Do you love hiking and being outdoors so much that you wish you could do it for a living? If so, this blog is for you. While hiking on its own isn’t a career option, per se, the jobs listed below allow you to be a part of the outdoors community, and offer a chance to work along the trails, mountains and wilderness, to get as much fresh air as you desire.
- Outdoor Guide
This is the closest thing to getting paid to hike; the only difference is you’re there to help others. Hiking is a learned skill, and for beginners or those need a little assistance, outdoor guides come are the perfect solution. As a guide, you will show individuals or groups how to navigate the wilderness safely. This career requires a well-trained and very social outdoorsman. A background in outdoors education will go a long way.
Ridgerunners are members of trail management team for the famous Appalachian Trail. Their goal is to create a quality experience for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts. The day-to-day responsibilities of a ridge ridgerunner can be likened to that of customer service personnel or concierge, as most of their work consists of: answering questions, consulting visitors’ itineraries, providing information on policy, and offering suggestions on campsites, food storage, and the like. The job is not stationary, though. Ridgerunners are assigned to specific sections of the Trail as whole, and some sections can be up to 70 miles long.
- Park Ranger
Park rangers manage a range of responsibilities, from managing tours to conducting search and rescue missions. The job of a park ranger is typically government-related, for federal and state parks. According to study.com, rangers should be flexible–willing to relocate–and physically fit. Also, it may surprise you to know that park rangers are often expected to have gone to college and possess at least a bachelor’s degree in any given field (those related to science, the environment, and/or communication are pluses).
- Travel Writer/Photographer
Those incredible photos in National Geographic or Backpacker magazine have to be taken by someone. That could be you. In today’s world of smartphones and social media, there is no shortage of photography of hiking and travel experiences. However, taking a professional interest in this field, or even maximizing your talents as a writer for such publications, can mean the next time you venture out, you could be getting paid for it, rather using your own money.