5 Things Every Homesteader Needs

5 Things Every Homesteader Needs

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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.

A pair of work gloves on a hay bale. Gloves are one of the things every homesteader needs.

A favorite winter pair has been my Kincos lined pigskin work gloves with the knit wrist and in the summer I grab for my Wells Lamont garden gloves. 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.

#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.

Here I am standing in slush in a pair of Muck boots.

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.

#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?

Shining a flashlight into a hole in the barn to see what's hiding.

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. An option you might want to check out is this Super Bright by LE.

#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.

A pocket knife sticking out of the pocket of my barn coat. It's one of the things every homesteader needs.

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 non-locking option is 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 holding together a cart on the farm.

Cable ties come in a gazillion different colors and sizes. You can start out with a package of 200 assorted cable ties. 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!

Are you getting ready to jump into homesteading?

Here are a few articles of mine you might want to read:

Why We Are Homesteaders: 28 Reasons

7 Truths to Know About Homesteading Before You Start

Homesteaders: How to Do It All

The 3 Biggest Challenges You Will Face as a Homesteader

The Most Important Homesteading Skill You Need…

Find more goodies from A Farmish Kind of Life:

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Podcast: here on the site or subscribe in your favorite podcast app

Books by me, Amy Dingmann: My books

Muck boots in slush and work gloves on a hay bale to show a couple things every homesteader needs.

11 thoughts on “5 Things Every Homesteader Needs”

    • I’ve had Bogs when I moved here and got Mucks a few years ago and I would say yes to both. They are the only boots I wear in the winter unless I am hunting or cutting wood. Having said that, if you stand still for a long period of time, and it’s REALLY cold out, your toes might get cold, but it’s never been an issue for me. Do you know someone who has a pair you can borrow? Also, MUCK does make boots that are rated for even colder than the ones I bought. You can find more about their cold weather boots here: http://www.muckbootcompany.com/category/muckboots-arctic-collection

      • I went through two pairs of Bogs in less than a year. I think the holy grail is a pair of durable, comfortable, slip resistant rubber boots.

    • Absolutely! We live in central Manitoba and I love mine. Buying a new pair this year after living in mine for three, hard-booting years. I wore the Brit Colts as they fit under snow pants, went over breeches and let me walk deeper in sloughs.

    • yes if you will get a pair of artics or wetlands they will keep you plenty warm with thier warmest boot down to -60 and expresscool
      they are supposed to be cool up to 95

  • We always carried a couple of lead ropes, horse halters, fence cutters, and a sidearm in the truck. We had over 70 head of horses and mules, and 160 acres. Of fenced land. You never knew what you might run into when checking fence, feeding or just enjoying the day.

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