Out of all the outdoor activities, hiking is certainly the oldest and most widespread. People have always felt excited about the great outdoors, and the explorer gene has always been part of our collective DNA. According to a recent study by RunRepeat and AllTrails, hiking has never been more popular in the U.S., especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of hikers nearly doubling in less than a year, and for good reason.Taking long, vigorous walks in the mountains, forests or countryside is beneficial for anyone’s health, both physical and spiritual.Exploring the world makes us feel empowered and be more positive, in ways that no other activity can. Furthermore, this is probably the cheapest and most accessible sport. If you can walk straight– it means that you can hike as well. It can even be done in an urban setting, if you lack the time or resources to get to more pristine locations.Besides, one can hike on any given day, at any given time and in almost any kind of weather, bar natural disasters and such.
But did you know that hiking can also become a decent source of income for you and your family? That’s right – if you really enjoy your hiking and are rather good at it, you should seriously consider applying for a hiking job. After all, what can be greater than doing the thing you love, all the while getting paid for it? Plus, you get to work outdoors and lead a healthy lifestyle, which is nothing to scoff at in this modern-day and age. What wouldn’t some of us give, to be able to work outside, breathe fresh air and always stay in shape?
Hiking jobs have been a real thing for quite some time now. They are actually more diverse than one would expect. You can become a hiking guide and lead backpacking trips through the wilderness. You can become a camp instructor or camp counsellor, to coordinate and empower all camp activities, for kids as well as adults. You can even strive to become a Park Ranger, entrusted with protecting and preserving parklands, orget employed by the National Outdoor Leadership School, whose mission is to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment.
And here is the best part –most hiking jobs do not require a lot of special training or courses. You do not need years of schooling in order to do them well. Moreover, in many cases, the employer will offer all the training that you need, free of charge of course. And if you have been hiking for a while now, you will require less training time than you might think.
To get started, you can browse the plentiful hiking job vacancies available on Jooble. If you do a quick search for Hiking Guide, you will discover that it currently generates over 78 thousand vacancies, while a search for Camp Instructor will provide you with more than 17 thousand job opportunities.There are even several hundreds of vacancies for Ranger. Any single one of these employment ads will provide you with information on what is required to land the job, and most of them will include training opportunities as well. You will certainly find several options that will accommodate your hiking style and your skills and abilities. After all, it doesn’t cost you anything to try, except some time and patience.
However, if you do not yet feel confident about getting a full-time hiking job, you can start slow, by volunteering with an organization that teaches travel, hiking and backpacking skills. The experience that you already have might be extremely valuable for beginners, maybe more than you realize. Plus, teaching what you know will become a great experience in and of itself, and will certainly help you build the confidence needed to help with your future endeavours. Furthermore, when you volunteer, you are your own master, deciding how many gigs you want to take on, and for how long.
Another very lucrative option to consider, is creating hiking-related content. You can start a hiking and travel blog, to write about your experiences and adventures along the way. You can take photographs as well, then post them to your blog, or even sell them as stock photos or art pieces. You can also consider creating your own hiking YouTube channel,or writing your experiences into a book. With hiking being as popular as it is, your content will surely generate lots of views, clicks and purchases. The smart thing to do here, is trying to do a little bit of everything, to see what you are best at, and in which medium do you really click with your audience.
Once you get started on your way to become a hiking professional, you might also begin to think about a collaboration with the outdoor industry. Outdoor companies are constantly looking for trend-setters to represent them, and you can become one, especially if you already have some original content under your belt.This can mean anything, from testing out new gear during your field trips, to a sponsorship contract or two. You will have access to some of the best equipment out there and get paid for it too!
As you probably see already, when building your strategy for a professional hiking career, the options out there are almost endless. Take your time to analyse the pros and cons of every single opportunity and what it entails for your future. The goal here is to find a hiking job that is the perfect fit for you and will let you earn money, while doing something that you truly love. As Mark Twain once famously said, “find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”