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What are the most essential tools/gear?

 
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As a newbie to this forum, I'd like to ask the veterans what do you consider your most important and essential tools or gear? I've already got some stuff from my camping/ survival gear but I haven't put most of it to any REAL use...yet. Ive read about so many people having to downsize and downsize again because they brought too much stuff. I am going to be traveling 2500 miles across the country so I def don't wanna drag stuff I don't need or can repurchase once I get there.
Second question:
For those who have been living off grid or close to it for a while, what heavy equipment (tractor/ backho/etc) would you recommend, if any?
 
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A few things that I love are my meadow creature broadfork, Hoss Tools Stirrup Hoe, and most dear to me is the compact kubota tractor with a front loader. That guy saves me so much time and work that right now, it's being borrowed and I feel lost without it.
 
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Truly garden and Loma creek are giving away what seems like a quintessential starter tool set!
 
pollinator
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Hi Tara.

It depends on exactly where, and to what end. The best tool for hammering nails is a hammer. Not all problems, though, are nails.

I think in the abstract, alone-in-the-woods thought experiment, a heavy-bladed knife or hatchet would be the single most useful tool, as you can fashion most of what else you need from wood, in terms of survival.

I mean, a drill would be great, unless that was all you had, in which case it's a poor substitute for a wood-shaping tool, or even an axe or hatchet.

As an interesting observation, I have found that in a garden establishment setting, where I was working by hand, the most effort-saving, productivity-enhancing tool I had to augment digging (in this case, my first hugelbeet, which started with an excavated trench about 18' long, five wide and three deep) was that As-Seen-On-TV Garden Claw device, or one like it, with corkscrew tines allowing one to loosen about four to six inches of all but the hardest-packed hardpan.

Your specific heavy equipment needs depend on what you want to do. Some of the members on this site log their properties rotationally or convert them to more intensive production. It makes sense for them to have skidders, for instance.

But even if you intend to put serious earthworks in, firstly that's more a one-time than an ongoing thing, so it would be worth looking into things like how often after initial projects you would be using it, or what the retained value might be for resale, and what the comparable cost of rental would be, should that be an option for you.

This is a great question. People, I find, like panaceas, golden-bullet solutions. Those only exist where you shrink the focus of the system being studied to such an extent that you can externalise undesired byproducts. It's a good conversation to have.

-CK
 
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In my situation, it's the lowly headlamp, for the simple reason that most every other tool I have is dependent on that one all winter here.  It is dark in the morning when I leave for work, and it's dark in the evening when I finish work.  I still have lots of work to be done, especially caring for animals.  The headlamp is indispensable.
 
Tara Allsopp
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Thanks everyone for the quick input! I plan to buy land that already is suitable for building so im not planning on any major land projects to clear land but....I know stuff can turn south quick & the unexpected is always around the corner. It's good to see what others find useful.
Here's another one for ya:
How do any of y'all, who live in northern regions,  handle snow? Do you have a plow attachment for your truck or do you hunker down for a few months?
How necessary is say, a 4 wheeler or ATV? Do you have a Ham radio to keep in touch with the outside world? I was studying to get my license but got sidetracked. I'm wondering if I should pursue it or not. Lol  If not, what is your emergency backup to call for help?

I'm a single woman. I'm making this move with my 10 year old son. We're not totally incapable of some hard work but I do a few have physical limitations. I want to make sure im as prepared as possible.  Thanks again for the great ideas!
 
pollinator
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A tractor with front loader and backhoe a jack of all trades and the most useful around the homestead.

Unless your experienced with other equipment, then stick to that.

What to get really is about where you live. If there is a mechanic for a brand then choose that brand. It is that simple, choose what can be fixed.
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:In my situation, it's the lowly headlamp, for the simple reason that most every other tool I have is dependent on that one all winter here.  It is dark in the morning when I leave for work, and it's dark in the evening when I finish work.  I still have lots of work to be done, especially caring for animals.  The headlamp is indispensable.



This post got me thinking! I tend to think in a lightweight backpacking frame of mind, so at first I wasn't coming up with any gear ideas that were "essential," since nature and survivalism can fill in the gaps, but light is definitely essential! I have a "basecamp XL light" created by Biolite brand. It's 500 lumens and 12000 mAh. I charged it with my car battery once and the car had trouble starting for a sec, this light packs a lot of power, it's a power bank too, so you can plug in USB attachments or charge your other tech. The led light also has a color mode that can display a whole rainbow of choices, and there's an app for the lamp that I haven't checked out yet, but I've heard it syncs the light up to music, and there's probably a remote too. The battery lasts for days and I LOVE IT!!

 
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