21 Best Outdoor Side Hustles to Make Extra Money
This page may contain links from our sponsors. Here’s how we make money.
If you’re looking for a way to make extra money and you love being outside, there are plenty of outdoor side hustles you could start.
While there are many side hustle ideas for earning extra income, online side hustles tend to get most of the attention. But if you spend most of your day inside at a full-time job, more hours at a desk may not appeal to you. Or maybe you already spend most of your time outside, but you prefer nature over working indoors.
Regardless of your situation, these side hustles allow you to work outside so you can enjoy nature and fresh air while you work.
Best Outdoor Side Hustles for Local Services
We’ll start by looking at services you can provide in your local area. These are great side hustles because you can start making money quickly, and many of these services are easy to promote since many people have a need for help in these areas.
1. Trash Clean Up
Picking up trash may not be the most glamorous business, but it’s certainly one worth considering. It can be done as a side job or become a full-time business.
In the 1980s, Brian Winch started a trash clean-up business as a part-time side hustle. Within a few short months, he’d already surpassed the income from his full-time job. He’s been making six figures per year for well over 30 years now.
Brian’s business model involves removing trash and litter from parking lots of office buildings, strip malls, retail stores, and apartment buildings. These businesses need regular trash cleanup services, and not many people offer these services.
If you’re interested in starting your own trash cleanup business (which Brian refers to as “America’s simplest business”), you can follow the exact plan that Brian lays out in Cleanlots. Cleanlots is a manual that covers everything you need to know to run your own trash cleanup operation, and it also provides you with direct access to Brian for any questions you have.
In Cleanlots, Brian Winch teaches the simple business plan he's used to earn six figures with a trash cleanup business that anyone can start. It's perfect as a side hustle or for scaling up to a full-time business. With extremely low startup costs and excellent income potential, you'll love this opportunity.
2. Lawn Care and Landscaping
Lawn care and landscaping are easy services to promote during the spring and summer months when people are preparing their yards for barbecues, parties, and other outdoor events. If you have experience with lawn care or landscaping, you can start your own business or offer your services to neighbors and friends.
All you need to get started is a mower and a vehicle to get to jobs. Of course, a riding mower and some additional tools and equipment will allow you to take on bigger jobs, but it’s possible to get started with nothing more than a push mower. You can invest some of the money you make to buy more equipment that will increase your earning potential.
Aside from just mowing, there are also some other simple services that are in high demand, like weeding, leaf cleanup, and snow removal in the winter. Many people don’t have the time or energy to do this type of work, so you can easily find customers who are willing to pay for your services.
To get started, just put up some flyers in your neighborhood or ask around to see if anyone needs help with their yard. Craigslist is also a great resource.
Once you get a few clients, word-of-mouth will start spreading, and your business may grow quickly.
3. Tree Trimming and Removal
Another service you can offer is tree trimming and removal. This is a great option if you’re comfortable working with power tools like chainsaws. Unless you’re an experienced professional, you should avoid taking any jobs removing large trees or trees near houses, but you can learn how to take down small trees pretty quickly.
Many of your trimming customers will need your services a few times throughout the year, so there’s a lot of repeat business if you do a good job.
Again, this is a service that people will need more of in the spring and summer, but you could also find work doing fall cleanup or snow removal in the winter.
4. Dog Walking
If you love animals, dog walking could be a great way to make extra money on the side while enjoying the outdoors. As long as you’re in good health, this is easy work that doesn’t require specific skills or experience.
You may be surprised by how much money you can make as a dog walker. According to HomeGuide, dog walkers charge an average of $20 for a 30-minute walk. That’s not a bad income from a simple side hustle, and it can be even better if you walk more than one dog at a time.
To get started, you can talk to dog owners you know to see if they need your services. You can also put up a flyer or advertise on local bulletin boards. Rover is a gig economy app that connects dog owners with dog walkers in their area, so it’s an excellent resource as well.
5. Car Detailing
If you have a knack for detail-oriented work, car detailing could be a great option. This involves cleaning the inside and outside of people’s cars and making them look like new again.
You can start small by just offering to wash and vacuum people’s cars, but if you’re good at what you do, you can quickly expand your services to include shampooing carpets, waxing, polishing, and more.
To get started, post flyers or advertise on Craigslist or local bulletin boards. You can also talk to family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and other people you know. Many people need to have their cars cleaned, and they don’t have time to do it, so you may find your first few clients without too much effort.
6. Pool Cleaning and Maintenance
If you live in an area with a lot of hot weather, pool cleaning and maintenance can be a great way to make some extra money. Many people don’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping their pool clean (it’s a lot of work), so they’re happy to pay someone else to do it for them.
You’ll need some basic equipment, but you can get started with just a few simple supplies. As you get more experience, you may want to invest in some additional equipment that will help you do a better job or take on bigger jobs.
If you want to make money year-round, you can also offer services to maintain hot tubs.
To find clients, ask people you know if they need help with their pool. You can also put up flyers or talk to property managers of apartment buildings that have pools.
7. Pressure Washing
If you don’t mind getting a little dirty and wet, pressure washing is a great way to make money while being outdoors. This involves using a high-powered hose to clean driveways, sidewalks, patios, decks, and more.
Pressure washing is a service that people need on a regular basis, so there are plenty of potential customers. It’s the kind of job that most homeowners know they should do, but just never seem to get around to it. If you offer to do it for them, they may be happy to hire you.
This is another outdoor side hustle that doesn’t require any specific skills or expensive equipment. Obviously, you’ll need a pressure washer, but you can buy an inexpensive one for around $100. Of course, you may want to reinvest some of the money you make to buy a better model that will allow you to take on bigger jobs.
To find clients, ask people you know if they need help with pressure washing. You could go door-to-door in your neighborhood or put up flyers or an ad on Craigslist.
8. Deck Construction and Maintenance
If you’re handy with tools and enjoy building things, you may want to consider offering your services as a deck builder or maintenance specialist. This lucrative opportunity involves constructing new decks or repairing and maintaining existing ones.
You can start small by doing simple repairs, but if you’re good at what you do, you can quickly expand your services to include building new decks from scratch. Many people and businesses also need wheelchair accessibility ramps, and the process of building one is similar to constructing a deck.
This is the type of job that usually requires some experience, so it’s not something you can just jump into without any training. However, if you’re willing to put in the work to learn how to do it, this can be a great way to make money while being outdoors. You can also earn good money by doing it.
9. Window Cleaning
Window cleaning can be an ideal way to make money while being outdoors. This involves cleaning the inside and outside of windows for both residential and commercial customers.
You’ll need to invest in some basic equipment, but it’s not very expensive. You can start small by just doing window cleaning for friends, family, and neighbors. Once you get some experience, you can expand your business to include other customers.
To find clients, ask people you know if they need help with their windows.
10. Gutter Cleaning
If you don’t mind heights, gutter cleaning is another service you can offer. This involves using a ladder to clean out the gutters of both residential and commercial customers.
In most cases, it’s a simple service. But many homeowners don’t want to do it themselves, especially if their house requires them to get up on the roof or a high ladder to reach the gutters.
This service is much more necessary in neighborhoods with a lot of trees. Leaves, branches, and other debris can build up quickly when there are several trees near the house. People in these neighborhoods may need to have their gutters cleaned every year to prevent backups and drainage problems.
11. House Painting
If you’re good at painting, house painting can be a great way to make money while being outdoors. This involves painting the exterior of houses, including doors and shutters. You could also offer services for painting and staining decks, wood swing sets, gazebos, and more.
You’ll only need basic equipment like paintbrushes, rollers, drop cloths, and a ladder. For bigger jobs, you may need additional equipment like scaffolding, but you can start with small jobs or rent equipment if needed.
Outdoor Side Hustles for Creatives
If you have some creative skills, there are a few ways to put them to good use to make extra money outdoors.
12. YouTube Channel
You can start a YouTube channel about anything you’re interested in, including nature, hiking, gardening, and more. The possibilities here are truly unlimited. I’ve turned to YouTube many times when I’m looking for guidance related to topics like planting trees, trimming plants, and other aspects of maintaining a yard.
Once you have a following, you can monetize your channel with ads, direct sponsorships, or affiliate programs. The income potential for a YouTube channel is unlimited, so this could eventually turn into a thriving business.
Starting a YouTube channel is much different from offering any of the services in the previous section. By offering a service, you can start making money right away. A YouTube channel will give you higher income potential, but you’ll need to put in more time and effort before you start making money.
Most new YouTubers make very little money for the first 6-12 months while working on growing their channel. As a result, this opportunity is best for people with a long-term approach rather than people who need to make money now.
13. Nature or Wildlife Photographer
If you love being outdoors and taking pictures, nature or wildlife photography could be a great way to make money. You can sell your photos online or in person. Platforms like Smugmug make it easy to create a website where you can sell your photos.
To sell your photos locally, you can approach galleries and other businesses that sell photos and artwork. If you live in an area that’s popular with tourists, there may be for getting your photos into more galleries or gift shops.
Stock photography is another option. You can submit your photos to stock photography websites like Shutterstock. If your photos are accepted, they’ll be available for people to purchase, and you’ll receive a commission each time one of your photos is licensed.
If you have an impressive portfolio and can teach others, you could start and lead nature photo workshops. These could be short one-day events, or they could be multi-day workshops. These types of workshops are very popular with nature and landscape photographers (I’ve attended a few myself as a hobbyist).
Outdoor Side Hustles for Selling
Instead of providing a service, there are also some outdoor side hustles that involve selling products.
14. Growing Trees and Plants
If you enjoy working with trees and plants, you could sell them to make some extra cash. You can grow fruit trees, Christmas trees, ornamental plants, and more.
Once your trees and plants are big enough to sell, you can set up a stand at a farmer’s market or roadside. You could also contact local businesses like nurseries, landscape companies, and florists to see if they’re interested in buying your products. You could even put up signs or post an ad on Craigslist.
The amount of money you can make selling trees and plants will depend on how much you’re able to produce. If you have a small space, you may be limited in what you can make. But if you have a larger space, you could grow enough to make a significant income.
15. Flea Market Flipping
Another option for selling products is to find things at flea markets and yard sales that you can flip for a profit. This side hustle involves finding low-cost items in your spare time and selling them for more than you paid.
To be successful with this, you’ll need to be able to spot items that have the potential to be profitable (see our list of the easiest things to flip for profit for some ideas). You’ll also need to be good at negotiating prices. And finally, you’ll need to know where to sell your items for the most profit. Once you get the hang of it, flipping can be a great way to make money.
You could resell your products locally by listing them on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Or you could sell and ship to people anywhere by using eBay.
16. Furniture Flipping
Like flea market flipping, furniture flipping involves finding low-cost or free furniture, improving it, and reselling it for more than you paid. This side hustle can be great for people who enjoy working with their hands and doing some light refurbishing.
To find furniture to flip, you can check yard sales or simply drive around and see what people have left out for the trash. Solid wood furniture is typically the best because it can be valuable if restored, and you may only need to paint or stain it to give it new life.
Once you find a piece of furniture you think you can sell for a profit, you’ll need to refinish or repair it as needed. And then, you’ll need to list it for sale. You can sell your furniture on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
If you have a truck, you can also offer delivery services for an additional fee.
Outdoor Side Hustles for Entertainment and Tourism
Several opportunities could be a lot of fun, depending on your interests.
17. Tour Guide
If you live near a historic area or someplace that attracts many tourists, you could start giving tours. You could give walking tours, driving tours, or even bike tours.
To get started, research the history and interesting facts about your town or city. You can also contact the chamber of commerce or visitor’s bureau for ideas. Once you have a plan for your tour, promote it online and through word-of-mouth to attract customers. Be sure to check on regulations related to licenses that may be needed for hosting tours in the area.
18. Adventure Guide
Another option for those who live in scenic areas is to become an adventure guide. You could take people hiking, camping, rafting, fishing, or rock climbing.
If you love the outdoors and enjoy being active, this could be a great way to make money. To get started, you’ll need to promote your services online and through word-of-mouth. You may also need to get some certifications related to the activities you plan to offer (like CPR or first aid).
19. Surfing or Skiing Instructor
If you live near a beach or ski resort, you could give surfing or skiing lessons. You could also offer other lessons, like stand-up paddleboarding or kiteboarding.
This can be a fun way to make money if you enjoy these activities. It’s also very rewarding to introduce others to the activities you’re passionate about. It certainly beats sitting at a desk.
Other Outdoor Side Hustles
Here are a few other opportunities that don’t fit into any of the categories above.
20. Work on a Farm
You could work on a farm as a picker during harvest season or in other capacities. This is great if you love being outdoors and don’t mind getting a little dirty.
There are many kinds of farms, so you could find one that raises the kind of crops or animals you’re interested in. To get started, you can look online for farms that are hiring or contact local farmers.
21. Umpire or Referee
If you love baseball or softball, you could make money by umpiring games. This is a great way to stay active and get paid to do something you enjoy. You could also referee football, soccer, and other outdoor sports.
Of course, you’ll need to know the rules of the game and be able to deal with people who disagree with you. You can learn more about becoming an umpire or ref through your local recreation department.
There are many ways to make money while being outdoors. The important thing is to find something that you enjoy and that you’re good at. This list of the best side hustles should give you plenty of ideas. Once you find the right gig, the sky’s the limit!
Stocks & alternative investments, plus social community
Up to $300 in free stock
Advanced tools for active traders
Up to 15 free stocks
Invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto
Up to 12 free stocks
Passively invest in real estate with as little as $10