• Modern Homesteader: 46 Pioneer Skills

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    2f2544e2386c46280ae95937a3992938In this week’s Prepping and Survival Reader, there’s a link to a news story about New York City: the city council has voted to ban styrofoam. Now I’m not a big fan of styrofoam; the used containers can’t be recycled and don’t do well in landfills. But what irks me is that a small group of elected officials believe they have the power to decide any and all issues, on our behalf. That is the type of attitude that leads to restrictions on second amendment rights and over-regulation of the pursuit of happiness more generally.

    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.

    46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern 21st Century Homesteader

    1. Vegetable Gardening
    2. Cooking on an Open Fire
    3. Baking
    4. Herb Gardening
    5. Herbal Medicine
    6. First Aid and Emergency Medical Care
    7. Animal Husbandry
    8. Butchering
    9. Fire-starting and Fire Building
    10. Carpentry
    11. Masonry
    12. Plumbing
    13. Sewing
    14. Knitting and Crochet
    15. Weaving and Spinning
    16. Hunting
    17. Fishing
    18. Canning and Preserving
    19. Home Brewing
    20. Gunsmithing
    21. Soap Making
    22. Candle Making
    23. Power Generation (Solar and Wind)
    24. Vehicle Maintenance
    25. Mechanical Repair and Maintenance
    26. Equipment Operator
    27. Home Maintenance
    28. Welding
    29. Blacksmithing
    30. Leatherwork
    31. Well Building
    32. Foraging
    33. Knife Sharpening
    34. Bartering
    35. Milking
    36. Beekeeping
    37. Seed Harvesting
    38. Orchard Management
    39. Waste Management
    40. Pest Control
    41. Grinding Wheat and Other Grains
    42. Interpersonal Skills
    43. Leadership
    44. Patience
    45. Perseverance
    46. Faith

    The …

    And finally, take things slowly. You do not have to be 100% self-sufficient, if that's even possible, in the first year. It is better to take steady forward steps, learning and improving, rather than to run and fall – which is demoralizing and may cause you to quit.

    Right now, self-sufficiency is a choice; but if the SHTF, it could be a necessity. It may be a huge change in mentality – instead of judging yourself based on what you consume (the newest clothes, fanciest car, frequenting restaurants, etc.), you will judge yourself on what you do NOT consume (and bargains you find). You may have a tough time at first. You may have to give up all possibility of pizza delivery, but what you get in exchange is not just healthier food but a sense of freedom and control over your life.

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