9 Ways to Build Your Homesteading Skills Before You Move Off-Grid

Once we decided for sure we wanted to move off-grid and start a homestead, we didn’t wait until we found our property to start building our skills.

Homesteading does require learning new skills and we know it will be a lot of work, but the cool thing is you can start where ever you’re at to build those skills over time so you aren’t diving into the deep end of the pool completely unprepared.

I’ve started asking myself the question with everything I do: “How would I do this off grid?” and noticing what would need to change in my routines or how I currently handle things.

Start simple, start now, and you’ll be more prepared! Here are a few ideas we’re working on that might be a good place to start for you, too.

Food Skills:

  • Shopping Less and Cooking from Scratch: There won’t be a grocery store right around the corner, and DoorDash isn’t likely to deliver. So put down the app, learn to shop in bulk and plan your meals, and learn to whip up meals using basic ingredients. This will save money and make you more resourceful in the long run.
  • Food Preservation: Canning, drying, fermenting, and pickling are all great ways to extend the shelf life of your harvest. You can start by practicing on small batches of fruits and vegetables you find on sale. Ask around – you probably know someone who’s got the skills to each you food preservation, or find a course online.


  • Start an Herb Garden: Easy to do in any size space! Amazon sells starter kits. Try growing and processing your own herbs.
  • Hydroponics: Another gardening project that fits anywhere. I started with one small hydroponic planter… and it “grew” (haha) from there. Now I’m confident I can at least grow a salad on my own.
  • Backyard Gardening: If you have a small backyard space, try a vegetable garden. If not try a few pots on your window sill. Begin growing foods you enjoy eating.

Animal Care:

  • Volunteer at a Farm or Animal Sanctuary: This is a fantastic way to gain hands-on experience caring for different animals. You’ll learn about feeding, cleaning, and basic animal behavior.
  • Start Small: If you have the space, consider raising chickens or rabbits. They’re relatively easy to care for and can provide you with fresh eggs or meat.

Other Skills:

  • Basic Tool Maintenance: Being able to sharpen tools, fix fences, and perform minor repairs will come in handy on a homestead.
  • First Aid and CPR: Accidents happen, so being prepared to handle emergencies is crucial. Get the first aid kit and learn to use it. Study basic emergency skills you might need if you’re a long drive from a hospital.

By starting to develop these skills now, you’ll be more prepared and the transition to homesteading will be easier.

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