86 Practical Homesteading Essentials You Need for Self-Sufficiency

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The homestead lifestyle 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.

Image of a wheelbarrow with a garden tool

**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 I say that I strive to be a self-sufficient homesteader, 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

>> Visit the Homestead Supply Shop for a categorized list of links to all of my recommended homestead products <<

|Homestead Essentials: Apparel|

Operating a functioning homestead always leads to dirty and/or ripped clothing. You should have durable clothes that will last for your homestead work.

A homesteader should have both garden gloves and heavy duty work gloves to use in the garden, fencing, etc.

1. Gloves

Touch Screen Work Gloves: These gloves are great if you need to be able to quickly answer a phone call or send a text while you are working.

Carhartt Touch Screen Work Glove | Mama on the Homestead

Carhartt Suede Work Gloves: These gloves are great heavy duty gloves for general homestead chores like fencing.

Crahartt Work Gloves | Mama on the Homestead

Carhartt Gardening Gloves: These are my favorite gardening gloves! The are lightweight and durable for garden tending.

Carhartt Rubber Garden Gloves | Mama on the Homestead

2. Boots

I like to keep a pair of waterproof Muck Boots, a pair of Riding Boots, and a pair of Work Boots.

My FAVORITE boots for everyday work wear (and to wear to town when they are cleaned up) are the Roper Sidewinder Concealed Carry boots!

These boots have a holster inside so you can keep a firearm handy when needed.

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. I have a pair of Ariat R.E.A.L jeans that I love to wear when working AND riding.

4. T-shirts 

Keep multiple t-shirts that you don’t mind ruining because you will ruin them. Light button-ups are also good for keeping sun off of your arms during the summer and for keeping you warmer in the cooler months.

5. Overalls

I have a great pair of Insulated Carhartt Bib Overalls that I wear just about anytime I’m doing work on the homestead (as seen in the amazing TikTok video below haha). Wearing overalls helps you to ruin fewer pieces of clothing and they have so many pockets!

6. Durable Work Leggings

Carhartt makes an amazing pair of leggings that are thick, durable, comfortable… Plus, they have a ton of pockets!!

Carhartt Work Leggings | Mama on the Homestead

|Homestead Essentials: Raising Livestock|

7. 5 Gallon Buckets

5 gallon buckets serve endless uses around the homestead. We use them for composting, carrying water and feed, small space gardening, and storing tools and other odds & ends.

Child watering seeds in 5 gallon buckets | Mama on the Homestead

8. Cable Ties & Baling Twine

Cable ties & baling twine can hold up just about anything on a homestead. Right now, I have my tomatoes tied to a cattle panel with baling twine and cable ties hold the panel to t-posts.

Tomato plants trellised with cattle panel and baling twine | Mama on the Homestead

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. Bag Balm

If you have dairy animals, bag balm is an essential. You can purchase one from a retailer OR you can make your own bag balm!

Homemade Bag Balm in a small mason jar | Mama on the Homestead

11. Rope

Rope is also a multi-use item. Keep a few on hand to use as needed. Baling twine can also be used as a rope in some situations.

12. Plumber’s Putty

Putty is used to seal water pipes, livestock waterers (especially those made of PVC), and anything else that holds water.

13. Firearms

Keeping a firearm is a homestead essential especially if you are in a predator-heavy area. 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.

Woman shooting a firearm at a target | Mama on the Homestead

The pistol is for self-defense and 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 an immediate danger.

14. 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.

Girl moving a feed pan for horses | Mama on the Homestead

|Homestead Essentials: From Scratch Cooking|

If from-scratch cooking is important to you and your family, then you will need these essential homestead kitchen tools.

15. Stick Blender

I use a stick blender when making soaps and laundry detergent. It is great for emulsifying liquid soap and mixing bar soap into powder. A stick blender is also great for making smoothies, sauces, & soups, and for frothing milk!

16. 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.

17. Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating is a great way to preserve food and to make snacks like jerky & fruit leather. I have also used my dehydrator for powdering goat’s milk for bath & body products.

I have used this dehydrator since I started preserving food, but I plan to upgrade to this one soon.

18. Solar Oven

A solar oven serves multiple purposes on a homestead. It can be used to cook food, to boil & purify water, dehydrate foods, sterilize soil, melt wax, to render fat, and so much more!!

All American Sun Oven dehydrating white clover blossoms | Mama on the Homestead

19. Cast Iron Cookware

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, dinner rolls, and desserts in my CI skillets.

Cast Iron Skillet with Honey Butter Dinner Rolls | Mama on the Homestead

20. Loaf Pans

If you are making your own bread, then you will need at least 2 loaf pans. I keep one metal loaf pan and one cast iron pan plus a bread machine so that I can make multiple loaves at one time.

Loaf Pans with Bread | Mama on the Homestead

21. Stock Pots

Stock pots are great for making bone broth, soups, stews, and more!

22. Knife Set

A good set of knives will make cooking from scratch so much easier!

Make sure the set you choose has the tools you need… A bread knife, tomato slicer, filet knife, paring knife, sharpener… Decide what you need and purchase from there.

23. Rolling Pin

I use a wooden rolling pin to roll out dough for for homemade biscuits, pie crusts, and cookies.

Girl rolling dough with a wooden rolling pin | Mama on the Homestead

24. 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!

25. Grain Mill

A grain mill will allow you to grind your own grain into flour. You can use a standalone grain mill OR the grain mill attachment on a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

26. Flour-Sack Towels

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. 

Glass jar with flour sack towels | Mama on the Homestead

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.

27. 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.

Mason jars filled with fresh honey | Mama on the Homestead

28. Deep Freezer

Use a deep freezer to store meat, freezer meals, milk for cooking and soap making, as well as anything else you need to freeze.

29. Distilled White Vinegar

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.

30. Baking Soda

Baking soda isn’t just great for cooking & baking, but 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!

31. Essential Oils

Just like vinegar and baking soda, essential oils are used for everything around here. We use 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/anti-fungal properties.

Two bottles of essential oil | Mama on the Homestead

32. 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.

33. Pressure Canner and Cooker

If you plan to can foods that are low acidity (basically anything other than tomatoes), then you will need a pressure cooker.

34. Hot Water Bath Canner

A hot water bath canner is perfect for canning foods with higher acidity like tomatoes.

Hot Water bath canning supplies | Mama on the Homestead

35. Fermenting Crock

A fermenting crock is great for any foods that you want to preserve via fermentation. It can also be used when making sourdough starter.

36. Mortar & Pestle

A mortar & pestle comes in handy when drying herbs.

37. Kitchen Compost Pail

I love my 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.

Kitchen Compost Pail | Mama on the Homestead

38. Fruit Peeler/Corer

Having a fruit peeler & corer is great if you are making apple butter, apple sauce, apple pie filling, fruit leather, juice, or any other fruit based processed foods. This tool can also be used to peel potatoes.

Apple Peeler | Mama on the Homestead

39. Vacuum Sealer

A vacuum sealer is important if you process meat animals yourself. You can use it to seal any meat cuts that you need to freeze for long term storage.

40. Kitchen Scale

Use a kitchen scale to weigh produce and ingredients in your from-scratch recipes.

41. Cutting Board

A good cutting board can make a huge difference when cooking from scratch.

42. Proofing Baskets

Proofing baskets are great for making beautiful loaves of sourdough bread!

|Homestead Essentials: Equipment, Tools, & Supplies|

A good mix of hand tools and power tools will keep you ready for whatever homestead project comes your way!

43. Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is a must-have on the homestead. You will use it for everything from cutting rope to removing splinters to poking drainage holes for compost bins & planting containers

My favorite pocket knife is this tactical knife with flashlight, rope/seatbelt cutter, and glass breaker!

If you don’t have anything else on this homesteading essentials list, make sure you at least have a good knife on hand.

44. Wire Cutters

Wire cutters is one of the most essential tools on the homestead. They will be needed anytime you are putting up any type of fencing for livestock or around your garden. You can also use them when trellising garden plants and tying up vining plants.

45. Plier Set

Keep a set of pliers of multiple sizes & types in your toolbox. You will need each and every one of them.

46. Reciprocating Saw

We call this bad boy a sawzall for a reason…because it saws.all.the.things. A reciprocating saw is a great tool for indoor and outdoor projects.

47. Table Saw

A table saw is a must-have for your projects that can be worked on in your shop or garage.

We use our miter saw for projects that need wood cut in different places outside of our shop away from the table saw.

48. Miter Saw

Girl and Grandfather building things | Mama on the Homestead

49. Level

If you are doing any building whatsoever, then you need a level or you will be redoing every single project that you start.

50. Wheelbarrow

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.

Girl pushing sister in a wheelbarrow | Mama on the Homestead

51. Ratchet Tie Down Straps

These straps are a must-have when your are hauling things in a truck bed.

52. 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.

53. Mower 

A lawn mower and/or a bush hog will be needed to keep the grass and weeds down around your homestead property.

54. Circular Saw

A circular saw is an excellent portable option to have in addition to your table and miter saws.

Dewalt Saw | Mama on the Homestead

55. 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.

56. Tape Measure

Measuring tape will be needed for projects inside your home as well as building projects & fencing around the farm.

57. Chainsaw

You will have trees fall on fences and you need a way to remove them. That is where this handy-dandy chainsaw comes in.

Tree fallen on a gate | Mama on the Homestead

58. 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.

59. 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).

I recommend a flexible & expandable garden hose to avoid bursting issues.

60. 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 so you can finish you projects and keep you vision.

61. 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.

62. Socket Wrench

A socket wrench makes 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.

63. Generator

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.

64. Trailer

We have a flatbed trailer for hauling equipment & hay and we also have a stock trailer for transporting our livestock.

Red Stock Trailer | Mama on the Homestead

65. Axe

Keep a couple different sized axes for cutting trees & splitting wood for fires.

66. Hammer

A hammer is another common-sense tool, but it is also one of the most important homesteading essentials so here you go 🙂

67. Shovel

Shovels are handy for digging and for mucking…Two chores that are done regularly on a homestead.

68. Ladder

Having an extendable 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).

69. Garden Tools

Keep a set of garden gloves, a spade, and other small garden tools for your spring, summer, and fall gardens.

I really like this garden tool set with a storage tote and this stainless steel garden tool set with wooden handles.

70. 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.

Girl sitting in bed of truck with pigs that are in a crate | Mama on the Homestead

71. Post Hole Digger

This tool makes digging holes a little easier than a shovel would… If you really want to save your sweat, get a tractor powered post hole digger.

Woman digging a hole with a post hole digger beside a creek | Mama on the Homestead

72. Fence Post Driver

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.

73. Cattle Panel or Welded Wire

We have used panels & wire for fencing for separating and for holding tomatoes upright in our garden. A cattle panel can even be used to make your own chicken coop!

Chicken Coop made with cattle panels | Mama on the Homestead

74. T-Posts

If you do any fencing at all, then you will most likely be using t-posts.

75. Duct Tape

Duct tape is a great temporary fix for most cracks, leaks, and breaks.

76. Flashlights & Headlamp

Homestead work doesn’t end during daylight hours so you will want to have handheld flashlights, a spotlight, and a hands-free headlamp.

77. Fire Extinguisher

This is a must-have whether you live on a homestead or not. You.need.a.fire.extinguisher!

78. 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.


79. Outdoor Compost Bin

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.

Wooden pallet compost bin with scraps inside | Mama on the Homestead

80. 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.

Girl with an impact driver | Mama on the Homestead

81. Garden Tiller and Cultivator

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 or electric powered tiller.

82. Tool Bag

Having a tool bag is a great way to keep your most used small tools & supplies in one spot.

Canvas Tool Bag | Mama on the Homestead

83. Sewing Machine

A sewing machine is a great tool to have on your homestead. You can use it to patch ripped clothing and to make a simple gathering apron for eggs & produce!

|Additional Homesteading Resources|

These additional resources & courses will help you grow & improve your homestead.

84. The Homestead Planning Pack for Busy Moms

This planning pack is chocked full of record keeping sheets & resources for your homestead, household, and homeschool!

85. The Homestead Management Binder

The Homestead Management Binder can be found separately from The Homestead Planning Pack for Busy Moms.

It contains the Livestock Management Binder, The Homestead Garden Planner, The Farm & Homestead Finance Tracker, AND The Homestead Goal & Project Planner!

86. Online Homesteading Courses

Set actionable goals for your dream homestead with the worksheets included in this mini-course.

|Homesteading Blog Posts|


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26 Comments

  1. This is such a fantastic post, I found it due to the mitre saw mention but as someone who dreams of becoming a homestead owner i very much enjoyed reading this, I didn’t know a solar oven existed, or that you could compost in a bucket!

    You’ve got yourself an additional avid reader! I hope one day to emulate you, though perhaps on a smaller scale, first I need to convince my wife that chickens make the best pets!

  2. I absolutely love the way you write about home essentials, that your article is useful to the selection made comfortable and easy to create the good home, but the BEST part is that they are a durable with style!

  3. That’s a pretty extensive and comprehensive list. I would add some additional hand tools saws as you may not always have electricity. I would also add a greenhouse so that you can grow food all year round.

  4. Hello, Jess, and thank you for such a useful article! I think it should be bookmarked by anyone who wants to move out of town and run their own farm. I am particularly interested in such devices you reviewed as dehydrator, solar oven and deep freezer. I completely agree, that every modern farm should have its own UTV. Polaris Ranger that you mentioned is really one of the best UTV as of today.

  5. Wow!
    I am so enlightened by your blog. I am sure going to buy the food processor now!

    I came across this website which talked about Kitchen Equipments in the home which I can use as a substitute for a food processor when I dont have one.

    The blogger talked about using tools like the sieve, cheese grater and many others.

    I would love your view on this.

  6. I have always wanted to learn and ve passion for growing & raising homestead. I absolutely love the way you write about home essentials. Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Hello Jess,
    Love to read your post. A piece of valuable information you share that gives me pleasure for gathering knowledge. I think any kinds of work Garden work, agricultural work, or hiking using a pair of boots is the best practice.

  8. Love to read this article. Your blog is very helpful for me. I enjoy the valuable data you deliver to your posts. There are so many things I did not know, I have to have some of these gadgets! Thanks for sharing this post.

  9. I absolutely love the way you write, very useful article to the selection made comfortable and easy for creating a good home. As everything is processed nowadays but I just love having fresh veggies and egg without paying for organic prices. In fact, it is much healthier for the entire family as well.

  10. Hi, I hope you are doing well. When I am searching on Google about Grinding then I am reached on your site. I read your article it’s very helpful and informative. Keep it up! and thanks for share with us.

  11. It was really insightful.
    Thanks for such a nice content.
    Cheers
    BTW if anyone interested more have a look . thanks

  12. From all the 72 essentials, I have only used safety glasses while welding a metal. It has more chances to lost your eyes without wearing that safety glass. I got so many new information through your article. Useful Article!

  13. Thanks for publishing this awesome article. I’m a long
    time reader but I’ve never been compelled to leave a comment.
    I subscribed to your blog and shared this on my Twitter.
    Thanks again for a great post!

    Jack.

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