Try these 22 skills for better self sufficient living and incredibly rewarding homesteading. Start your journey to get off the grid now.
When the crap hits the fan, we need to be ready to live a life of self sufficiency, be self reliant and self sustainable.
First of all, what does self sufficient mean?
According to the dictionary, it means “needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food.”
For us preppers and homesteaders, it also means getting off the grid and relying on ourselves as much as possible.
So that means that you must know how to be self sustainable and self reliant, like our grandparents did during the Depression.
Signs Of The Times
We live in a time where everything is digital, everything is quick and everything is bustling. We no longer can live without our iPhones (or cellphones in general), laptops, or our fancy iPads.
We can’t stand to be without central heating and air, and we definitely don’t have the time to cook a dinner from scratch every night on our busy schedules, with sports practices and dance recitals.
We have long forgotten the taste of biting into your own home grow, fresh-from-the-garden tomato. We have long forgotten the enjoyment as we sit down together to a made-from-scratch dinner.
We have long forgotten the feeling of accomplishment when we built something from random sticks or wood laying around.
Or the smell of fresh, line dried clothes.
The Next Generation
Since we have long forgotten them, chances are your child won’t get the chance to even experience and appreciate these small things we did as a child. They would go absolutely bonkers if they had to go a day (much less a week or longer) without their wifi or smartphone or favorite video games.
Not all kids are like this of course, but most are. So it’s up to us to teach them the basic skills of being self sufficient adults before they grow up and it’s too late.
We need to start making sure everyone in our family knows how to do most of these things. These skills will last a lifetime and could one day help save their life.
22 Skills For More Self Sufficient Living And Homesteading
If you put the following 22 skills, tips, and possibly unthought of ideas to good use, you can start a journey from being fully on the grid to being partially off grid in months, and well on your way to going completely off grid and becoming self reliant for a lifetime.
This is important: Start at your own pace and take your time to ease into each new challenge. Don’t get overwhelmed and realize many of these skills only require your attention for a few minutes every now and then. Realize too that some, like gardening, take months to see real results from.
But that’s ok. No one is saying you have to start a self reliant farm from scratch tomorrow, and these items aren’t in any sort of order, so go at your own pace and let your own needs be your guidestone.
So, with that in mind, here they are…
Gardening – Everyone should know how to plant and tend a basic garden. This will give you and your children food and nutrients when they have nothing else to eat. Start with easy to grow plants such as tomatoes, leafy greens and beans. Then you can add some tougher-to-grow veggies as your experience grows.
Start a Herb Garden – This will spice up your food and some herbs have medicinal uses as well.
Canning – With all those veggies growing, you’ll need a way to save them. The best way is to learn to can. This will save them through the cold winter. You can also learn to make pickles, peppers, preserves, and more.
Fishing – Everyone should know how to fish. Believe it or not, some people have no idea how to fish. This is very important. You may need to catch a fish or two for dinner one day.
Hunting – If you want meat on your table and don’t have access to a farm, you need to learn how to hunt.
Cleaning your fish & meat – This goes with hunting & fishing. You need to know how to skin and dress or descale and clean your meat for dinnertime.
Starting a Fire – Everyone needs to know how to start a fire. It can be tricky to do in windy, wet, and humid conditions, so it’s good to know what to do. Learn with a lighter first, then move to a flint and striker. And then try your hand at more difficult primitive ways to start a fire, like a bow drill or rubbing sticks together.
Rationing – I know it’s hard to ration food, especially when you have a family. But this is a must that often gets overlooked, but it’s VERY important. Dividing up food and saving food is important when you need a little food to last a while.
Cooking – It’s a good idea to have multiple members of a household who know how to cook using basic ingredients. I’m not talking about making a box of mac-n-cheese or heating a pizza in the oven. I’m talking homemade breads, pancakes, etc.
Make a clothesline – How else are you going to dry your clothes without a dryer (or electricity at all)? And it’s the only authentic way to get that fresh from the line smell.
Make Homemade Cleaners & Soaps – Using basic items from your pantry like baking soda or vinegar you can make your own cleaners, soaps, shampoos, and more! You can use baking soda as a dry shampoo as well as toothpaste if mixed with a little water to make a paste.Vinegar can be used as a deodorizer but is also good for things like cleaning dirty toilets and disinfecting.
Use a washboard – You need a way to properly clean clothes. Learning to use a washboard will prove to be beneficial.
Build a Smoker – This is a great efficient way to cook meats, veggies and more. It adds a delicious flavor to everything as well.
Raise a few animals – Chickens will give you eggs and of course, a cow will give you milk. A horse can get you around. Goats, rabbits, sheep, and ducks are other options.
Sewing – Everyone should know a basic stitch or two. This will save a lot of clothes from not being able to be worn.
Crocheting – You can make hats, gloves, socks, blankets and more if you learn to crochet!
Learn to stock up – Toilet paper, water, food and LOTS & LOTS more can be stocked up. This is VERY important in a SHTF scenario.
Learn to barter – Trading items will be very beneficial when the SHTF. You’ll need to know this skill when the SHTF to trade items.
Cut firewood – Know how to use an axe? Know how to sharpen one? You will need wood for fire to keep everyone warm, and for your smoker, and more.
Make herbal medicines – This will help colds and make daily aches and pains feel better.
Plant some fruit trees – This will give you fruit and berries to eat and to can.
Start a compose pile – With compost, you are creating rich humus for your garden and adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain moisture in the soil.
Learn to live on the basics – Learn to live with just what you need and nothing more.
It’s important to understand that a lot of these you have to gradually learn . At community centers across the nation, they offer classes on learning to sew and bake. Ours also has a canning class. You can also look for books pertaining to certain skills to learn.
One of the best self sufficiency advice I can give is to talk to the older generation. They grew up in a time where they knew how to do some of this stuff, plus they have wisdom on everything! They have more years on you and have learned many more useful ideas and advice than we know.
Self Sufficient is not easy if you are used to living a very busy, digitized life. It takes some adjustment but it will be worth it in the end. When the SHTF you will be prepared and ready for your family.