Yard Cart, Wagons & Wheelbarrows For Preparedness

Yard Cart

Wheels are round! They make it much easier to transport heavy ‘stuff’ from point A to B!

As a prepper, are you overlooking the need for yard carts, wagons, and wheelbarrows that will assist you in moving ‘stuff’ around?

Something that’s not necessarily motorized, but instead can be pulled, pushed, rolled, or pedaled.

Think about how you might transport supplies from here to there if fuel runs out. Are you planning to carry or drag everything?

Some things are just too heavy or cumbersome. Why not take advantage of the wheel?


Yard Cart, Wagons, Wheelbarrows for Water Transportation

One of the most important issues in a post-collapse world will be accessing and transporting water from it’s source to your home or shelter. Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon! Think about that. And think about that with no fuel for transportation!

An ordinary yard cart or wagon will be a tremendous asset in this regard. What better way to haul 5 gallon jugs of water weighing 40 pounds each?

From the river, stream, pond, spring, lake, or your neighbors place… getting water from here to there will be no easy task.

Of course there are lots of other uses for carts, wagons, or wheelbarrows, but water transportation seems like a biggie “if” it ever comes to that.


Yard Cart, Wagons, Wheelbarrows for Gardening

I have one particular yard cart that we often use for our garden. What primary task might that be? Hauling away those New Hampshire Potatoes, also known as Rocks!

Every year they keep coming up. It’s an endless chore. Putting them in a cart and hauling them to the rock wall that I’m building next to the garden is sure a lot easier than getting rid of them one by one!

I use a cart for weeding, planting, and harvesting. We can only carry so much in our hands at once, so… wheels!

This is one of the yard carts that I have:
Gorilla Cart, 600 lb capacity


Other uses

Wheelbarrow’s, carts, wagons…

– Deer / Game hauler
– A mountain bike and a pull behind carrier
– Use bicycles to transport heavy loads (sling a load over each side)
– Hauling wood / firewood
– A non powered means of transport is good for OPSEC
– Transport anything heavy!
– you name it…

Best Bicycle for Preparedness?

1-wheel, 2-wheel’s, 3-wheel’s, 4-wheels… they all have their unique advantages when it comes to hauling and transporting.

What about the uses for a shopping cart, a 2-wheel hand-truck, a hand-cart (there’s all kinds), a garage dolly or furniture dolly, a jogging stroller.

Extra wheels, axles, casters, repair kits. These are all thoughts to consider.

Tip: Carts with large diameter wheels are WAY EASIER to roll around in the field. Larger wheels decrease the rolling resistance.

Tip: Fat tires will sink less in soft terrain.

Tip: A 4 wheel yard cart will distribute weight better than a wheelbarrow or similar cart.

Tip: Build up the sides of a yard cart to hold more. Add tie-downs.

Tip: Be conscious of the overall weight. Too heavy and you’re defeating the purpose…

Consider what it could be like ‘post-collapse’ whereby you will be relying more upon manual labor to move and transport things.

Think “wheels”. The ideas mentioned above will help save your back!


  1. My favorite yard cart is that 26 inch two wheeled garden cart BUT I added a Bicycle Brake to it as down hills are murder here in NH. If I was really clever I’d figure out how to have an emergency brake. Maybe this spring.

    1. Mike, ill look for a link i had in my old computer, was for levers and such just for exactly that sort of device, was basicly a cable operated bike brake that had a lock lever on it, ill find it, wasnt too expensive either, think sold on ebay too

    2. NHMichael
      Google locking bicycle handbrake ebay
      Theres loads of them on there from about 12$ up to 50ish

      1. Thanks for the ideas. Not losing control of my cart (please do not ask why I worry about that…) is critical in staying healthy enough to enjoy life.

  2. Large one-wheeled carts where how the Chinese handled trade for millennia. Google ‘Chinese Wheelbarrow’ and take a look. Amazing how they could transport goods and people over long distances with just one big wheel.
    For me around the farm, have a number of carts I use with the ATV in the vineyard, carrying posts and wire. Also, I have found that the ‘two-wheeled’ variety of wheelbarrow to be much easier to handle now that I am getting a bit older, especially when moving heavy rocks and concrete.

  3. Don’t forget the bicycle pump to keep the tires inflated! Soft tires = more work. Also, if the tires have tubes, have plenty of spare tubes and patches.

  4. I,too, have a gorilla cart. Mine has a handle that can be attached to riding lawn mower to atv.

    My wheelbarrow has two front wheels which are close together. No more tipping.

    Did you know that the Egyptians didn’t have the wheel when they built the pyramids? Imagine the work to bring all those rocks over and then do the building?

  5. The red Flyer. When my youngest son was 22 months old he tripped, fell in an odd position and broke his femur. Long story short he was in a body cast for 5 weeks. There was a hole for the diapers and a handle between the legs to help lift him. One of the grandmother’s bought us a wooden Radio Flyer like the one pictured. When we went to the store or somewhere we put him in the wagon and pulled him along. Propped up on pillows it worked out fairly well!

    1. At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, there are wagons all over the place for moving kids around the hospital and between the hospital and the short-stay housing on the campus. Pillows and blankets are used a lot with them. They are wonderful to have around!

  6. I use my bicycle trailer regularly to haul groceries, hardware, lumber, logs, tools, dumpster loads and boot sale finds inc bicycles. My trailer is a 2-wheeled (20″ mtb size) flatbed 1/2″ marine ply with a square section aluminium frame and a polymer hitch.
    For general purpose hauling, the pure flatbed is really useful. If I need a carton I can lash or bolt one to the flatbed but for oversized loads, flatbed is best. People mount all minds of adaptors frameworks and boxes to suit their load. My model, the Carry Freedom Y frame has a bunch of accessories including a handcart conversion handle. The wheels have a wheelchair style quick release for flatpack storage which saves space. In the US the Bongo brand is pretty similar.

  7. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard to beat an old wheel chair for a yard cart or combination indoor/outdoor cart. I have a fleet of 4 that I have positioned at various locations for hauling heavy objects, particularly sewing machine heads. I’ve hauled all kinds of things on mine, including window AC units, buckets of water, bags of soil, and even dead trees. When I take the kitchen trash out, I nearly always use a wheel chair from the house to the alley, and then I use it as a walker for the return trip. Two of them have no rubber left on the big wheels, and still roll just fine. With the popularity of the battery mobility scooters these days, old wheel chairs can be had for a very reasonable cost in yardsales, flea markets, and auctions. They are built to hold plenty of weight (more than I want to lift into it!), have parking brakes (if the tires are still good), and will traverse many types of terrain like grass, graveled areas, cement curbs, and even stairs. Besides that, once a load has been hauled and unloaded, they’re more comfortable to sit in for a well-deserved break than in a wheel barrow, and a lot easier than on a one-wheeled cart.

    CD in Oklahoma

  8. We have replaced all of our wheelbarrows with the 2-wheel versions — they are MUCH easier to steer and ‘cart’ heavy/bulky items! We have 3 of them and one is reserved for horse manure. lol

    We rely heavily on a metal gated trailer that we attach to our lawn tractors when we’re doing small jobs around here. We’ve hauled all sorts of things in it, from harvested veggies to multi-cases of canned foods being moved from upstairs to the basement door, to hauling a few bales of straw, to several hundred pounds of feed. It’s noisy as it bounces along, but it’s a work horse of a little trailer.

    We also have a large flat bed trailer that we use for hauling with one of the trucks. Right now, it has about a cord of wood on it. Usually, the flat bed is our hay hauler, but we’ve used it many times to move large equipment, our Kuboda, furniture, propane tanks, etc. We’ve even built temporary screwed-in goat sheds to haul goats. That trailer has been well worth the $$ spent!!

    Our 2-stall horse trailer has been put to use hauling and storing a cord of wood that my husband cut and brought here last weekend. We have no need for the trailer at this time and it’s a perfect ‘shed’ for the wood, keeping it fairly dry. We’ll take the wood out when we get around to it (or when we need that trailer).

  9. Last year read an article on a Hipporoller. It holds up to 5 gallons of water which makes it easier for you to move due to the weight. It is designed to be used in 3rd world countries enabling the children to gather the water freeing up their parents for other chores, especially women.
    Simple design yet rugged construction material, an item one could add to their preparedness supplies.

    1. I hadn’t heard of the Hippo Roller, so I looked it up. How ingenious! As you said, it’s meant to help out third-world countries, so to buy it in the U.S., it’s $290, at least from the original company–I don’t know if there are any knock-offs.

      1. Wendy,
        just looked up hippo roller. it loos an awful lot like a “dirt packer” we picked up second hand. re the dirt packer, the idea is to fill it with water, and roll over spots inyard which need packing down a bit. Have seen “dirt packers” on sale new, fairly cheap. No idea if they would be okay to put drinking water in, but looks much the same

        1. Anon
          Same principle for mobility but I doubt I would want to drink the water out of a dirt packer. We have one,,,,it is still visiting my sister, she borrowed it about 3 years ago.

  10. I’m an old fat man with a bad back. I rely heavily on a wheel barrel, a dolly and a shopping cart to carry my heavy loads. After some of the comments I will consider getting a wagon as well.

  11. That gorilla cart looks good. I have been looking for something to haul things in, such as potting soil for now, and water if I ever have to haul water from the river.

    The ones I found are too expensive, but the one above looks good and is within [next month’s] budget. Already blew the budget this month.

    I added it to my Amazon cart and then noticed you have to assemble it. Oh no. But I have until next month to decide if I will get it anyway. Maybe my lawn boy can put it together.

      1. Ken,


        Since you recommended it, you are going to come to my house and assemble it?

        Thank you in advance

          1. Oh yes, much colder. But it is up to 37 degrees this morning, which is about 50-60 degrees better than last month

      2. – DaisyK – a nine-year-old boy and I put one together with a socket set, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers in just over an hour. They’re not that hard. At the moment, It’s loaded with pine cones the boys picked up from the back yard while they were gathering pecans.
        – Papa S.

  12. Ok I am older than dirt and things are a lot heavier than they used to be. I probably can’t even pull and empty gorilla cart! I bought a tolley dolly. They have them on Amazon and are anywhere from $17 to $30. They come in lots of colors so men can use them to. They have a platform that can haul 100 pounds and it comes with a bag that fits over the handle and you can fill it up. It also has pockets. I love it. I use it for everything. I can back it up and down stairs and even pull it into my motorhome that has some real steep steps. I highly recommend it.

  13. I also keep a fold-up wagon in my truck. While I hope I’ll never need to get home without my vehicle, if I do happen to be at work (or elsewhere), it would help me bring more stuff home. Yes, I have a backpack as my GHB, but I could carry more with the wagon. What if I’m on my way home from the grocery store, and just a mile or two from home? I would think that the wagon wouldn’t slow me down too much from getting home, and I’d be able to bring a bunch of food with me.

    I must say, I’d prefer to have a fold-up bike in my truck, but the wagon was much cheaper!

  14. Late to the conversation, but I will make an observation. I have several yard carts/trailers and will offer this as advice. Most all come with tubeless tires that are made in China or Taiwan. Exposure to sunlight/UV rays make them crack fairly quickly. I have put the Slime brand pre-filled inner-tubes in all of mine over the years and this has eliminated the irritation of constantly having to air the tires up every time you use them. Costs around $10 per tire but I’ve never had to replace a tire or fix a flat on any of them.

  15. Although a bicycle is pictured, not much about them is mentioned. If you are interested in a serious rugged one, do a search for police bicycles.

  16. I’m a little thing, not quite five feet tall. I rely on a wagon to help me do lots of things! They are so handy for so many things! Hauling groceries up to the house, moving whatever needs to be moved in the garden, and tons of other stuff! Without a wagon and my step stool, I’d be lost. ( oh plus the tongs I have to use to reach the bottom of the washer!)

  17. As we age we need more helpers so we have a variety of wheeled devices. The one we use the most in the winter is the nose truck we haul our wood from the woodshed to the basement. It is great on stairs. DH took an ordinary nose cart & welded on some bars to keep the wood in place. One cart full heats our house for a day in cold weather. We also have 2 wheelbarrows, 1 & 2 wheelers, a wagon, an ordinary nose cart & a one wheeled nose cart that DH developed for moving bee hives around, plus a small trailer to pull behind a car.

  18. In winter we use various plastic sleds.
    The woodpile is between the outhouse & the cabin. On the way back to the cabin, grab a piece or two of firewood… it adds up.

    1. Thanks for bringing that up – plastic sleds. Perfect for winter!

      We’ve also used a rectangular plastic tub of sorts, about 5′ x 2′ or thereabouts with 1′ depth (sides) to drag out bear from the thick woods following the hunt. Although never easy, it’s easier to slide that tub through the forest than drag the bear itself… Same for any game.

      1. Ken, your comment on make-do sleds for transporting loads in the snow caught my attention. While snow usually is something I have to deal with only a couple of weeks a year, I’ve been eye-balling an old single tire construction wheel barrow that I’ve retired after the wooden handles broke from dry rot. I’ve considered removing the wheel and undercarriage and bolting a chain to the curved end that could be looped over the hitch on my UTV and pulled as a sled.

        1. That sounds good. Re-purposing can be practical. So long as there’s enough ‘flat’ bottom on your wheelbarrow versus the rest of it to avoid tipping over while being pulled…

          1. Perhaps put some type of plastic or metal skid on the bottom to make it easier to drag and to strengthen the bottom.

          2. preparena, strips of UHMW (the stuff used for dog sled runners) works well.
            Ken, we also use sleds like you described, towed behind a snow machine. (Otter Pro brand) Even use multiple sleds connected end to end as a sort of snow machine cat train. I use an old (Otter Pro) sled for collecting rain water for the garden. A small sled (Jet-Sled brand) fits in my Jeep & is used for hauling ice fishing gear & firewood, etc. my son even used it last summer to give his dog a bath.

        2. Hi Dennis
          A couple years back we took down a dying maple after hearing the forecast for a severe wind storm. One of the strapping young men overfilled the wheelbarrow and busted the wood handle when he tried to move it. My sister said that Home Depot carried wheelbarrow handles. So they did – a few dollars and a few minutes was all it took. Who knew?

      2. Ken,
        they sell ‘calf sleds’ out here in Colorado in various sizes. Very heavy black plastic tubs for.. well… hauling calves in out of the fields when they are born. We also use them for hauling out deer and elk. they run in cost from about $100- 200 depending on size. Also wanted to mention these portable gasoline powered capstan winches for pulling things out. they weight about 30# but can pull about 2000# with a rope. Nice thing is you are only limited by the length of rope you have as it is a ‘continuous puller’.

      3. – We don’t have to deal with a lot of snow but maybe a couple of weeks per year. I do have a couple of plastic “Muck Buckets”, probably around 30-40-gallon size, from Tractor Supply that have rope handles and actually work pretty well as hauling sleds for firewood and the like, even in a couple of feet of snow when we have it. Just an idea.
        – Papa S.

    2. When we lived on the farm we use the kid’s plastic sleds to move the hogs from the pen where they were slaughtered down hill to to the farm slaughter truck. Only had to have the ground solid and those sleds would go like a bullet. Really saved the back and made the job much quicker.

  19. I sort of cheat in this category, i have a 4×4 Kawasaki Mule 610 that i use, it has a dump bed, if not that its my tractor that has all manner of attachments, bucket, forks, rock bucket, i even use it in liu of a wheel barrow for stuff like pouring cement etc,

    1. I too have all sorts of motorized methods for hauling stuff. Not that it’s likely, but “if” the fuel supply runs dry (would have to be a major SHTF!) then… well, hence the article.

      1. Ken
        Think my asthma meds would run out before my fuel supply!
        My wheel barrow is sitting upside down rotting away, havent touched it in a long long time

  20. Morning All;
    Guess I’m late to the party on this one, had to play 18 holes yesterday in 53 degree sunny BEAUTIFUL weather :-) :-) HAHAHA Sorry hehehehe
    I also have a selection of one, two, four wheeled haulers that seem to get used every weekend, life would be much more difficult without them for sure.
    I guess I’m old school, I still like the one wheeled Wheelbarrow. although I might upgrade to a two-wheeler, if/when this one finally craters, it’s probably a good 30 years old, one of the older construction concrete Barrows.

    1. NRP,
      Yeah, those older concrete barrows are great . Moved a lot of concrete around in one of those back in the day. Since I passed 60 a few years back, I find the two wheeled versions are easier to push and maneuver.

      1. If your old barrow is like mine its a layer of concrete holding the rusted pieces together

    2. We still have the old steel wheel from my father’s wheelbarrow. You certainly knew when you hit a rock!

  21. While we are up to snuff on the wheeled, man powered or woman powered, as the case may be we are sadly lacking in the pull cart area. Hubby uses a recumbent type 3 wheel trycycle, for exercise and taking the dog for daily run, weather permitting. He has rigged a rectangular milk crate on the back for her to ride in which works like a champ. Would also haul 4 one gallon containers if we had to haul water. I have a standard 2 wheel bike and ride well but would want a cart or something to haul on. We also have a second trycyle (hubby’s old one) that I could use to haul water and stuff, if necessary Still looking into a bike trailer of some sort though, the bike is actually easier to peddle than the trycycle.

    Ken, thanks for a great article, makes me remember we need something to fill the gap there.

    1. preparednana
      how about some version of a human pulled rickshaw?

      in pics and video, it seems folks can move a huge amount of weight (and persons) in those, with one person “hitched up”

  22. I currently use 2 dollies and 1 wheelbarrow.

    All have solid tires and one of the dollies folds up into a smaller package. They are all used to haul heavy bags of topsoil and steer manure. If the bag is broken open, I use the one wheel wheelbarrow.

    Being the resident asian guy, I have been known to rent a 4 wheel cycle at the tourist locations and pedal my caucasian wife around the downtown area while wearing black sweats and a conical hat whenever I lose a bet with her. ( going back to the rickshaw principle.)

  23. Wife bought a cheap wheel barrow from Lowes a few years ago. Made in the land of the big red star so you know how good the steel was. It lasted two years before the hand tubes were rusted out. Solution was a 10 ft piece of 1 1/4″ galvanized conduit. Handles are now indestructable and the wheel barrow should outlast us. I do have another old aluminum barrow that needs a new frame and wheel but it is aluminum and just to nice to scrap it out.

    On the boat we had a folding 2 wheel dolly called a Rux cart but I have found better ones recently. Folding tray, wheels fold flat and the handle telescopes into itself. They will fit in a car trunk easily and you could use one to carry a plastic tote/bin for many miles if needed. Capacity is 150 lbs. They are available on Amazon.

    Amazon Prime Magna Cart $37.81

  24. I’ve been fascinated with deer/elk carts I see in the classifieds here in the Rockies. Found one at a garage sale, $20 it was mine.not into being a refugee, but need more repurposed vehicles to use for hauling stuff. Snowing here at present, so I need a sled or two as well.
    Great article!

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