What Off Grid Living Skills Can I Learn While Living in an Apartment in the City?

When you live in a city, it can feel very far removed from the natural environment.


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It seems that there are few off-grid living skills to be learned in such an environment.  However, there are actually many survival skills you can learn while living in a cramped apartment. 

Here are a few of the best skills to learn and habits to get into.

Food Gathering and Preservation Skills
In your quest to be self-sufficient, your focus will often be on ensuring you have enough food.  Finding food can be done by hunting, foraging or farming and requires a varied skill set. 

Some of these skills may be difficult to practice in an apartment.  For example, you won’t be able to practice your marksmanship with a rifle! 

However, you can practice some skills including:

  1. Creating traps for small animals from ropes and sticks
  2. Using books to determine which native foods are edible
  3. Reading about farming practices including growing seasons, pests and fertilizers
  4. Tying lures and preparing fishing rods

You can also practice other important survival skills relating to food — food preparation and preservation. 

Some important food survival skills you can learn while in an apartment include:

  1. How to scale or skin a fish and prepare it for a meal
  2. How to butcher larger pieces of meat
  3. How to ferment foods
  4. How to salt food for preservation
  5. How to dehydrate or sun-dry food
  6. How to can or bottle foods
  7. How to cool food using an evaporation based cooler

Survival Equipment Handling Skills
You should ensure you have the necessary skills required to use all components in your survival kit. 

You can practice using many of the items in an urban environment. 

For example, you could use your water purifier to ensure you understand how it works and to check it is functioning correctly. 

You can also test your ability to navigate by walking around the city with only a compass to guide you.

Practice Quickly Setting up Your Tent and Creating Shelter
You might feel comfortable setting up your tent, but how quickly can you do it? 

In the wilderness, you might run into a situation where you need to create some shelter very quickly.  Practice setting up your tent as quickly as possible inside the apartment.

Give yourself a shelter building challenge.  Using a tarpaulin, a stick and two ropes, try to create a sturdy shelter within 2 minutes. 

This can be done indoors and is a great way to practice one of the most important survival skills — creating shelter.

Enroll in a First Aid Course

One of the best things you could do to improve your survival skills is to enroll in a first aid course. 

The American Red Cross offers courses in first aid training, CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator use).  There are even online first aid courses, so you won’t need to leave the apartment to do them!

Physical Fitness

When you are living in an urban environment, it is easy to become complacent about your fitness.  People in cities tend to spend more time sitting down or using vehicles to get around.  

Simply put, humans living in urban environments don’t need to be physically fit to live their lives.

If you find yourself in a survival situation, that suddenly changes.  You may have to walk long distances, carry a heavy pack, chop wood, carry water and fight for your survival. 

To prepare yourself for this situation, you should maintain a very high level of physical fitness. 

This can be done anywhere, including inside your apartment. 

Use a combination of strength building exercises and cardio workouts.

Practice Reading

It seems like a strange thing to practice, but one of the most important survival skills is the ability to process new information and learn new skills. 

Read books about surviving in the wilderness, botany, mechanics, cooking, food preservation, self-defense, construction and whatever else you can get your hands on! 

By broadening your knowledge base, you will greatly increase your survival skills and ability to be self-sufficient.

Take up Hobbies That Help You Learn Useful Skills
There are various hobbies that can help you become self-sufficient and improve your survival skills. 

If you have access to a workshop, carpentry is always a useful skill when in the wilderness and trying to build a shelter. 

For hobbies that can be performed in an apartment, try learning some knot craft—the art of tying knots and creating objects from a piece of rope.

Even though you are in an apartment, there may be a nearby community garden where you can learn how to grow food.  If you are interested in being self-sufficient, it is essential to understand the basics of farming.

Self-Defense Skills
Learning how to fight and defend yourself is a very important survival skill. 

If you are living in an apartment in the city, there are probably many self-defense classes available nearby. 

Learning self-defense will also help you maintain your fitness.

self defense protect family

Gun Maintenance and Handloading
Even though you can’t shoot your weapon in your apartment, you can practice loading and maintaining your weapons. 

You should understand the various components of your weapon and how to keep it functioning correctly in different situations.

Another useful survival skill that can be performed in an apartment is hand-loading. 

Hand-loading involves assembling firearm cartridges or shotgun shells yourself. 

In a survival situation, fresh ammunition may not be easy to obtain, so having the skills to create your own from various components is very useful.

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