Beginner’s Guide to Amateur (Ham) Radio for Preppers


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Are you a prepper looking for a reliable way to keep in contact during an emergency?

Look no further than amateur radio, also known as ham radio.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting started with ham radio, including licensing and regulation, how it works, and how to choose the best radio for your needs.

Why Ham Radio is Useful for Preppers

Ham radio is the best overall way for preppers to keep in contact during an emergency.

Unlike CB and “toy” versions of radio, ham radio is a reliable and effective way to communicate in survival scenarios. With ham radio, you can communicate with other preppers, first responders, and emergency services, even when other forms of communication are down.

Licensing and Regulation

Before you can start using ham radio, you’ll need to obtain a license.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates all amateur radio operations in the United States, and there are three classes of license: Technician, General, and Extra.

Each class requires passing a test, and the higher the class, the more frequencies you’ll have access to.

How Amateur Radio Works

Amateur radio works by transmitting and receiving radio signals over specific frequencies.

These frequencies are divided into bands, and each band has its own set of rules and regulations.

To communicate with another ham radio operator, you’ll need to tune your radio to the same frequency as theirs and use a specific mode of communication, such as voice or digital.

Choosing the Best Radio

The simplest way to get started with ham radio is with a handheld radio.

The most popular beginner options among preppers are the Baofeng UV-5R and BF-F8HP1. These radios are affordable and easy to use, making them a great choice for beginners.If you’re serious about ham radio, you may want to invest in a more advanced radio with more features.

When choosing a radio, consider factors such as frequency range, power output, and battery life.

Joining a radio club or getting help from an expert can also be helpful in choosing the right radio for your needs.

Tips for Using Ham Radio

Once you have your radio and license, it’s time to start using ham radio.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Practice using your radio before an emergency. This will help you become familiar with its features and capabilities
  • Contact your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) group for training classes and opportunities to practice using your radio
  • Listen before you transmit. This will help you get a feel for the frequencies and modes of communication being used in your area
  • Be respectful of other ham radio operators. Follow proper etiquette and avoid interfering with other communications
  • Consider joining a radio club or online community. This can help you connect with other ham radio operators and learn more about the hobby


Ham radio is an important tool for any modern prepper’s toolbox.

By obtaining a license and choosing the right radio, you can stay connected during an emergency and communicate with other preppers, first responders, and emergency services.

With a little practice and preparation, you’ll be ready to use ham radio to stay safe and informed in any situation.


  • 1 The Prepared: Beginner’s guide to amateur (ham) radio for preppers
  • 2 Pew Pew Tactical: Ham Radio Basics for Preppers
  • 3 Moonraker: Ham Radio for Preppers: A Survival Guide for Beginners
  • 4 Geek Prepper: Ham Radio Made Simple: Ultimate Beginner Reference Guide