When starting a homestead it is easy to get caught up in wondering what you need while still being minimalistic. There are a few things that every new homesteader will need to make their lives easier and they can typically be placed into several categories.
Here is some helpful advice for things you might not have thought of when planning your dream.
Homesteader Must Haves: General
1. A good way to reference any questions you may have
Reading comes in handy right from the beginning. Having someone with experience there to help is a great resource as well. After all – the more knowledge, the better you will be in a given situation.
Using the library and resource of learning from others while keeping your notes in a handheld book might be a great idea if looking for a way to do this on a budget.
This one is a big swallow but in order to do anything and be self-sustainable, it means having money saved up to take care of yourself and your family. The feeling of driving a paid for vehicle or living in a home that is paid brings a reassurance that not many people these days know.
This one seems obvious but in order to make a homestead (of any size) work, you must start with at least a little bit of land.
4. A pickup truck
This is important as it helps you be able to get feed from the store, or firewood from one place to another. Adding a topper is good for things that you need to stay dry.
If this seems like an expensive investment, using the reference is a great place to start and with the proper investment, the car can last years.
5. A small Utility Vehicle
This could do everything from mowing the yard to digging foundation and bailing hay. You can even move items that would seem too tedious for the pickup truck.
I am using this as a general because the composter can be used inside and outside depending on which brand chose to purchase. There is a worm composter that can be left right in the kitchen, or a round one that looks similar to a trash can that is used outside. You can also create your own.
Goodness knows you are going to get wet, dirty, and who knows what else. Owning a good pair of boots is essential to keeping yourself clean and, possibly saving your toes.
Homesteader Must Haves: In the Kitchen
8. A Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
This one is versatile! Getting just the Kitchen Aid is a start. You can make homemade marshmallows or knead bread with the machine.
The added benefits come from the extra parts that can be bought throughout time. Some of these items include an ice cream maker, a grain mill, and a meat stuffer. Part of the reason these items will come in handy is the ability to save space.
9. An electric peeler
This is something that you can get to go on the Kitchen aid but it will save a lot of time peeling and coring those apples or any other fruit you are wanting to take care of.
10. A digital scale
This is great to have around, especially if you are a baker. This way you are guaranteed to get just the right amount of food or liquid needed for the recipe.
11. Mason Jars
These glass jars come in handy for canning and storage!
12. A pressure cooker
Good for helping not so tender meat taste like a filet minion and canning certain recipes.
13. Cast iron cookware
The best cookware to get a hold of as it can be used on the stove, in the oven or even over a fireplace. It will not melt even at two thousand degrees Fahrenheit!
14. A food processor
This tool can do multiple items from cutting down on shredding time to help make homemade mayonnaise.
15. A French press
For those of us who have to have our caffeine, a French press comes in very handy. Just pour in fresh ground beans, one hundred and eighty-five-degree water to sit for three minutes, steep and pour the greatness into a cup.
16. A food dehydrator
From fresh beef jerky to homemade fruit roll ups, this tool is one that kids, adults and your budget alike will thank you for!
17. A crockpot
I use mine to make big batches of homemade yogurt or to cook dinner on days I know I will be busy or away.
18. A good blender
Last but not least in this list. A Vitamix or Blendtec is well worth the cost if you use a blender a lot for things such as baby food, pesto, or great smoothies.
Homesteader Must Haves: Elsewhere Inside the Home
19. A good knife
This can help for cutting anything a homesteader might need from rope to meat. Be sure to keep it clean if you are transferring from food products to non-food products!
Rope can be helpful in multiple ways around the homestead, such as pulling items when needed and hanging up laundry to dry.
21. Washing machine
Speaking of drying, a hand-cranked washing machine is an amazing tool to have handy. This eliminates another electricity sucker and some of them do a well enough job that they received four out of five stars on Amazon.
22. Oil Lamps
When the power is out (or if you are choosing not to use electricity) these lamps come in very handy.
23. A weather radio
For many homesteaders, they have decided not to have cable and being farther out, when it rains the HDTV equivalent of “antenna ears” stop working so having a radio to know when the weather gets bad could be a matter of life or death.
Homesteader Must Haves: In the Work Room
24. Medical supplies
Many homesteads are further out and it takes time to get to the nearest hospital. Having band-aids, burn cream, a thermometer, and a pain reliever on hand is a great idea. Using natural remedies, such as growing aloe, is a good idea as well.
25. A hammer
Many homesteaders do a lot of the work themselves, meaning a hammer is a necessity in the home.
Nails are important for the same reason that a hammer is. This is a priority for building anything needed for the homestead.
27. A level
Because you don’t want to build the house (or the barn, or the outdoor kitchen) crooked.
28. A tape measure
Essential to make sure the wood should be even.
29. Electric tools
Life is a lot easier when you have some electric tools around such as a saw and a drill.
30. An air compressor
This is important because a tire may go flat, and being far away from the nearest car garage could mean being stuck or having to call someone to come help you.
31. An animal crate
This is important for taking care of an animal, separating them from their flock or for keeping a hurt animal contained until you can get it to the vet.
Homesteader Must Haves: Outside
With some education (see need number one), this will be a one-time purchase as you can save seeds for next year from the vegetables or fruits you grew this year. Depending on the plant, it might even grow back on its own next year. Seedsavers.com is a great place to start.
33. A PVC cutter
We have PVC pipes to water the garden and use them with the animals as well. Having the cutter makes life easier when we are working on a project.
34. A good shovel
This will help with planting the garden or even putting in steaks for the animals.
35. A rake
A rake makes things easier when gathering up leaves in the fall or making way for the new plants in the spring garden.
36. A hat
This is essential for those days when the sun is beating down on your face. Having a hat brings some relief to your face at least.
These are a must for anyone who plans to spend quality time in their garden because holding the garden tools for hours on ends without the gloves means blisters. Ouch.
38. Plant markers
This could be a really fun project that you will be grateful for in the future when you will not be scratching your head trying to remember what you planted.
39. A water hose
Trying to drag around buckets of water is difficult to do, a water hose lightens the load for sure.
40. The ability to start a fire
This means buying matches or a butane lighter.
41. A barrel
Another great item for storage is a barrel. You can even create your own rainwater system with these handy items.
42. A wagon
This is perfect for toting goods around that might otherwise get heavy to carry, from supplies to children!
43. Solar panels
These bad boys will cut down on your electric bill, or if combined with the oil lamps, totally eliminate the need for electricity at all. There is even a way you can make them yourself!
Homesteader Must Haves: Animals
44. A beehive
Bees are great for pollinating your garden and giving you honey. The comb can be used for many things as well, including making beeswax. Beeswax can be turned into candles or used to help sewing thread slide into fabric easier.
If you are going to have larger pets, fencing becomes necessary.
46. A barn or shed
Likewise, these larger pets such as goats, horses, and cows are going to need a place to stay safe in inclement weather. A barn or shed is a good idea. It is possible that your land will come with one but if not, that’s okay to use your resources and build one yourself or barter services with someone else.
47. An incubator
Sometimes you do not want your chickens lying on their eggs or there may be fear of other animals such as a bobcat. An incubator is a great way to not stress about the what-ifs.
This is important for baby chicks that need their area to be warm. On cold nights, it is reassuring to know that they will not freeze to death.
49. A boarder heat lamp
If they do get too cold, a boarder heat lamp is the way to go. Make sure it has a clamp so that way it does not fall on the chicks.
50. A spring loop locking mechanism for your chicken coop
Raccoons are known for being able to unlock the door of a chicken coop, so this way they are unable to get in.
51. A Great Pyrenees
These mild-mannered, large, fluffy dogs do a great job making sure no one messes with their turf.
52. A donkey
For bigger animals, having a donkey is a wise idea. I was surprised when I learned why many farmers keep them. Their “hee-haw” sound will scare animals away or at least wake you up!
53. A mask
This is good for when it comes time to clean out the coop. Debris can fly everywhere and getting chicken feces in your lungs is harmful to your health.
54. A gun
This is essential as it can be used to get dinner on the table or defend either yourself or your livestock. A .22 long rifle is good for a start.
55. Fishing pole
This seems silly but again, it might just put dinner on the table.
Last but not least…
56. This job can get tedious and sometimes feel frustrating. Having perseverance and a love for seeing what you did with your own hands is the ultimate essential tool!
This list is just the beginning and you might find that you need some of these items and prefer not to have others. It is a part of the process.
I bought a bread maker and found that I preferred my Kitchen Aid even after the purchase. If you wonder how much you will use it, buy it used or borrow one to start with and then make your decision one way or another.