The Self-Reliance Manifesto: More Than 350 Resources to Guide You on the Path to Radical Freedom

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Self-Reliance. It’s a revolutionary word these days and I thought it deserved a manifesto.

Manifesto: noun man·i·fes·to \ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō\

A declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer.


Editor’s Note: When I first published this collection in 2016, these were important skills to have. Now they aren’t just important – they’re essential.

Over the years, we’ve added at least 100 links and removed links of websites that (sadly) went out of business.  I’ve tried to add links that apply to people regardless of whether they live in a big city high-rise, suburbia, or a few acres in the country. With this update, I hope everyone can find inspiration for at least a few things they can do to become more self-reliant. ~ DL

Have you happened to notice that our society is out of balance?

The consumers outnumber the producers at such a rapid clip that we can’t possibly continue like this. But who has time to produce when they are indebted and working overtime to finance their current lifestyles in the hopes that they will finally be able to buy “enough” to be happy, fulfilled, and loved?

We live in a society made up mostly of rabid consumers. As soon as the advertising pros on Madison Avenue point them in a given direction, people flock to it like the zombies on The Walking Dead lurch toward a fresh human, completely oblivious to everything else. They yearn for these things that are produced across the world and then delivered at a cheap price. People fill up on cheap food that has been government subsidized, making it unrealistically inexpensive. They are enslaved as they work to pay for it, or in some cases, accept a handout to pay for it. More people are deeply in debt than ever, living a fancy First World Lifestyle that would crumble with one missed paycheck

They are slaves and they don’t even know it

They don’t care that the newest clothing and gadgets were produced in sweatshops across the world. People don’t care that some items are produced by slave labor. People don’t care about the processed offerings at the grocery store. Or the pesticide-laden produce raised by corporations instead of farmers, or even the feedlots that are the scenes of the worst animal abuse in the country, completely free from prosecution. They don’t care that subsidized corporate agriculture puts real farmers out of business while it destroys our health and our environment.

They just care about their illusions of prosperity and that the products are cheap and make them feel good for a moment. And “illusion” is the perfect word for it because we live in a society where many people consume but very few people produce. A society like that could not stand on its own if isolated from the rest of the world or if the corporate food companies and manufacturing plants shut down. The majority of the country has become completely dependent on things that are produced in factories.

Simple math tells us that this system can’t last forever. We can’t all be consumers if there are no producers.

These days, self-reliance is actually a revolutionary act

That quality is the difference between someone who merely accepts what is doled out to meet the needs of their family and someone with the power to fulfill those needs themselves.

Regardless of where you live, whether it is at the top of the highest high-rise, in the suburbs, in the desert, or on a few acres in the lush countryside, you can still be more self-sufficient. You can learn to meet your own needs by acquiring the skills to produce. Every single thing that you can produce on your own is a personal declaration of your own independence, whether it is food, clothing, shelter, or something else to meet the needs of your family. In today’s society, freedom like that is a radical thing, completely against the grain, and it’s much more gratifying than anything you could ever purchase.

This list is full of insurrections, both small and large. No matter who you are or where you live, you can pick something from the list and learn to do it. That brings you one step closer to the real freedom of self-sufficiency. If you live in an urban environment or one not conducive to 30 chickens and a flock of goats, you can learn to preserve food in delicious ways. Or, learn to make your own clothing, or cook from scratch. You can grow some veggies or herbs in your windowsill or go on a foraging hike nearby.

You can do something

As a free human being you deserve better than to simply line up at the store and exchange dollars you spent many hours earning for rations of processed, food-like substances and electronic gadgets. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling that comes from creating and producing. You deserve to feel that.

This is a collection of more than 350 resources to inspire you and teach you to be more self-reliant. You’ll see that there are numerous articles on some topics, and that is because they are all written from a different perspective. Some bloggers and authors live in the ‘burbs, some live in big cities, and some live off-grid in the boondocks, but they all have lessons to teach you.  I hope that you will discover some new experts and mentors along the way.

So, no excuses. I’m not an expert. I wasn’t brought up in an agrarian lifestyle. I’m learning, just like you are, and after a lot of trial and error, I’m just now starting to put meat on the table that I raised myself.  I’m a former city girl, a single mom, and a newbie at a lot of this stuff, and if I can become more self-reliant, so can you!  Every day, I learn something new that puts me one step closer to the personal liberty I crave. I have personally read the work of every single author and blogger on this list, and I am positive that every person who reads this post can find something to learn that will put them on the path toward real freedom.

Getting Started

General Homesteading Information


Ducks, Geese, Quail, and Turkeys








Soil Building and Composting



Hunting and Fishing

Old-Fashioned Skills

Off-Grid Living

Scratch Cooking

Off-Grid Kitchen

Food Preservation


Passing on Self-Reliance Lessons to Kids

Create. Produce. Rebel.

The biggest insurrection in our society is to be self-sufficient.  Make the way you live your life a revolutionary act by producing some of the things that you need.

Let me know in the comments how you will rebel against the status quo. What skills and projects you will undertake this year? I want to hear about your self-reliance goals!

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • This is SO great! Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. Definitely an invaluable list. Bookmarking this now 🙂

  • I made a small 3 bar batch of soap just yesterday! Unmolding in a while. ….turned out perfect. I wanted to perfect a small batch recipe in case I ran low on supplies. 9 oz. Olive oil
    3 oz water, 1.1 oz lye. I used no scales or stick blender. Wide mouth quart canning jar and a stainless steel spoon.
    I love making homemade soap!
    Y’all keep preppin!

  • I imagine many people would agree that they make their very own low-paying sweatshop at home when they: “preserve food in delicious ways or make your own clothing, or cook from scratch. […] grow some veggies or herbs in your windowsill. [… or,] go on a foraging hike nearby.”
    I know I do when I do some of those things. Sometimes I’m lucky if I make a Penny an hour! It’s all worth it though, eh?

    While I agree with the premise of your blog post, what I gather is, you could use some refinement of your notions about sweatshops, here’s a primer I hope you’ll accept:

    How ‘Sweatshops’ Help the Poor – By Thomas DiLorenzo

    “One of the oldest myths about capitalism is the notion that factories that offer the poor higher wages to lure them off the streets (and away from lives of begging, stealing, prostitution, or worse) or away from back-breaking farm labor somehow impoverishes and exploits them. […]

    That the anti-factory movement has always been motivated by either the socialists’ desire to destroy industrial civilization, or by the inherently non-competitive nature of organized labor, is further evidenced by the fact that there was never an “anti-sweat-farm movement.” […]

    The existence of foreign factories in poor countries also creates what economists call “agglomeration economies.” The location of a factory will cause many businesses of all types to sprout all around the factory to serve the factory itself as well as all of the employees. Thus, it is not just the factory jobs that are created. […]

    Capital investment in poor countries will cause wages to rise over time by increasing the marginal productivity of labor. This is what has occurred since the dawn of the industrial revolution and it is occurring today all around the world. Discouraging such investment, which is the objective of the anti-sweatshop movement, will do the opposite and cause wages to stagnate.” …

    Anyway, how do I rebel against the status quo? By reading your blog, of course… and, by not consenting to our overlords, i.e. not voting and encouraging the bast…

    RE: What skills, projects and self-reliance goals will I undertake this year?
    Can’t tell ya. That’d be an OSPEC violation. Wish I could.
    That’s what happens when ya live in a police state. Joy, eh?

    Also, thanks for the links.

      • Oh Look! I got a reply. Not the kind I was hoping for though. I’m guessing that Johnctee is a clueless Socialist, and/or makes bad jam.

      • Johnctee, If you are denigrating helot above please remember that when you point a finger at someone else there are three little fingers pointing back at you….:) Libertarian ideas makes sense (and work) to those that will really listen and take off the blinders of socialist thought which permeate most of us.

        • “Libertarian ideas makes sense”

          only in isolation. but humans live in communities.

          “(and work)”

          only on the fringes of a non-libertarian society that tolerates them.

    • “That the anti-factory movement has always been motivated by either the socialists’ desire to destroy industrial civilization”

      not exactly. their goal is to eliminate anything that competes with THEIR factories. that’s the purpose of the green movement, the blm movement, etc – to eliminate the competition.

      example. notice how antifa, which campaigns against “the rich”, is funded by certain rich ….

  • Some good resources there….but seeing a list like that might make self-sufficiency seem overwhelming to a newcomer. You really can learn as you; you can learn by seeing what other country-dwellers do; and just by common sense. You really don’t have to be an expert on every subject. For instance: Pest control: Marshmallows in a Have-A-Heart trap for racoons and possums; and feed a few stray outside cats to take care of moles and mice. Done! (Oh, and a c rumpled paper bag hung under the eaves of the porch to act as a wasp’s nest- to keep wasps and carpenter bees away).

    You just need to know the things specific to your particular situation/environment. It’s not that complicated.

    Cows? A decent barbed wire fence to keep ’em in; grass to eat; and water to drink, and they take care of themselves.

    Newbs, don’t be overwhelmed. It’s really quite simple. Even a few mistakes won’t hurt you….they just teach you how to do it better the next time. Keep it simple; live like country people always have; and ENJOY! And remember: You don’t have to go totally self-sufficient/off-the-grid in one fell swoop. Ease into it, and everything will fall into place.

    It’s a good life- you can live like a king and on practically nothinjg, and be relatively free from tyranny and the 9-5, if you choose your place wisely. I think I learned more about sustainable self-sufficient living from watching the old BBC sitcom “The Good Neighbors” than from anything else! (It was based on a true story/real people- and is also great entertainment!)

    • (Sigh) it’s comments like this that make me ashamed to be in a prepper group. I’ve learned over the years to be polite and gently guide new folks away from ill advice like this.

      It is,in fact, not..that easy to take care of another life with fence grass and water. They’re life essential,yes, and and animal can survive, but ultimately such a cavalier attitude toward animal husbandry will be disastrous.

      What do I know, I’ve only been doing it for 51 years. Buyers beware of blithe advice like this. Homesteading a small herd of cows is rewarding, but not just this easy.

  • Thanks for the mentions! This is an ah-maz-ing resource list and I know it must have taken a huge effort to compile. I recognize many of these articles, but there are many I haven’t seen before, too. Lots to research!

  • Daisy,
    Thank you so much for all your info. It has helped me immensely. I have learned so mush from you. And I have already ordered some NuManna, and your books, and some other items you suggested from amazon. I have bookmarked everything from your site. Wonderful resources here. Thanks for taking the time to do this research.

  • Thank you for this! I can’t wait to dig in!
    I currently work full-time, so this is a struggle. I’d love to see some resources on balance work & homestead life. My hubby is 57 now, so we need decent benefits (that’s why I went back to work. His job doesn’t offer any and Obamacare is worthless).

  • This is a great list, thanks for putting it together, and including links back to my site too! I’m looking forward to reading a lot of these posts – so much information 🙂

  • Wow! What a list. A tad overwhelming though. But super job at putting this together. I think people don’t realise how much research you guys do to put together quality, well thought through articles and resources. I’m a prepper noob and think this is going to help a great deal.

  • Well said Daisy.
    Quality? Who needs quality as long as it is cheap and likely not good for you (if it is a food stuff product).
    Most of the time people dont even need that bauble, it just makes them feel good to have things.
    The globalists send jobs to wherever the labor is cheap (or they outsource it to deny any knowledge of human rights abuses, unsafe working conditions, borderline slave labor etc.), where environmental regulations are not a consideration, and that bauble travels thousands and thousands of miles, just so we can have it cheap.
    Anyone remember that old saying, “think globally, act locally?”
    Nah! Not when I can have a iPhone/iPad/whatever cheap, well, Americans still pay for those things as if their lives depend on it.

  • The only downfall to living in the country for us is we have black bear. Daisy, do you have any suggestions for growing vegetables? I never do as I am concerned about my family’s safety. Thank you and thank you for this amazing list of resources!

    • “Daisy, do you have any suggestions for growing vegetables? I never do as I am concerned about my family’s safety. “

      Copper jacketed lead or pure lead delivered from a 12 bore does wonders for attitude adjustment in bruins. Almost always solves all their worldly problems.

      Bear are smart. Boo-boo don’t make church on Sunday, the word gets around to the rest of the neighbors.

      • I have had 3 encounters with bears.
        Two of them, they ran from me/us. Something about the smell.
        The third, she had a cub. If there is one time not to mess with a bear, it is when young are involved. Note: that was in western VA, on the Appalachian trail.

    • Fencing is important. A very strong fence or an electric fence can be useful in keeping out bears. Don’t forget that bears have a very good sense of smell. So if you have a compost pile, make sure it is fenced, too. And fence around any fruit trees, or at least keep the fallen fruit picked up.
      Bears can be coped with, like just about any difficulty. Hope you decide to have that garden.

  • Daisy, there are lots of wonderful resource categories with supporting details you’ve assembled. There is, however, one whopper category that I didn’t see (unless I somehow overlooked it, and that whopper is the sociology of the various immigrant descendants that a newbie might have to cope with. Assuming you won’t be the extremely rare loner (like the Russian family of “Old Believers” who fled from Stalin’s murderous purges of the 1930s) who avoided all other human contact for decades, there will be some people who can make life wonderful on one hand, or a life of utter hell for you and your family whether in public school, local commerce, local churches, or local community affairs. I’ve seen the results of bitter Old World feuds that mellowed hardly at all after crossing the Atlantic.

    I was born into a very rural Midwest farm community where the dominant Old World religion mostly ostracized anyone else. It was especially ugly through the 1-12 public school years. My early contact as a first grader on the school bus was having my lip sliced open by a dominant religion sixth grader with his pocket knife, after no provocation at all. There was one boy (not a DR [Dominant Religion]) who became a very good friend, but whose family moved out of the community when he became of Cub Scout age. I saw student after student who moved into that community and just become destroyed by the cold shoulder treatment. Generally, their family got the message and moved away quickly.

    School musical programs sometimes forced all students to learn songs phonetically in the language of the DRs’ European origins. Some students were singled out for especially demeaning parts. Male DRs were the only ones who enrolled in FFA (Future Farmers of America), but never ever joined the local Cub and Boy Scouting organizations, and vice versa. Non-DRs were never ever invited to any DR birthday parties or other such social gathering. Nicknames were particularly brutal — I was slapped with one that unknown to me was a farmer’s slang term that meant dried cow manure. Even though I graduated in #2 position after 12 years, it was an enormous relief to move out of that hellhole and never come back.

    I knew of other towns in that same state where the local DR (of a different flavor) would refuse to sell land to any non-DR there. I even had relatives who were teachers whose yearly contracts were not renewed once a particular DR gained a majority on the local school board.

    The point of this overly long narrative is that checking for possible extreme conflicts with some of the local residents, whether of religion or race or politics, etc could be of enormous significance. I saw families (like mine) who were tied to the community and could not move — and suffered enormously. Others who could move away … did!


    • “checking for possible extreme conflicts with some of the local residents, whether of religion or race or politics”

      lot of preppers move to “isolated retreats” thinking they’re going to be alone out there, but fail to notice the indian reservation nearby ….

  • Daisy, I noticed that you’ve lined through a number of links, and I wasn’t sure if that meant the links were now dead, or that you believed that better information had obsoleted those links. So I ran a test.

    I clicked on the “Canning Manifesto” link that was lined through, and got a “link not found” error message. OK, so that link no longer exists? But maybe not quite. So I tried plugging that link into the internet’s “eternal” memory via and checked back into two years and earlier “snapshots” that had taken. Lo and behold, I found the entire website preserved back there.

    To swipe a useful expression from the old Monty Python comedy series, “But I’m not dead yet”, that may also apply to many, if not most, of your lined through, but not dead yet, invaluable links.


  • re: the links about aquaponics

    Aquaponics works really well as long as there is electric power to keep the aeration pump working that keeps the fish alive. The hazard is if that power is lost for only a few hours — the fish will die. Then you have to start all over again.

    One method that avoids that risk is Kratky hydroponics. Run a search on to pull up any of many web links about it. As long as sunlight is available and there is sufficient warmth (re: local weather, latitude, sunlight, warmth inside a greenhouse, etc), electric power needs can be avoided.


    • Don’t worry, she won’t. When she declined to publish my book, which had a lot of links in it, she said “A book must be self contained.” Meaning few if any links. Besides, you can come look at this list anytime, right here on her site.

    • Hi, mjc227! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

      This is the kind of thing that is difficult to put into a book because it’s all just a series of links. We have to maintain this article regularly due to broken links, such as when a website goes out of business or deletes an article. As well, we regularly add links when we come across information that seems like it would be useful. To produce a book takes time and money, and it would end up being 100 editions with all the changes.

      The other issue is that most people won’t purchase something that they have to type URLs from into the computer to find the articles.

      I think it’s way better to keep it here as a reference so that it can be updated as needed and where it doesn’t cost the readers anything.

  • Hmm..No sheep, lamb, sheep milk, wool on the list. Except for slaughtering and processing a lamb.

    The animal that gives the most for the least didn’t make the list.

    I so want to hotlink my website here.. but, I will refrain.????

    • Jim, feel free. You are a valued member of the community and I’ll be happy to put some of your links into the Manifesto! ????

      • Holy cow! Daisy, thank you!

        For starters:

        As one advances:

        These two sites (are actually one) are, IMO, the absolute best beginners site and the site owner is widely regarded in the sheep business as the “go to” source. I’ve been in livestock all my life, but this woman is in her own class. And, she will help if she can. A superb wealth of information for getting started on these two sites alone.

        My site. It’s a retail site, but can give folks an idea how far a homesteader or prepper can stretch one little 90#lamb, how we market directly and how others can (hopefully) raise more sheep on grass!

        Thank you again Daisy. That was very generous of you.

  • I don’t see anything on the list regarding clothing or shoes. guess when that runs out we’ll all go celtic and paint ourselves blue ….

    (reminds me of the cherokee indians who were noted to have a printing press before they all had clothing)

    • Ant 7:
      Making clothing is worth a whole article in itself, but well worth the effort to research.
      Here are a few suggestions:

      Learn how to hand sew first. There are a lot of books on the subject, and many will have instructions on how to make simple projects. By mastering hand sewing techniques, you don’t necessarily need a sewing machine, and for some projects you will need to hand finish some areas. You are also free from needing an energy source and can take your project to other areas of the house if need be, or if you just want to sit outside because it’s a nice day.

      Check out the different patterns offered by different companies. As a sewing maven pal of mine pointed out, they’re all a little bit different, and may need different levels of competence.
      Sewing patterns are available for pennies on the dollar at thrift stores and yard sales, but be sure to check out the pattern to make sure that it hasn’t been cut to a size that doesn’t work for whomever you are making the garment for. If you can, choose a pattern that is in a classic style that will work for you, and if you find one that offers different options, that’s a bonus. I was lucky enough to find an unused pattern that has templates for a dress, skirt, slacks, and a shirt with both long and short sleeves.

      You can also use a well loved but worn out garment as a template. Take it apart carefully and trace out the individual pieces on good paper to use as your pattern.

      Old clothes can often be “up cycled” by redying, or taking them apart and using the good parts for patchwork, applique or making children’s clothing. You can also source some fabric second hand, but be aware that the pieces may have some damage or be cut in weird shapes. Check them carefully.

      I hope these suggestions are of help, but do look into it. Even if you never have to make a garment, you will learn a lot and be able to extend the life of the clothing you already have by knowing how to do repairs.

  • thanks so much, God bless get your soul right it is incoming, me–back to El Salvador ASAP, where I MOVED TO IN 1994{SURFING THERE SINCE 85} WHERE I FEEL I HAVE BEST CHANCES OF SURVIVING {tectonic plate theory, 35+ years of studying Mayan MATH and Edgar Cayce since the 70’s along with Sitchin
    Cheers good luck and or see you on the other side “MAY THEE FORCE…..”

  • Holy smokes this is an AMAZING resource. I haven’t clicked into all these links yet, but what a gold mine of information all in one organized resource.

  • Thankyou Daisy Luther, this page is a true resource, Thankyou from Me here in Tasmania Australia and from all who happen upon your efforts!!!
    Love And Best wishes to you and to all true Human Kind!


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