These days, most people define “homesteading” in terms of lifestyle. This is especially true among preppers who seek self-sufficiency by embracing old-style, pioneer era skills to define their independence from traditional supply chains and government interference. This does not necessarily mean we live off-grid in some far out location where there are no modern conveniences whatsoever. Quite the contrary.
21st century homesteading is a mindset that can take place in the city core, an apartment, a planned community or suburbia. And of course, the homesteading mindset prevails in rural communities, farmlands and other more traditional homestead-type locations.
Becoming a 21st century homesteader means downsizing, minimizing and living a healthier life. Today I share 46 skills that most modern homesteaders will want to learn as they strive to live a better, yet simpler, life.
46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern 21st Century Homesteader
- Vegetable Gardening
- Cooking on an Open Fire
- Herb Gardening
- Herbal Medicine
- First Aid and Emergency Medical Care
- Animal Husbandry
- Fire-starting and Fire Building
- Knitting and Crochet
- Weaving and Spinning
- Canning and Preserving
- Home Brewing
- Soap Making
- Candle Making
- Power Generation (Solar and Wind)
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Mechanical Repair and Maintenance
- Equipment Operator
- Home Maintenance
- Well Building
- Knife Sharpening
- Seed Harvesting
- Orchard Management
- Waste Management
- Pest Control
- Grinding Wheat and Other Grains
- Interpersonal Skills
The Final Word
The homesteading mindset embraces using less energy, eating wholesome, locally sourced food, and making life choices relating to a rich and rewarding family life. It means living comfortably yet within the bounds of doing as much as you can in a sustainable manner.
In addition to having pioneer skills, most 21st century homesteaders are good citizens and community minded. They are also preppers of the highest order.
Can you think of some other useful pioneer skills for the modern, 21st century homesteader?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Here are some items to consider in your quest to be a modern, 21st century homesteader. Of course the rule of thumb is always this: first purchase what you need to get by and later, as budget allows, add the extra items that will enhance and add dimension and depth to your gear.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven with Dual Handles: While not huge, this 5 quart Dutch Oven is, in my opinion, the perfect size for use indoors and out.
Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I use my cast iron cookware for everything from burgers, to bacon and eggs, to biscuits. Be sure to select the Value pack Skillet with Silicone Handle which is less money and a better deal.
US Forge 400 Welding Gloves Lined Leather: These well-priced gloves provide complete heat and burn protection. They are made of soft and supple top grain leather for comfort and pliability, plus they have an internal liner gives more comfort and durability. These will keep you hands and arms safe while cooking outdoors over an open fire.
Swedish Firesteel: Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions.
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness kit.
Ticket To Ride: The is my favorite board game, bare none. Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people. This is worth the splurge.
Gerber Gator Combo Axe II: This Gerber axe and saw combo is useful around the yard (or the farm or the ranch) for all sorts or medium to light duty tasks. The rigid part of the axe handle is glass-filled nylon for a rugged construction and light weight.
Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord: You can get 100 feet of Paracord for about $8. This is a real bargain but be aware that price can vary substantially depending on the color.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price. Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant. I can not recommend these enough.
Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.
Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item for your first aid kit. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet. I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit. I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.
I also recommend the Mobile Washer. This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. The best part is the price – only $14.95.
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