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.
Homesteading Essentials for a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle
|Homesteading Essentials: Apparel|
A homesteader should have both garden gloves and heavy-duty work gloves to use in the garden, fencing, etc.
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.
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.
I also LOVE this mason jar tee from The Rural Home Country Store!
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
|Essential Homestead Kitchen Tools|
If from-scratch cooking is important to you and your family, then you will need these essential homestead kitchen tools.
You need a few different types of salt for cooking and preserving foods, right? Wrong!! Redmond Real Salt is the ONLY salt that you need on your homestead. Use it for any and everything that you need salt for.
A Berkey Water filtration system will ensure that your family always has fresh clean water to drink!
10. 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.
12. Solar Oven
A solar oven serves multiple purposes on a homestead. It can be used to cook food, to boil & purify water, dehydrate foods, sterilizing soil, melting wax, rendering fat, and even pressure canning!
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.
14. Loaf Pans
15. 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.
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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
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.
20. 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!
21. 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.
22. 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 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 pile.
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. This tool can also be used to peel potatoes.
27. Stock Pots
Stock pots are great for making bone broth, soups, stews, and more!
28. 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.
29. Rolling Pin
30. Grain Mill
31. 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.
32. Mortar & Pestle
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. Kitchen Scale
Use a kitchen scale to weigh produce and ingredients in your from-scratch recipes.
36. Cutting Board
A good cutting board can make a huge difference when cooking from scratch.
37. Proofing Baskets
Proofing baskets are great for making beautiful loaves of sourdough bread!
|Homesteading Essentials: Equipment, Tools, & Supplies|
A good mix of hand tools and power tools will keep you ready for whatever homestead project comes your way!
This WoodOx sling is a lifesaver (or a back saver) when it comes to carrying firewood!
39. 5 Gallon Buckets
40. Cable Ties & Baling Twine
41. 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.
42. Bag Balm
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.
44. Plumber’s Putty
Putty is used to seal water pipes, livestock waterers (especially those made of PVC), and anything else that holds water.
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.
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.
46. 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.
47. Pocket Knife
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.
48. 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.
49. Plier Set
Keep a set of pliers of multiple sizes & types in your toolbox. You will need each and every one of them.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. Miter Saw
If you are doing any building whatsoever, then 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.
55. Ratchet Tie Down Straps
These straps are a must-have when your are hauling things in a truck bed.
56. 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.
58. Circular Saw
A circular saw is an excellent portable option to have in addition to your table and miter saws.
59. 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.
60. Tape Measure
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.
62. 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.
63. 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.
64. 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.
65. Screwdrivers & Allen Wrenches
66. 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.
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 for cutting trees & splitting wood for fires.
A hammer is another common-sense tool, but it is also one of the most important homesteading essentials so here you go 🙂
Shovels are handy for digging and for mucking…Two chores that are done regularly on a homestead.
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).
73. Garden Tools
Keep a set of garden gloves, a spade, and other small garden tools for your spring, summer, and fall gardens.
74. 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.
75. 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.
76. 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.
77. 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!
If you do any fencing at all, then you will most likely be using t-posts.
79. Duct Tape
Duct tape is a great temporary fix for most cracks, leaks, and breaks.
80. Flashlights & Headlamp
81. Fire Extinguisher
This is a must-have whether you live on a homestead or not. You.need.a.fire.extinguisher!
82. 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.
83. 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.
84. 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 :/).
85. 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.
86. Tool Bag
Having a tool bag is a great way to keep your most used small tools & supplies in one spot.
87. 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.
This planning pack is chocked full of record-keeping sheets & resources for your homestead, household, and homeschool!
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!
This free ebook will help you to make well-thought-out decisions when planning your homestead.
91. Online Homesteading Courses
- The Homestead Goal Setting Mini-Course– Mama on the Homestead
- The Sustainable Canning Course– A Farm Girl in the Making
- Quick Start Guide to Water Bath Canning– A Modern Homestead
- Quick Start Guide to Pressure Canning– A Modern Homestead
- The Sustainable Living Mentorship Program– A Farm Girl in the Making
|Homesteading Blog Posts|
- 30+ Basic Homestead Skills You Need to Learn
- 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Homestead
- 29 of the Best Homesteading Resources
- 20+ Winter Homestead Essentials You Need to Stock
- 15+ Beginner Gardening Tips
- 13 of the Best Farm Finance Tracking Tools
- Upcycling & Repairing Homestead Equipment