Have you ever dreamed of a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle where you’re able to live off your own land? The homesteading movement has its allure and can be very rewarding, although it’s also a massive commitment. Especially if you decide to live off the grid, homesteading takes an immense amount of effort, determination and perseverance. In return, however, you’ll have the opportunity to become more self-sufficient, finding joy in a simpler existence. To experience the true benefits of homesteading, regardless of whether or not you’re living off-grid, be sure to take care of the basics before you make the transition.
Get the right tools
Homesteading involves managing a lot of manual labor on your own. From building your house to tending your garden, you’ll need a variety of tools to get started.
- Chainsaw: If you need to cut lumber or clear land for building you’ll want a chainsaw on hand.
- Shovel: From digging in the garden to chopping through ice and snow, be sure to get a long-handle no.2 round point.
- Framing hammer: Heady duty jobs like repairing roofing or building walls need this 32 oz. steel hammer.
- Vice grip: This versatile tool comes in handy as a clamp, a grip, a wrench and more.
- Linesman pliers: Chop through screws, nails and wood, handing for making fences and electrical repairs.
When you live off grid, tools aren’t a pastime, they are a way of life. Be sure you have a secure place to store all your tools, with a safe and dry work area.
Take advantage of technology
Technology has really made homesteading much more accessible. Thanks to today’s tech, modern homesteaders can enjoy a simpler way of life that’s more attuned with nature. You’ll be less reliant on systems for sustenance, even with the latest technologies in your home.
- Home battery storage units: Store the power generated by your solar panels in these lithium ion batteries.
- Mobile signal boosters: Just because you live off grid doesn’t mean you necessarily want to live off line. Boosters help get good cell and wifi reception even in the woods.
- Hydroelectric generator: An excellent addition to properties with running water, this generator creates electricity with water power.
- Solar water heater: Enjoy a hot shower after a long day with water warmed by the power of the sun.
Pick the perfect property
Where you live matters. Carefully choose a property type and location that fits the kind of lifestyle you want to have. For example, if living off-grid is your dream, you might be better off homesteading in the mountains or on a farm than in a suburban city. Before looking at properties, answer these important (but often-overlooked) questions:
- How long will it take to bring supplies, such as construction materials, to this spot? And how much effort will it be?
- Is there a dependable natural water source nearby?
- What permits are needed to build here?
- What permits are needed to hunt here?
- What is this location like during each of the seasons?
- Are there natural building materials (like trees) on the land?
- Is the area conducive to a power source like sun, wind or water?
Follow DIY tutorials
Homesteading, especially if you’re living off-grid, is not a lifestyle for the masses. It takes an excessive amount of grit to be completely self-sufficient and able to handle living off your land. Luckily, there are countless online tutorials from folks who’ve already been there and done that. Many homesteaders have documented their journeys — including their failures, successes, setbacks and milestones. Some of them even have free, downloadable house plans and video tutorials to help you get started. Take the time to learn from them.
- Building Your Off Grid Power System: This tutorial walks you through several different DIY power source projects for your off grid home.
- Septic and Water: From installing a septic system to collecting rainwater, this in-depth tutorial gives plenty of insight along with practical tips.
- Food Foraging: This beginner’s guide gives you the basics of food foraging, which can be a good way to reduce your reliance on grocery stores for food.
Educating yourself is honestly the best and most effective tool you can have when it comes to homesteading. Preparing yourself isn’t just about building a sturdy home; it’s also about creating a mindset that will make you a more successful homesteader.