homesteading basics for preppers

homesteading projects and skills

Homesteading skills anyone can try
List of skills on homesteading, prepping and survival

Start a homestead where you are now, so you can enjoy and learn traditional
American skills without buying the farm.

Become a backyard homesteader! Preppers yearn for the down-
home kind of self-reliance that our great grandparents took for
granted. Self sufficiency begins at home one project at a time.
So start thinking of old fashioned ways of doing things!

Today you can begin to have some good old fashioned fun,
starting with this list of homesteading basics for preppers to
learn and try.

71 ways to Be a Homesteader (without
having a farm)
Here are 71 homesteading skills to try if you're a prepper and
not a farmer...

#1: Turn off the lights, and light some candles.
One of the easiest ways to become more self-sufficient without
a homestead is to turn out the lights. Get a match and light
candles, an oil lamp or use solar lighting.

  • Get out the candles. Get cozy and tell ghost stories at
    dinner tonight by candlelight. Place candles in a solid base
    away from drapery and pedestrian traffic. If you have
    children, always discuss fire safety (keeping sleeves and
    hair away from the flickering candles).

  • Go solar. Solar lighting is a modern homesteading luxury.
    By day you can put solar stakes in the ground and then by
    nightfall bring them inside. Just prop them in an empty
    mason jar.

#2: Hang something to dry.
On the homestead there are many things to hang out to dry!
While it's mostly laundry, you can also dry produce from your

  • Laundry: String a clothesline with wooden clothes pins and
    let your clothes hang dry the homesteading way! Hang the
    line on a fold up drying rack for indoor use, a patio, the
    porch, a greenhouse, sun room or outside. You'll save
    money on the drying expenses as you practice your
    homesteading skills. Here's how to do the laundry without

  • Herbs: Dry herbs from the garden. You don't need any
    fancy equipment. Just get a clothes pin or some twine and
    wrap the plant at the stems and hang upside down
    somewhere indoors. You don't want nasty pollution or birds
    to target your herbs.

  • Fruits and veggies. Hang fruits and veggies to dry using
    the hanging solar dehydrator, pictured left, which keeps
    everything organized and free from pests. This is one of
    the natural ways of dehydrating.

#3: Try composting.
Start by throwing the leftover coffee beans in the garden.  
Eventually you'll want to get yourself a compost bin, but start
small with a compost bucket and put in egg shells, lemon and
orange rinds, apple cores, celery stalk, potato and carrot peels,
tea bags or tea leaves, and nut shells, excluding black walnut,
which is toxic. (No meat or bones either.) You'll get the hang of
it quickly. Pretty soon you'll find yourself routinely saving food
scraps for your compost pile. Want to get a  little more
advanced in your homesteading?
Get a composting toilet.

#4: Make it yourself, Make do (or do without).
Get into the homesteading spirit by cutting back on something
or substituting something for greener living. For example:  

  • Do without paper towels. Get some quality cotton kitchen
    towels for your food and some old rags for the other stuff,
    and see if you can go a week without paper towels.  

  • Make do without baking powder (make it from scratch
    instead)! shows how simple it is to mix
    baking soda with cream of tartar for an easy homemade
    baking powder. It will taste better without the chemicals
    and you'll start to feel like a clever homesteader.

  • Do without plastic bags: You can do without plastic
    sandwich and snack bags by stitching together or buying
    cloth sandwich bags, pictured left, or sending kids to
    school with a steel bento box, also pictured left, or a tiffin.

  • Never throw away bits of soap. Melt soap bits back to a
    larger bar, or continue to use the bits and pieces by
    putting them in mesh bag.

#5: Cook and cut a whole chicken.
You don't need to know how to pluck a chicken, just yet;
however, you should know how to cook and cut a whole chicken!
From a whole chicken you can make dinner and then a soup or
broth from the leftover bones, and chicken salad for lunch.

Better Homes and Garden
provides the skills you need for how
to cook a whole chicken. You'll need a proper pair of kitchen
scissors, pictured right.

#6: Re-use or re-purpose something.
Homesteaders have mastered the art of upcycling! So see to it
that you craft, renew, re-use and re-purpose something that's in
your home right now. Here are some quick ideas to get your
mind thinking.

  • Old cowboy boots. Add some country charm to a pair of
    cowboy boots with cut flowers from your garden and an old
    glass jar. Voila - you've created a noteworthy vase.  Or put
    a clean and emptied peanut butter jar into a pair of kiddie
    cowboy boots and turn it into a nostalgic pencil holder.

  • Tissue box: Use an empty tissue boxes to store plastic
    grocery bags or the dog bags. An empty tissue box is also
    good for stashing used tissues at a sick bed.

  • Cantaloupes and oranges: Turn a half of a cantaloupe
    into the fruit bowl! You'll amaze your family with creativity
    and you won't have to clean the bowls. Cut the cantaloupe
    in half, then scoop the contents for your fruit salad.
    Borrowing on the idea, kids will love a gelatin dessert
    chilled in orange halves.

#7: Make soup from scratch.
There are five basic considerations for making soup from scratch
you'll need to:
  1. choose a type of fat
  2. select a base
  3. pick the meat
  4. pair the complementary veggies
  5. include the right spices
    Of course, after you've mastered your soup making skills,
    the grand finale is to select the perfect apocalypse soup

Once you get the basics for making soup from scratch, you'll
throw in leftover veggies and turn tonight's dinner scraps into
tomorrow's soup for lunch!

#8: Grow a Windowsill Herb Garden.
You don't need land to grow herbs. All you really need is a
sunny place inside your home. Here are the
top ten herbs to
grow according to

Start a container garden of any size! Even someone in an
apartment can have a little homestead on the patio or deck
with a container garden of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, even

#9: Build a bird feeder, nesting box or bird house.
Why would you want birds on the homestead? Birds are natural
pest control! They eat a variety of insects, including aphids,
mosquitoes, and spiders. Building a bird feeder or bird house
will help your garden grow. You might also install a birdbath.

#10: Make gravy from scratch!
Get out the fancy gravy boat instead of the can! Making gravy is
a skill every homesteader should know. You can learn to make
gravy worthy of filling your finest gravy boat.

#11: Bake biscuits for your home-made gravy.
You'll feel close to the farm if have biscuits and gravy. Biscuits
are just as good for breakfast as they are for dinner; and home
made gravy tastes so much better than what you get from a

#12: Braid a rug!
An art that grew out of necessity, your rags of warn clothing
could be transformed into something new and useful: a rug!
Much of homesteading revolves around not letting anything go
to waste, so if you have clothing your children have outgrown or
that no longer fits, then put it to good use with a do-it-yourself

  • Craft a braided rug from plarn. If you have too many
    plastic bags, you can craft something new with plarn (yarn
    made of plastic). From "plarn" you can make just about
    anything. Here's the tutorial for how to braid a rug.

#13: Become a "Knit Wit" and  get knotty.
Knitting is among the skills prepper kids will love. One form of
knitting, not often recognized is
crafting with paracord. Both are
knot tying! Whether you knit with yarn or craft with paracord,
hone those knot tying skills and make something.

#14: Grind your own wheat into flour.
Get out of the daily grind and start grinding! Among the top ten
of essential homesteading skills is grinding wheat, but don't
stop with wheat! Explore the other daily grinds...

  • In addition to wheat, a grain mill is also useful for
  • coffee
  • oats into flour or to make oats milk;
  • popcorn into cornmeal;
  • beans into flour or hummus;
  • nuts into flour or butters

  • Grind popcorn into flour. During World War II people
    made  their  wheat last by grinding in some corn. At the
    time, corn was more plentiful and less expensive. Left is a
    cast-iron popcorn mill grinder that is surprisingly affordable
    (thanks to the 75% discount currently available)! It takes
    some work, but is well worth the effort and ideal for life off
    the grid. Today, preppers use grain mills to grind wheat,
    popcorn,and also coffee, oats for oat-milk and baking,
    almonds into almond flour for baking, nuts for nut butters,
    and beans into flour for baking. Consider popcorn for your

#15: Sprout something!
With the seed sprouter, left you can sprout anything from
alfalfa for the rabbits,
fodder for the chickens or sprout for
human consumption -- crunchy toppings for your sandwiches and

#16: Make home-made tortillas.
Tortillas are a gluten free treat. Making tortillas is actually
easier than baking biscuits! You need only Masa Harina (a
special corn flour), salt and warm water. Make dough balls, roll
them and fry. (Later, you can get fancy and buy a tortilla

#17: Churn milk into butter.
A hand-crank butter churn, pictured left, is an easy prep and
your family will enjoy the home made butters you'll craft. Try
flavored butters by adding herbs, fruits and rinds.

#18: Bake a pie crust from scratch.
Whether you pick wild blackberries, apples from an orchard, or
pumpkins from your patch, you'll eventually need to learn to
bake a pie crust from scratch to take advantage of the seasonal

  • Pie making Hint: To help you gain experience, make a flaky
    pie crust with help from Dancing Deer Baking Co., pictured
    immediate right. The directions are easy and your family
    will love you for trying! Once you see that it isn't that
    difficult, you can move on to the totally from scratch kind.

#19: Make ice cream.
All you need to make flavorful homemade ice cream is milk, fruit
or other flavoring, and sugar or honey. Who needs fresh milk?
You can make ice cream from powdered milk! A hand-crank ice
cream maker is fun, but did you know you can make ice cream
without an ice cream maker?

Here's how to make ice cream without the machine:

#20: Learn how to make yogurt without a machine, too!
Yogurt is an ancient prepper food that was likely first made by
mistake in a warm climate where milk had the opportunity to
ferment. It was a delicious mistake indeed and a welcomed skill
on the homestead. Raita is the Indian version of yogurt, which
is served as a condiment to the many spicy foods of India.

#21: Dehydrate fruits and vegetables.
Owning a food dehydrator is a joy for dehydrating fruits and
vegetables (the Excalibur, pictured left s a prized possession of
many preppers, but there are loads of other methods of
dehydrating foods, including:
  • air drying
  • sun drying (air drying in direct sunlight)
  • oven drying
  • smokehouse drying and even microwave drying for meats!

#22: Sew something simple.
It's "sew" simple: sew something to get started homesteading.

  • Darn some socks. Sew something simple by hand with
    needle and thread or just repair a pair of worn out stocks.

  • Sew without electricity! Left, the treadle-powered sewing
    machine will be a luxury in a life in an off-grid world.

#23: Have the kids join a 4-H club.
Visit the national 4-H Web site to learn how the 4-H curriculum
focuses on three primary mission mandates: science, healthy
living, and citizenship. All three make for a foundation of
homesteading basics. From Wind Power to being ready on the
homestead, the program cultivates the skills that youth need
for everyday living as they gain knowledge about subjects that
interest them.

#24: Clean your tools.
Keep your gardening tools rust free and in good shape so you
don't have to buy them again. Homesteaders always keep an
eye on expenses and live life with thrift!

#25: Chop wood, sharpen your axe, and manage your wood.
Seasoned wood requires a season to dry, so you may as well
get chopping now!

  • Want a premium axe? Gransfors Bruks, Small Forest Axe,
    right. This premium quality axe is hand-forged at Gränsfors
    Bruks, a family owned forge in a small town in Sweden.  
    The small Forest Axe has a handle long enough to allow
    powerful chopping but short enough to fit in a rucksack.
    This is the one to own!

  • Get sharp on your axe: Sharpen an axe; and know the
    proper way to carry it. A free guide for your personal
    survival manual is The Scout and his Axe, by John
    Thurman. This 16-page guide, written in 1963 on the types
    of axes, is a PDF to print that will help you with choosing
    an axe, caring for an axe, sharpening an axe, safety, and
    proper felling of a tree. As well it has pertinent information
    on saws, hammers and wedges.

  • Manage your wood lot: Properly managing the wood lot
    on your property means you'll have more future firewood.

#26: Cut or saw something!
Saw plywood, cut off a branch. Be your own handy person. The Web site shows you
How to Use a
Handsaw, but heck, the sawing is just as much woman's work
on the homestead.

#27: Have some hammertime!
Another basic homesteading skill, is to pick up a hammer and
some nails to fix or make something. Kids love hammering, so
let them indulge under your supervision. On the toolmanship
basics, get a refresher on
How to Handle a Hammer, again from

#28: Seal cheese in wax.
You don't need to be a dairy farmer or a cheese maker to start
with a simple homesteading skill: waxing cheese. Waxing
cheese will help you feel more self-sufficient because you can
coat your favorite artisan cheeses for use years later.
cheese wax and start preserving cheese at home.

#29: Get into candle making (traditional and non-traditional).
Light up the night with candle making! Whether crafting hand-
dipped candles or making a primitive light source from what you
have candle making is a necessary skill for a life off grid.

  • Hint for making candles and simultaneously re-using
    supplies: You can use an expired tub of Crisco and add a
    wick to craft an easy survival candle. (Yes, even Crisco has
    an expiration date.) Keep wicks on hand for making oil
    lamps with other kinds of oils that go rancid. Such oil can
    serve as fuel for fire building as well.

#30: Get canning and learn how to use a pressure canner.
Don't be afraid to start canning! There's no pressure (LOL), but
please visit our
canning store for pressure cookers! Need more
At Home Canning for Beginners and Beyond with Kendra
Lynne, pictured left, will get you started.

#31: Forage for edibles.
Nature's bounty is hiding outside. Get a book to help you find
the wild edibles in your vicinity.
Forage for edibles in the wild.

  • Fruit foraging and berry picking. Take a look around the
    neighborhood for free fruit. Pick blackberries, apricots,
    kumquats or lowquats. Ask a neighbor or friend who may
    have too many apples, oranges or lemons if you can pick
    fruit that might otherwise go to waste.

  • Learn how to eat acorns. If you live in California, Acorns
    abound! You may as well learn now how the Native
    American's survived on Acorns for breakfast, lunch and
    dinner! Here's how to use acorns for food.

#32: Learn the art of charcuterie.
Charcuterie is the craft of salting, smoking, and curing, which
began in France and Italy. Original methods of Charcuterie is
responsible for the salami, sausages, and prosciutto we enjoy
today. In modern definition, it's the art of salting, cooking,
smoking, and drying meats. A Prepper may learn to make
sausages, terrines, and pâtés or even olive and vegetable
rillettes, duck confit, mortadella and soppressata or smoked
almonds! left, "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and
Curing," paves the way towards learning the skill of Charcuterie.

#33: Buy something used.
Homesteading is about being thrifty. When you  buy something
used not only do you give new life to something useful, but you
help keep yourself out of debt. What kinds of things should you
buy used for your home and homestead?
  1. second hand clothes - have fun, especially with kids
  2. books on homesteading (used ones are available on
  3. gardening equipment that's not rusted or that you can
  4. kitchen and household items
  5. home decor you can re-purpose

Give a second look to yard sales and see what you can find, but
think before you buy:
  • Buyer beware if it smells like smoke. You'll never get the
    smoke out.
  • Inspect carefully for stains, broken parts, cracks (and
    determine whether you can fix them or live with the flaws).
  • Reconsider the purchase! Just because it's cheap, doesn't
    mean it's for you. Don't end up with a pile of junk.

#34. Disinfect water without chemicals and learn to distill
Homesteaders should know the many ways to secure potable
water. Here are two underrated methods for obtaining potable

  • Build a solar still. Here's how to build a simple solar still.
    As Off the Grid News warns: "Distillation is a simple
    process, although it can be difficult to accomplish in

#35: Make lemonade from scratch or iced tea.
Sitting on your patio or porch and sipping your own homemade
lemonade or iced tea from tea bags you brewed in the sun is
the most basic of pleasures for a homesteader or prepper.

#36: Make a homemade disinfectant cleaner.
Homesteaders enjoy being self sufficient from grocery store
items and they dislike unnecessary chemicals. Here's
how to
make a natural disinfectant cleaner.

#37: Harvest the rain.
Take advantage of the rainfall for use in gardening, sanitation
or emergency water filtration.
Start collecting rainwater now.
Even if you simply have a barrel it's a good start because
rainwater is safe to drink in a survival situation and a much
better alternative than pool water.

#38: Get a mini cistern.
A cistern is a tank for storing water, and on the homestead this
usually is for supplying taps or as part of a flushing toilet.
Water is a necessity and a 55-drum barrel provides an easy
urban solution for the garage or closet. You could even turn it
into a table if you add a table top round and cloth to cover it.'

#39: Set up a system to recycle grey water.
Grey water is the concept of recycling water, like using the
bathtub water to help you flush the toilet in drought. Why don't
you recycle grey water water from bathroom sinks, showers,
tubs, and even washing machines? Some water can effectively
be used for watering the garden (be careful of detergents that
are not biodegradable.) For more information, visit the
Greywater Action Web site for a sustainable water culture.

#40: Get into Root Cellaring.
If you're in an apartment, you can't have a root cellar, but
anyone with a backyard can set one up (with permission from
the landlord if you rent). Set up your own natural cold storage
of fruits and vegetables with help from the book, pictured left.
You don't need to go full blown, like the video below. Just
about anyone can have  a barrel root cellar if they have a small
space to dig (apartment dwellers included)!

#41: Know how to prune and graft a fruit tree.
Get to know a little more about pruning and grafting:

  • Pruning. Pruning is the decision to cut parts of a tree to
    give it more clarity. Essentially, you remove the parts that
    are no longer useful so that what's left can thrive. The
    reasons for pruning could be because of decay, to eliminate
    cross branches or to eliminate weak wood Here's how to
    prune an apple tree.

  • Grafting. Grafting adds nodes to the tree to increase the
    predictive accuracy. Grafting is the secret to great fruit!
    Grafting also helps build a resistance to disease or you can
    build qualities to the plant that the flower or fruit does not
    have. For example, you can graft different kinds of apples
    together so that one tree bears the different fruits.

#42: Clip hair.
Cutting hair is a self-sufficiency skill that can save your family
ample money; however, it's not a skill for everyone. Haircutting
for Dummies offers and easy-to-follow guide on how to get
salon- or barbershop-quality results on all types of hair - long,
short, straight, curly, or kinky.

#43: Cut your old garments.
On the homestead nothing goes to waste. Cut up your old
garments and make a quilt. Don't want to sew? Start snipping
your old clothes into quilt sized sheets anyway and use them
for when the toilet paper runs out! This material will surely
store better than toilet paper. You'll also get use out the
clothes as rags for cleaning.

#44: Build a Well.
The time to build a well is before you need one. Pictured right,
the Handy Well Pump is an easy and affordable way to make
sure you always have a water supply from your well when the
power goes out.

#45: Make your own charcoal.
Charcoal is ideal for composting too. Home made charcoal will
aid in composting your garden, but don't' try this at home with
manufactured briquettes, like Kingston. Charcoal briquettes
won't aid in the breakdown of organic matter, because they
contain other ingredients to make them light faster. You'll need
to dump your charcoal in an area separate from your composting.

#46: Grow food, not lawns.
Don't have any land in which to grow? Even if you simply plant
one vegetable in a pot: get to it!

  • Tomatoes are easy to grow and you can grow them
    upside-down in a five gallon bucket, so they'll be plump
    and juicy and you can pick them like grapes on a vine. Yes,
    it's strange but true!

  • Potatoes are rapid growing. Grow potatoes in a bag.
    Pioneers planted potatoes almost immediately upon
    setting foot in Salt Lake City. In about two weeks of
    planting, the potatoes were sprouting.

  • Install a fruit tree. Think of it as a plant adoption! It may
    take 5-8 years for a standard apple tree from a nursery to
    bear fruit, but in so planting, you will be leaving legacy of
    goodness. Want faster gratification? A dwarf tree will take
    3-4 years to bear fruit.

  • Grapes: Concord Grapes "need almost no attention to
    produce a volume of fruit," according to Caleb Warnock
    in his book, The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency
    used by the Mormon Pioneers, pictured at the top left-
    hand of the page. The book shows how easy it is to
    propagate grapes. You just dig up a volunteer vine
    and when it touches moist soil it can take root. (Of
    course finding a free volunteer vine is another story.)

  • Can't grow much at home? If you want more than a
    planter box of fruit and vegetables or you don't have a
    backyard to grow food, then volunteer to do the gardening
    for a school or church, or take part in a local community
    garden project to nurture your homesteading skills.

#47: Visit an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, or a blueberry
Pick fruits and veggies from the source! Talk with the people
growing food and ask the employees as many questions as you
can to get more information about growing. You'll get a good
grasp of what is necessary to grow your food.

#48: Take a trip to the farmer's market.
Local farmers will show you their bounty and you'll get a good
idea for what you can plant at home. Feel free to ask questions
and get advice.

#49: Decide to raise Chickens!
Check first with your local laws as many municipalities won't
allow residents to have backyard chickens! Also be warned that
while the humane society may have chickens for adoption; they
may well be "fryers" or hens past their prime egg laying. So
don't expect egg layers: expect instead, a pet who may lay

#50: Raise rabbits.
Rabbits eat just about anything green, and they are extremely
prolific, making them an ideal source of meat for preppers.  Yes,
the wonderful thing about rabbits, is rabbit is wonderful food!
Even so, you'll need to supplement your meals with bacon. Why
do you need canned bacon if you plan on eating rabbit for
survival? Rabbit meat tastes just like chicken and it is an
abundantly fruitful source of lean meat; however, you must
have a source of fat if you plan on surviving only on rabbit
meat. Humans will starve to death eating rabbit alone!  

Eating only rabbit will cause digestive upset and hunger will
worsen. If you consume only rabbit and have no  source of fat,
you will get diarrhea, discomfort and eventual death eating only
rabbit. Which is why you'll want to have on hand some Yoder's
Bacon of course. Happy Prepping!

#51. Get a goat (or not).
We have more to say about goats at the bottom of the page. If
anything, the "kids" will be really happy to have one. Seriously,
the reasons to get a goat are many:
  1. Milk for cooking
  2. Milk for cheese making
  3. Milk for soapmaking
  4. meat for culinary exploration or survival
  5. Wool fiber for clothing and blanket making
  6. trim landscaping to provide a fire barrier on your property
  7. dung for composting

If you're a contrarian, you will enjoy
take on the five
reasons NOT to get goats:
  1. Toenail trimming
  2. Fencing
  3. Worming
  4. Bucks - naughty urine streams and other disgusting habits
  5. Destruction of all landscaping

#52: Get a clean start in soap making.
While owning a goat is useful for making soap, you can make
some soap with a few simple ingredients. Get wise to soap
making with lessons for beginners with
Soapmaking 101.

#53: Ride your bicycle.
Head to the local farmer's market on your bike and save money
on gas. Bike to school or work. Be inventive about your biking
opportunities: your bike may fit on a ferry or bus to transport
you part of the way. (Take a peek at our
bugout bikes.)

#54: Make a seed bomb.
Seed bombs or seed balls are dime-sized balls made of seed
and clay that you scatter about in a vacant lot or other
unconventional place you want to grow some food. When it
rains, the clay softens and the seeds get a good start in the
ground without being blown away.

#55: Formulate flea powder.
Flea collars and fancy formulas devised for getting rid of fleas
are expensive, and not good for your pet! Why not make it

#56: Do your own plumbing.
Popular Mechanics shows you how to do your own plumbing and
avoid disaster. Have fun, just cover your back end so you won't
be the butt of any jokes.

#57: Be your own electrician.
The Do-it-yourself Network shows you how to build your own
dimmer switch and more. Find electrical ideas, advice and
project tips from DIY Network.

#58: Construct an outdoor oven.
Who doesn't love fresh-baked pizza or warm bread from the
oven. Do it the homesteading way. HGTV shows
how to build an
outdoor oven for pizza and breads.

#59: Erect a chicken coop.
If you don't already have chickens, you can start planning for
them by building a coop. Here's
how to build a chicken coop.

#60: Draw maple syrup.
If you have a maple tree, you can draw your own maple syrup.
This is a homesteading activity to do with the kids. It's nature's
candy, so you'll need a candy thermometer. Start with a 1/2
inch drill bit, a small tube or pipe, a bucket, a hammer with
nails, and other things you may have around the house (like a
pot, aluminum foil and butter). Here's the
tutorial for drawing
maple syrup.

#61: Craft homemade lip balms.
To make your own natural lip balm, start with Shea butter,
coconut oil, and  beeswax mix, then mix in your favorite
essential oil. Here is the
lip balm recipe.

#62: Build a knowledge of Essential Oils.
When you know the truth about big pharma, then you'll
understand the importance of Essential Oils. The only reason
herbal remedies of the past aren't used today is because big
pharma can't patend nature! Learn more about natural herbal
remedies by getting to the heart of the matter.
Get into
essential oils!

Recipe for Do-it-yourself hand sanitizer
Here's a recipe for how to make your own hand sanitizer with
essential oils...
  • Step one: Gather the supplies:
  • 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops essential oil (lavender or sweet orange -- both
    are antiviral and antibacterial, plus they smell wonderful)

  • Step two: Mix together and funnel into a clean squeeze
    bottle (the kind you find at the dollar stores) and you now
    have a healthier version of hand sanitizer. You can also
    skip the aloe vera gel and use a spray bottle for the other
    kind of hand sanitizer.

#63: Get cultivated!
Get a cultivator, pictured right, so you can get your garden
going with manual power. It has an Amish, flair doesn't it?

#64: Do something fun with a mason jar.
Homesteaders know the life of a mason jar goes well beyond
canning! Here are some ideas to get you started:

#65: Cut your old garments.
Start snipping your old clothes into quilt sized sheets. Then
begin arranging enough for a quilt, which is the ultimate
homestead accent to your country home in the suburbs!

#66: Turn an old a pair of jeans into a skirt!
Whether you want to make a gift or add to your wardrobe by
recycling, you'll love the idea of giving new life to your favorite
old jeans by creating a brand new skirt. Here's how to turn an
old pair of jeans into a skirt.

#67: Make home made laundry detergent.
Minimize the chemicals and get back to simpler times. Good
clean fun is to make your own natural laundry detergent. Here's
recipe for home made laundry detergent.

#68: Make home made yogurt.
If you have a half gallon of milk and a half cup of starter yogurt,
you can make a creamy and light yogurt at home, and you don't
need any fancy equipment, other than a dutch oven, which is a
tool common to many prepper homes.

#69: Make your own yeast.
A good homesteading skill is to make your own yeast! It's good
to know, since yeast expires!

#71: Make home-made cream cheese.
You don't need to wait for cream cheese to age, so you can get
instant gratification in your homesteading skill of cheesemaking!

#71: Know the foods that grow from root cuttings.
Propagating plants is a worthwhile homesteading skill. Did you
know that there are at least 25 foods you can grow from scraps?
In case you're wondering, yes you can grow your pineapple even
if your urban homestead isn't in the tropics!

How to be More Self Sufficient without Having a Homestead

Advantages of Urban Homesteading
There are many advantages to urban homesteading:

#1: Urban homesteading is thrifty! You may spend a bit more
initially on homesteading, but in the end you'll save a few bucks
here and there, which will improve your bottom line for your
family economically. This translates to having more preps! In
short, the preps you buy for homesteading will save you money
to buy more preps. It's a happy circle!

#2: Urban Homesteading is a way to keep your day job. Why
not keep your job in the city while you hone your skills? Great
reasons are because you appreciate your income too much to
leave your career and go entirely off the gird. Perhaps you're not
cut out for the day-to-day commitment of rearing animals and
tending to the garden. Well, you don't have to quit your job to
find out. Start right now. Start small. Start practicing

#3: Urban Homesteading is a tasty hobby. A fringe benefit of
the homesteading hobby is the food! Fresh eggs and home
grown produce just tastes better than the store bought variety.
Even if you can't grow wheat or don't have the property to
sustain a dairy cow, you can do the next best thing and enjoy
made from scratch breads and butters. It will provide a sense of
accomplishment and your family will love you for it!

#4: Urban homesteading will have you living life greener!
You'll be less likely to waste and more likely to recycle, reuse
and re-invent what it means to "go green." Go with nature,
instead of against it. Perhaps you'll get rid of plastic sandwich
bags and send the kids to school with a bento box or wrap their
sandwiches in cloth baggies. Perhaps you'll start composting.
Perhaps you'll turn an old pair of jeans into a skirt. With Urban
homesteading, you'll be that much more ready to go off the grid

Want to learn even more homesteading skills?
Country Wisdom & Knowhow is the book with everything you
need to know to live off the land. It includes 8,167 useful skills
and step by step instructions from concocting elixirs and
remedies to mastering wide row planting and even weaving
country baskets.

So now you have our list of homesteading skills for preppers.  
Get started without the farm or bugout location! Yes, you can
do these things even if you're in an apartment. We have two
other lists:

Happy endings...
There are so many
forgotten skills of self sufficiency, but these
skills need not stay forgotten! Discover the joy of homesteading
even if you're not on the farm.

Feeling more advanced in your homesteading skills? Get
Go ahead and get those goats (or not). Goat keeping in your
backyard may be more practical than tending the chickens or
raising rabbits. Goats provide many benefits:
  1. Goats provide you with meat. Goat meat is comparable in
    nutritional value to lamb or beef.
  2. Goats clear the land. Goats will eat just about everything
    to keep a fire line on the perimeter of your homestead to
    mitigate the risk of wildfires.
  3. Goats produce milk from which you can make: cheese,
    yogurt and even soap!
  4. Goats are pack animals. A select few preppers consider
    their goats "bugout goats.
  5. Goats produce dung. You can use their dried dung as fuel
    or their fresh dung for composting the manure.
  6. Goats will provide you with hide and hair! Turn their hair
    into mohair and their hide into tanned leather.


  • Getting started homesteading with Zero Money. teaches you how to find free
    building materials, free livestock, free plants and seeds
    and more. This insightful homesteading Web site also
    shows you how to start making money to support your
    homestead. It all boils down to resourcefulness.

  • Becky's Homstead DVD. Get a year's worth of
    homesteading ideas in three hours with Becky. It's like
    getting a mini MBA in homesteading.

Finally, pick up a book on homesteading. The Encyclopedia of
Country Living, pictured left, will get you excited about the
prospect of living on a homestead. This outstanding resource is
the best selling homesteading book on the market! In this
comprehensive manual, learn how to cultivate a garden, buy
land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can
peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken
coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more.

Related articles...

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