Reality vs ‘Reality’

Think you want a Cabin in the woods? Kind of an ‘as seen on tv’ thing? Television can make you shake your head sometimes. It seems lately that programs are flooding the market on everything survival and homestead related. There are a few I really enjoy, as they are much more realistic.

Take Building Off the Grid for example. Amber Bradshaw’s family was portrayed in this program (Season 6 – Smoky Mountain Homestead). I know Amber, and have read about the joys and challenges she and her family undergo in this lifestyle on her website My Homestead Life. Her experiences are the ‘real’ reality.

The Raneys, on Homestead Rescue, are also the ‘real deal’, according to a friend of mine from Alaska.

Others are what I would classify as ‘made for TV’. The more sensational, and the more off-the-wall personalities, the better. The one that takes the cake for me is ‘Naked and Afraid’. After watching just one episode of that, I can assure you I don’t need money that badly!

Ideas for a Cabin in the Woods

The ‘Real’ Homesteaders

For most of us, learning to live a more sustainable life involves things from living off-grid to providing as much of our food as possible – with our clothes on. We love the idea of a cabin in the woods. However, we would prefer an over-abundance of harvest with as little drama as possible. The drama may sometimes show its ugly head, just as any homesteader knows, but we prefer to keep it at a minimum.

Mainly we just do the work, eat well, and love the lifestyle. But with the work we have to do, we also want more than just one or two tools.

During one of these shows, the Country Boy and I talked about whether or not we could actually live in a cabin in the woods.  What were the most essential tools we would need to begin a homestead?  When we realized that the list took longer to make than the length of the episode, we tried to narrow it down to ten.

We also factored in that shoes, clothes, a roof over our heads, water and warmth in the form of sheets and blankets, weren’t considered ‘tools’. These were the basic necessities of life. However, we did allow that electricity was a question of whether or not a new homesteader had the option of going on- or off-grid.

Choose Ten

Narrowing it down was tough. Depending on the scope of a homestead, any and all of these tool could quickly become essential. For instance – did you choose any animal in the livestock category? Some of the most essential tools you could have would be the tractor and baling equipment.

On top of baling equipment, if you chose sheep with the wool as a factor, you are going to need a spinning wheel, and possibly a loom and the knitting/crocheting supplies. Unless, of course, you only plan on selling the raw wool.

Think first about what your goals are for your homestead. Strictly raising enough food for your family will require different tools than a homestead that plans on selling its excess food and value-added products.

I’m curious. If you were starting a new homestead, what do you consider the most essential tools to begin a Homestead? The Country Boy and I created this list, and out of everything you see, your challenge is to choose 10.

Homesteading Tools

Choose 10 Tools you feel are essential to start a Homestead
Machete (Cane KnifeFirearms (Rifle, Shotgun or PistolSeedsHoe
ShovelTillerRopeFlashlights & Batteries
Oil Lamps & OilAxKnives (Skinning, etc.) & sharpening StoneLeatherman
Tool box (hammers, screwdrivers, etc.)Buck SawChain SawWedge & Sledge
Fishing EquipmentWater Filtration Equipment5-gallon bucketsBow & Arrows
Books, Notebooks, etc.3 Hens + 1 RoosterLivestock Pair (cow, goat, sheep, pig, etc.)Canning Supplies
Cheese making SuppliesTreadle Sewing MachineSpinning WheelWeaving Loom
Knitting/Crochet SuppliesSewing SuppliesTractorFront End Loader
Baling EquipmentATVWagon &/or CartFencing Supplies

What Did you Choose?

Out of this list, tell me your ten choices and why you chose them in the Comment section below, or here on Facebook. If there are other tools not on the list, tell me about them as well. Let’s get a conversation started about life on a homestead, and how we can be as sustainable as possible.

If you had the option, would you live in a cabin in the woods?  Would you be on- or off-grid? What would you consider priorities of homesteading – gardening? Livestock? Foraging? Something else?

If you have a website that is geared toward homesteading, be sure to share that too. Everyone has a different way of approaching this wonderful lifestyle. Knowing we can learn from others is helpful.

If you are a beginning homesteader, or have a goal to homestead, let us know. Feel free to ask questions. All of us has been there at some point, and we are more than happy to share our experiences with you. We want you to be successful!

Join the Fun!

Make this fun and share this post with your friends. Be sure to visit this post again, to see what everyone else is saying. I can’t wait to see your answers. Maybe we can learn something from each other!

Want to know more about Homesteading Tools, or where to start your Homesteading Dream?

Essential Tools on the Farm

30 Days to a Simple Life

Must Have Barn Tools – from Annie @ 15 Acre Homestead

Where on Earth Do You Start? – from Kathi @ Oakhill Homestead

Working on Self-Reliant Skills in the New Year – from Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre

Need some great books to help you get started with your own homestead?  Check these out!

The Do It Yourself Homestead: Build your self-sufficient lifestyle one level at a time – by Tessa Zundel

The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency – by Anna Hess

The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide…  – by Abigail R. Gehring

Or visit me in Product Reviews for more great books and supplies for homesteaders!

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/thefarmwife.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-author-box-lite/inc/frontend/uap-shortcode.php on line 80
style=”display:none;”>
Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.