15 Ways to Make Money Outside

Are you are looking for ways to increase your income that don’t involve sitting behind a desk? Is nature always calling your name? If so, here are 15 ideas on ways to combine those two goals and get started making money outdoors today! 

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15 Ways to Make Money Outdoors

Whether you choose to start something on the side or turn it into a full-time business, there is plenty of money-making opportunity to be had with an outdoor gig. Here are just 15!

1. Landscaping/Gardening

If you have a bit of a green thumb or just generally enjoy physical labor, landscaping and gardening may be the perfect fit for your side hustle. While you may not have all the equipment you could use up front, you should be able to easily start off with smaller jobs and work your way up to investing in the tools you need. Start-up is low risk and simple as well.

Volunteer to do a freebie or discounted round for friends and family and build up your references through word-of-mouth. Once you get rolling, you may even find it hard to keep up with the demand. The average landscaper can earn anywhere from $5-$50,ooo in the first year and earnings can go up significantly from there. 

2. Work on a Farm/Farmer’s Market

Farming is not for the faint of heart. If you aren’t prepared to work in any weather condition as long as it takes to get the job done, this may not be the best fit for you. However, if being outside with your hands in the soil, spending hours…

  • planting,
  • weeding,
  • harvesting,
  • washing, and prepping produce for market…

…sounds AWESOME, this side gig may be for you. Whether you help out on a local farm during their busy season (average pay of $10 per hour and free food), or start your own production, the reward of home-grown food in addition to any profit you can make selling at local farmer’s markets will be its own reward. Keep in mind that income potential will vary greatly depending on:

  • what you decide to grow,
  • how you structure your business model (CSA vs roadside stand), and
  • how the weather impacts the crops. 

3. Dog Walking

It’s likely you know a few full-time working people who own a dog or two. Well, we all know little Rover can’t stay cooped up in the house all day, so that’s where you come in. Offering reasonably priced services to stop in and take Rover out for a 15 minute walk or romp in the yard will take the pressure off his owners and make him a happy pup.

Start off by focusing on neighborhoods that are close together and focus your efforts on one target area to avoid too much travel. If you could get 3 clients in one area and you spend about 20 mins with each canine at $25 a pop, you just earned $75 in an hour. Not too shabby for a way to make money outdoors! 

Not sure you want to start getting clients from scratch? Check out these apps. While you won’t earn as much through the apps, it will take the legwork out of having to find your own clients. Related: 4 Solid Benefits of Dog Walking

4. Instructor for Skiing, Surfing, Snowboarding 

If you have a skill for outdoor sports, this is the perfect opportunity to offer paid training. This is another gig you should be able to build through:

  • word of mouth,
  • advertising at your local YMCA, or
  • promoting online inside travel and adventure groups. 

The average income for instructors ranges from $15-$20 an hour, and goes up the more experienced the instructor. Granted, since there is a high risk of personal injury for the client, it is HIGHLY recommended that you be certified in CPR and Basic First Aid.

You should also make sure the client signs a lawyer-approved waiver that states you cannot be held liable for any injury. With the right preparation this could easily become another way to make money outdoors. 

5. Car Detailing 

I don’t know about you, but my car can quickly become a collection for wrappers, odds and ends, dirt and dust. Especially when working outdoors. How great would it be to come out of your home or place of work to a magically sparkling car interior?

If that doesn’t sound like a bad idea, I can guarantee there are plenty of potential clients out there who would sign up today for this service. 

Enter mobile car detailing. This is a pretty low-cost start up, and easy way to make money outdoors. 

  • Step 1. – Find client
  • Step 2. – Show up at client’s home or place of work
  • Step 3. – Do the interior detail cleaning right in the driveway/parking lot (more power to you if you figure out how to wash the exterior in a parking lot, too!)
  • Step 4. – Collect the money, then literally wipe, vacuum and repeat. 

It shouldn’t take long to build up a client list with this convenient cleaning service! 

6. Metal Scrapping

Did you know that scrap metal exports are one of the largest in the U.S.? When we recycle metals like copper, steel, aluminum, brass, and iron, we reduce the overall amount of ore mining. It’s not terribly difficult to find these metals lying around just about anywhere. Whether it’s…

  • trash someone has out on the street,
  • discarded pipes and knobs from a home renovation, or
  • pieces of scrap metal left over after a metal building has been torn apart…

…chances are most contractors would be happy for you to come clean up a job site for them and let you keep the profits after hauling away “the trash.” Having a small pickup or lightweight trailer is highly recommended.  I made over $100 once after about 4 hours of scrap metal clean up, and a drop off at a local scrap yard. Not too shabby for half a days’s work and a pretty easy way to make money outdoors!

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7. Bee Keeping

If you’re a fan of honey and fuzzy little insects, beekeeping may be just the outdoor gig for you! Not only can you help combat the current shortage of bees, but you can enjoy the fruits – er, uh – honey of your labor! 🙂 It’s not difficult to get started, and it’s a service you can offer to local farmers in addition to building your own enterprise. J

ust be sure to take good care of these little guys over the winter and store enough honey for them to enjoy as well. And, you will have a lot of happy little worker bees on your hands.

Whether you charge a monthly rate to assist others with their hives, or decide to process and sell the wax and honey, there is money to be made. While it’s tough to nail down specific numbers, this article covers all the ways you can make a profit in the industry

8. Cleaning Windows/Gutters

Outside window cleaning and gutter upkeep are tasks that many homeowners avoid or never seem to have time to get done. Offering this service is a great way to make money outdoors! The more efficient you get, the more money you can make. While you’ll need some proper cleaning tools to get started, you could quickly pay down those materials after a few homes.

In fact, at an average earnings of around $250 per two-story house of window cleaning and approximately $200 for a gutter cleaning, you could be looking at earning almost $500 per house. I’d say that sounds pretty promising for an outdoor side gig. 

9. Nature Photographer

Quite honestly, this way to make money outdoors may not be immediately lucrative, and income potential will come down to how well you market your images.

But if it helps you stay motivated, you can think of it as a way to build your portfolio in hopes of becoming the next National Geographic Photographer! One of the best ways to make money outdoors with this gig is to create a website where you can sell your images as:

  • prints,
  • or as images for T-shirts, calendars, mugs, etc.

Or, you can upload your images to nature-focused stock photos sites and receive payment each time your image is downloaded. You could also become a travel and adventure photographer, capturing families, weddings, elopements in beautiful and exotic places. When offering an adventure photography service, one can earn several hundred to several thousand per a session. 

10. Baseball/Softball Umpire

If you love sports, becoming an umpire may be a great way to make money outdoors. Of course, you will need to have some training and pass a few certifications, but you can choose how often you work. Again – let me stress the loving sports aspect because umps don’t get paid a ton.

  • Little league game pay can start around $25 per game
  • High school and college games playing closer to $100 per game

11. Roofing

Roofing is another homeowner service that can be a solid way to make money outdoors. The work can easily be done on weekends and could be a great side gig with the right experience.

Of course, you’ll need to know how to competitively price materials and labors to turn a profit, but this side gig could earn you an average of $4,500 per $7,500 roof replacement (after cost of materials). Granted, prices will vary based on location, but this is a fantastic way to make money outdoors. 

12. Dehydrated Meals for Hikers

If you are an avid hiker, you are probably familiar with the ease and convenience of dehydrated meals. They are a cost effective and efficient source of energy. In fact, there seems to be a growing market for healthy and hearty dehydrated meals – and these individuals have wasted no time finding a way to fulfill that nutritional need.

While this one isn’t technically a way to make money outdoors, it certainly provides the opportunity to make money from others getting outside.

13. Clean Headstones

Yeah – this one is a bit offbeat. Penny Hoarder does a great job of covering what it entails. The job can pay anywhere from $20 to $120 depending on the exact service needed. It’s an odd way to make money outdoors, but if you want to work in a peaceful and quiet environment, this could be a great fit for you. 

14. Tree Trimming/Removal

As beautiful and awe-inspiring as trees can be, they can also present dangerous situations when left to grow into power lines, roofs, and pavement.

  • If you are adept at climbing,
  • have access to some basic tree trimming equipment, and
  • have a way to haul away wood (that maybe you can sell as firewood!)…

…this may be the right way for you to make money outdoors. Trimming overgrown or dead branches is a good way to earn some money on the side as you can average about $100-$800 depending on the size of the tree. And actual tree removal can pay anywhere from $500-$1,000 dollars per tree. Not too shabby for a well-paying outdoor job. 

15. Camp Counselor 

While becoming a camp counselor is more of a seasonal gig, this can be a really fun way to make money outdoors while embracing your inner child. You don’t need an extensive skill set to pursue this role, but you should be prepared to learn some basic First Aid, be extremely personable and expect to not get much sleep. While pay varies greatly according to location, you can expect to earn an average minimum of about $300 a week. 

Check out this free monthly budget template to see how the extra money will help you.

This mostly outdoor money making gig may be best for college students and new grads, but it will likely lead to bigger and better outdoor opportunities if you find that you love it! 

So there you have 15 ways to get started making money outdoors in addition to your current role! I have no doubt you have a few more ideas up your sleeve, so hit up the comments below and let us know what you would add! 

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