The Best Ways For Rural Life In An Urban Environment
The Best Ways For Rural Life
In An Urban Environment

Is it possible to have a rural life in an urban environment? So you have made the decision that you want to move to the countryside and live a rural lifestyle. How do you start now, while living in the city? Is there a way to achieve some elements of rural life even in a large city?

Yes there are ways. Spending time outside, gardening, learning skills, and building knowledge can all be done within the confines of a city. You just have to scale them accordingly. Let’s explore each one in a bit more depth and discover some ideas on how you can have a rural life in an urban environment.


  1. Be Outdoorsy
  2. When Is A Garden Not A Garden
  3. The Rural Skills-bank
  4. Knowledge Weighs Nothing
  5. Go Global
  6. Conclusion
  7. 5 Recommended books from Amazon
Many outdoor Sports Have Indoor Versions-Rural Life In An Urban Environment
many outdoor sports have indoor versions-
Rural Life In An Urban Environment

Be Outdoorsy 

The main reason most people look towards moving to the countryside is to spend more time outdoors. There is no reason that living in a city should hinder this. The majority of cities have parks and green spaces.

Access to indoor versions of outdoor sports may be possible. Being an outdoors person is part mindset and part just doing. If the great outdoors is part of the lifestyle you want, take the time now to do it in any way you can. Here are a few ideas on how you can start.

Indoor Sport

Archery, shooting, and swimming all have indoor variations where you can begin to learn and develop basic skills. Occasionally you may find a local pool that offers kayak or canoe, beginner classes. There may be clubs in your local area that arrange regular trips to better facilities.

Bouldering and climbing both have indoor climbing walls that can be utilized to learn and practice skills. There are even indoor virtual golf courses available in some areas. You may not find the exact sport you are looking for but with a little creative thinking you may be able to find one that develops the same or similar skills.

Green Space

Many of us who have lived in any area for an extended period of time develop a blindness to what can be in front of us. How many parks or green areas do you know of within walking distance? A great way to discover what is in your local area is to get a tourist map. Tourist maps are designed to show the best and most interesting things in an area. Parks are often included.

Taking advantage of the green spaces available is a perfect method for rural life in an urban environment. even using something like google maps may allow you to discover new previously unexplored green spaces.

Be Adventurous

You are planning a new life in the country. Yet spend hours sat at home watching tv or doing very little. Be more adventurous. Start a new outdoor-related hobby. Become a tourist in your own city. Change your route to work. Spend your evenings being active. These are all things that you wish for in your rural life to be. Start them now so you can enjoy them more once you do start your country living.

Outdoors people are naturally adventurous, but this doesn’t have the be by climbing a cliff face. Just changes to your usual habits can help you develop a more adventurous mindset. 

When Is A Garden Not A Garden

Many of us view rural life as a way to live closer with nature, develop self-sufficiency in some form, and live at a more relaxed pace. Gardening especially growing food is a perfect example of this. There is a serenity in gardening, it ties us to nature.

In an urban environment starting your rural life can be as simple as a single plant on a window ledge. Or it can be as elaborate as a terraced rooftop garden. The key is looking at the space you do have and maximizing what you can achieve with is. Here are a few ideas on how this may be possible.


Every window in your home is a potential growing spot. You can utilize window ledges to grow, and even extend this space with window boxes on the outside. South-facing windows( if you are in the northern hemisphere) become sun traps and allow the growth of plants that require greenhouses usually.

Think of your window as a greenhouse. A table in front of a window if your window ledge is too small will create more space. For windows target crops that don’t grow very tall so they don’t block all the light out.

Vertical Space

Many crops don’t have to be grown across the ground. Not only do climbing plants require a restricted footprint, but by utilizing shelves and other methods other crops can also be grown in vertical space. Strawberries can be grown quite well small tubs on shelving. So even a small garden or outdoor space can be used to create a start in rural living.

A shelving system on an outside wall could successfully grow strawberries on the shelves and a climbing pea or bean up and around the shelf sides. Cucumber traditionally grows along the ground but will grow as a climbing plant if trained to do so.

Container Mania

If you can find space to place a container of soil then you have space to grow a crop. It may only be a small crop but it is a first step. Balconies, patios, and even outdoor steps are all places you could potentially use to start your garden.

When first starting a good way to maximize space is to grow plants that yield multiple produce, plants such as tomato, peas, and beans are all good multi-crop plants.

Other options include spinach, lettuce, and herbs where you can take a small amount of leaves each time and allow the remainder of the plant to continue to grow. All of these will grow in containers.

Develop Skill Such As Canning-
Rural Life In An Urban Environment
develop skill such as canning-
Rural Life In An Urban Environment

The Rural Skills-bank

Starting rural life in an urban environment, offers a unique chance. That is the chance to start learning the skills you will need, before you actually need them. In Rural Living: 15 Useful Tips For Your New Life we mentioned some areas where you could develop skills that don’t require being in a rural location to start.

Many of the day to day skills you will use in your new rural life you can learn at home in the city.  Brainstorm what skills or projects you will want to do in your rural life and assess which ones you can start to build now. Here are some examples.

Canning Food

Canning food is a staple skill for many who produce their own products and wish to preserve it. There are different methods for canning and some are more complicated than others.

Before you more to your new life spending time learning and experimenting with canning is a great way to prepare. Practicing the skill before you need it, allows you to take your time, getting every element correct. You can also take the preserved food with you so it is not a wasted endeavor.

Fix It

How comfortable are you with basic hand tools? When was the last time you used a saw? For many people that live in the city it can have been years since they last used a hand tool. How many things in your current home could you carry out a basic repair on? Could you fix a broken chair leg? Can you rehang a door?

Living in a rural area you may need to do these and other general maintenance tasks regularly. Spending the time now building basic maintenance skills will be invaluable later.


There are countless hobbies that allow you to create things. Sewing, wood carving, and leatherwork can all be undertaken with limited space. They are also amongst the many skills that require practice and will be useful in your rural life.

Sewing could range from a simple repair on a torn shirt up to making a canvas tent or awning. The skills to make and repair things are steps towards self-reliance and can be easily achieved as a step towards rural life in an urban environment. 

Knowledge Weighs Nothing

In the bushcraft community your knowledge is regarded as the most important thing you possess. All the equipment in the world is useless if you don’t possess the knowledge of how to use it. If you plan on having a rural life getting to know the nature you will be living in is important.

Bushcraft is centered on this knowledge, and improving your knowledge will help you better assess which skills to learn and develop. Let’s look at some potential ideas that the subject of bushcraft can lend towards rural living.

Plant and Tree Identification

Learning about plants and trees and how to identify them serves multiple purposes. 

  • Toxicity
  • Edibility
  • Medicinal properties
  • Resource uses

This could be as simple as accurately being able to identify poison ivy, which parts of a dandelion you can eat, and which wood will burn slow or fast. Accurate plant and tree identification takes time and practice and can become a lifelong enjoyable pursuit.

Starting in a city environment where there are fewer plants around can help with not getting overwhelmed early on. Later this knowledge can be put to good use foraging.

Sharp and Safe

As much a practical skill as knowledge, knowing how to use sharp tools is important. A knife, or axe can be commonplace in a rural setting and learning their safe use is crucial. having skill with a knife or axe must be backed by the knowledge in its use.

Chopping down a tree can be done with perfect safe axe use, yet cause a major accident because the knowledge of how to apply the axe skill to the tree was missing. Understanding the correct way to sharpen an axe for a specific task is a knowledge that can make all the difference when it cones to using that axe.

Always Learning

Reading books, or websites, listening to podcasts and watching instructional videos, do not need you to be in a specific area. Immersing yourself in information about countryside living is a great way to begin rural life in an urban environment. There are countless resources about hundreds of rural-based things.

Pick a theme, topic, or subject and dive into the information about it. Make notes or start a journal if you have to. The more you study a subject the more bits and pieces will start to stick in your memory and your brain will start to develop new connections.

City Parks Are A Great Way To Start Working 
Towards Your Rural Life
City parks are a great way to start working
towards your rural life

Go Global

There are rural areas all over the world. How do they compare to where you want to live? Rural areas with similar weather patterns, or vastly different weather, may do things the same as your local area or they may not.

Exploring these differences provides new insight into methods and solutions that may not seem apparent at first. It is important to develop some knowledge of things further afield to aid in assessing what may work for you. It also offers the chance to develop a global connection to like-minded people.

Worldwide Water

When looking at off-grid water collection, filtration, and storage, perhaps one of the best places to start is where water is scarce. Desert cultures have spent thousands of years perfecting simple effective water processes. Out of necessity these cultures have found ways and means to cope in arid environments.

These are perfect cultures to research while still living in the city, to find potential ways to process your own water needs. Learning how other cultures have maximized water use, allows you to apply efficient systems that can minimize the impact on your surroundings.

Live Off The Land

A large number of indigenous peoples still rely on traditional methods for food gathering. Although, they may be supplemented by modern methods, the skills these people possess are often used on a daily basis. Studying many of these methods may allow you to apply them to your rural life.

Permaculture principals are quite often based around indigenous peoples and the techniques they have used. doing your own research allows you to synthesis your own ideas and concepts that may yield surprising results 


The earth is a vast place, we have populations living in extremes of weather from Inuit in the snow of the arctic, to Bedouins in the desert. Your life in both the city and the rural area you move to is small in the scale of the world. By choosing to live a rural lifestyle, you are connecting with generations from before who lived a similar existence.

Traditional methods have worked for centuries, unless you plan on large scale production, these methods will work for you. Small and simple methods are easy to implement and easy to replicate. You can implement many of them and start your rural life in an urban environment now.


The Best Ways For Rural Life In An Urban Environment, you are to take elements from the life you want and place them in the life you have. Be outdoorsy, start a garden, and immerse yourself in knowledge and skills for the life you want.

Rural life is as much a mindset as it is a physical thing. Spending time in urban green areas is a great place to start, Building knowledge and skills to allow you to thrive in a rural setting is also achievable in an urban one with some modifications if needed.

The Best Way For Rural Life In An Urban Environment ultimately is to start now.

We would love to hear how you apply elements of rural living in your urban environment in the comments below.

5 Recommended books from Amazon

  1. The Way Home: Tales from a life without technology
  2. Going Off the Grid: The How-To-Book of Simple Living and Happiness
  3. The Mini Farming Bible: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre
  4. Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st Century Farmer
  5. Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests

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