Where are we all coming from as homesteaders? Some of us are coming from a city life, some a suburban life and some were raised in the countryside. We all have different skills that we bring to the table. Some of us have bounced between different places our entire life. I for example, grew up in the countryside from age 10 to 18. My parents attempted to teach me skills for a self-sufficient lifestyle. I personally was only interested in sports and girls. Luckily, the skills I observed and took part in stuck. Though I had been apart from that lifestyle for some time, they quickly returned to me once we decided to make our transition to a country lifestyle. I did live a city life for quite some time but some skills are like riding a bike.
No matter where you are in your learning path, feel confident that you can acquire the skills you need to live an off-grid country lifestyle. I know I was extremely excited to learn new skills and relearn old ones.
The following is a list of what we believe are the most important skills you can learn. Not to say there are not others, we just feel these are the most basic.
Lets stop all the suspense and present to you "The List":
Probably the single most important skill to have. You are going to have to build many structures.
Break your tractor or a vehicle axle? Need to fix a lawnmower pulley assembly? A must have skill.
Got a leak? Water is precious and can also cause severe damage.
This one goes without saying. If you want to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, you must grow your own food.
Money may or may not be limited for you. Learn how to create a budget and manage your money.
With all that food growing in your garden, you cannot eat it all in one sitting.
Food scraps or animal droppings, you will need to learn how to compost both.
If you want to keep your garden going year after year, you will need to dry and save some seeds.
First Aid and CPR
Injuries happen. You must learn how to deal with them.
Use Common Tools
Wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers, saws, shovels, axe, knives, pliers, etc. Find our complete list of tools you NEED for your homestead here: 45 Critical Homesteading Tools
Secure loads or lift materials and tools or string a laundry line.
Don't get stuck needing a mechanic. Do it yourself.
Build a Fire
Keep warm or get rid of scrap wood and paper
How to care for animals
Dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, horses. No matter which animals you plan on having, you need to know how to care for them.
You will not always have easy access to a clothing store. Sew those little rips and tears or make yourself a new shirt.
All of those garden veggies need to be properly prepared. See our best bread recipe Here: Savory Crusty Artisan Bread - No-Kneading and very easy to make!
If you live in a cold climate, it is nice to have fresh food in the winter.
Prepare for a Natural Disaster
Tornados = build a tornado shelter. Wildfires = prepare your land for proper defense. Ice Storm = Woodstove for heat.
You can build and prepare your soils to feed your plants perfectly for years upon years.
You need wood to burn to heat your home and you also will need to remove dangerous dead trees.
Want to plan an orchard for fruit? This is a must have skill.
If you have a well on your property, have it tested to make sure there are no pathogens lurking around. Always filter!
You use them, they get dull. A sharp tool is a safe tool and a much easier tool to use.
Protect from Predators
Having a dog that can protect your family is important. Having a weapon and knowing how to use it is just as important.
Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak are prevalent across the USA. Learn to avoid them and treat the symptoms if touched.
Keep your trees healthy with proper pruning techniques.
How to Heat Your Home
Wood Stove, Solar power, proper insulation. There are many techniques, factors and skills to learn.
This can cure many ailments and is a must to have in the home at all times. Learn how to make it.
Keep clean without all the store bought stuff.
If the lights go out and you are out of batteries then these are a must have.
Make an Oil Lamp
If the lights go out part II.
No need to panic. You can acquire these skills over time, but we think these are the bare minimum essentials to learn as soon as you can. There will be opportunities to learn much more along the way and we are sure you will enjoy every minute.