In a world increasingly dependent on technology, media, and computers, it can sometimes feel like you have to go against your natural instincts to be outdoors preforming hard work or labor, and saddle up to a leather desk chair. For some reason, if you aren’t stuck behind a desk preforming a monotonous task, you may not be considered successful in some circles. Well, we are here to call bullshit. We say, let that Outdoor Gangster freak flag fly!! If you are looking for ways to make money while still going after your passion for adventure, here are 5 Jobs for Outdoor Lifestyles that we think are perfect for OG’s.
Photo Journalist/Writer – While hard to break into, photo journalism and adventure writing is a fun, active, and adventurous way to make a living. This position is most always going to be contract work. While that means you might not always have a steady paycheck, you do get to make your own schedule, and you will most likely get to do a lot of traveling. This job is easier for the trust-a-farian but, you can make it work dirtbag style as well. Many people start out living the dirtbag life, but eventually get sponsored or picked up contractually by a company. Best for those that can handle some insecurity and are good at the “free spirit” lifestyle.
Guide/Instructor – This is a great way to get your foot in the door and do some networking in the land of outdoor sports. There are a lot of options in this category, whitewater raft guide, ski/snowboard instructor, climbing guide, mountaineering guide, kayak instructor, and many more. If you already have the skills, you can use them to advance yourself through the ranks to high level instructor position or management positions. If you don’t yet have the skills, guiding is a great way to learn, get access to equipment, and meet like-minded people.
Experiential Education/Wilderness Therapy – One of the best options, especially if you have a desire to make a difference in the world with your particular skill set. There are organizations and businesses through-out the world that focus on wilderness therapy – usually for high school kids – but sometimes for adults and younger children as well. These jobs will range from a camp-like setting to a full 8 day backpacking trip in the wilderness. Decent pay and you get to backpack for a job, all while helping others. Not a bad gig. (Google wilderness therapy and the location, you’ll be surprised at how many come up).
Mechanic – Most people think of cars when they hear “mechanic” but it can be so much bigger than that! First, there are a lot of outdoor companies that have traditional mechanics – Jeeping companies in Moab, guiding companies etc. – but there is a world of machines out there that need fixing. Ski resorts are always in need of lift mechanics, many resorts rent side-by-sides or have fleet vehicles. You can also go the bike mechanic route, which if you enjoy biking, will also save you a lot of money personally. There are specific training courses for many of these if you check with local tech schools and community colleges.
Forest Service, BLM, or Park Service Technician – A great summer opportunity to get some experience with recreation management or trail building. These jobs pay fairly well, and do often offer temporary health insurance as well. They can be demanding, fun, and sometimes a little gross (see cleaning pit-toilets), but they are rewarding. Working in the public sector is another great way to do something you love while making a positive impact on others. It is also a great way to make like-minded friends. Beware though, getting a full-time permanent job is very difficult and very competitive, sometimes taking many many years to land. So either use it as a stepping stone, or commit for the long haul.
If you are a lover or the outdoors, and wanna let that OG freak flag fly, these 5 jobs for outdoor lifestyles are a great way to get started. Many of them can lead to a fulfilling career, if that is what you want, otherwise, they are a great why to enjoy your life for a few years or forever, whatever you choose. Google is the easiest way to find these types of jobs. Type in what you want and where, and you’ll usually get a good list of options. Additionally, here are a few job sites that are great for finding outdoor work: