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.

If you’re following the current trends then learning self-reliant skills has taken priority in your life also. The problem is trying to figure out where to start and which new skills should be learned first.

When it comes to self-reliance, learning the skills of our forefathers is the best way to start. These may include basic survival skills, animal husbandry, food preservation, and basic carpentry.

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.

Self-Reliant Skills of the Home

Home skills include those things that make your home life easier for you and your family members. They also may help you get prepared.

Some of these skills are essential skills. These skills may be needed during an emergency situation. And some of these skills are just simple tasks to make our lives easier.

A self-reliant kitchen

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.
  • Preserve food: Learn to can, ferment, dehydrate, and use correct food storage principles.
  • Know how to use 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
  • Make emergency candles
  • Use an oil lamp for lighting
  • Learn how to heat your home without electricity
  • Cook from scratch: Bread, pasta, sauces, etc.
Homemade candles for emergencies
Emergency candles are made from leftover candle pieces.

Basic Skills of the Home

  • Learn to sew basic things: May include hemming pants, making simple curtains, placemats, unpaper towels. (try making your own clothing)
  • Meal planning
  • 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
  • Experiment with essential oils
  • Start your own sourdough starter
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 foods so you can almost avoid using the grocery store. Outdoor skills are the practical skills that help you accomplish things while being outside of the home. Both of these types of skills will take you a long way in your daily life.

For more specific information on self-reliant gardening skills, read Self-Reliant Skills: An Essential Guide.

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
  • Start a berry patch
  • Learn and use crop rotation
  • Grow fodder and grains
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 and livestock
  • Build animal shelters (chicken coop, small barn. enclosures)
  • Construct a fence
  • Cut and split firewood
  • 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
  • Collect rainwater
Meat rabbits
Rabbits being raised for meat

Self-Reliant Skills of Survival and Prepping

Survival and Prepping Skills are pretty similar to what past generations did 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 skills you should learn in the case of any emergency. Some of the skills are already mentioned above.

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
  • 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
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. I will be covering many of these skills in future posts. Until then, here are some options for you.

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 step is for you to make a list and make a choice about which of the skills you wish to learn first. There is no better time than now to learn.

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!

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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