I’ve already done an article on couch potato prepping, so you should already know how much a fan I am of doing and learning what you can from the comfort of your own home.
While it may sound completely preposterous, you actually can get quite a few bushcraft/wilderness survival skills ready for the outdoors without even leaving your couch – let alone the comfort of your own home. All of the suggestions I’ve got are worthwhile to know in the great outdoors, and are completely safe to be doing without tempting fate by getting carbon monoxide poisoning and/or burning your house down using a fire steel to practice firecraft indoors. Don’t do that, of course! You want to teach yourself some wilderness survival skills inside, start with these!
Bushcraft & Wilderness Survival Skills You Can Teach Yourself Indoors
Boring as hell to learn (in my opinion), but so valuable when you actually need them – which will probably be quite a lot more often outdoors in wilderness survival situations than you’d think. Whether you’re using knots for shelters or for securing your pack in the trees, it’s wise to learn at least a few really good ones, and why not do that indoors?
2. Feathering wood.
Not quite the hardest skill to master, but one that’s easy to do indoors nonetheless. Grab some sticks from outside, pull them in, grab your knife, and get going. In no time you’ll be a feathering pro.
While you’re at it, use the end of the sticks you’ve taught yourself how to feather on to create some spikes. These will help you keep tents & tarps down for shelters.
Again, same piece of wood, another lesson. Practice making notices efficiently & easily on the same sticks of wood you used for making spikes & feathering. Notches are really helpful to learn how to do, as they’re handy for putting together bushcraft traps.
5. Other whittling.
The things you can whittle to use… No, you don’t really need a spoon outdoors, but if you’ve got the time and energy indoors to teach yourself how to whittle a spoon, if you happen to be in the kind of survival situation that requires you to be outdoors without being rescued for long spans of time, a spoon and other whittled objects can definitely make your life easier. Sure you could try to always have your gear on you, including something like the CRKT Eat N Tool, but you never know when you might be separated from your gear, and a little skill in whittling some handy objects definitely won’t hurt.
Nets are amazingly useful in outdoor situations – and the ability to make your own netting from paracord is probably one of the best skills to master when indoors. Teach yourself how to net and you’re well on your way to…
7. Hammock creation.
Well if you already know how to net, next step is to turn that net into something useful. You don’t have to hang a finished hammock up indoors, but you sure as hell can teach yourself how to make one if you’ve taught yourself adequate netting skills.
8. Fish & gill net creation.
So handy for survival (if Season 1 of History’s Alone taught us anything). If you can create your own fishing & gill nets and you’re in the type of location where fish is in steady supply – well you’re going to be pretty well fed for an outdoor survivalist if you ever get stuck in a survival situation.
9. Plant identification memorization.
It’s terribly hard to learn about plants, which are good to eat, which you should be staying the hell away from, which have medicinal properties that could help if you get sick. It’d be amazing to be stuck in the outdoors with a field guide on edible wild plants, but let’s be real, the only thing you can depend on being with you if/when you get into some kind of a survival situation outdoors is your own knowledge. Memorize one beneficial plant a day, or learn a handful once a week. Either way, couch potato style is probably the best way to do this considering you’ll want to test yourself over and over to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
10. Basket weaving.
You’ll again need to bring in some supplies from the outdoors to practice this one on your couch, though a lot more than the sticks you needed for feathering wood, and the pieces of wood you needed to teach yourself whittling. Gather enough willow branches or whatever other material you’re planning on using to create a basket, then get inside where it’s all dry and warm and pull up a tutorial and get to work.
Once you’ve mastered basket weaving there’s another step you can take this skill to…
11. Fishing basket weaving.
Mastering basking weaving means you can make those oh-so-useful fishing baskets – ones like these that are essentially one smaller basket inside another are excellent at trapping fish, and mean you have a hands-off way of catching fish where you don’t have to be expending any calories (after creating the basket of course!) to continue to eat. Speaking of which…
12. Trap creation.
Bushcraft dinner again at its finest since you’ve got a low-calorie expenditure way to get quite a few calories. Unlike most of the skills on this list, you probably will eventually want to go outside and practice there to make sure you’re good at finding materials outdoors on top of setting up more outdoors-necessary traps (ones that depend on trees and bushes for example), but for some basic traps, all you’d need is to pull in twigs and natural cordage, as well as a small log, and you can safely practice indoors – maybe not from the comfort of your own couch though – you may want to move to a tiled kitchen for this one.
Other Bushcraft Skills You Can Learn Inside?
What other bushcraft and wilderness survival skills can you teach yourself indoors? I’m sure I’ve missed a lot!
Let me know in the comments down below!
Also let me know if you’ve actually tried teaching yourself any survival techniques from the comfort of your own home before.