Homesteading skills list

Bold the items that you know or have done. Add any that you can think of to the bottom of the list. Post it on your blog and link back here so that I can come visit

Safely use an ax and hand saws.
Split firewood and kindling.
Stack and age firewood.
Grow a vegetable plant.
Plan, plant and grow a vegetable garden.
Sharpen any edge tool – knife, axe, hoe, chisel etc.
Basic firearm safety and gun proof your children and grandchildren.
Raise a chicken.
Shovel snow without putting out your back.
Read the weather.
Spin wool, cotton or flax into thread or yarn on a spinning wheel or with a drop spindle.
Use a garden shovel, spade or hoe without hurting your back.
Light a fire indoors or outdoors.
Go to a country auction and not get skinned.
Butcher small livestock like rabbits or chickens.
Hang clothes on a clothesline.
Basic tractor maintenance.
Know the difference between trees and the unique properties of various types of wood.
Cook 10 basic meals from scratch.
Pasteurize milk.
Divine/witch for water with a forked branch or a bent metal hanger.
Distinguish healthy plants and animals from unhealthy plants or animals.
Basic sewing skills.
Set an ear tag or tattoo for animal identification.
Determine an animal’s age by its teeth.
Cut and glaze glass.
Drive a standard transmission vehicle.
Thaw out frozen pipes without busting them.
Know how and when to use hybrid seeds.
Sew your own clothes with simple patterns.
Hand thresh and winnow wheat or oats and other small grains.
Train a working cattle or sheep dog.
Read the moon and stars.
Make soft or hard cheeses.
Live beneath your financial means.
Fillet and clean a fish.
Use a wash tub, hand-wringer and washboard.
Make soap from wood ashes and animal fat.
Lay basic brick or build a stone wall.
Basic home canning and food preservation.
Save open pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds.
De-horn livestock.
Use an awl and basic leather repair.
Make long-term plans for the future – plan an orchard, a livestock breeding program, or plan for stored energy sources. Jury rig anything with duct tape, baling twine and whatever is on hand.
Be comfortable with emergency/home birth.
Read an almanac.
Euthanize large livestock.
Use flat cloth diapers and wool soakers.
Cook on a cook stove.
Entertain yourself and live without electronic media.
Shear a sheep.
Manage human urine and feces without plumbing.
Swap, barter and network with like-minded people.
Generate electricity for home use.
Make a candle.
Dig and properly use a shallow well.
Refinish furniture.
Drive a draft animal.
Realistically deal with life, death and failure.
Use non-electric lighting.
Butcher a pig or goat.
Restrain large livestock.
Slaughter livestock.
Use a treadle sewing machine.
Give an injection.
Use a handsaw, hammer & nails, screw driver, wire cutters, and measuring tape.
Know when to ask for help.
Know how and when to prune grapes and fruit trees.
Hatch out chicken, duck or other poultry eggs.
Use a scythe.
Skin a furbearer and stretch the skin.
Tell the time of day by the sun.
Milk a goat, sheep or cow.
Use a smoke house.
Stomach tube a newborn animal.
Build basic homestead buildings (sheds, animal shelters, smoke house, ice house, etc.)
Break ground and plough.
Use a wood stove and bank a fire.
Make butter.
Make and use a hot bed or cold frame.
Deliver a foal, calf, lamb or goat.
Know how to tell when winter is over.
Plant a tree.
Brood day-old chicks.
Dye yarn or cloth from plants.
Haggle like a horse trader.
Bake bread. U
se a pressure tank garden sprayer.
Halter break a horse or cow.
Graft baby animals onto a foster-mother.
Weave cloth.
Grow everyday kitchen herbs.
Make sausage.
Set and bait traps for unwanted vermin and predators.
Grind wheat into flour.
Make paper.
Make ink.
Know when it is more economical to buy something ready-made or when to make it yourself.
Castrate livestock.
Choose a location for a vegetable garden or orchard.
Catch and care for wild yeast for bread making.
Weave a basket.
Use electric netting or fencing.
Make fire starters from corn cobs or pinecones.
Use a pressure cooker.
Use a pressure canner to preserve meat and vegetables.
Correctly attach 3 point hitch implements to a tractor.
Trim the hooves of goats or sheep.
Sew your own underwear.
Make your own wine and beer.
Darn knitted or crocheted items.
Know basic plumbing and how to sweat copper pipes and joints.
Keep bees.
Change a spark plug.
Cook on an open fire
.Make vinegar.
Purify water.
Graft trees.
Make and use a bow and arrow.
Preserve meat by curing.
Erect a fence.
Hang a gate
.Make and use herbal tinctures, infusions and other herbal remedies.
Replace electrolytes in a battery.
Charge a battery.
Change a car tire.
Repair a tire.
Do an oil change in any vehicle.
Build an effective compost pile.
Correctly set spark plug spacings.
Change all light bulbs – household and vehicle.
Prime a well pump.
Fix water troughs around the paddocks.
Suture both animals and humans.
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29 Responses to Homesteading skills list

  1. You are my hero. Truly, truly, truly, you amaze and awe me. 😀 I’m so glad you’re my friend.

    • Hi C.D.

      Some of those things have not been in done in a good while and would certainly fall in the I did it but I was not good at it.

      This spring I will be working with wool and felting again, something I have done before but I am not the best at it by any means! Practice, Practice, Practice!

  2. Heather says:

    WOW! What a list! I think I can check off maybe…5 or so. Makes me see how much I really depend on my handy husband 🙂

  3. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Can put a healthy dent in that massive list of yours; plus maybe catch the fish for your filet, keep the bees in your hive (could we make that “bait and set” the trap?; ) set the fire to roast your coon, gather the greens to grace the plate and lash together a table to eat it on… YeHaw! LOL!!

    • That’s a great idea deb, I would love for you to add to the list if you want, and I will put them up..Doomer put the list on her site first and then I played along with it, I really do need to try and learn to be a touch more informed in regards to moters etc, its a weak spot for sure

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Thanks FG; that’d be great – my equipment can’t/won’t communicate with Blogger/Blogspot and thanks for reposting this too… Funny how many things you pick up over the years, isn’t it?
        Anna made a great suggestion on First Aid skills and I can definitely vouch for the excellence and depth of knowledge supplied through the CSPS – Canadian Ski Patrol System. In our area, Kawartha Zone used to offer (first aid only) courses to the public – not sure about currently.
        As far as mechanicals go, well, we all have our knacks and some of us are gear whisperers (and some aren’t; ) but, to me at least, sharing knowledge is just as important as trading solid stuff.

    • I’ll add those to the list. 🙂 By gather greens, do you mean wild greens? Gardening is included, but not wild foraging.

  4. thatoldschoolgirl says:

    I will have to get back to this later. 🙂 No time to the review the list but what a wonderful idea

  5. Brenda says:

    You are truly a homesteader extraordinaire! The go-to girl for information, lol! Thanks to C.D. for the list, I think I’ll post it, too 🙂

  6. oceannah says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised to be able to put a check mark next to the majority of that list! One thing that I’d add is a well stocked first aid kit and proper training (I did wilderness first responder) but even any basic first aid would suffice.

  7. oceannah says:

    mostly the animal chores ie: ear tags, grafting baby onto new mom stuff of that ilk, although I’ve never ‘sewn my own underwear’ either….but I’m comfortable w/ commando 😉 Another skill I posses that I think is worth putting on the list is making fire w/out conventional matches/lighters. Everything from how to stack to how to create spark, ie: friction fire: bow drill, hand drill, any primitive fire making method also not discounting flint and steel…Without fire, let’s face it things could get ugly vey quick.

  8. Tina says:

    I am a little dismayed to see that you chose not to post my comment. I was originally flattered that my list made it to your blog site via Canadian Doomer. To prove it was from me and posted on my group here is the original message link:

    should I still be flattered?

  9. Tina says:

    Apology is accepted. I can assure you I am real 🙂

    Keep up the great work here as you post some awesome stuff and I love all your recipes too, hint, hint.

    • Thank you and so glad to hear it, hint taken new recipes will be coming up shortly.. got any requests on kinds of meat used? or a ingredent you want in the meal?

      • Tina says:

        It would be super to see some great rabbit recipes also more recipes using the offal too please. Having been a homesteader for many, many years now we learned from the onset to use all of the animal. Like a good friend of mine once said “You can use everything on a pig except the Oink”.

        Both rabbit and offal are highly under utilised meat products. The only ways I have cooke d rabbit is roasted and in a stew so it would be awesome to see some nice recipes to use this wonderful meat in.

      • Will do, rabbit recipes and more offal, bone recipes coming up.. did you see the recipe on making rabbit wings for the front legs, Typically a hard part of the rabbit to find a interesting use for.. they turned out awesome!

      • Tina says:

        No sadly I did not see the rabbit wings recipes. Do you have it somewhere that I might go look at it please? Thank you as it sounds intriguing.


        Just scoll down the page to the rabbit section and there are a number of recipes

      • Tina says:

        Thank you for this. I found it easily and it does look very nice indeed. I am thinking that these might be a great addition to the basket come hay making time to feed the helpers. There is nothing like sharing a snack or meal with the neighbours and friends while sitting on a freshly baled bale of hay or under the shade of the Mulberry tree. Thank you again for directing me to this recipe, it was well worth looking for.

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