Off-grid skills you need to learn and do even if you live in the city

urban gardening
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Many people are watching the best youtube channels for preppers are fascinated by the off-grid lifestyle of the real characters. The videos show the skills people use to survive without access to modern technology, utilities, basic services and supplies.

However, many of those who would have liked an independent off-grid lifestyle are prevented from doing so by their work or family responsibilities. As a sort of compromise, some people try to learn and practice their off-grid skills even if they live in the city.

If you’re interested in an off-grid urban lifestyle, you need to start learning how to build a survival cache and other skills now.


Begin your learning journey with a self-assessment. There are many different skills you can learn depending on your life situation, future goals, existing off-grid skills, and learning schedule.

For example, if you have a large garden, you can use more off-grid skills. If you live in an apartment, you will have fewer opportunities to practice off-grid living.

So do your assessment and start learning one of the following off-grid skills:

1. Build Survival Cache

A Survival Cache is a collection of food, water, weapons, and other supplies you might need in an emergency when you need to leave your home. To build your survival, you need to plan and determine the following:

  • What items will be in your survival cache? It’s better if you can review with family members.
  • Location of the cache. It should be a secret known only to family members. Learn from the experts how to determine the best location. Be sure to document the location.
  • Appropriate containers of items for caching.

2. Gardening and Food Storage

Knowing how to plant crops and raise livestock for food is important for surviving off the grid. You cannot always rely on the availability of wild plants and animals to feed you.

City dwellers should learn the following:

  • Urban gardening where you plant in containers placed on balconies or windowsills if you don’t have vacant land. Some practice vertical gardening and hang the containers on exterior walls and fences.
  • Composting of biodegradable household waste if your city does not require “green bins”. You reduce waste to landfill and you have organic fertilizer for your plants.
  • Raise cattle if you have enough space.
  • Save foods that you can include in your survival cache.

3. Collect rainwater

Off-grid life videos usually show people digging wells for their water supply. However, this is not easy for city dwellers who live in homes with limited space. The well will also be close to various sources of contamination.

An easier alternative to drilling wells would be rainwater harvesting. You can buy or build your rainwater harvesting system. The system can be a single barrel or a series of tanks equipped with pumps and filters.

Rainwater isn’t available all year round, but you can save money by reducing your water usage from your city’s water supply system. Plus, rainwater is better for plants than chemically treated tap water.

4. Off-grid internet

Unless you need to be always online for your business or work, you can stop subscribing to an internet service provider. You can connect for free in certain cafes or designated areas offering free WIFI. There are also places that offer a paid internet connection.

5. Set up outside your home

You will need to learn how to pitch a tent or shed, simple carpentry skills, and basic knots to tie or join things.

6. Off-grid electricity

Solar panels allow you to enjoy the benefits of electricity that is not produced by fossil fuels. Not only will you save money, but you will help protect the environment.

So learn how to choose the right solar panels for your location and the best location to install them.

To save electricity, learn to wash clothes manually or use a non-electric or treadle washing machine. Then hang the washed items to dry.

7. Off-Grid Cooking

The most common way of cooking off the grid is using small branches as firewood. This type of fuel is available to people who have small and large trees near their homes.

City dwellers can also use charcoal to make fire and save gas and electricity. Or you try a solar outdoor oven and cooking utensils.

8. Healthcare

Health care services are not immediately available to those living off-grid. It is essential to learn the following:

  • Herbs and other plants with medicinal properties that you can plant in your garden, balcony or kitchen windowsill. Also learn the different natural remedies that you can include in your natural pharmacy. For example, garlic has antibacterial properties and is effective in lowering blood pressure.
  • Caring for Wounds and What to Do to Stop Severe Bleeding
  • First aid for various medical emergencies. You can enroll in courses that teach people without medical training how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or the Heimlich maneuver and other types of first aid.

Some first aid skills are simple enough that you can learn them from online tutorials.

9. Fitness

Off-grid activities require more physical strength than ordinary city dwellers experience on a regular basis. So, engage in exercises to strengthen your body.


The skills needed to survive off the grid are learned through training and practice. You can learn most of them from readily available information. You can develop your expertise by applying through trial and error what you have learned theoretically. You can also ask skillful friends and other off-grid skill experts directly.

It takes time to develop expertise. So it is best to learn off-grid skills now. Some skills are not easy to learn, but you get a rewarding experience of the challenges you had to overcome.

Ben Brown’s Story

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