I’m sharing 37 vintage homestead skills you should know today. Most people today depend on others for just about everything, without even realizing it. While everyone would like to think they are self-reliant, some people probably couldn’t tell you how to cook from scratch, change their oil or plant a small vegetable garden.
That means they’re relying on processed food from a grocery store, a mechanic for their vehicles, and a farmer to provide the veggies for their next salad. As you can see, there are a number of skills that everyone could use to properly function without aid from another.
Here are 37 vintage homestead skills that will better prepare you to be self-sufficient.
Vintage Homestead Skills
Whether you are into urban homesteading or original homesteading, this homestead lifestyle is the perfect way to make life simpler. Back in the day, simple living was a full-time job. You spent time perfecting a skill set like baking bread. A simpler life is still possible with these tips.
1. Learn to Grow Organic
Homesteaders don’t rely as often on the produce department at their local grocery store, they use their land to grow food. Learn how to grow organic fruits and vegetables by keeping pesticides out of sight. You’ll be able to enjoy produce at its best. This is where I buy my organic seeds: SeedsNow
Composting works hand-in-hand with gardening, helping to enrich the soil for your plants while cutting down your waste at the same time.
3. Harvest the Seeds
Collecting and harvesting your seeds is an important skill to keep future crops coming back every year.
4. Cook From Scratch
Being able to use basic ingredients from the pantry to prepare a fantastic meal from scratch is truly a vintage homestead skill everyone needs. It’s also the secret to a man’s heart. Here are a number of meals made from scratch that you can get started with.
5. Canning through Preserving
Not only should you be able to make up your own jams, salsas, and sauces, you should know how to preserve them for a long period of time. Sadly, canning is a skill that is dying out, but you don’t have to miss out on your homestead.
6. Storing Food
Stocking your pantry with enough nonperishable foods to last a minimum of 3 months is a smart practice to get started.
7. Using Natural Remedies
Instead of heading to the doctor for another expensive visit, how about learning about natural remedies that work effectively for a lot of illnesses.
8. First aid and CPR
Basic first aid and CPR should be taught in school today. Just imagine being helpless, not knowing what to do when you have a loved one that needs immediate medical attention. Being able to take care of minor cuts, abrasions, and burns, and knowing what to do when someone is going into cardiac arrest will be a huge lifesaver you won’t regret learning.
9. Sewing, Crotchet, Knitting
It will also be good to know the basics of needlework. That way, you won’t have to discard an article of clothing because you can’t patch or sew up a minor rip in your clothes. Sewing Supplies You Need
10. Waste Nothing
When something is worn out from its original purpose, being able to use it for something else instead of throwing it out just makes sense. For instance, if you have an old hand towel that’s worn out, put it out in the garage to be used as an oil rag while working on your car.
11. Rendering Fats
Did you know you can use what appears to be useless animal fat and grease? No joke, you can use it for frying, recipes, and even making soap. And you were thinking about throwing it out!
12. Defending Your Home
Unfortunately, the world we live in requires us to be able to defend ourselves from intruders. Are you prepared? Having a plan and self-defense training might prove crucial to dealing with a threat in your home.
13. Cooking Without Electricity
Do you know how to prepare a meal without electricity? Here’s how.
14. Building a Fire
Building a fire is not just something a boy scout should know how to do. You might need a fire for warmth or a method for cooking your next meal.
15. Smoking Meats and Cheeses
Smoking meats and cheese brings a mouthful of flavor to a tastier treat. Learning about preserving food can start with meats and cheeses.
16. Baking Homemade Bread
Not a crucial homestead skill, but there’s no comparing homemade bread to store-bought.
17. Dehydrating Foods
Dehydrating certain foods is a great way of preserving them for enjoyment for a long time, and could mean the difference between being properly prepared if a disaster hits. I’ve been busy dehydrating some apples, bananas, and mushrooms, I can’t wait to share them with you.
18. Distilling Water
Distilling water is an important skill to make safe drinking water.
Knowing how to hunt and having basic archery skills might one day help you put meat on the table.
20. Reloading Ammunition
While this might seem silly, there’s a proper way for reloading ammunition for a gun. Knowing how to safely reload is a skill that could really come in handy.
21. Knot Tying
Another boy scout skill that everyone needs to have is knot tying.
22. Secondary Languages
As many as 41 million Spanish-speaking citizens live in the United States. It’s never too late to take on a second language to be able to communicate with all your neighbors.
There might be a time when you need to have the skills to be able to blend in and disappear by camouflage.
While you might not want to stick your fingers into a fish’s mouth, you need to know the basics of fishing so you don’t have to buy the frozen food section’s fish. How to take care of that fish you caught from lake or stream to freezer or cooktop is a fun and helpful skill we all could benefit from.
Knowing how to set up camp is a skill everyone should learn to master. Make sure you are prepared for the weather you might face while up in the mountains or another favorite spot.
26. Driving a Manual Transmission
Not many people today have taken the time to learn how to drive a manual transmission. While it might be a challenge at first, it’s more fun in, my opinion. Using a manual/standard transmission during a snowstorm can prove to be a valuable skill since you have more control over those spinning wheels!
27. Basic Mechanic Skills
You also should have a few mechanic skills to change your car’s oil, rotate your tires, and change out a blown headlamp.
28. Harvesting Rainwater and Proper Storage
Learn to harvest and properly store rainwater for future usage.
29. Cutting Down a Tree
Instead of hacking down a tree and hoping it falls in the right direction, learn how to properly cut down a tree.
30. Splitting Wood
After the tree is down, knowing how to split the wood for firewood really helps since it could be critical to keeping that fire going to keep you and family members warm in the storm.
31. Tapping Trees for Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is extremely pricey. Learn how to tap trees for maple syrup if you have that available in your area.
32. Make Your Own Soaps
Believe it or not, making your own soap is a skill that still exists today. Many homesteaders enjoy using their own ingredients and scents instead of name-brand soaps.
33. Knowing the Time of day
Can you tell the time without a watch or electronic? You will want to know how to do this. Being aware of sunrise and sunset times will also come in handy if you find yourself out in the woods without outside support.
34. Learn Your Limits
It’s also important to know your limits in every aspect of your life. Knowing your weaknesses and strengths can keep you from a world of trouble.
35. Entertainment Without Electronics
Finding ways of keeping your kids entertained without electronics gives them a more-rewarding childhood. Plus it’s nice to see their faces once in a while. I highly recommend getting some card or board games in case of an emergency or even for tomorrow.
Knowing how to budget and sticking to it is a huge skill most people don’t live by.
37. Living Within Your Means
Most Americans don’t know how to live within their means. Yes, this is probably the number one vintage skill everyone needs to work on. Living on a homestead means you’ll need to live within your means.
These are 37 vintage homestead skills that everyone should learn. If you’re a homesteader with a few extra skills up your sleeve, what other ones should we consider learning?
Will you turn to homesteading life or become part-time homesteaders? Let us know! May God bless this world, Linda