Starting a homestead is a great goal – but if you’re just starting out, it’s really not possible to do so from scratch.
While you can get by with just the basics, there are some homesteading tools to always have on hand.
Before embarking on this exciting new adventure for yourself, sit down and make a detailed list of everything you need and want to have. Although you might not be able to afford to buy all of these items brand-new outright, renting, buying used, and borrowing are all good options to help you pick up what you need.
Without further ado, here are 109 homestead supply list items to have on hand – you’ve got to be prepared!
Yes, a good pair of gloves is all you need to start a homestead.
Well of course, you’ll need more than just a good pair of gloves, but gloves are essential and a great place to start this list.
Invest in a solid, durable pair of garden gloves as well as another set of heavy-duty work gloves that you can use for building fences and other tasks that you don’t want your hands to get all scratched up for.
2. Deep Freezer
Whether you plan on raising your own livestock for meat or you just want to be able to stockpile enough food to get you through the entire year, a good freezer is essential.
I prefer upright freezers simply because they make it easier for you to find what you need, but really, you can buy any kind of freezer that you can afford and prefer.
Like gloves, boots are essential. You’ll need a few different types of boots, including muck boots, work boots, riding boots, rain boots, and so on.
4. Bib Overalls
Bib overalls are essential for keeping you warm in the winter – and perhaps not so covered in animal manure during the rest of the year! You can wear these any time you do work on the homestead.
5. Water Bath Canner
Fortunately, if you don’t want to go out and buy an actual water bath canner, just about any old stockpot will do.
Whatever you choose to do, though, having a water bath canner is essential because it will allow you to safely preserve some of your favorite fruits (and limited vegetables, when pickled) for long-term storage. Plus you can preserve pickles, jams, and jellies, too!
6. Pressure Canner
A water bath canner will go a long way when it comes to preserving your favorite foods, but if you want to be able to can just about anything, you’ve got to invest in a pressure canner.
Pressure canners allow you to preserve foods that are low in acidity – like most vegetables along with meats.
7. Work Pants
Whether you prefer heavy-duty jeans or a good old-fashioned pair of Carhartts, having some durable pants is essential – particularly ones you don’t mind getting dirty.
8. Work Leggings
If you’re like me and feel as though work pants sometimes just aren’t lightweight and breathable enough for you to really move in, you may want to consider investing in some durable work leggings instead.
Carhartt is one company that makes such pants – and as a bonus, they have lots of pockets!
9. Water Filtration System
If you’re off-grid or just not connected to a super clean source of water, you’ll want to invest in a water filtration system to make sure you always have clean water to drink.
10. Tee Shirts
You’ll need a few tee shirts that will keep you cool in the summer months. Get some made out of breathable, lightweight material like cotton or polyester. Button-ups work well, too.
You’ll need salt for cooking and preserving food. Of course, you’ll have to have other types of salt on hand if you have livestock, too (like mineral salt) but the type you buy will vary depending on the species of animals you are raising.
12. Mason Jars
Any good homesteader knows that mason jars have countless uses! Most importantly, they’re used for canning and preserving, but mason jars can also be used to store dry goods and much, much more.
13. Kitchen Compost Bin
A kitchen compost pail will allow you to collect all of your kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and other compostable ingredients. Then you can dump the scraps in your compost pile whenever it’s full.
14. Baking Soda
Baking soda is essential for baking and cooking – but it can also be used for cleaning. Use it to clean drains, substitute for dish detergent, or even as a toothpaste! This scouring agent is incredibly versatile.
15. Essential Oils
There are all kinds of different essential oils you can use around the homestead for cleaning and disinfecting. Some of the best are oregano, lemon, and tea tree, which have lovely aromas, and antibacterial and antifungal benefits.
16. Vegetable Peeler
A vegetable peeler (along with a corner, if you can swing it!) is essential if you plan on processing any of your own food. Plus, the order can help you make apple butter, apple sauce, and any other fruit-based foods a bit easier.
17. White Vinegar
White vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent around the homestead. It’s also a great way to improve your gut health, when added to recipes, and can be used for pickling and other types of preservation. It can even be used as a weed or pest killer in the garden!
A dehydrator is essential if you plan on growing your own herbs and want to store them long-term without having to freeze them. You can also use a dehydrator to make bath and body products and to make snacks like jerky and fruit leather.
If you plan on starting a garden on your homestead, you’re going to need some seeds. You can save seeds after your first gardening season, but you have to start somewhere (and growing from seed is a far better and more affordable option than using starter plants from a nursery).
20. Cast Iron Cookware
You need cookware, in general, when you’re living on a homestead and preparing all or most of your own food, but if you can swing it, cast iron is the way to go.
Cast iron cookware lasts forever and you can use it indoors on the stovetop and oven as well as outside over an open fire. It’s just about the most versatile cooking tool you can have!
21. Spade and Trowel
The most basic of gardening tools, a spade and trowel will make your gardening chores much easier.
22. Food Processor
A food processor is essential in the homestead kitchen. You can use one of these tools to chop fruits and vegetables, shred cheese, or even make homemade butter.
If you plan on doing any cooking at all, a good stockpot is essential. You can use it to whip up your favorite dinnertime recipe along with bone broth, stews, soups, and more.
24. Stand Mixer
You can use a hand mixer of course, but if you’re planning on preparing all or most of your own food on the homestead, I highly recommend upgrading to a stand mixer. It will leave your hands free to work on something else, plus, it saves a ton of time.
Not only that, but stand mixers can be used to do things besides just mix, if you buy the right attachments – you can grind grain, make homemade pasta and ice cream, and much more!
25. Slow Cooker
For times when a stock pot just won’t do it (read – you don’t want to sit around and babysit the stove all day!) you’ve got to have a slow cooker. You can do just about anything in a slow cooker, including making soups and even letting bread rise!
26. Solar Oven
This is one homestead essential you can always upgrade to later, when you have a bit more cash flow, but as soon as you’re able to afford one, I highly recommend investing in a solar oven.
These can be used for cooking food, boiling and purifying water, dehydrating foods, sterilizing soil, and much more.
27. Proofing Baskets
Plan on making your own bread on the homestead? Get some proofing baskets! These will make it far easier to allow your bread to rise the way it should.
Get a wheelbarrow so you have something to haul around all of your gardening gear and soil!
29. Garden Cart
For anything that won’t fit in a wheelbarrow, a garden cart is essential.
A hoe is essential for clearing furrows to plant seeds and moving soil to build a new plot.
Although you might be able to get by with using goats and sheep to clear small fields and pastures, a lawnmower is ideal for the areas you don’t want these animals to roam – like right around your house.
32. Compost Bin
You can build a self-supporting compost pile outside, but if you want a way to prevent it from attracting critters (and stinking!) you may want to get an enclosed compost bin.
You can make one yourself or buy one – there are lots of options to choose from, including worm composting (vermicomposting) bins, stationary bins, tumblers, and even indoor composting bins.
For cleaning up fallen leaves and other messes in the garden, a rake is essential.
You’ll probably need a few different types of shovels, including a snow shovel, scoop shovel for manure, and a pointed shovel for digging deep into the dirt.
35. Garden Hoses and Reels
You’ll need a way to water your garden – and a reel can help you store your hoses.
Pickaxes serve many purposes on the homestead, but one of the most important is to help remove large rocks and other heavy debris that’s embedded deep into the soil – like if you want to build a fence or plant a garden.
37. Weeding Tool
These can be instrumental in helping you get rid of stubborn weeds in the garden!
38. Pruning Shears
You’ll want a good set of pruning shears to prune your tomatoes, rose bushes, and any other plants that need it around the homestead.
39. Watering Can
Depending on the layout of your garden, you may be able to water most of your plants with the hose. However, for container plants or those the hose doesn’t reach (along with seedlings you start indoors), a watering can is crucial.
40. Planting Containers
You’ll need several types of planting containers, including those that you can use to start seeds indoors as well as larger ones for container-grown plants.
41. Tiller or Cultivator
If you plan on investing in a tractor (another item on this list), you may be able to just install a set of disc harrows on the back of it to till your garden. That’s another expense, of course, but it will allow you to cross this item off your list at least.
However, if you don’t plan on getting a tractor, you may want to get a tiller or cultivator to help clear the garden before you plant in it.
42. Soaker Hoses
Soaker hoses can be installed in your garden to irrigate more naturally and more conservatively, allowing you to save money as you water your plants.
43. Meat Grinder
If you plan on minding your own meat or making sausage you may want to get a meat grinder. That Way, you won’t have to pay a butcher to do it.
44. Meat Slicer
See above – but this tool will slice, instead of grind, your meat for you.
Blenders are for much more than just making smoothies. They can be used to do many other tasks, too, like mixing together ingredients for soups and making purees.
A wood stove or wood cookstove can help you reduce your reliance on the power grid to cook your food.
47. Other Canning Supplies
I already mentioned that you need a water bath or pressure canner -but don’t forget all the other gear you need, too, besides just the jars. You’ll also need lids, a jar lifter, a rack, and a funnel, to name a few.
48. Bread Machine
If you’re just going to make sourdough all the time, a bread machine probably isn’t necessary – but it can make preparing and baking other kinds of bread a million times easier.
A tractor can help you make light work of all kinds of tasks on the homestead, from unloading hay to tilling the garden. This is a big investment to make, especially if you get a high horsepower model, but is 100% worth it.
If you have a large homestead with many acres to cover, an ATV can be helpful.
51. Food Grade Buckets
Pick up as many food-grade five-gallon buckets as you can find. These can be used to store bulk dry goods as well as to feed and water your livestock.
52. Dutch Oven
Consider getting a dutch oven to cook larger meals and bake bread in. The flavor produced will be unlike anything else!
53. Crocks and Fermenting Supplies
You’ll need a crock along with airlocks and weights to make your own fermented foods.
54. Dolly / Hand Truck
These are vital for moving heavy items around the homestead – especially if you have to do it by yourself.
Along with clothespins, of course, a clothesline can eliminate your need to have an electric clothes dryer. That’s not only better for your wallet and the environment but will also help you live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
56. Feeders and Waterers
If you plan on raising any kind of livestock, from chickens to cattle, you’re going to need a way to feed and water them.
Pick up some galvanized or plastic feeders and waterers, troughs, and other supplies to make sure your animals stay well-fed and hydrated.
57. Water Heaters
If you live in a place that experiences harsh winters, you’re going to need some water heaters to keep your animals’ water open and thawed all winter.
58. Animal Housing
This is a very broad category of items to put on the list – if you plan on raising any kind of livestock on your homestead, you’re going to need a way to house them.
Depending on the kind and quantity of animals you raise, you’ll need things like a chicken coop, barn, rabbit hutch, cage, and so on. Plan accordingly!
59. Animal Bedding
Most livestock species do great with bedding like shredded paper or wood shavings. Research your specific animal before choosing a bedding – but make sure you have lots on hand.
60. Hay Feeder
If you raise animals that eat hay – like sheep, goats, or cattle – you’ll need a hay feeder to keep the hay off the ground.
Again, this falls into the same category as animal housing – the kind and extent of fencing you need will vary depending on the kind of animals you decide to raise.
However, in most cases, you’ll need to buy materials like page wire fencing, fence staples, fence posts, post-pounders and post-hole diggers, and fencing pliers in order to erect your fences.
62. Milking Stand and Buckets
Do you plan on raising any dairy animals? If so, you’ll need a way to milk them.
63. Hay Fork
A hay fork (or pitchfork) is an invaluable tool that you’ll need to clean out barns and feed out hay.
64. Repair Toolbox
I won’t go too in-depth about the items you should keep in your homestead repair toolbox, but at the very least, you’ll need items like a hammer, drill, nails, pliers, pipe wrench ladder, combination wrench extension cords, screwdrivers, socket wrenches, allen wrenches, and crowbars.
You may want to plan on having a gas-powered generator on your homestead, even if you are not off-the-grid.
66. Solar Panels
You can go as big or as small with this one as you’d like. A small solar kit can keep a 12V RV battery topped off while a larger whole-home solar system will require large panels, batteries, a charge controller, and a power inverter.
A chainsaw is vital, even if you don’t plan on cutting your own firewood for fuel. You’ll need this to clear fallen trees and debris out of the way.
68. Chainsaw Sharpener
A dull chainsaw is a dangerous one. Make sure you have a chainsaw sharpener to keep yourself safe!
69. Tools for Home Improvement Projects
There are all other kinds of tools you will want to have on hand, too – besides just the ones for basic repairs as mentioned above.
If you plan on building anything for the homestead or the house, like chicken coops, nesting boxes, furniture, and more, you’ll need the right tools for the job.
Consider investing in things like a handsaw, circular saw, jigsaw, table saw, reciprocating saw, G-Clamp, level, palm sander, hand planer, dead blow hammer, wood chisel, glue gun, cordless drill tape measurer, wire strippers, etc.
Of course, you’ll need all the right safety gear too – things like a hard hat, safety glasses, and ear protection.
An ax is going to be necessary if you plan on chopping down any trees.
71. Splitting Ax
A splitting ax is specifically designed to help you block up firewood – essential if you plan on using wood heat!
72. Felling Wedges
Whenever you cut a tree, either with an ax or a chainsaw, felling wedges can make the job much easier – and much safer.
73. Tow Chains
Tow chains will be helpful when it comes to hauling gear of any kind, particularly with a tractor.
74. Knife Set
Invest in a set of quality knives that can be used in the kitchen, for butchering livestock, and even things like cutting twine out in the field. These will be lifesavers!
75. Rolling Pin
You’ll need a rolling pin to make your own bread, desserts, pasta, and so on.
76. Vacuum Sealer
A vacuum sealer will allow you to freeze all the meats, vegetables, and other foods you need without having to worry about them going bad. These bags help to prevent freezer burn, and keep food fresher for longer.
77. Grain Mill
If you plan on growing and milling your own grain, a grain mill is vital.
78. Bag Balm
Bag balm can be used on everything from sore, chapped udders on cows to your own dry hands in the wintertime.
79. Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle are perfect for grinding grain, spices, herbs, and anything else that comes to mind.
The potential uses for rope on a homestead are endless. From tying up livestock to securing broken gates, have several sturdy ropes on hand… and be sure you learn how to tie a few basic knots.
81. Kitchen Scale
A kitchen scale will help you measure out ingredients more accurately – something that’s important when you’re doing any baking.
82. Firewood Carry Sling
Invest in a strong firewood carry sling to make it easier for you to transport your wood.
83. Cutting Board
A few good cutting boards that are easy to sterilize will be true lifesavers in the kitchen.
84. Cable Ties
Get some strong cable ties to keep things closed as needed.
85. Baling Twine
No good farmer is worth a cent without baling twine! Keep this on hand not just for baling hay, but for fixing fences and doing other simple repairs in a snap.
86. Plumber’s Putty
Plumber’s putty has a variety of uses (among them, of course, mending plumbing). It’s also a great tool to use when you have cracked, leaking water troughs that need a quick fix.
87. Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are vital when you are putting up fencing for livestock, trellising garden plants, and more.
88. Animal Crates
Animal creates can be helpful when taking smaller animals to the vet – or for when your trailer is out of commission. See below!
You may want to invest in a flatbed trailer for hauling hay and equipment and a stock trailer for moving livestock.
90. Pocket Knife
Get a good pocket knife to carry with you – I personally prefer razor knives, since it’s easy to swap out the blades when they get dull.
91. Cattle Panels or Welded Wire
You can use these to build fences, of course, but they’re also helpful when it comes to separating and holding tomatoes upright in the garden or even building portable housing, like chicken coops.
When you invariably find yourself doing chores at 4 am, when it’s still dark, you’ll be grateful that you purchased a headlamp!
Keep plenty of flashlights (and corresponding batteries) on hand for when the power goes out.
94. Milk Crates
Milk crates can be used for all sorts of things, from storing winter squashes and other “root cellar” vegetables to carrying tools out into the field with you.
95. Fire Extinguisher
Any home – especially a homestead – absolutely needs a fire extinguisher in case there’s an emergency.
Some people might disagree with this one, but I personally believe that you can’t go wrong with having firearms on the homestead – particularly if you are raising livestock and live in an area with lots of predators.
97. Sewing Machine
A sewing machine will allow you to stitch up small holes, mend or hem pants, and even make your own clothes at home.
98. Heat Lamps
If you have livestock, heat lamps are essential in the winter to help keep them warm (especially young livestock, like piglets).
99. Food Storage Containers
Get a variety of food storage containers. Some types of food are best stored in metal containers, while others are best stored in plastic ones.
100. Spray Bottles
You can use spray bottles for everything from spritzing plants to provide them with a bit of humidity to applying antibiotic sprays to livestock.
You should have plenty of bandages on hand – and a variety of them. You’ll need gauze and adhesive bandages for the human members of your homestead along with wraps and bandages for any and all livestock, too.
Again, if you raise animals at all, you’ll want to keep a few species-specific dewormers (and drench guns) on hand so you have them as needed.
Syringes are necessary to administer many types of medications, including painkillers and antibiotics, to livestock.
Have a scalpel on hand in case you need to do any kind of emergency veterinary procedure.
Have thermometers for both the human and animal members of your homestead.
Stock up on any and all medications needed by your family or your animals.
These include dewormers, as mentioned before, but also things like prescription medications, antibiotics, vitamin and mineral supplements, and painkillers.
Iodine can help sanitize and disinfect wounds – something you’ll want for livestock.
108. Ratchet Straps
No matter how large or small your homestead might be, ratchet straps are essential. They’ll help you secure items for transportation and prevent damages to your vehicle in doing so.
109. Duct Tape
Last but not least – duct tape. It really fixes everything!
What Do You Need For a Sustainable Homestead?
Of course, there are lots of tools and supplies not mentioned here that you will likely find you end up needing for your homestead.
The list is only a starting place to help you get going on your journey. Everybody is unique in what they end up needing and using…
However, there are a few things that every homestead needs to be successful and sustainable – and they’re things you won’t find at a store.
In order to be successful and sustainable, a homesteader needs to have perseverance, grit, resourcefulness, and determination. You have to possess good problem-solving skills – and a whole lot of stubbornness!
So as long as you have these traits, it’s okay to start small in terms of actual physical supplies. You’ve got most of what you need already – you just have to tap into it and get started!
Rebekah is a high-school English teacher n New York, where she lives on a 22 acre homestead. She raises and grows chickens, bees, and veggies such as zucchini (among other things).