I’m often asked by folks, “If I’m gonna do this homesteading thing, what are some items I need to have?” It obviously depends on what activities you’re involved in as a homesteader—raising chickens, growing tomatoes, and cutting wood all require different things—but I find there are five simple things every homesteader needs that are often overlooked when preparing for the homesteading experience.
Ready? Here we go!
Things Every Homesteader Needs #1: Gloves
Work on the homestead can be tough on your hands, no matter what season of the calendar you’re in. A good pair of gloves can be your best friend! They protect your hands from blisters, cuts, scrapes, dirt, and yuck.
My favorite winter pair are my Kincos lined pigskin work gloves with the knit wrist and in the summer I grab for my Wells Lamont work gloves with a spandex back. By the way, every homesteader knows that when you’ve worked long and hard to wear through one of the fingers in your glove, that’s a badge of honor.
Things Every Homesteader Needs #2: Boots
Homesteading goes on no matter what the weather throws at you. Every homesteader needs a decent pair of boots to get around their property, whether you’re stepping out to work in your garden or hoofing it out to the barn to check on animals.
Look for boots that are quick to slip on, waterproof, easily hosed off (caution: mud, muck, manure, and dust!), and comfortable in both hot and cold weather. My all time favorite pair are these Muck Chore Boots – they’re rated to be comfy in sub-freezing temps to 65ish degrees.
Things Every Homesteader Needs #3: A flashlight
What’s that noise out there? Who do those eyeballs belong to? What is traipsing around in my garden? What is the chicken caught on behind that pallet? Can anyone see where I dropped that tiny screw? How much water is left in the hogs’ water barrel? What’s making that noise behind that pile of stuff in the corner?
Sure, there is a flashlight app on your phone – but is your phone always on you when you’re out working hard in the elements or the yuck? I know mine isn’t. Stash a few flashlights around your homestead or keep one on you when you’re heading out to do your work. Possible options for you include this Bright 900 Lumens or this Super Bright by LE.
Things Every Homesteader Needs #4: A decent pocket knife
Knives are so important that we have several stashed in multiple places around the homestead, and I’ve always got one in the coat or pants that I wear while I’m out working.
Opening a pesky feed bag or bale of wood shavings, cutting twine or rope, rescuing a chicken stuck in a roll of netting…you just never know when a knife will come in handy. I keep an old Schrade single locking blade in my coat pocket. Another option for a single locking blade is a Bucklite Max folding knife. A couple other great non-locking options are a Schrade 3 blade, or a Buck 3 blade.
Things Every Homesteader Needs #5: Cable Ties (don’t laugh)
Okay, you might laugh, but these little buggers (also known as zip ties or tie wraps), come in so handy so often. (It was actually my oldest son who suggested that zip ties should “totally” be one of the top five things. Does that tell you how often we use them around the homestead?)
I know it’s been said that farmers can repair anything with baling twine – consider this to be one step fancier. Repairing netting, fencing, tying up a plant so it grows straight, organizing a roll of hoses – we even used these in a pinch to keep the sides of a cart together after we’d lost the pins.
Cable ties come in a gazillion different colors and sizes. You can start out with a package of 200 cable ties in assorted colors and sizes. Or, if you’re looking to go all out (like we do, because we know we’re going to use them all!) head right for the big bundle of 1000.
So…that’s my list of five general and often overlooked homesteading necessities. Are there any necessary items you would add that are overlooked on the homestead? Add them in the comments!