Homesteading and off-grid living is something that’s becoming more and more popular with new people setting up homesteads every year. Of course, it’s not always the quiet, easy, laidback life that people think it is…
If you’re going to start a homestead, you’re going to need certain tools and equipment in order to set up, run, and maintain it well. With that in mind, here’s a list of must-have supplies for your homestead.
We don’t usually think too much about the state of our footwear, do we? Well, a sturdy pair of boots is one of your best friends.
In general, you should have multiple pairs of boots so that you’ve got a pair for each of the different tasks around your homestead.
The last thing you want when working on a homestead is to be injured while you’re working.
There’s always a chance of something falling on your foot and, let’s face it, grumpy horses/cows tend to enjoy stepping on your feet.
A good pair of boots can keep your footsies safe from grumpy horses, sharp rocks, thorns and other threats to your ability to walk.
Insect and spider bites can be very unpleasant, and you don’t want to get burned by sparks thrown by power tools, do you? Of course not, that’s why you wear gloves.
You’d usually have multiple pairs of gloves lying around. One pair for the garden, one to keep your hands warm, and one heavy-duty pair for when you’re working with power tools.
3. Jeans/Long Pants
One of the worst things that can happen that doesn’t involve poisonous plants/bites, is sunburn.
Apart from being excruciatingly painful – especially behind your knees, prolonged exposure to the sun can present health hazards.
A good pair of jeans or leggings puts a barrier between your skin and the sun. Additionally, you can avoid contact with almost anything unpleasant
Shirts keep the sun and wind off your skin. It’s best to have both new and old shirts available for use.
Newer shirts can be worn to family gatherings and special occasions while older ones can be sacrificed during hard labor.
Winter weather is rough which is why we tend to bundle up in our heaviest clothes. Jackets are a key part of your winter attire; they keep the cold and the wind off of you allowing you to avoid getting sick.
You don’t want to mess with your eyes, that’s a very bad idea. When your project puts you at risk of getting something in your eyes, a pair of glasses is a necessity.
Sparks, wood chips, and metal shavings are just a few things that can get into your eyes and they can do serious damage.
Keeping your feet warm and preventing blistering on the undersides of your feet will make outdoor work so much easier. You’ll have to keep several pairs of socks around because they wear through very quickly.
If you want to keep your clothes from getting torn up while you work, then you need a pair of overalls…or several pairs. The more protection your clothes have, the less you spend every month on replacements.
I don’t think I need to explain this one, do I? Sunburn is unpleasant, but a sunburned face…ouch!
How do you prevent sunburn on your face? You use a hat to keep the sun off of your face.
You can use baseball caps or cowboy hats, it’s up to you but you should have at least two or three hats that you can use.
“The mainstay of any meal, will be salt and pepper.” – Michael McIntyre
I started cooking when I joined the Cub Scouts as a kid. I was about eight or nine years old and I had to cook three different meals to get my cooking badge (yes, really).
It didn’t take long for me to learn that you kind of have to use salt when you cook. Without salt, steaks, and sausages have little to no flavor. With that in mind, it’s always good to keep salt on hand in your kitchen.
11. Water Filtration System(s)
Let’s be real, tap water is just not what it used to be. Nowadays there’s so much gunk and nastiness in it that you can’t drink too much of it.
Of course, you could drink from a river, lake, or borehole but you’re still at risk of getting something nasty in your system.
This is where a water filter comes in, if you want to avoid swallowing something nasty/unhealthy, use a filter to get all the gunk out of the water and make it drinkable.
Dehydration is a common and popular method of preserving foods and making jerky or dried fruits. Of course, to make these snacks you need a dehydrator.
13. Solar Oven
A solar oven…this can be very useful. You can use one of these for dehydrating foods, cooking, purifying water, pressure canning, and more.
14. Cast-Iron Cookery
Cast iron skillets and other bits of cookware can last for ages which means you won’t have to buy new cookware every few months/years.
15. Bread Pans/Loaf Tins
As the price of store-bought bread increases, more people have taken to baking their own loaves to save a bit of money.
If you like baking your own bread loaves, then you’re going to need a few pans/tins in which to make them.
16. Mason Jars
The tool that has literally hundreds, if not thousands of uses around your homestead.
It stands to reason that you’d keep several of these around for general storage/organization and canning and/or whatever else you can think of to do with them.
17. Deep Freezer
A freezer is absolutely necessary to store frozen foods, meats, milk, and numerous other things.
Apart from the culinary uses, you can also use vinegar in a variety of household cleaning products. Drain cleaner, furniture polish, and anti-bacterial spray are just a handful of uses for vinegar.
19. Baking Soda
Like vinegar, baking soda has a variety of uses outside of baking/cooking. You can mix it into a cleaner, make a polish for your teeth or silverware, make dish soap/detergent – the list goes on.
20. Meat Grinder
Paying a butcher to make your ground meat and/or sausage can be a tad pricey. To avoid that expense, you can get a grinder of your own and process your own ground meat.
21. Pressure Cooker/Canner
Pressure canning involves placing jars of low-acidity food in boiling water and heating the food to a higher temperature than the water to kill any bacteria in the jar/container. In order to do this, you need a pressure canner.
22. Water Bath Canner
If you want to can foods with higher acidity (i.e. tomatoes), then you’ll need a water bath canner.
23. Compost Bucket/Container
If you’re living on a homestead, it’s very likely that you have a compost heap somewhere in your garden.
Keeping a bucket/container on hand for kitchen scraps and other things to add to your compost heap is very useful.
Well, this one’s pretty self-explanatory. A peeler can be used for removing the peels from various fruits and making fruit-based butter(s) among other healthy treats and foods.
25. Stock Pot
If you like making broths, stews, and soups, then a stock pot could be a very useful tool to keep on hand.
Here’s another obvious one: knives. You can’t chuck massive chunks of food into a frying pan or pot; you need to be able to break the food into manageable pieces. A good set of sharp knives can make that very easy for you.
27. Rolling Pin
Do you like pies? Of course, you do! Do you like baking pies from scratch? Well, that depends; it can be a bit of a schlep to flatten the crust/pastry.
It can be even worse when you’re trying to flatten bread dough, right? This is where a rolling pin comes in handy.
28. Grain Mill
If you want to make your own flour, you can use a grain mill to grind your grains down to make flour.
29. Mortar and Pestle
If you’re frequently drying and/or grinding herbs, then you’ll need a mortar and pestle to make it easier for you.
30. Vacuum Sealer
If you want to freeze something for long-term storage, a vacuum sealer is the way to go. You can suck all the air out of a container and thus keep any unwanted bacteria from spoiling the food.
31. Kitchen Scale
Okay, so most of the time you can just throw stuff into pots and pans and get something edible out of it.
That said, there are certain things which require a degree of precision and that’s where you’ll need a scale.
32. Cutting Board
It’s no secret that cutting food directly on your countertop can cause a few problems.
Apart from possibly damaging the countertop, you’ve also got the risk of picking up some nasty bacteria. To mitigate this, you put a cutting board between your knife and the counter.
Other Useful Household Items
Rope is always useful to have, whether you’re tying something down or setting up a wash line, a hank of good rope is something you’ll regret not having.
A good, sharp knife is great for cutting rope, foodstuffs, opening packages, and it makes a good self-defense tool if needed.
35. Oil Lamps
If you’re living off the grid and you’ve decided not to use electricity, you still need a form of lighting. This is where oil lamps come in, you can use them to light your home and not have to worry about an electricity bill.
36. Weather Radio
A radio that’s meant specifically to relay weather-related news, is vital if you’re in an area where the weather can go bad quickly.
Many homesteaders have a system in place to give them weather updates, but these systems can sometimes fail and that can leave you vulnerable.
37. First Aid Kit
If you’re on an isolated homestead, then getting to the hospital may take some time. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit.
38. Hammer and Nails
If you’re into DIY projects, then a hammer and nails are crucial. If you want to stick something together for a long period, nailing it together is the way to go. In order to do that, however, you need a hammer and nails.
A level is essentially a ruler with a built-in tube of liquid. This tool is used to make sure that you don’t build your shed or project cockeyed.
40. Power Tools
Power tools – drills, jigsaws, angle grinders, and other power tools are always useful for reducing the strain on your body and shortening the time of production on your project.
41. Tape Measure
Apart from taking accurate measurements, a tape measure is used to make sure that your wood/whatever you’re using is evenly set out.
42. Air Compressor
I’m sure we’ve all had issues with flat tires. Unfortunately, a flat tire can be a very big problem – especially when your homestead is very isolated. If you want to fill a tire with air, you’ll need an air compressor.
Pliers can be used for prying things nails out of walls/containers and crimping ends/joints closed.
Obviously, you won’t be able to reach every spot in which you need to work. To reach these typically out-of-reach places, you use a ladder.
Outdoorsy Stuff and Garden Tools
45. Garden Hose
A garden hose negates the need to carry buckets of water back and forth between taps/wells and your garden.
Fencing is absolutely necessary if you wish to keep your plants and animals separate and contained.
Seeds…this is an easy one to understand. Have you ever tried planting something without seeds? It’s not possible, if you want to put together a garden then you need to plant seeds.
If you need to dig or move dirt around to plant markers or seeds, a shovel will make that very easy.
Rakes can be used to clear away dirt and leaves when needed.
The ability to start a fire is important – especially in colder, winter weather. For this to be done – assuming you don’t want to spend time on the bow-drill method – you will need either a butane lighter or boxes of matches.
Let’s face it, carting things around your homestead can be a pain in the neck (and the back).
Having a wheelbarrow/wagon on hand means you can carry large loads with minimal risk of damage to yourself or the stuff you’re transporting.
If you want to add extra storage space or start collecting rainwater for later use, you’re going to need a barrel or two.
53. Animal Crates
If you’ve got a sick animal, you can’t have it stick with its buddies. In order to keep it separate and prevent the sickness from spreading, you’ll need an animal crate – or two.
If you need to have a place for all your barrels and livestock, a shed or barn can be useful for storage and/or shelter purposes.
55. A Reliable Doggo
The Great Pyrenees is a commonly recommended breed of dog for homesteaders. They don’t look particularly threatening but will absolutely make sure that nobody messes with their territory and/or family. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re so fluffy!
56. Fishing Pole
Fishing isn’t necessarily for everyone but having a fishing pole around makes it an option for when you want something different for dinner.
57. A Mask
Things like sawdust, chicken fecal matter can get into your lungs and cause serious health problems. To avoid this, you should have at least one or two masks lying around for use.
58. Extra Fuel Tanks
Generator fuel and/or gas for the vehicles on the homestead can run out pretty quickly. Having extra fuel tanks around makes it possible to avoid running out of gas.
Chopping up firewood is much easier with an axe. If you need to chop up logs, an axe is the best tool for the job.
Speaking from experience, you don’t want plywood or project materials moving around on your workbench. It can make things very difficult, so you use a clamp to keep your materials in place.
61. Tractor/Pickup Truck
A tractor is great for working the ground and doing a lot of the heavy lifting you’ll need to be done. A pickup truck is also necessary if you want to transport heavy loads.
If your power goes out, a generator can help by providing the extra power that you need.
63. Milking Stand and Buckets
A milking stand and buckets make it easier to milk your cows and/or goats and transport the milk.
Pitchforks can be used for loosening soil when the ground is hard and dry.
You need to know what’s planted where, in order to keep track of your plants, it makes sense to put some sort of signage in place.
66. Solar Panels
Off-grid living can be a bit tricky if you don’t have electricity. With that in mind, installing solar panels gives you access to free, renewable electricity.
67. Wind Turbine
The installation of wind turbines, much like solar panels, gives you access to a free, renewable form of electricity.
68. Pipe Wrench
If you need to repair a pipe or two, a pipe wrench will be necessary.
69. Extension Cords
Extension cords will allow you to reach further along with power tools.
The human ear can only take so much noise before they give out. To keep your ears safe, a pair of earmuffs is necessary.
Crowbars can be used for lifting heavy items.
Screwdrivers make securing screws so much easier.
Axes are useful, there’s no denying that but chopping down a tree would be much easier with a chainsaw.
A lawnmower is useful for, you guessed it, cutting your grass and keeping your lawn in good shape.
This is pretty obvious; you need somewhere to keep your tools. A toolbox serves that purpose very well.
75. Palm Sander
Sanding down a piece of woodwork by hand is great and all but it can take quite a while. An electric sander cuts down on the amount of work and sweat that comes from sanding.
76. Allen Keys/Wrenches
If you need to tighten/loosen screws with hexagonal heads, a set of Allen wrenches will be needed.
77. Staple Gun
Securing fabrics/materials to a surface can be simplified by using a staple gun to secure things together.
78. Wood Chisel
If you’re into woodwork and DIY stuff, then using a wood chisel to smooth things out makes sense. Of course, you’d have to have a wood chisel on hand, wouldn’t you?
79. Pruning Shears
You have to maintain the size of your plants and to do this you’ll need a pair of pruning shears.
80. Mealworms and Ladybugs
Ladybugs and mealworms are both very good for your garden and mealworms are also a favorite treat for chickens.
Flashlights are very useful for pretty much anything, but sometimes you need to work with your hands, and holding onto a light is detrimental.
This is where a headlamp comes in handy because you can work with your hands.
Guesswork when cooking isn’t a very good idea, it can fail often and if you need a particular temperature then a thermometer will be needed.
83. PVC Cutter
PVC pipes are very useful and having a tool that’s purpose-built for cutting through them can be equally useful.
84. Reference Books
The internet is a great tool, and it can save your neck quite a bit. That said, you should always have a backup plan and reference books are a good option.
85. French Press
A French Press can be used to make coffee while living off the grid; a simple case of boiling water, coffee grounds, and a bit of patience.
86. A Hand-Operated Radio
As useful as a cell phone can be, you should always have a hand-operated radio so that you have a means of contacting the outside world if needed.
87. Zip Ties
Keeping things secured together, and thwarting certain unwanted visitors, zip ties are amazingly versatile. With that in mind, you should have as many of these as possible.
88. Essential Oils
This one isn’t really a must-have in the sense that you can do without them, but essential oils can be very useful anti-bacterial solutions and pesticides.
If you’ve got animals (i.e. Horses) using a halter makes it easier to move them around – assuming they’re in a good mood, of course.
Apart from the obvious storage benefits, you can make a DIY Washing machine from two buckets, or carry light loads (i.e. food, water, etc.) much easier on yourself if you’ve got a bucket on hand.
Measuring the correct quantity of feed to give an animal can be a bit tricky when doing it by hand. This is where scoops come in handy, they also make filling a container easier.
92. Lead Ropes/Reigns
Much like with halters, lead ropes make transporting/leading animals so much easier.
93. Weigh Tapes
Selling animals can be a profitable venture. In those instances, potential buyers may want to know the weight of the animal – that’s where weigh tapes come in.
94. Butter Churn
If you need to mix/churn butter, well that’s where you’ll need a butter churn.
95. Food Processor
If you’re looking to make your own butter, yogurt, cream, or something else that requires pureed food then you’ll need a food processor.
96. Sharpening Stones
You’ll want to keep several sharpening stones around to keep your various blades good and sharp.
97. Lubricant Oils
There’s nothing worse than creaky hinges or padlocks that get stuck, that’s where lubricants come in handy. You can unstick a lock or stop a squeaky hinge without emptying the container.
98. Duct Tape
Heavy-duty duct tape can be used to fix almost anything, so it makes sense to keep a lot of it on your homestead, doesn’t it?
99. Wood Glue
If you’re building or repairing a piece of woodwork (i.e. a cabinet) in your home, a bottle of carpenter or wood glue is a useful thing to have.
There are Many More Things that a Homesteader May Need
Homesteading is great and, if done properly, can be a very profitable venture. This list is only a partial one – after all, different homesteaders will have different needs.
With that in mind, I’ve tried to keep things limited to what every homesteader may need.
I hope you guys and gals enjoyed this article and found it informative. As always, I’d like to say thanks very much for reading; it’s greatly appreciated.
I’ll see you for the next one very soon, but until then, stay safe and take care!
Greg spent most of his childhood in camping grounds and on hiking trails. While he lives in the suburbs nowadays, Greg was raised on a small farm with chickens. He’s a decent shot with a bow, and a huge knife enthusiast. Find out more about Greg.