6 Survival Skills to Learn in Your Own Backyard

To better prepare yourself in an emergency, you can start practicing some skills and get some first-hand experience in your own backyard. It is important to obtain some basic fundamental skills while you get your mindset ready in a safe environment before going into the wilderness or the experiencing a real-life crisis.


We’ve gathered helpful information and conducted our own research from reliable sources. We will lay out some skills that you can learn by yourself in your own back yard- no experience necessary. 


Here are the 6 basic survival skills to learn in your own backyard.

Building a Shelter

Building a shelter comes first in the list since it is the most vital aspect of any survival situation. Let’s say you are left with no choice but to leave your home or the city and you are forces to set up camp outdoors. It’d be much easier to put a roof over your head if you have brought with you a tarp or a tent. But what if you haven’t? You can build your shelter with the use of any available resources in your surroundings


In the longer term, you may need to get to your bug out bag or INCH bag and construct a longer-term shelter for yourself. Practice will come into play in this situation as well. The more quickly and securely you can set up your shelter, the better. 


Obviously, you need to find a secluded area in which to build your shelter in order to keep you away from the elements and possible dangerous people or predators. Moreover, you need to take into consideration the terrain, environment and season of your selected area as to what type of shelter you are most likely to build. The great thing is, you can definitely practice this out in your own backyard first.

Starting a Fire

The second thing you can easily learn in your back yard is starting a fire. Especially in the cold months when you need warmth, fire is a key to survival. Not only that, you can use fire to ward off most animals in the area. Most importantly, you will need fire to cook your meals and purify your water.


The commonly used fire-starting tools are matches and lighters but there are lots of other ways you can ignite a fire. Here at Prepper Base, we really like the Ferro Rod as a fire starting device. Although, some fire starting devices require practice and patience to master. That’s why you should try out all your fire starting gear safely in your own backyard until you get the hang of it.

Foraging for Food

Aside from cooking your food with fire, you should learn how to identify edible foods in the wilderness such as wild plants (like the Juniper Berries above), fruits or anything readily available around the neighborhood. You should be ready for a worst-case scenarios in which you won’t be able to find and hunt for meat for a time. Therefore you should be knowledgeable enough to know what plants are edible and not from the available natural resources around you. Stay away from anything you can’t identify or might be potentially dangerous. Especially when you are starting out, stay away from fungi and mushrooms since many of their species are poisonous.


Fruits, some wild plants, and some berries are a good food alternative, even though they won’t be able to offer you a great deal of energy. Prepper Base will soon have a comprehensive guide on what to eat and what to avoid in the wild if you’re forced to forage or want to supplement you food supply by foraging.

Emergency First Aid & CPR

In order to succeed in a survival situation, you need to know how to take care of yourself and your group in case of an injury. Always remember to have an emergency first aid kit with you to treat minor or severe injuries. And remember medication as well, since you can always end up sick due to weather conditions. Check out our First Aid article for some more info. The last thing you want is to need first aid when you’re out in the wilderness and danger could be sitting around the corner.


You should take a First Aid course to learn the basics. You local Red Cross should offer a course for relatively cheap. While your at it, it’s a good idea to take a CPR class. It’s also affordable and it could end up saving a life, especially in a SHTF scenario when access to medical help will be difficult.

Tying Knots

Tying knots may not seem like an important skill at first blush. But it can help with building shelters, creating traps, and making tools. Taking the time to learn how to tie knots is a worthwhile endeavor. And you can even do it in the comfort of your own living room.


Learning how to tie and secure knots may require time and patience, which is why you should practice. You can spend all your trial-and-error time in your own backyard away from any real dangers. That’s what prepping is all about- practice now so that you can use your skills easily later. 

Fishing and Trapping

It might not be in your back yard, but odds are there is a fishing spot not too far from your home. Not only is it fun, but it’s productive to learn how to fish and also to learn what fish live near you. That way you can learn whether it’s even worthwhile to fish for food. If it is worthwhile to fish in order to sustain yourself in a survival situation, get learning! And don’t forget to learn how to clean the fish and prepare it for cooking or smoking. 


Depending on the wildlife in your area, you also might want to learn how to construct traps in order to catch animals. This can be difficult, so remember that both fishing and trapping should be considered supplements to your main food source contained in your bug out bag or INCH bag

Final Thoughts

You’ll probably get off to a rough start when you first try these things without prior knowledge and experience. It may cause you some disappointment and irritation. But try focusing on one thing at a time and slowly mastering it. Then move on to the next thing, and build your survival skill set. You can start yourself down the road to self-reliance by learning these few skills. 


That’s why you need to practice everything in your own backyard first before venturing into the wilderness. Being prepared by obtaining these fundamental skills will make things more manageable in you end up in a survival situation. Who knows, simply knowing these skills might not only save your own life but also your loved ones’ lives.