Winter has finally arrived on the homestead – although since it has already snowed (albeit flurries) three times and temps were in the low 30’s and even down to the upper 20’s several times before mid-December you would think that winter has been around for months now.  Welcome to homesteading in the Northeast!

It’s supposed to be extra bitter cold this winter – and today is surely an indication that those ‘rumors’ just may be true. Brrrr

Personally, I don’t mind the cold – as long as I can stay tucked in my warm bed, under the comforter in my reading chair, or in front of a nice fire — but traveling off the homestead in the bitter cold is not something I look forward to and would avoid if at all possible.

Winter can be a particularly rough time on the homestead if you are not properly prepared – especially if you live in climates where it gets bitterly cold and/or snows a lot.

As a homesteading prepper you would know that you should have more than one way of doing things – back ups to back ups – and stock of things you use most often.

For example you have your main heating source, but what if something were to happen to cut off that source — if you are sadly tied to electric heat the electric can very easily go out due to high winds, ice on the lines, accidents taking the lines down, power shortage, etc. and you would be left ‘in the cold’ — you need to have a backup plan, another source for getting warm, in place. That could be a wood stove, a fireplace, kerosene heaters, etc. (And of course you always should have plenty of extra blankets, quilts, covers on hand for emergencies or even an unexpected guest that shows up at your door).

You need to follow this ‘plan B’ advice for all the vital operations of your homestead – heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, etc. – and if you are really prepared & have the resources, a ‘plan C’ would be a great addition.

Be sure you tend to all your animals on your homestead as well. They need to have certain needs met during the rough weather as well. Even those animals made for the outdoors. They should have some type of shelter available for the really rough days, a way to keep water from being completely frozen, and ample food supply for calorie burning to help keep them warm.

Don’t forget, you will need to keep heavy snowfall off of roofs and decks to avoid any possible collapses. Keep paths shoveled/cleared so you can get to the important parts of your homestead quickly. And make sure to keep at least one vehicle fueled and ready to go at a moment’s notice (as well as a way for it to ‘get out’ if snow is heavy and piled all around).

If you keeps just those few things in mind you should be able to weather most winters with ease. There’s plenty more you can do to assure a safe and fairly comfortable winter, but the basics mentioned above will assist most people in having a stress-free season.

Bundle up, stay warm and ENJOY the season!