Life on a homestead is often viewed as romantic and laid-back. While it is a nice, slow, and (most days) dreamy lifestyle, it is also full of hard work and it requires tools, knowledge, and skills that you wouldn’t need outside of a homestead life. If you are just starting out on your homestead journey or you need to re-evaluate your current setup, then check out this list of homesteading essentials.
You will find apparel, tools, supplies, and equipment for general homesteading on this list.
More specific Homesteading Essentials List:
*If they aren’t linked here, the lists are in the works and will be linked soon.
- Winter Homesteading Essentials
- Horse Care Essentials
- Beekeeping Essentialss
- Cattle Care Essentials
- Dairy Goat Essentials
- Livestock Guardian Dog Breed Info & Care Essentials
- Chicken Care Essentials
- Pastured & Show Pig Essentials
- Homestead Gardening Essentials
**Side-Note–> Self-Sufficient is a term that I wrestle with some as a Christian homesteader. I want to be able to rely on myself instead of the world, but I am really relying on God and His provisions, not myself. However, I continue to use the phrase to describe the lifestyle that I strive for because I haven’t found a better phrase to replace it. When you read this phrase throughout the blog, please note that I am not denying my dependence on God, but I am attempting to separate myself from dependence on other people and businesses.
Homesteading Essentials for a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle
|Homesteading Essentials: Apparel|
3. Work Jeans
It is important to have a good pair of heavy duty jeans to work in because they will likely be subject to quite a bit of abuse around the homestead.
|Homesteading Essentials: In the Barn|
6. Plier Set
Keep a set of pliers of multiple sizes & types in your toolbox. You will need each and every one of them.
8. Cable Ties
9. Iodine Spray
If you have livestock, then it is a great idea to keep some iodine spray on hand. Whenever your animals get open wounds you can spray the iodine directly on the wound to prevent infections. We also use diluted iodine to flush drained abscesses.
10. Pocket Knife
11. Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are needed anytime you are putting up any type of fencing.
Rope is also a multi-use item. Keep a few on hand to use as needed. Baling twine can also be used a rope.
13. Plumber’s Putty
Putty is used to seal water pipes, livestock waterers (especially those made of PVC), and anything else that holds water.
I obviously can’t link to my favorite firearm here, but I make sure to keep a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun for use on the homestead. The pistol is for self-defenseand for scaring off predators that are too far to shoot. The rifle and shotgun are for protecting my livestock from predators that have already made it close enough to be a immediate danger.
15. Feed Pans
We keep multiple feed pans in each livestock paddock. There are few for the horses, a few for the cows, a couple for the pigs, and two for the dogs. I like the rubber pans best because the animals can’t destroy them as easily as metal.
|Homesteading Essentials: In the Kitchen|
16. Stick Blender
17. Food Processor
Cooking from scratch usually requires processing your own food. Use a food processor for chopping fruits and veggies, making your own bread crumbs, shredding cheese, making homemade dips or butters, and more.
Dehydrating is a great way to preserve food and to make snacks like jerky & fruit leather. I have also use my dehydrator for powdering goat’s milk for bath & body products.
19. Solar Oven
Every homesteader needs a set of cast-iron. This cookware literally lasts forever (I have a skillet from the 1800s that I use almost daily) and it can be used indoors on your stove & in your oven as well as outdoors over an open fire, on the grill, or in a solar oven. I love making corn bread & desserts in my CI skillets.
21. Loaf Pans
22. Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Mixers are all the rage, but for good reason. A stand mixer is so helpful when mixing batters & mixes because you can have your hands-free to work on something else. A KitchenAid mixer can do so much more than just mix… they can make homemade pasta, grind grain, chop fruits & veggies, grind meat, peel garlic, make ice cream, and more!
Reducing paper and plastic waste is one huge goal of mine. Using flour-sack towels instead of paper towels helps me to achieve that goal. These towels can be cut into fourths and used for cleaning just like paper towels, but without all the waste. FST can also be used to stuff cloth diapers and as a cheesecloth alternative.
24. Mason Jars
This probably should have been #1 on this homesteading essentials list because mason jars have endless uses on the homestead. Check out a few of these uses here.
25. Deep Freezer
Use a deep freezer to store meat, freezer meals, milk for cooking & soap making, and anything else you need to freeze.
You can use white vinegar for cleaning almost anything in your home. I use it in my all-purpose antibacterial spray, mop water, furniture polish, glass cleaner, drain cleaner, tub & shower spray, fabric softener, and pretty much every other cleaner in my home.
27. Baking Soda
Baking soda isn’t just great for cooking & baking, it also serves multiple cleaning purposes. Mix it with vinegar to clean drains, mix with water for a silver polish paste, put it on your toothbrush to polish your teeth, mix with lemon juice for dish detergent, sprinkle it in your carpet before vacuuming for a quick freshen-up, and use it in multiple other cleaning and bath & body products!
28. Essential Oils
Just like vinegar and baking soda, essential oils are used for everything around here. We sue them in the barn, in our cleaning supplies, and in our wax warmers for a refreshing and healthy scent. Tea tree & lemon are my must-haves for their scent and antibacterial/antifungal properties.
29. Meat Grinder
It is a good idea to have your own meat grinder to avoid paying a processor to make your ground meat & sausage. You can use a stand-alone meat grinder or the Kitchenaid Grinding Attachment.
If you plan to can foods that are low acidity (basically anything other than tomatoes), then you will need a pressure cooker.
A hot water bath canner is perfect for canning foods with higher acidity like tomatoes.
I love my VREMI Kitchen compost pail for kitchen scraps & coffee grounds. This pail stays in my fridge to slow mold growth and when it is full, I dump it into an outdoor compost bin.
Having a fruit peeler & corer is great if you are making apple butter, apple sauce, fruit leather, juice, or any other fruit based processed foods.
|Homesteading Essentials: Equipment, Tools, & Supplies|
We call this bad boy a sawzall for a reason…it saws.all.the.things.
35. Table Saw
A table saw is a must-have for your projects that can be worked on in your shop or garage.
36. Miter Saw
We use our miter saw for projects that need wood cut in different places outside of our shop away from the table saw.
If you are doing any building whatsoever, you need a level or you will be redoing every single project that you start.
Use a wheelbarrow when you muck stalls, clean out your shop, mix concrete, and to transfer heavy bags of concrete, much, soil, or sister to a new location.
These straps are a must-have when your are hauling things in a truck bed.
40. Utility Knife
A utility knife is just as important as a pocket knife. Use this to cut through more heavy duty materials that your pocket knife wouldn’t work for.
A lawn mower and/or a bush hog will be needed to keep the grass and weeds down around your homestead property.
42. Tractor or UTV
You should have a tractor or a UTV (like a Polaris Ranger) depending on the type of land that you have and the kind of work hat you do around your homestead.
43. Measuring Tape
Measuring tape will be needed for projects inside your home as well as building projects & fencing around the farm.
You will have trees fall on fences and you need a way to remove them. That is where this handy-dandy chainsaw comes in.
45. Extension Cord
You might not realize how much you need an extension cord until you are in the middle of a project . At this point, you would have to stop working, go purchase an extension cord, and then try to get back to work before the sun goes down. My advice? Go buy a couple of extension cords now before the need arises.
46. Garden Hose
Keep multiple garden hoses on hand. We use one connected to our house to water the vegetable garden, one connected to the shop faucet for watering animals, one connected to the front of the house for the landscape garden bed, and a couple extra in case we have a blow out (which happens around here more often than you would think).
47. Safety Glasses
Use safety glasses when mowing, weed eating, soap making, sawing lumber, grinding metal, sanding wood, and any other time that your eyes might be in danger.
48. Screwdrivers & Allen Wrenches
This one sounds pretty common-sense, but screwdrivers & allen wrenches are used so often that I had to include them in the homesteading essentials list anyway.
49. Socket Wrench
A socket wrench make loosening and tightening bolts much easier. You can use pliers for this job as well, but the right size socket will save you time & energy.
If the power goes out on your homestead you will still need energy to care for your family & animals. Keep a generator for this reason.
We have a flatbed trailer for hauling equipment & hay and we also have a stock trailer for transporting our livestock.
Keep a couple different sized axes of cutting trees & splitting wood for fires.
This is another common-sense tool, but it is also one of the most important homesteading essentials so here you go 🙂
Shovel are handy for digging and for mucking…Two chores that are done regularly on a homestead.
Having an expandable ladder is important to use in many different homestead projects, for catching beeswarms, and for helping hitting down out of trees (our cat got stuck in a large tree a couple of weeks ago).
56. Garden Tools
Keep a set of garden gloves, a spade, and other small garden tools for your spring, summer, and fall gardens.
57. Animal Crate
It is a good idea to keep a couple different sized animal crates on hand. They are useful when taking smaller animals (dogs, cats, etc) to the vet or when your trailer is out of commission and you need to transport smaller livestock. We had to transport our 60 pound show pigs in a crate just last week because our trailer brakes weren’t working properly.
58. Post Hole Digger
This tool make digging holes a little easier than a shovel would… If you really want to save your sweat, get a tractor powered post hole digger.
Use this tool to set your t-posts in the ground. It takes a little hard work, but your posts aren’t getting set without it.
We have used panels & wire for fencing for separating and for holding tomatoes upright in our garden.
If you do any fencing at all, you will most likely be using t-posts.
62. Duct Tape
Duct tape is a great temporary fix for most cracks, leaks, and breaks.
63. Flashlights & Headlamp
Homestead work doesn’t end during daylight hours. You will want to have handheld flashlights, a spotlight, and a hands-free headlamp.
This is a must-have whether you live on a homestead or not. You.need.a.fire.extinguisher!
65. Solar Panels
If you want an off-grid homestead or just want to rely on other people less (don’t we all!), then solar panels are a fantastic idea. Our homestead doesn’t have solar panels yet, but I plan to make that change on our next move.
You need an outdoor area to keep your kitchen scraps and grass clippings so that you can have rich compost next season. You can make your own compost bin or you can purchase a ready-made tumbler bin.
67. Multiple Drills
I say “multiple” here because if you just have one you will find yourself frustrated with your battery always dying. Of course you could have more than one battery, but I have found it more useful to have an extra drill on hand i case you forgot to charge the other battery (this happens to us a lot :/). It is also helpful to have extra drills just in case your kids want to “help”. We keep one regular power drill and one impact driver.
If you use a gardening method that requires tilling, you will want to have a tiller of some sort. You can use a hand tiller, but if you have a larger garden space I recommend a gas powered tiller.
|Additional -Homesteading Essentials- Resources|
This planning pack is chocked full of record keeping sheets & resources for your homestead, household, and homeschool!
The internet is typically the go-to research tool now, but having some great resource books in your library can be a huge help around the homestead.
New to canning? Let Melissa K. Norris show you the ropes in her Home Canning with Confidence course.
Rootsy is a great resource & community full of online homesteading courses!