45 Homesteading Skills That You Have to Know

I believe in homesteading skills.

I don’t care if it’s something you’ve never heard of or if it’s something that people aren’t even aware is a homesteading skill.

I believe that everyone should know how to do as many homesteading skills as possible, and I’m going to teach you 45 of them right here.

What’s a Homesteading Skill?

It might seem self-explanatory, but it isn’t always easy to define. Here’s my take.

A homesteading skill is something that you need to know how to do every portion of very simple food lives successfully on a piece of land with as little outside influence as possible. I’m not necessarily talking about living “off the grid” or without modern technology, but rather using resources that are available in your area to create what you need to live a fulfilling life.

A homesteading skill is something that you need to know how to do to survive on your own should the worst happen and technology fails. It’s also something that makes your life better, no matter what disaster has or hasn’t occurred.

Some of the skills I’m going to include are old-fashioned homesteading skills, but I’m also including modern-day homesteading skills.

Keep in mind that because things change over time, not all of the skills I list will stay relevant forever. It’s important to learn new information as it becomes available and make adjustments to your homesteading lifestyle accordingly.

With that said, let’s get started.

1. How to Cut Firewood 

For most people, the thought of cutting firewood is a nightmare. It conjures up images of swinging an axe and sweating for hours with nothing to show for it but sore muscles and a few pieces of split wood.

If you live somewhere that gets very cold in the winter, though, cutting firewood is a necessary homesteading skill to know. If you don’t cut your firewood and buy it from someone else, chances are good that it was harvested using heavy machinery or other non-sustainable methods.

You probably already know that cutting your firewood is good for the environment, but did you also know that it’s easier than most people think?

2. How to Start a Fire Without Matches or a Lighter

It might seem silly, but knowing how to start a fire without matches or a lighter is a homesteading skill that could save your life in an emergency. Again, it’s not necessarily about living off the grid; it’s just a good idea to know how to start a fire without electricity.

3. How to Build a Fire Pit

If you want to get into homesteading, you’ll eventually need to build a fire pit. Wood-burning stoves are becoming more popular because they’re much better for the environment, but they lack the convenience of turning on your gas stove or opening up your electric oven.

4. How to Chop Wood 

I love my gas stove, but sometimes I wish it was wood-burning.

Chopping your wood is a homesteading skill that not only gives you the energy and warmth of a fire but also saves you money. Think about it: If you cut down your firewood (or buy it from someone who’s done that for you), then you don’t have to pay for it.

5. How to Make Soap 

Buying soap is easy, but making your own is rewarding and fun. It’s not hard, either; anyone can do it! There are plenty of great tutorials out there that will teach you how to turn lye into homemade soap.

6. How to Be Your Doctor

Being your doctor isn’t just a homesteading skill; it’s also an important survival skill. If you want to be able to take care of yourself and your family, then knowing what plants in your area are edible and which ones you can use to heal cuts, bites, and other injuries is very important.

7. How to Perform First Aid

First aid is something that you will need to be able to perform if you want to become a successful homesteader (or survivor). Knowing how to do things like dress wounds, treat burns, and perform CPR will come in handy.

8. How to Deliver a Baby

If you have kids, then learning how to deliver a baby might be something that piques your interest at some point or another. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

9. How to Tell the Difference Between Poisonous and Non-Poisonous Mushrooms

Educating yourself about foraging is a very important homesteading skill, but you need to know how to tell the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms before you start eating them. If you don’t, then it’s possible to get very sick or die from poisoning!

10. How to Hunt

Hunting is a useful homesteading skill that has been used for centuries. Hunting isn’t just sport; it’s also food! There are plenty of different animals that you can hunt, too.

11. How to Fish

Fishing is another great homesteading skill to have because it’s easy, fun, and good for the environment. Not only are you providing food for yourself or your family when you go fishing, but you’re also helping to keep the waterways clean.

12. How to Treat a Tick Bite

The area where you live might have a lot of ticks, and if you’re going to be going into wooded areas or tall grass, then knowing how to treat a tick bite is necessary. If left untreated, Lyme disease can become a major problem.

13. How to Sew or Repair Clothing

Sewing, whether you’re sewing something from scratch or just repairing old clothing, is an important homesteading skill that can save you money. One of the best parts about learning how to sew is that it’s so easy to learn.

14. How to Preserve Food 

If you’re going to be living off of your homestead, then preserving food is a must! There are lots of different ways to do this, but canning is probably the most common form of home preservation. You should also consider freezing, drying, and fermenting your food.

15. How to Treat Different Types of Wounds

Knowing how to treat a wound is something that you have to know to become a successful homesteader. If you cut yourself while chopping wood or bleeding from an animal bite, then you need to be able to treat the wound properly.

16. How to Identify Different Trees

Trees are pretty, but they’re also useful. Knowing how to identify different types of trees is important because not only can certain trees provide food, but they can also provide shade and shelter.

17. How to Identify Edible Plants

Although you might want to stock up on groceries before winter comes, knowing how to identify edible plants is an important homesteading skill that could come in very handy. There are lots of different types of plants that can be eaten, so if you know how to identify them, then you can prepare for the winter.

18. How to Start a Fire Without Matches

If matches aren’t available and you don’t know how to start a fire, it could be quite difficult for you to survive. You should learn how to start a fire without matches if you want to be able to live off of your homestead safely.

19. How to Get Water

Having access to clean water is important if you’re living on a homestead, which means that knowing how to get water is something every homesteader should know. There are lots of different ways to get water, but you should know how to get it without electricity.

20. How to Sew Clothes

If you want your clothes to last, then one of the best homesteading skills that you could learn is how to sew. You might not need this skill daily, but it’s important to know if you want to be able to repair your clothes.

21. How to Bake Bread

Bread is a very simple food, but did you know that it’s one of the oldest prepared foods in the world? Not only is baking bread an easy homesteading skill to know, but it also tastes great and it’s good for you!

22. How to Cook Over an Open Fire

If you’re going to be living off of a homestead in a rural area, then you’re probably going to have a fire pit or chiminea that you can cook on. Knowing how to cook over an open fire is important, and it’s not as hard as you might think.

23. How to Survive Being Lost in the Wilderness

If you’re ever lost in the wilderness, then knowing how to survive being lost is very important. There are lots of different things you should know if you want to be able to survive being lost in the woods, such as finding shelter and staying warm.

24. How to Identify Dangerous Wild Animals

If you plan on living off of a homestead in a rural area, then you must learn very simple food how to identify dangerous wild animals. Not only can certain wild animals carry disease, but they can also seriously injure you if not handled properly.

25. How to Identify Dangerous Marine Animals

Just like how it’s important to learn how to identify dangerous wild animals, knowing how to identify dangerous marine animals is important if you plan on living near the ocean. Not only can some marine animals injure you with their poisonous bites, but they might also eat you if they mistake you for their food.

26. How to Identify Dangerous Insects

Insect bites and stings can be quite painful, not to mention dangerous, which is why knowing how to identify different types of insects is important. If you know what type of insect bit or stung you, then you’ll be able to properly treat the wound.

27. How to Survive a Forest Fire

If you plan on homesteading in a rural area that’s near a forest, then it’s important that you know how to survive a forest fire just in case there is one. A forest fire can be deadly, so you should know how to protect yourself from one.

28. How to Survive a Bear Attack

If you’re going to be living off of the grid in an area with bears, then you must learn what to do if one ever attacks. Knowing how to survive a bear attack is important because bears can be quite dangerous, especially if they’re protecting their young

29. How to Survive an Allergic Reaction

There are lots of different things that can cause an allergic reaction, and knowing how to treat one is very important. If you know what to do if you ever experience an allergic reaction, then you’ll be able to reduce the severity of it.

30. How to Grow a Garden

Gardening is one of the best homesteading skills that you can learn, and it’s something that anyone who has land should do. Not only does gardening provide fresh food for your family, but it also helps improve your soil.

31. How to Grow Your Herbs

Gardening isn’t just for those who want to grow their vegetables, as you can also grow your herbs. Growing your herbs is a great homesteading skill to know because it saves you money and they taste better than store-bought herbs do.

32. How to Prune a Tree

Pruning is an important homesteading skill because it improves the overall health of trees, which can improve your homestead. Not only does pruning prevent trees from getting diseased, but it also helps increase fruit production on some types of trees.

If you’re going to have animals on your homestead, then you must know how to do basic first aid. Being able to treat animals may not be as easy as treating humans, but knowing the basics of first aid is an important homesteading skill.

33. Raising livestock (chickens, goats, pigs, cows)

Why is this important? You can always buy meat but it’s healthier and cheaper if you raise your animals. This also helps the environment because no hormones or antibiotics are being injected into the animals.

34. Building a wind turbine

Why is this important? Not only can you generate your electricity from a wind turbine, but if there’s ever a blackout, you’ll have power. It is very easy to build as well and it’s not expensive. Check out these instructions on how to build a wind turbine.

35. Solar power

Why is this important? You can’t always depend on the sun to give you light but you can produce your own using solar panels. Some homesteaders even create homemade solariums for their plants.

36. Cutting firewood

Why is this important? If the winter season gets too cold, you’ll need a fire to warm yourself and your home. You can’t always rely on electricity from the grid to heat your home, so here’s where cutting firewood comes in.

37. Making your laundry detergent

Why is this important? It’s healthier to make your own instead of using store-bought stuff and it saves you money as well. All you need are 2 ingredients: some Fels Naptha soap (which can already be found at home) and some Borax.

38. Keeping bees

Why is this important? Just like the other homesteading skills mentioned above, beekeeping not only gives you honey but it helps pollinate your garden too. Read this article for more info on the benefits of keeping bees.

39. Raising rabbits

Once again, raising farm animals are good to have around because you can always eat them if there’s nothing else.

40. Plant propagation

It’s good to have plants from different seasons because you can always rotate them for a healthy garden. You can also propagate your fruit trees, berry bushes and flowers in your garden.

41. Keeping goats

Just like the other homesteading skills mentioned, keeping farm animals is important because you can always butcher them for meat. Goat’s milk is also very nutritious so it’s good to drink every day.

42. Extracting your honey

It would be wiser to extract your honey than buying it from the store because what if there was a shortage of bees? You can always keep bees in your homestead.

43. Making cheese

I find making homemade cheese fun because it’s like cooking but with milk instead of water. You can add garlic salt, basil and other spices to make it more flavorful.

44. How to Fix a Frozen Pipes

One of the most common problems of homesteaders is their water pipes that freeze during wintertime. Fortunately, there are easy tips and tricks on how you can thaw frozen pipes in your home without calling a plumber. 

Some of these tips include using heat tape, opening your faucets and connecting them to a hose.

45. How to Can Fruit

Canning fruit was one of the most popular homesteading skills people used to apply to preserve part of their harvest for later consumption. That is because canning fruit made it possible for people to enjoy delicious fruits throughout the wintertime, which was always a challenge before electricity and refrigerators were invented.

Canning fruit is now becoming one of those lost homesteading skills that many people never learn how to do. However, this does not mean that you cannot can your fruit at home these days! To do so, just follow the simple instructions here.

FQA

How do I prepare for homesteading?

To prepare for homesteading you need to know what equipment you will need for the homestead, what plants are best suited for your area, how to grow them and preserve excess food so that it doesn’t spoil. You also need to know animal husbandry including cattle, chickens, pigs etc.

There are many homesteading skills you will need to know, learn and work on before starting your homestead. Some of these homesteading skills may be ones that you’ve needed to use your entire life while others are new skills you’ll want to start learning today. Homesteading takes dedication, patience, time management and perseverance

What does it mean to live on a homestead?

It’s more than just living off the land. It’s a lifestyle of self-sufficiency that involves everything from growing crops to raising animals to produce your energy.

At first glance, homesteading may seem like a lot of work. But nothing could be further from the truth. Homesteading is a simple, rewarding and fulfilling life choice.

Before you can live on a homestead, you have to prepare.

What does every homestead need?

Water, shelter, and food. In the modern world, you can go purchase a house in the country with a yard that has fruit-producing trees, vegetable gardens, livestock pens for chickens or goats or pigs or cows, and space to plant fruit trees. Millions of Americans have done just this very thing over the last few years as the farming crisis has meant more people are buying up farmland when it goes on the market.

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