The most reliable person in your life is you.
Harness your talents, learn critical skills and achieve your goal of true self reliance.
Because when you can rely on yourself, others can rely on you too.
In our increasingly interconnected world, the desire for independence and self-sufficiency has grown stronger. Independent living empowers individuals to rely on their own resources, reduce their environmental impact, and enhance their resilience.
Whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or just starting your journey toward self-sustainability, this comprehensive list of 101 tips will help you embrace independent living and create a self-sustaining lifestyle.
Build Your Self Reliance
1. It’s Going to Take Sweat
Prepare your mind and your body to take on new challenges. Independent living is not always easy, but the results are always worth it.
2. Find Your Tribe
Social media, especially YouTube, is full of people on the same path to self-sufficiency. Learn from them by joining groups, watching tutorials or participating in a meetup.
3. Stay In It to Win It
Independence is a marathon, not a sprint. Of course, you’ll need help occasionally, but that doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off the wagon. You’re building systems to help sustain you, brick by brick.
4. Install a Backup Power Source
This can be a gasoline or propane generator, backup batteries or even a bicycle-powered dynamo. Having a trickle of power at your disposal can save your bacon during a grid blackout.
5. Harness Solar Power
Install solar panels to generate your own electricity and reduce reliance on the grid.
6. Plant a Thriving Garden
Cultivate fruits, vegetables, and herbs to supplement your food supply.
Create nutrient-rich compost from kitchen scraps and yard waste for healthier plants.
Independent Living Tip: Create your own compost
8. Raise Ducks for Security
Ducks not only provide eggs and meat but also act as natural security alarms with their quacking.
9. Keep Chickens for Food
Enjoy fresh eggs and meat by raising chickens in your backyard.
10. Home Security Measures
Install robust locks, motion sensor lights, and a security system to protect your home and belongings.
11. Master Basic Carpentry
Learn essential carpentry skills to tackle repairs and build functional structures.
12. Emergency Preparedness
Stock up on food, water, and essential supplies for unexpected situations.
13. Get Good Gloves
Your homestead comes with splinters, nettles, and plenty of other stinging surprises. An investment in top-shelf gloves pays off every time you use them.
14. Preserving Food
Learn techniques like canning, drying, and fermenting to extend the shelf life of your harvest.
15. DIY Cleaning Products
Make your own eco-friendly cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
16. Install a Water Filtration System
Ensure access to clean, potable water by installing a reliable filtration system.
Establish beehives to pollinate your garden and enjoy homegrown honey.
18. Raise Goats for Milk
Consider raising goats for a fresh and sustainable source of milk.
19. Create a Root Cellar
Build or convert a space to store root vegetables and preserves.
20. Learn First Aid
Acquire basic first aid skills to handle minor injuries and emergencies.
21. Home Energy Audit
Identify energy inefficiencies and make necessary upgrades to reduce consumption.
22. Preserve Seeds
Save seeds from your garden for future planting and maintain a self-sustaining seed bank.
23. Build a Greenhouse
Extend your growing season and cultivate a wider variety of plants with a greenhouse.
24. DIY Home Repairs
Learn to fix common household issues to save money and reduce reliance on professionals.
25. Essential Tools
Invest in quality tools like a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, and a tape measure for various tasks.
26. DIY Irrigation
Remember all that rainwater you collected? Utilize collected it to water your garden and reduce your draw on the water table.
27. Learn to Cook from Scratch
Master the art of cooking wholesome meals using basic ingredients.
28. Install a Wood-Burning Stove
Heat your home and cook meals with a wood-burning stove during colder months.
29. Sewing and Mending
Learn to mend clothes and sew basic garments to prolong their lifespan.
30. Create a Library of Self Reliant Topics
Build a collection of books on various topics for self-education and entertainment. Even Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a wonderful essay about self-reliance and its virtues.
31. DIY Natural Remedies
Discover the healing properties of herbs and essential oils to treat common ailments.
32. Install Energy-Efficient Appliances
Upgrade to energy-efficient models to reduce electricity consumption.
33. Hang Clothes to Dry
Set up a clothesline; it really is that simple.
34. Establish a Permaculture Garden
Design a garden that mimics natural ecosystems, promoting self-sustainability.
35. Home Canning
Preserve fruits, vegetables, and sauces through the art of canning, allowing you to enjoy your garden’s bounty year-round.
36. DIY Natural Cleaning Products
Make your own eco-friendly cleaning products using ingredients like lemon, baking soda, and essential oils.
37. Learn Basic Plumbing Skills
Be prepared to fix minor plumbing issues and reduce the need for professional assistance.
38. Implement Greywater Recycling
Reuse wastewater from sinks, showers, and laundry for irrigation purposes.
Set up a worm composting system to turn food scraps into nutrient-rich vermicompost for your garden.
40. Handwashing Laundry
Save energy and water by washing clothes by hand when feasible.
Independent Living Tip: Handwash your clothes
41. Learn to forage
Acquire knowledge about edible wild plants in your area and safely gather food from nature.
42. DIY Home Décor
Repurpose old furniture and materials to create unique, personalized home decorations.
43. Practice Mindful Consumption
Reduce waste by carefully considering your purchases and focusing on essential items.
44. Wind Barrels
Have you seen barrel wind turbines? This is new technology, but it’s a trash can that harnesses the wind to feed your personal power grid. You can even make them yourself. Living in the country doesn’t mean living in the past!
45. Bee-Friendly Garden
Plant bee-friendly flowers and provide habitats for pollinators in your garden.
46. Basic Electrical Skills
Learn to handle simple electrical tasks like changing light fixtures or wiring outlets.
47. DIY Laundry Detergent
Make your own laundry detergent using natural ingredients like soap nuts or borax.
48. Work With Your Local Beekeeping Co-op
Collaborate with like-minded individuals to collectively maintain beehives and share resources.
49. Learn Basic Auto Maintenance
Familiarize yourself with car maintenance to handle minor repairs and save on mechanic costs.
50. Renewable Energy Investments
Consider installing wind turbines or micro-hydro systems if suitable for your location.
51. Herbal Medicine Garden
Grow medicinal herbs and learn about their healing properties for natural health remedies.
52. Practice Mindful Water Usage
Conserve water by taking shorter showers, fixing leaks promptly, and using water-saving devices. Your farm will always be a little thirsty, and you’ll want to go easy on your wellhead to ensure it lasts.
53. DIY Repairs and Upcycling
Embrace the art of repurposing by fixing broken items and giving them a new life.
54. Off-Grid Cooking
Explore alternative cooking methods like solar ovens or rocket stoves for off-grid meal preparation.
55. Put Some Style into Your Home Office
Your home is certainly your castle, but it’s also your business headquarters. You’ll spend plenty of time here, so consider what quality-of-life improvements will benefit you most. A high-end chair, dual monitors or a stand-up desk will pay dividends every day. Your office equipment can pull double duty for your entertainment too.
56. Learn Basic Carpentry
Acquire essential woodworking skills to build and repair furniture or structures as needed.
57. Off-Grid Water Heating
Install a solar water heater or consider a wood-burning water heater for hot water needs.
58. Consider Electric Tools
One thing you will probably never make for yourself is gasoline. So long as you are dependent on fuel for the chainsaw or lawn mower, you cannot be fully independent. Electric tools are very easy to maintain and can plug right into your solar power system. Just like you would keep spare gasoline for such things, consider buying extra batteries too.
59. DIY Natural Beauty Products
Create your own skincare and beauty products using natural ingredients.
60. Establish a Rain Garden
Create a garden that absorbs rainwater runoff, reducing erosion and water pollution.
61. Learn Basic Sewing Skills
Mend clothes, make alterations, and sew household items to extend their lifespan. Practice with patches on your backpack or insignia on your favorite gear.
62. Natural Pest Control
Implement organic pest control methods to protect your garden without relying on chemicals.
63. Keep an Eye on Your Roof
Your roof is made to take a beating, but it’s hardly invincible. Damage from hail and driving rain accumulates over time, and will lead to literal downstream effects. Learn to recognize the signs of hail damage in particular, and don’t be shy about calling insurance for an inspection.
64. Learn about Wild Edibles
Educate yourself on edible plants in the wild to supplement your food sources.
65. DIY Home Insulation
Seal drafts and insulate your home using eco-friendly materials to improve energy efficiency.
66. Establish a Fruit Orchard
Plant fruit trees that provide fresh produce for years to come.
67. DIY Home Brewing
Learn the art of brewing your own beer or making homemade wines and ciders.
68. Preserve Meat
Explore methods like smoking, dehydrating, or canning to preserve meat and extend its shelf life.
69. Natural Firestarters
Make your own firestarters using materials like dried leaves, pinecones, or wax-coated sawdust.
70. DIY Natural Insect Repellents
Create your own insect repellents using essential oils to ward off bugs without harsh chemicals.
71. Learn Basic Welding
Master basic welding skills to handle metal repairs and fabrication projects.
72. DIY Solar Water Purification
Construct a solar water distiller to purify water in emergency situations.
73. Create a Backyard Bee Sanctuary
Provide a safe haven for bees by planting nectar-rich flowers and avoiding pesticide use.
74. Renewable Energy Education
Energy that comes
75. Start a Community Garden
Collaborate with neighbors to create a communal space for growing food and sharing resources. A good deal for independent living
76. DIY Natural Fertilizers
Make your own organic fertilizers using compost, compost tea, or natural ingredients like seaweed.
77. Learn Basic Auto Mechanics
Familiarize yourself with car maintenance and repair tasks to save on mechanic costs.
78. Establish a Mushroom Garden
Cultivate edible mushrooms indoors or in your garden for a sustainable food source.
79. Rainwater Purification
Implement a filtration and purification system to make collected rainwater safe for drinking.
80. DIY Natural Pesticides
Create homemade pest control solutions using ingredients like neem oil or garlic spray.
81. Develop Alternative Income Streams
Explore ways to generate income from home, such as crafts, writing, or online ventures. Independent Living is much easier to achieve without a daily commute.
82. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Upgrade your windows to improve insulation and reduce energy loss.
83. Natural Fiber Crafts
Learn fiber arts like knitting, crocheting, or weaving using sustainable, natural fibers.
84. DIY Solar Dehydrator
Build a solar dehydrator to preserve fruits, vegetables, and herbs using renewable energy.
85. Establish a Hydroponic System
Grow plants without soil, using nutrient-rich water solutions for efficient indoor gardening.
86. Bee Products
Harvest and sell bee products like honey, beeswax, or propolis for additional income.
87. DIY Rainwater Collection System
Design and build a comprehensive rainwater collection system for optimal water storage.
88. Self-Defense Training
Learn self-defense techniques to enhance personal safety and security.
89. DIY Natural Dyes
Extract colors from plants, flowers, or food waste to create your own natural dyes for textiles.
90. Bartering and Trading
Engage in barter systems or local trading networks to exchange goods or services with others. You may also wan to look into alternative currencies, including Goldbucks, precious metals or even cryptocurrencies.
91. Homesteading Community Events
Participate in workshops, fairs, or gatherings to connect with like-minded individuals.
92. DIY Solar Charger
Construct a solar-powered charger for electronic devices, reducing reliance on grid electricity.
93. Establish a Herb Garden
Grow a variety of herbs for culinary, medicinal, and aromatic purposes.
94. Learn Basic Animal Husbandry
Gain knowledge on raising and caring for livestock, such as goats, sheep, or rabbits.
95. Renewable Energy Rebates and Incentives
Research and take advantage of government programs that support renewable energy installations.
96. Do It Yourself Natural Air Fresheners
Make natural air fresheners using essential oils, herbs, or dried flowers for a chemical-free home.
97. Establish a Small-Scale Aquaponics System
Combine aquaculture and hydroponics to grow fish and plants symbiotically. Talapia are particularly good for this purpose, as they are small, quick to grow and delicious on your plate!
98. Get a Gun
You’ll need to provide for yourself on this journey of Independent Living, and that includes security. Shotguns are especially useful for self-defense and fowling. If you’ve never owned one before, a basic shotgun is great for beginners.
99. Know How to Use It
Arming yourself is just the start. Safety is your #1 concern, so don’t be your own biggest threat! You need to spend time on the range and learn good form to wield a firearm effectively.
100. Learn to Hunt
Feeding yourself and your family with clean, sustainably hunted venison is a source of intense pride. Nourish your body with a natural game by learning to track, hunt and shoot.
101. Learn to Butcher
This one is not for the squeamish. You’ll need a set of high-quality knives and a strong stomach to gut your first deer. But if you get this right, you’ll enjoy a sustainable source of top-tier protein any time of year.
What is Self Reliance?
Independent Living refers to a lifestyle in which individuals strive to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, meeting their needs and maintaining their well-being without relying heavily on external support. It encompasses various aspects, including generating one’s own resources, such as food and energy, developing practical skills, and creating a sustainable and resilient living environment.
Why might you choose self sufficient lifestyle? First, it grants individuals a sense of freedom and autonomy, allowing them to make decisions based on their own values and priorities. Second, it fosters self-confidence and personal growth as individuals develop practical skills and knowledge which your fellow homesteaders will absorb too.
Moreover, independent living promotes environmental sustainability by reducing reliance on conventional systems and resources, leading to a smaller carbon footprint. It also enhances resilience in the face of unexpected situations, as individuals are better equipped to handle challenges and disruptions.
While independent living offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and challenges. Embracing self-sufficiency requires time, effort, and a willingness to learn new skills. It can be physically demanding and may require adjustments to one’s lifestyle and habits.
Additionally, there might be financial costs involved in setting up necessary systems or acquiring tools and resources. It’s crucial to carefully plan and prioritize actions, considering personal limitations and ensuring a balanced approach to avoid burnout or isolation. Remember the African proverb: If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go with friends.
How can Self-Sufficiency benefit me?
Embracing independent living is an empowering journey that encourages personal growth, environmental responsibility, and resilience. Start by taking small steps and gradually integrating self-sustainable practices into your daily life. Seek knowledge from experienced individuals, and join local communities or online forums to exchange ideas and support.
Embrace the learning process and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Remember, independent living is a personalized journey, and each step towards self-sufficiency contributes to a more fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the rewards of living a more autonomous and resilient life.
How does a self sufficient person affect others?
You will always impact the people in your community, if only by the example you set. Combined with the skills above, you’ll also impact them with the fruits of your labor and trades to pass down. Consider these impacts you will make:
- Inspiration and Empowerment: You will serve as an inspiration to others. By demonstrating your ability to meet your own needs and overcome challenges, you can motivate and empower others to do the same. Your actions may encourage them to explore alternative ways of living, cultivate practical skills, and embrace a more independent lifestyle.
- Reduced Burden on Support Systems: By relying on yourself and meeting your own needs, you lessen the burden on support systems, whether they are social welfare programs, community resources, or even your immediate family. This allows those resources to be allocated to individuals who may have greater need or impaired ability.
- Sharing Knowledge and Skills: As you develop, you acquire valuable knowledge and skills that can be shared with others. By teaching others practical skills such as gardening, home repairs, or sustainable living practices, you empower them to become excellent stewards of their environment. Sharing your expertise can create a ripple effect, where others pass on their newfound knowledge, further strengthening communities.
- Collaborative Opportunities: Gardens, power systems and rain catchment are all opportunities for collaboration and community building. By engaging in shared endeavors, you foster a sense of interdependence and mutual support. Others may join forces with you to combine resources and create community.
- Resilience and Preparedness: Only when you can help yourself can you effectively help others. These steps will help you become better equipped to handle unexpected situations or emergencies and help others with the same. Your ability to navigate disruptions and offer assistance to those in need can have a positive and meaningful impact on individuals and communities.
It’s important to note that while independence positively influences others, it’s also essential to balance interdependence and community support too. Recognize that no person is an island, and there may be times when you need to rely on others or offer support.
A Journey to Self Reliance: Conclusion
Do you remember the Prodigal Son? In this parable, a young man asks his father for his inheritance and sets off on a journey to live independently. He squanders his wealth on reckless living and finds himself in dire circumstances. Realizing his mistakes, he decides to return home and humbly asks his father for forgiveness.
The parable highlights the importance of personal responsibility and the consequences of seeking complete independence without wisdom and discernment. The prodigal son’s desire for independence led him down a destructive path, but his realization of his mistakes and willingness to humble himself demonstrated growth and maturity. The story encourages us to consider the balance between independence and the guidance and support of others.
It serves as a reminder that independence does not mean completely severing ties or disregarding the wisdom of those who care for us. Instead, it emphasizes the significance of making responsible choices, seeking guidance when needed, and acknowledging the value of relationships and community. The parable encourages individuals to find a balance between self-sufficiency and interdependence that allows for growth, support, and shared experiences.
Welcome, my friends, to the Blog of the Prodigal Son.