10 Self Sufficient Skills For Beginners

10 Self Sufficient Skills For Beginners

Grocery stores may not be around forever, and if you live in a rural area or you own a homestead off the grid, hitting up the grocery store or fast food joints on a weekly basis is next to impossible.

If you have the means to do so or the land, it’s important to develop skills that will not only make you more self-sufficient, but healthier, and proud in the long run.

Below are 10 self sufficient skills for beginners that you need to master if you’re going to take self sufficient living seriously!

Learn To Love Gardening

One of the main goals of becoming self-sufficient is relying less on others.

That means no longer shopping at grocery stores, or hitting up the local diner when you’re hungry.

If you don’t have a green thumb, it’s time to change that.

Fortunately, you can get started with easy plants like tomatoes.

I recommend determining which vegetables and fruits your family consumes the most and giving those a try.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper growing conditions for the plant/s, otherwise it will be a complete failure.

That means making sure you’re in the right growing zones…

Pick Up Some Cooking and Preservation Skills

If you haven’t left the city yet, try taking some cooking classes or seeing if there are any local canning classes.

If you live in a smaller rural town, some libraries will even let you borrow canning equipment and offer classes!

If none of those options are available and you still have internet, which I’m assuming you do because you’re reading this article, then you can always try following along with a YouTube Tutorial.

Simply pick something you want to try canning, and then go conquer it!

The same can be said about learning how to preserve certain foods that are not related to canning.

Things like drying fruits, storing root vegetables like potatoes, making your own jerky, etc.

Learn Proper Animal Husbandry Techniques

Unless you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you’re going to be raising a lot of animals that you will depend on to nourish your body.

And they’ll depend on you to take proper care of them up until the point that they end up on your plate.

Learn everything you can from people who have been there-done that, if you can.

If you don’t know anyone that raises animals specifically for food, you could always try taking a community course, or grabbing a couple of decent books from Amazon or your local library (if you don’t live off the grid, that is.)

Surprisingly, I’ve found YouTube videos to be helpful here too, just be careful about the information you take from these videos, since not everyone is knowledgeable and the information could be unhelpful or downright dangerous.

Prepare Yourself For When It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Your Animals

Plenty of books, short excerpts, and even blog posts have been wrote about the preparation of dispatching your first animals, but what many of those texts fail to address is how it may make you feel emotionally.

When I was raising chickens and meat rabbits for the first time, I was excited by the prospect of finally being able to put ethical meat onto my family’s table.

Each day, I went through my chores by watering, feeding, and doing all the other maintenance tasks you might perform for each particular species.

For chickens, I might let them free range my property for a bit, collect their eggs, dump the water, scrub the waterer, and then refill it with clean water, repeat the same for the feed troughs.

As butchering day approached, I looked forward to it with equal parts of excitement- finally I’ve been able to realize a dream of mine for a long time- but then the excitement turned into anxiety and dread as I realized I was about to take the life of not one, but several animals if this was to continue.

I spent weeks and even months before acquiring the animals to research all the possible ways to humanely dispatch and butcher each animal and settled on a method that worked for me.

And even with weeks of planning and rehearsing each step in my mind, I still managed to screw up the first time.

For my rabbits and chickens, I chose to use the broomstick method.

This is where you place the animal flat on it’s belly while holding its legs (the method will vary between the two) and then place a broomstick or a pole over its neck, just behind the head and just ahead of the shoulders.

You’ll then step on both sides of the pole so that the animal is pinned to the ground while holding its feet, and then you’ll pull straight up quickly to help break the neck.

The first time I tried this with a rabbit, the rabbit slipped loose and I ended up injuring it instead.

You’ll want to account for this ahead of time and have a backup method to help avoid suffering and emotional trauma to you.

Fortunately for me, I had an ax nearby and I used the blunt end of it to knock the rabbit unconscious and finish off the job.

The first couple of times you kill an animal will stick with you- I won’t lie.

Some people insist on not naming or cuddling the animals you intend to eat eventually, for me, it made no difference. If naming or gently petting them makes you and them happy, then go ahead and do it.

Overtime, it does get easier.

But rather than dreading butchering day, look forward to it knowing that you’re putting healthy and sustainable meat on the table for you and your family.

Learn How To Find And Prepare Water For Safe Drinking

Without water, it would be impossible to live.

You depend on water to hydrate yourself, grow your crops/garden, and keep your animals quenched.

Depending on your location, you may be lucky enough to have a spring on your property or another body of water.

If it’s not safe to drink, you can use special equipment to make the water safe to consume, and it doesn’t necessarily involve boiling water for long periods of time.

Become Familiar With Basic First Aid and Dental Health

Let’s face it, you may not have health insurance or the extra money to just wander into your doctor’s or dentist’s office at your own leisure.

While I’m not recommending you try to put off truly important healthcare or dental matters, you’ll want to learn a few basics that you can handle yourself without a doctorate degree.

For this, I’d recommend finding out when your nearest town or city hosts CPR and First Aid classes and making sure you book your spot in advance. The last thing you want is to be panicking not knowing how to help an unconscious or severely injured person while hundreds of miles away from the nearest hospital.

Talking from personal experience, these classes gave me the confidence to feel comfortable in holding off non emergency situations until I could get to the proper professionals.

As far as dental care goes, I recommend maintaining an annual visit with your dentist to get those important teeth cleanings and fluoride applied.

Then it’s just a matter of keeping up on it with healthy daily dental habits.

Learn How To Sew, Knit and Crochet

You may not be ready to start making your own clothing and household items, but you probably won’t be able to visit the local Walmart or clothing stores to shop for new duds when your old ones become worn.

This is a great time to learn how to manage small repairs on your clothing and even learn neat skills like how to make your own crochet dish cloths.

That said, if your clothes are truly ragged, you may need to head into town to do some clothes shopping, so don’t put it off if you need to.

Give Hunting and Fishing A Try

Even if you find out you’re not that good at it, if you can manage to score a deer or two, you can fill the freezer for a few months at practically almost no cost except for the ammo, gas, and hunting license.

Best of all, the animal was raised in a truly free range environment without any medicated feed or hormones.

The meat is lean and tastes amazing, but it may not be for everyone.

Learn To Forage

Pick up a local field guide to wild edibles and start trying to forage for some of the edibles.

Some of my best memories as a kid was learning to find wild strawberries.

My grandmother would send me out with a pitcher and tell me not to come back until the pitcher was completely filled with the tiny red speckled berries.

Fortunately, it didn’t take me long since they tend to be bunched in clusters along the deer paths.

It wasn’t long before I was returning and she sent me off again to go play while she made pancakes with the wild strawberries.

If you can learn how to forage, you can supplement the food you grow and bring into your home.

All of these are good things when you’re learning how to be self sufficient.

And believe me, every bit counts.

Learn A Few Home Remedies

Becoming more familiar with home remedies is one of the most important self sufficient skills you’ll master.

Don’t let that scare you, but since you’ll be relying less on doctors, you’re going to want to have a couple of home remedy books on your shelves.

I don’t currently have any recommendations, but I’d suggest looking for books that are comprehensive.

If you have a way to accept delivers from Amazon, try look at the table of contents for some books you’re considering to make sure it has everything (well, almost everything) under the sun covered.

This would also be a good time to stock an emergency First Aid kit and brush up on your First Aid and CPR skills if you haven’t already.

Wrapping It All Up

Becoming more self sufficient can be confusing and overwhelming for some, but if you master these 10 self sufficient skills for beginners, you’ll be way ahead of those who never started because they didn’t know how!

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