Homesteading is hard enough both physically and mentally. Don’t get caught in the midst of a project or repair and not have the tools you need to get the job done efficiently. For those who are considering homesteading or are relatively new to the practice, we’ve put together our list of homesteading tools and equipment you’ll want to start accumulating to make your homesteading life a little easier.
For the Garden
One of the primary reasons that many people consider homesteading is because they want to grow their own food. The motivation to grow your own food comes from any number of reasons including to reduce the chemicals and preservatives your family eats, to prepare for an economic collapse or SHTF event, or just for the sense of pride that comes with planting and nurturing a garden for yourself and your family.
Here are a few of the basics you’ll need to make life easier when it comes to your homestead garden:
Wheeled Cart or Wagon
A good sturdy garden cart is a homesteader’s best friend. A homesteader is always mucking out stalls, transporting bedding for animals, moving bags of fertilizer or compost for the garden, or even just cleaning up sticks after a storm. A wheelbarrow is useful for smaller loads but for anything else, you can reduce muscle strain and save your back by using a good cart.
When choosing a good cart or wagon for homesteading, consider the number and type of wheels, whether you need sides, no sides, hinged or removable sides. You’ll also want to consider the material the cart is made from to get the cart most suited for your needs. In most cases metal carts will handle heavier loads better. Think about the types of items you will carry most often in the cart to determine whether a solid or mesh type cart will be best. Solid carts are better for carrying things such as manure, sand, sawdust, etc. whereas mesh carts or those with criss-cross bottoms are better for larger items.
Here are some examples of the best carts:
Users have only good things to say about this garden cart. It’s a classic and the bigger wheels provide more control and make it easier to maneuver. Make sure you seal or treat the floor of the cart before use and store out of the weather to extend its life.
This beauty is small but mighty. It’s easy to assemble and has a convenient dump action that makes it comparable to the wheelbarrow but with less strain on your back.
No homestead is complete without some way to maintain the grass and weeds that can get out of control quickly. Although some people use goats to clear pastures and fields, it’s wise to have a quality lawnmower on hand, especially for smaller areas. For those homesteads with a lot of acreage to mow, consider a tractor and mowing blade or at least a John Deer or Troy-Built riding lawn mower. Smaller homesteads and backyard homesteaders can get by with a GreenWorks gas powered push mower or even an old fashioned push reel mower for a grid-down scenario.
Every good homestead needs a compost bin or even three. You can buy composting bins or you can make them yourself. There are different types of composting bins including compost tumblers, stationary compost bins, worm composting bins, and indoor composting bins. There are many different methods for composting, including using wooden pallets, wire bins, wired enclosures, sheet composting, and trench composting.
Once you’ve decided which method will work best for your homestead, here are some of the best composting bins to consider:
Other Garden Tools
- Hose and Reel
- Watering Can
- Weed Puller
- Pruning Shears
- Soaker Hoses
For the Kitchen
If you’re going to grow your own food, chances are you’ll be making a lot of meals from scratch rather than traipsing to the grocery store, restaurants, or fast food places. Make sure your homestead has the proper supplies and equipment in the kitchen to make cooking meals from scratch easier and quicker. For those that want to homestead off-grid or in preparation for a downed power grid, food canning and preservation equipment as well as hand and manual tools and equipment should take priority.
Here are some must have items for the homesteading kitchen:
A pressure cooker is used to cook food more quickly than it would take to cook it an oven or on the stove. A pressure cooker cannot be used for canning food but it can be used to make meals more quickly than in the oven.
Pressure Canners and Water Bath Canners
Pressure canners are used for foods with a low acid content such as soups, stews, certain vegetables such as green beans and meats, poultry, and seafood. Water bath canners are used for high acid content foods such as vinegar based pickles and most jellies. Tomatoes can be water bathed but only if done properly with added lemon juice.
The brands to consider when choosing the best pressure canner are:
Many homesteaders choose to either raise their own livestock and poultry for meat or to purchase meat in bulk from a butcher or even another homesteader who raises the animals. If you will have need to grind your own meat or make your own sausage, consider the Waring MG105 Professional or Sunmile SM-G33 ETL.
Cooking is a major activity on a homestead. It can of course be done on a regular electric or gas stove if you are connected to public utilities. For those homesteaders that want to save on utility bills, live off-grid, or prepare for a potential SHTF event, cooking with the power of the sun is a great option. The All American Sun Oven is a great option for those who want to purchase a solar oven rather than making one themselves.
Other Kitchen Equipment
Consider purchasing these additional items as your budget allows. If you’re living off-grid or preparing your homestead for a SHTF event, consider purchasing manual or hand-cranked versions if available.
- Stand Mixer
- Food Dehydrator
- Meat Slicer
- Woodstove or Wood Cook stove
- Cast Iron Pots and Pans
- Bread Machine and Hand Dough Mixer
- Electric Hand Mixer
- Hand Egg Beater
- Canning Supplies (jars, lids, jar lifter, funnel, rack)
- Food Grade Buckets
- Galvanized Buckets or Wash Tubs
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Tripod
- Big Berkey Water Filter
- Solar Lanterns
- Clothes Line and Clothes pins
- Chimney Brushes
- Outdoor Shower
- Grain Mill
- Propane Cook stove or Grill
- Meat Saw
- Skinning and Filet Knives
- Dolly or Hand Truck
- Coffee Grinder and Percolator
- Crocks and other fermenting supplies (air locks and weights)
- Tea Kettle
- Treadle Sewing Machine and supplies
- Pasta Maker or Pasta Attachment for Mixer
For Raising Livestock
For some homesteaders and those who want to live off-grid or work toward complete self-sufficiency, raising livestock will be an absolute necessity. Most homesteaders will find that raising chickens is a valuable endeavor. Others will prefer raising rabbits, other types of poultry, or even cattle. Even if you aren’t raising livestock for food or barter, animals such as horses or mules, when properly trained can be a great option for non-powered hauling, daily transportation, and even a bug out trip if necessary.
Here’s some basic items you may find helpful in the barn and pasture:
Chicken Feeders and Waterers
Chickens can be a great addition to a homestead. If you will be adding chickens to your homestead to supply fresh eggs or meat for your family or even as to sell or use as a bartering item, you’ll need to have a solid chicken coop and other supplies including something like a FOXDE TECH 1.5L Chicken Feeder and a poultry waterer. Fresh drinking water is a crucial piece of keeping chickens healthy so in cold climates you’ll want to have a heated base to keep water from freezing over.
If you plan to raise rabbits on your homestead for meat or to sell as a supplement to your income, you’ll need somewhere to keep them contained. The Complete Rabbit Hutch Kit By Little Giant Farm & Ag is great for starting out.
Livestock Watering Tubs
If you’re raising larger livestock such as goats or horses, you have to plan to keep them supplied with fresh drinking water. If your pasture has a pond or other fresh water source, such as a stream that the animals can get to, you’re good to go. Otherwise, consider adding a galvanized steel round end stock tank or the larger 90-Gallon Galvanized Steel Round End Stock Tank by Behlen Bountry to keep them hydrated. In colder climates, you’ll need to keep it heated to prevent it from freezing over.
Other Livestock Equipment and Tools
- Feeding Crocks, and Water Nozzles or Bottles
- Bee Keeper Suit and Smoker
- Hay Feeder
- Bailing Twine
- Post Hole Digger
- Post Driver
- Blacksmithing and Farrier Tools
- Milking Stand and buckets
- Hay Fork
- Horse Drawn Plow
- Manure Shovel
- Manure Spreader
- Tack repair tools
If there’s any advice about homesteading that those with experience will give you, it’s be prepared for what goes wrong. On a homestead, it can seem like something goes awry daily. There is always something that needs fixing and having the right tool for the job will be invaluable.
Here are some the of must have items for homesteading repairs:
- Pipe Wrench
- Combination Wrench
- Extension Cord
- Allen Wrenches
- Socket Wrench
- Screw Drivers
Homesteaders can find themselves in just about any location. Although some homesteading practices can be modified for urban living, the majority of homesteaders live in rural areas. For preppers, the more remote the area the better. This sometimes mean getting reliable power to your homestead can be a challenge. Maintaining power during extreme weather conditions can often be a challenge for homesteaders for days or weeks at a time. In a SHTF scenario, public utility power will be completely shut down.
As a homesteader, it’s critical that you plan for short-term and long-term power outages as well as for an indefinite power outage. Many chores are much less labor intensive and time consuming with the help of power.
Here are some items you’ll want to have on hand to help maintain power for your homesteading needs:
Generator (portability in 2400w or functionality of the 3000w)
A Honda Handi 3000w Generator works well as a backup power source during power outages on the homestead or for those living off-grid who need to use power tools for projects or other activities around the homestead.
Go Power!120 W Portable Folding Solar Kit with 10 Amp solar controller. Use this small solar kit to keep a 12v RV battery topped off and keep generator for running power tools and to save fuel a generator would use. For whole home solar power, you’ll need to purchase larger panels, a power inverter, batteries, and charge controller. It’s critical to determine how much electricity your homestead will need on a given day. Knowing your power needs before you buy your solar panels will help you choose the right panels. Make sure to consider both the wattage of your panels and the voltage to ensure your system will reliably produce the electricity you need.
Extra Fuel Tanks
Fuel is one thing that is always needed on a homestead. You need gas or diesel for the tractor, gas for the lawn mower, propane for the grill, and maybe kerosene for heating. It’s important to have extra fuel tanks on hand to store the fuel you will need. Most homesteaders have large tanks to hold 200 gallons or more of heating fuel. You can also have tanks to store extra gallons of gasoline or diesel.
If you can’t get large fuel tanks right now, you can get multiple smaller cans to make sure you have the fuel you need on hand when needed for homesteading chores. You can often purchase gas cans and even large fuel tanks used at yard sales or through Craigslist or if all else fails, purchase new cans such as the ones below from Amazon:
On a homestead and especially an off-grid homestead, there will always be projects on the to do list. Whether it’s carpentry, plumbing, electrical, cutting firewood, or just building a home for the newest livestock addition, everything goes a bit more smoothly when you have the right tools to get the job done.
Here are some items that will come in handy for homesteading projects:
- Chainsaw and Chainsaw Sharpener
- Circular Saw
- Combination Square
- Palm Sander
- Reciprocating Saw
- Table Saw
- Jig Saw
- Hand Planer
- Deadblow Hammer
- Cutting Torch
- Paint Brushes and Supplies
- Fiskars Splitting Axe with Sheath
- Felling Wedges
- Log Splitter
- Wood Chisel
- Staple Gun
- Glue Gun
- Cordless Drill
- Tape Measure
- Retractable Utility Knife (Box Cutter)
- Wire Strippers
- Hard Hat
- Safety Glasses
Basic Hauling and Heavy Work
On a homestead, there is inevitably chores that require pulling out heavy objects, pounding in posts, or moving heavy items from one area to another or into place for building or other repairs. A tractor or other fuel powered machine and the right accessories will make light work of these heavy-duty chores.
A Tractor is pretty much a necessity on a homestead. There are unlimited ways that a tractor can assist you in getting your homesteading chores completed successfully and efficiently. Look for quality brands such as Kubota, John Deere Ford, and New Holland’s Boomer line. Even the smallest of the tractors, which resemble more a riding lawn mower, come equipped with diesel engines and a rear point hitch for attachments.
A good sturdy pick-up truck is also a necessity for a homestead. Consider the types of chores you will need to do and any machinery, water containers, feed, hay, etc. that you will need to haul. Make sure to get a truck that will hold up to the wear and tear of hauling things on a regular basis. Most homesteaders find that at least one or more 5/16” Tow Chains come in handy for winching trees and maneuvering heavy parts. Homesteaders will also find that some heavy duty tie-down straps will be invaluable.
Where to Buy Homesteading Tools
We’ve provided you with some examples of tools and equipment available from Amazon for your consideration. Other places to buy these items new include department stores and specialty stores such as Tractor Supply, Home Depot, or Lowe’s. For the budget conscious homesteader, you can also plan to buy many of your homesteading tools and equipment used.
If you’re looking to get quality items without breaking the budget, consider yard and garage sales, Craigslist, and even Goodwill or Salvation army thrift stores to buy your homesteading equipment. Many of the items we’ve listed can be found in these secondhand places for a lot less than buying them new.
Another way to acquire some of these items used is to attend auctions and estate sales where these items are often thrown in with other desirable items to help empty a house of its contents after someone passes away.
As a last resort, you can even let friends and relatives know that you are setting up a homestead and share your “wish” list with them to see if they have any unused or rarely used items in their home that they are willing to part with to help you get started.
Setting up a homestead is not a quick and easy task by any means. But with proper planning, you can get started and then add additional items you know you will need. Start by identifying your motivation and your goals for homesteading. Decide which animals and other activities you will start with in the first few months and obtain the homesteading tools and equipment you need for those activities first.
As you begin to add additional animals or activities, you can make a list of needed items and acquire them as your budget allows. Many homesteaders create an end goal for their homestead, maybe five or ten years out and then work backwards from there to create a one year, three year, five year and ten year plan of action. With proper planning, buying your homesteading tools and supplies doesn’t have to bankrupt your bank account.