Self Sufficiency

Important Self Sufficiency Skills To Learn



Feature | Important Self Sufficiency Skills To Learn | Homestead Skills

Self-sufficiency is a must if you're planning on homesteading. Becoming a full-fledged homesteader is a learning process. You must learn new skills and hone those you already have.

Just like other major life decisions, the commitment to homestead might be a shock to new preppers in the beginning. But using the wisdom and knowledge of others who have done it before can help immensely. Read on for the skills needed to be self-sufficient!

Self-Sufficiency Skills Every Prepper Should Learn

1. Canning Your Garden Produce

Preserve fruits and vegetables from your homestead naturally so you can eat holistically all year long.

Self Sufficiency Skills

2. How to Compost

Don't throw out all your biodegradable odds and ends.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Put them in a compost and make your garden thrive with compost tea.

3. How to Bake Bread

Never rely again on grocery store bread with bleached flour or expensive healthy loaves.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Bake your own bread at home!

4. Make Homemade Remedies

Do away with your dependence on the drugstore.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Heal yourself naturally with these home remedies!

5. Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Self Sufficiency Skills

Make your own chemical-free detergent in either liquid or powder form.

6. How to Make Playdough

Your kiddos will love making homemade play dough.

Self Sufficiency Skills

And if they eat it, it's made from organic ingredients so it's not a risk to their health.

7. How to Make Cheese from Scratch

Use your milk product to make your choice of fresh, delicious cheese.

Self Sufficiency Skills

This is one of the most valuable homestead skills when you consider the cash you could earn.

8. Know How to Make a Compost Bin


Correctly storing your compost will save your backyard from smelling like a dumpster. Make your own homemade compost bin and make compost all year-round.

9. Grow Plants in Your Climate

Every climate has a different time period for planting various seeds.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Find the best one for your homestead.

10. Know How to Save Seeds for Future Harvests

Create a never-ending supply of seeds for your garden by learning how to correctly save and store seeds.

Know How to Save Seeds for Future Harvests | Important Self Sufficiency Skills To Learn | Homestead Skills

The Art of Seed Saving Photo by Survival Life

Also, a lot of seeds are excellent and long-storing food sources, like corn, beans, nuts, and grains.

11. Know First Aid and CPR

Just in case there is an accident on the homestead, you should always be prepared (especially if you live out in the boonies as I do).

Self Sufficiency Skills

Learn the basics of first aid and CPR and find out how to build your own first aid kit.

12. Learn How to Operate a Tractor and Heavy Machinery

Operating a tractor can greatly decrease the amount of time you spend walking back and forth from various chores on the homestead.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Learning to operate heavy machinery is a great help when you need to carry heavy loads of supplies from one place to another.

13. Know How to Ride a Horse

An alternative to the tractor and dirt bike (and much less of a gas hog) is the horse.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Be sure you are conscious of weight limits for your breed if you are planning on using your horse to help carry supplies.

Click here to learn English Riding

Click here to learn about Western Riding

14.  Train Dogs and Farm Animals

Believe me when I say this will save you loads of time in the future.

Self Sufficiency Skills

If you have to stop gardening to discipline a dog that's using his digging skills in your garden and then replant the dissembled plants, you would have wasted more time than it takes to properly train him.

15. Learn How to Tie Knots

Self Sufficiency Skills

If you have a very stubborn dog or horse that you have to keep tied up to stay out of trouble, or if you just want to hang a line for your laundry, you will need to know a variety of knots.

16.  Make Simple Booby Traps

Keep those pesky squirrels out of your cow's feed or simply trap them for a little extra protein.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Learn to make simple booby tramps to deter pests and to catch food.

17. Change a Tire and Change Oil

Life on the homestead means no guarantees that someone is nearby at any given time.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Learn how to change tires and how to change oil so you don't lose a whole day of work due to a busted tire.

18. Learn How to Forage for Wild Edible and Herbal Plants

Preparation for emergencies is key, but in the event of injury in a natural disaster, you may have to forage for plants with healing properties.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Be very cautious when using herbs you did not plant yourself and do not use them unless you're 100% sure that you have the correct plant.

19. Make your Own Fire Starter

Many people in Ireland still make their own natural fire starters today.

Self Sufficiency Skills

This saves time when needing instant warmth on those blistering cold winter days.

20. Know How to Start a Fire Without a Match

No one should ever rely completely on one method or another.

Learn how to start a fire in a variety of ways in case you are ever without matches.

21. Know How to Properly Handle, Shoot, and Clean a Gun

Predators and threats on the homestead are inevitable.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Don't let the lack of gun knowledge be the reason that your family doesn't get the protection they need. You will learn all about guns by searching for your favorite topics here on our sister site,

22. Store a Gun Safely and Properly

Part of knowing how to use a gun is learning to store it safely away from children and possible attackers.

Self Sufficiency Skills

You'll sleep more soundly at night knowing it's in a safe place.

23. Know Basic Auto Mechanic Skills

Again, you wouldn't want to lose an entire day of work just because a switch needed to be flipped or a bolt needed tightening.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Basic auto mechanic skills are essential whether you're a self-sufficient, a homesteader, a prepper, or just any regular practical Joe.

24. Know How to Hunt Wild Game

Self Sufficiency Skills

Make sure you have the proper licenses to hunt game provide more protein for your family and keep your livestock's predators at bay.

25. Know the Laws and Regulations Regarding Hunting Wild Game in Your Area

It is only legal to hunt certain animals during specific seasons and knowing about these laws is important for your safety.

Self Sufficiency Skills

The consequences for hunting a game outside of its respective season can end in costly fines or the restriction/loss of your hunting license.

26. Make Your Own Meat Smokehouse

Whether you butcher your own livestock or hunt wild game you will need a way to preserve the meat properly.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Smoke your meat in your own homemade smokehouse.

27. Using a Smokehouse to Smoke and Cure Meat

Learn which techniques work best for different types of meat.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Whether you hunt or raise livestock, smoking and curing meat will allow you to keep your stock for longer.

28. Know How to Milk Cow and Goat

You may think that one is exactly like the other, but I assure you it is not.

Self Sufficiency Skills

Learn the basics of milking your livestock. Every cow and goat is different so you will have to learn to adjust your techniques accordingly, but the basics remain the same.

29. Learn How to Fish

Fish is packed with rich vitamins our bodies need (and love). Hopefully, your nearest waterbed is also packed full of fish.

Learn How to Fish | Important Self Sufficiency Skills To Learn | Homestead Skills

Make sure you check any rules or legislation regarding catching different breeds of fish as they can be seasonal as well.

30. Know How to Clean and Cook Fish

Catching fish for sport and food self-sufficiency are two different approaches.

Self Sufficiency Skills

It can be tricky to clean a fish because of all the tiny bones. Learn the proper way to clean and cook fish so that you can avoid any sharp bones while eating your catch.

Gardening is probably the ultimate self-sufficiency skill. Watch this video from Self Sufficient Me for the top 5 easy-to-grow vegetables to get you started in gardening: 

It is the independence from the supposed “conveniences” that makes homesteaders the ultimate preppers and survivalists. In any given SHTF scenario, they will be the ones who will have better chances of survival because they have been self-reliant all along.

Keep in mind that learning these skills will take time, patience, and perseverance, and not all of these skills are applicable to certain situations. Hopefully, though, you'll be able to pick up some great ideas that will inspire you and get you started in self-sufficient living!

Click HERE for our A Quick Start Guide to Homesteading  for Beginners

What self-sufficiency skill would you need to learn next? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Up Next: Homesteading and Sustainability – How To Become Self Reliant

If you’re looking for useful survival gear that you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!


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The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 3, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Ila

    February 4, 2018 at 10:55 PM

    The items you have listed above is why it helps to include older people in your survival group. I can and have done everything you have listed. I grew up getting up at 4;30 in the morning and milking two cows. Helped plant, grow and harvest a large garden that we canned and saved seed for the next year from. My grandmother taught me how to make bread. Hunted for dear, moose, elk and fished with my father. Even learned not only how to skin and cure meat but how to cut up meat, how to can meat, and smoke it. Learned how to change a tire and the oil on my first car. Served in the Army so know all about guns and how to use them. Was active in the boy scouts with my sons and do know how to tie knots, use a compass, set up a camp and build different kinds of fires. I was a medic in the Army so can even suture someone up if I had too. I use herbs all the time and know what they are good for and which ones to use for different problems. I am now in my mid seventies so have some health problems but do have knowledge of how to do what you say we will need to be able to do. And I am not the only Senior who has this knowledge. We may not be able to run like we use to but we do have the knowledge and ability to do all of the things you will need to know when SHTF. Most of us grew up doing them.

    • b

      February 6, 2018 at 6:31 PM

      Our elders (grandma and grandpa both) grew up in an era where these skills were valuable and necessary. Thanks for speaking up and reminding us.

    • Mary

      February 9, 2018 at 12:58 PM

      WOW! Do you ever teach some of the survival skills you know to other young seniors who did not grow up with all the instruction you got? Tell me when and where and i’d love to come for a class!!

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  3. eam

    February 11, 2018 at 8:51 PM

    I am also an early seventy type guy and echo, IIa statement….you more than likely really don’t have to look to far to find us…. who’s involved in youth activities in your church? How about all the veteran organizations? Boy Scouts….your local gun range…..4H leaders….post on CL or Back Page or the bulletin board at your library or super market….you get the idea…”seek and ye shall find”

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  5. Jennifer

    September 20, 2018 at 7:06 PM

    It’s been almost 2 months and I still haven’t received my tactical watches I ordered. I kept getting the msg that it’s outta stock and soon they would have more. I have continued to try to msg but my questions are getting ignored. I do not want a refund but I would like more up to date details about my order. And a better eta. Thank you.

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