds” of mixed frequencies on either side of the carrier. These “clouds” of mixed frequencies are each about 3 kilo-Hertz wide for voice, and maybe 6-10 kilo-Hertz wide if music is playing.

You know how every cell in your body contains, in the DNA, the full blueprint for how your body is built? Well each of those two “clouds” of mixed frequency contains the FULL information needed to convey the voice or music. Both “clouds” of mixed frequencies are not actually needed just to convey the voice or music. Even more surprising, that strong carrier frequency isn’t needed either.

Those two “clouds” of mixed frequencies are called “sidebands,” and they are referred to as “upper sideband” (USB) or “lower sideband” (LSB.)

Amateur stations usually just transmit one of the sidebands,and no carrier, and this takes up the least space on the busy amateur bands.


Single sideband (SSB) transmissions require a little fiddling at the SSB receiver to hear the incoming signal as normal speech. Doing this does not require a technical background, though it is like learning a new electronics gadget – it requires a little practice. To begin tuning an SSB radio, the SSB switch is moved to ON. There is a helper knob called “FINE” or “fine tuning” and it’s a good idea to center that small knob.

In a normal AM radio, for best reception, you tune the dial, or punch in the exact frequency on the keypad, so you are CENTERED on that station’s frequency. In SSB, you tune to the UPPER SIDE or the LOWER SIDE of the signal, instead.

Normally, you will not know which side to tune, upper or lower , but once you hear a garbled voice you want to “clarify,” you try tuning the radio to one side, or the other. You will hear somewhat garbled speech, and you use the FINE helper knob to clarify the voice. If that doesn’t work, you tune to the OPPOSITE side of that signal, and try clarifying with the FINE knob again. That’s what it takes to tune an SSB signal.

If the above procedures don’t work for you, it may be that instead of tuning to one SIDE of the garbled voice signal, you have tuned to the center. Experiment and you will soon be able to know how to tune to the sides of the signal. THE “STEP” SETTING Today’s shortwave receivers with keypad tuning, even if they have a tuning knob as well, MUST be set to the smallest tuning “step,” which is usually 1 kilo-Hertz.

Any larger tuning step size will prevent properly tuning a single sideband signal. The radio’s manual will tell you how to set the tuning step, and once set, there should be no need to change it. You will know if the step setting is too high because signals will disappear when you attempt to tune to one side or the other. Watch the frequency readout, and you will see how many kilohertz each movement of the knob or tuning arrow button changes the frequency.


One difference you will notice with a single sideband transmission is that during gaps in the speech, you will hear background noise, as if the station isn’t transmitting. That is normal with an SSB signal, and is not a problem with either the remote station or your radio. Because an SSB transmitter does not transmit a carrier when no words are being said, there is nothing being transmitted.

When your receiver’s SSB switch is on, your set can receive the many amateur radio Morse code stations as well. While this isn’t of interest to many, those who have learned code for some other purpose, say scouting or military service for example, will be able to receive Morse stations with the SSB switch on.


1800 – 2000 kHz (1.8 – 2.0 MHz) … 160 meter band
3750 – 4000 kHz (3.75 – 4.0 MHz) … 75 meter phone
7150 – 7300 kHz (7.15 – 7.3 MHz) … 40 meter phone
14150-14350 kHz (14.15 – 14350 MHz) … 20 meter phone
18110-18168 kHz (18.11 – 18.168 MHz) … 17 meter phone
21200-21450 kHz (21.2 – 21.45 MHz) … 15 meter phone
24930-24990 kHz (24.93 – 24.99 MHz) … 12 meter phone
28300-29700 kHz (28.3 – 29.7 MHz) … 10 meter phone
26,965 – 27,405 kHz (26.965 – 27.405 MHz) … “CB” radio

“CB” operators will sometimes use AM, and sometimes SSB. Valuable emergency information can be obtained from CB operators too.

If you come across an AM station when the SSB switch is on, you will hear atone mixed with the voice. Switch SSB off for listening to that particular AM station.

Unfortunately, at time of writing, manufacturers tend to provide no solar charging or hand crank generator features with their SSB-capable radios. This makes powering the radio when the AC power is down more complicated, but SSB-capable radios are in the price range where an EXTERNAL POWER JACK is available. There are so many variations of emergency power sources that I can’t give an exhaustive list of options here. But I can give a couple of general rules:

POLARITY is CRITICAL. There is no way to know if a given radio is protected for accidentally applying the wrong polarity to the external power jack, so you must be absolutely sure what the polarity at your external power cable plug is before connecting to the radio. An inexpensive hardware store voltmeter is a good investment for preppers, and can show polarity. You don’t want to destroy your radio inadvertently. See the polarity test illustration on the following page.


Testing the polarity on your batteries.

IMPORTANT: See also the TIPS FOR USING METERS in Appendix A below.

VOLTAGE is CRITICAL. Just as with polarity, you must not feed your radio external power which can damage or destroy it. A radio may be able to tolerate, say, 15% over-voltage, but even there, you may shorten its life. The good news is many radios will still operate at as little as 60% of normal voltage. This means that a USB (5-volt) power source can power a 6-volt radio.

(I use “Enersys” 2-volt sealed lead-acid cells to make up the voltage I need for my radios. Using 2-volt cells allows me to make up any voltage needed for equipment which uses a variety of voltages. See diagram below.)


Back up power supply.

SOLAR or HAND-CRANK CHARGER output voltages can be much higher than the batteries they are charging, but are still safe WITH BATTERIES . But solar charger and hand-crank charger voltages VARY, A LOT, and these should NOT be fed directly into the radio’s external power port. This is because their energy output is small and won’t harm batteries, but their widely varying voltages can potentially damage sensitive solid-state radio components.REGULATORS ARE REQUIRED WITH SOLAR OR GENERATOR SOURCES

Whenever the solar cells or hand-crank generator are in contact with radio circuitry. In a radio with a crank, the hand-crank generator is connected to the batteries inside. However, there is an important detail – a built-in hand crank generator or solar panel has a built-in REGULATOR so it cannot harm the radio. An EXTERNAL hand crank generator or solar panel, unless specified by the manufacturer as having regulated output, must be assumed to NOT have regulated output. What this means is, use external hand crank generators or solar panels without certified regulated output ONLY for charging batteries removed from the radio.

Note that standalone hand-crank generators are commercially available. USB SOLAR and HAND-CRANK CHARGERS (5 volts) have literally taken over the emergency power marketplace for small equipment. This means that when shopping for emergency radio power, special attention must be paid to the VOLTAGE RATINGS of a charger you are considering. USB power is always 5 volts. This will work fine with a radio rated at 5 or6 volts, but may not work well, if at all, with a 9- volt radio. It is probably OK for a 4.5 volt radio. USB CHARGERS may or may not charge a 6-volt battery set.


Hand crank generators will give you an alternate way to recharge batteries.

USB’s 5 volts is too high for a 3 volt radio, and there are some scanners which operate on 3 volts. USB’s 5 volts is too low to run a 12-volt radio, or charge its batteries. You can see that a non-technical person is probably going to need experienced technical help with the matter of external power supplies for radios.


With both the SSB tuning issue, and putting together a safe and effective emergency power setup, I recommend contacting a local amateur radio club. If there is none, amateur radio operators will often have unique antennas set up at their homes. Local shops which handle electronic parts in particular (e.g. Radio Shack) are also likely to know some of the local ham operators. Many ham operators are glad to help with matters related to their hobby


This appendix may be a little dense for readers who just want to tune their radios to an SSB station. However, readers who are interested in external emergency power for radios and other equipment will need to have some familiarity with meters.

Meters would include “multimeter” (usually volts, amps/milliamps, and ohms), and battery testers. Both are very important for emergency preparedness and many are not outrageously expensive. Here are my recommendations for buying and using them:

  1. Having more than one of each type of meter is very wise. Meters can fail just as any other equipment, and there are really no substitute products for meters. I recommend purchasing two lower priced models in place of one high-priced model.
  2. Both analog (moving needle) and digital (numeric window) meters will do the job. Analog meters are more sensitive to rough handling or dropping. Try to avoid static electricity when using a digital meter. Frequently touching something that is grounded to discharge your body is one way to do that.
  3. Meters can sometimes be repaired, but in an emergency situation, it’s best to assume meters will not be repairable , other than perhaps repairing broken test leads.
  4. Having both multimeter and battery checkers on hand is highly recommended.
  5. Unless you have a fairly good background in electricity/electronics, I recommend NOT using either the current (amp/milliamp) or resistance (ohm) or “diode” scales. Applying voltage to those scales will at least result in a blown fuse if you’re lucky, or maybe a totally ruined meter. (This causes lots of tears!)
  6. Most multimeter have both AC and DC voltage scales. Take your time and be sure which type of voltage you are about to measure. (If you meter is set for DC voltage, it will give a false reading of zero with an AC voltage source.)
  7. If you have any doubt whatsoever about the maximum voltage level you are about to measure, start the meter on the highest voltage scale, and reduce the scale setting in steps until you get an understandable voltage reading. Meter movements (analog) or digital circuitry can be destroyed by applying more voltage than the scale is set for. Very important for battery checkers when measuring any batteries other than simple single cells. (Such as lantern batteries,and other multi-cell batteries. Also be very careful to set the 9-volt scale for “transistor” batteries which are small but contain multiple cells!)
  8. Some multimeter may be “auto-ranging,” meaning they will select their own scale. If your meter appears to be an auto-ranging unit, read the manual about what the maximum voltage limits are for that particular meter.

  Following World War II, the small shortwave frequency bands allotted to amateur radio operators became crowded, and this is still true today. “Ham” operators were forced to switch to “single