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Preparing Your Off Grid Homestead For The Long, Cold Winter

Get your homestead ready for the cold, harsh temperatures and snowy weather this winter with these 5 things you need to do now.

While some of us are busy dealing with warm weather and tropical storms, some of you are already dealing with some snow and cold weather.

Man am I envious! It’s still in the 80s here!

But the cold weather will quickly be on us too, so now is the time to start thinking about getting prepared for winter, and I’m not talking about getting a Christmas tree and decorations either. (Although my wife would be pleased to do so this early!)

There is some things we can do now to prepare for the cold winter weather for our homesteads.

Some of you may not need to do all of this, some of you may need to do everything. I want to try to cover all bases, so bare with me.

Winterizing Your Homestead

1. Stock Your Firewood Pile– If your home uses fireplaces or wood stoves for heating, now is the time to stock up on firewood. Also if you only use your fireplace occasionally, keep a good pile of firewood stacked as well. You never know when a winter storm is going to come through and knock off your power, and you’ll be glad you have some stored.
When stacking your firewood, remember to stack it somewhere where it’ll stay dry if possible.

2.Stock Your Pantry & Freezer– Now is the time to start canning for the winter months. You can can jellies, pickles, veggies, and sauces. Canning seems like its complicated and so some people are intimidated by it, but it really isn’t. Here you will find an easy canning guide with a simple recipe.

Also it is a good time to store some extra meats in your freezer. Like I said earlier, you never know when a winter storm or blizzard will strike and you will want to have some food available if you can’t get into town.

It’s also a good time to go through your livestock and butcher some. Pigs are hard to keep warm and it’s cold enough to properly process the meat. And chickens that are too old for laying need to butchered to save on having to feed them and it will provide even more meat for winter.

3. Get your other animals protected– Add some extra hay for warmth. Double check that all pens are protected from cold winds and any moisture can not get in from the around the roof and frames.

Stock up on animal feed. Or have a months supply for animals who don’t eat feed from bags.

4. Winterize your home– Bring in your tools & equipment. Roll up hoses and store away. Cover the empty garden beds with leaves, seaweed, even stalks from shucked corn will work. Check your home for drafts and fix them with plastic or weather stripping.

5. Check & replace batteries on your carbon monoxide detectors & fire alarms– This should be done at the beginning of each new season, so it’s the perfect time to check.

6. Prepare for potential power outages– If you don’t have a solar power system, you will need to have a way to have light if the power goes out during a winter storm.  And even if you do, with the darker, longer nights, you will still need to have a backup source for lights.

Check flashlights and have extra batteries.  Get extra lamp oil for hurricane lamps. Charge your chargeable flashlights and cell phones daily. Consider getting a battery bank for charging phones without power.

Check your emergency essentials and make sure you have winter items such as emergency solar blankets, waterproof matches, and any other winter items you family may need.

Remember to keep all generators and grills outside of your home, not even in your basement. They will put off deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Final Thoughts

Winter is a good time to sit back and relax for a while before spring comes in and the harder work starts. (Though when you’re a homesteader you never fully get to rest!)

It’s a good time to start a new hobby or project. It’s also a good time to reflect on why we love this homesteading life. Look at all of our good, hard work and be proud of what you have accomplished.

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Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.

1 Comment

  1. Good list. For #3, I will be stapling clear plastic to the sides of the chickens’ run. Keeps the snow out so they have a dry place to scratch and dig, despite several feet of snow.

    A few other winter preps I do:

    1. Lube and tighten things on the snowblower while it’s warm enough to work without gloves on. (much faster and nicer)
    2. Test-run the portable generator. (part of your #6)
    3. Rotate out the garden tools for the snow removal tools (roof rake, etc.) so they’re handy.

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