In today’s world things like healthy lifestyles, growing your own food, raising chickens, using natural remedies and personal finances seem to be important self-reliance skills that more people are prioritizing. Learning these self-sufficiency skills are a great way to be prepared in the long run no matter what may take place.

If you don’t know where to start, think about what it means to you to have a self-sufficient life. Learning the skills of our forefathers is the best way to start. These important skills may include basic survival skills, animal husbandry, food preservation, and basic carpentry. Make these new self-reliance skills part of your long-term goals to accomplish.

In this post, you will learn many of the skill sets that are common with a self-reliant lifestyle. From there, you can make your own decisions as to which self-reliant skills are right for you.

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Cucumbers, onions, celery, and spices ready to be canned.

Self-Reliant Skills of the Home

Home skills include those basic life skills such as sewing and baking fresh bread, putting together a basic first aid kit, or cooking on a wood stove. 

Some of these skills are essential skills. These skills may be needed during an emergency situation. They may include such things as identifying wild plants as non edible and edible plants.

Essential Skills of the Home

  • Put together a first aid kit: Learn which supplies you should have on hand at all times for medical emergencies.
  • Prepare herbal remedies: Learn natural ways to treat simple health issues like common colds and insect bites with herbs.
  • Know how to put out a grease fire: Know the best ways to stop it instead of spreading fire.
  • Cook on a woodstove: Learn to make wholesome meals without electricity and little food waste using basic ingredients
  • Preserve food: Learn to can (using a pressure canner and/or water bath canner), ferment, dehydrate, and use correct food storage principles with fresh vegetables from your own vegetable garden
  • Know basic carpentry skills and basic knowledge of hand tools to make simple repairs
  • Learn CPR: For infants, children, and adults.
  • Sterilize, purify, and filter water for drinking.
  • Pest control methods
  • Home security: Handling a gun and other weapons if necessary to protect your home.
  • Create an emergency kit for power outages and emergency situations
  • Make emergency candles
  • Use an oil lamp for lighting
  • Learn how to heat your home without electricity
  • Cook from scratch: Bread, pasta, sauces, etc.

For more  information on essential home skills, read:

   How To Dehydrate Tomatoes for Tomato Powder

   How To Preserve Strawberries

   Natural Pest Control for the Homestead

   Natural Remedies for Common Ailments

   11 Emergency Candles You Can Make

Homemade candles for emergencies
Emergency candles are made from leftover candle pieces.

Basic Skills of the Home

  • Learn basic sewing skills: May include hemming pants, making simple curtains, placemats, unpaper towels. (try making your own clothing), use a sewing machine
  • Meal planning: Plan nutritious food for your family without the microwave oven
  • Render tallow and lard
  • Make bone broth
  • Care for cast iron pots
  • Churn butter
  • Make cheese
  • Prepare homemade yogurt
  • Make your own cleaning products
  • Make your own soaps and shampoos
  • Learn to reduce waste and lower your carbon footprint
  • Weave a basket
  • Grind your own grains
  • Knitting, crocheting, needlepoint are great new skills to learn as well as using a spinning wheel
  • Experiment with essential oils
  • Start your own sourdough starter

For more  information on basic home skills, read:

   How To Start A Zero Waste Homestead

   Cast Iron Pots: Care, Seasoning, and Maintaining

   Homemade Cleaners For Your Home

Ingredients for DIY laundry soap
Ingredients for making DIY laundry soap

Self-Reliant Skills of the Garden and Outdoors

Gardening skills include the skills you need to grow healthy food so you can almost avoid using the grocery store. A garden can make the difference of survival during food shortages.

Even if you do not have much land to grow food, you will learn the essential skill of being able to provide healthy food for your family. Children of a young age can help tend to a simple garden bed. This in turn, teaches them essential life skills they can use in the future. 

Outdoor skills are the practical skills that help you accomplish things while being outside of the home. Many of these skills will help you take control of your own life by being able to accomplish them yourself. These skills help to lead you towards a more sustainable living way of life.

Mix of seeds for the vegetable garden
Heirlooms and other vegetable seeds for the vegetable garden

Gardening Skills

  • Learn organic gardening techniques
  • Practice seed saving
  • Learn fruit tree pruning
  • Cut and stack hay
  • Composting methods and use
  • Learn how to start a vermicomposter
  • Grow and harvest herbs
  • Learn to drive a manual transmission tractor
  • Build a greenhouse
  • Create your own fertilizer
  • Learn different types of gardening methods (raised bed, no-till, container, etc.) 
  • Plant an orchard of fruit trees
  • Start a berry patch
  • Learn and use crop rotation
  • Grow fodder and grains

For more  information on self-reliant gardening skills, read:

 Self-Reliant Skills: An Essential Guide

 How To Start an Herb Garden

 Gardening Soil: An Ultimate Guide

 Growing Fodder for Your Chickens

 How To Grow Strawberries

2 garden methods, in a tire and in a raised bed
Squash in a tire and 2 recycled raised beds

Outdoor Skills

  • Keep bees and harvest honey
  • Use a smokehouse
  • Learn to milk a cow or goat
  • Raise poultry to collect fresh eggs and raise your own livestock to have your own meat instead of depending on the local grocery store
  • Build animal shelters (chicken coop, small barn. enclosures)
  • Learn the easiest ways to construct a fence (this is a great way to learn how to use power tools too)
  • Cut and split firewood
  • Learn a number of ways to Start a fire
  • Cook over an open fire
  • Install a composting toilet
  • Install an outdoor shower
  • Sharpen an ax
  • Learn to butcher an animal humanely
  • Practice masonry
  • Practice blacksmithing (this a great skill to make some extra money)
  • Collect rainwater

For more  information on outdoor skills, read:

   Zebu Cows: A Simple Guide for the Homestead

   Raising Chickens: An Ultimate Guide

   Raising Pigs On The Homestead

   Goat Breeds for Your Homestead

   Raising Rabbits on Your Homestead

   DIY Fire Starters

Meat rabbits
Rabbits being raised for meat

Self-Reliant Skills of Survival and Prepping

Survival and Prepping Skills are pretty similar to the daily life skills that past generations practiced on a regular basis. They are the skills that allowed them to survive in almost any survival situation. 

These are not the skills to cover the basic needs in today’s world but they are the preparedness skills you should learn in the case of any emergency. 

wild grapes
Wild grapes growing in our backwoods

Survival and Prepping Skills

  • Forage for wild foods and mushrooms
  • Store food in a root cellar
  • Stock enough food and water for one year per person
  • Use weapons correctly
  • Make your own bullets, ammo
  • Learn hunting and trapping of small game
  • Learn to fish, clean the fish, and prepare it
  • Build a simple shelter
  • Read a compass and learn navigational techniques
  • Learn security measures for property perimeter
  • Hand-to-hand fighting skills, self-defense
  • Map reading skills
  • Learn bartering skills
  • Treat a broken bone, major illness, or injury

For more  information on surviving and prepping skills, read:

   How To Start a Prepper Pantry

   How To Create An Emergency Go Bag

   How to Prep For Power Outages

Fox caught in a trap
A fox we caught in a trap trying to eat our chickens

Where to Learn Self-Reliant Skills

These new life skills can be learned in many places. From YouTube videos to plain old good books, a little bit of time researching which self-reliant skills you need to learn, will result in you learning the importance of self-reliance

The first steps are to make a list of the skills you wish to learn. Then set a priority to which skills are the most important to you and your family. There is no better time than now to learn. 

The internet, especially YouTube is a great resource to learn a lot of things that pertain to being self-reliant. There are also many good websites on self-reliant living that could learn a lot from.

Don’t forget, if you have young children at home, now is the best time to teach them simple self-reliant skills too. From grade school to high school, children should learn the basic skills to help them survive in modern times. So why not add some essential skills starting in their early years and get them started on a better foot? 

Below are some great resources for you to learn new self-reliant skills.

The grand kids working on the farm
Our grandsons working on the homestead with us

Resources for Learning Self-Reliant Skills

These are 75 important self-reliant skills to help you and your family get started on your road to reliance. Includes resources to learn new skills!

Final Thoughts on Self-Reliant Skills

You now have an extensive list of skills to choose from in order to start on your own journey of being self-reliant. Learn as many as you can!  Choose the skills that fit your own needs.  

Teach your family the skills you learn so they can share in the knowledge and learn also. Are there other skills you may know that are not listed here? Please leave me a message below so I can add them!


  1. Hello, this is one of my personal favorites for last week’s Encouraging Hearts and Home. I hope you stop by and say hello, this post has also been pinned to the Encouraging Hearts and Home board! Thank you for being a part of Encouraging Hearts and Home, we appreciate all that you share. Have a great week ahead!

  2. Thank you for reviving my soul on the different skills for survival.

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