15 Side Hustles if You Love the Outdoors (#11 Sounds Really Fun!)

You don't need to sit behind a screen to make some extra cash on the side.
Updated April 13, 2023
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Woman with hands raised outside

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Many people assume that picking up a side hustle means spending more time online. However, there are plenty of ways to make extra cash you can do outdoors.

If you spend a lot of time at a desk at your main job, starting a side hustle that involves working outside can be good for both your health and your wallet.

Following are 15 side hustles that make great options for those who love the outdoors.

Lawn care/landscaping

Tomasz Zajda/Adobe landscaping contractor installing new turf in backyard next to the concrete pavement

If you already have a lawn mower and some basic tools — such as hedge shears or hand pruners — you might be able to make extra cash by offering lawn care services.

Plenty of people want to maintain a nice lawn but don’t have the time or skill to do it. You can advertise your services by hanging up flyers or advertising online.

Tree trimming/removal

Parilov/Adobe man using chainsaw to cut through big log of wood

Tree trimming and removal require a bit more expertise and different equipment than standard lawn care services, but it’s another great way to make cash working outside if you have the skill.

Depending on how much you’re removing, you might need tools such as loppers, a handsaw, or a chainsaw. As with landscapers, these services can be advertised locally or online.

Pool cleaning/maintenance

Tomasz Zajda/Adobe male worker using water hose to clean poolside deck made of composite

If you live in an area where many people have backyard pools, you can make extra cash by offering cleaning services. Pools require a lot of maintenance, such as regular skimming, brushing, and vacuuming.

In many cases, people who own pools already have these tools, so cleaners just need to come in to use them. You can also purchase your own equipment to offer more services.

Cleaning windows

ghazii/Adobe male worker using viper to clean liquid soap from glass

Window cleaners are needed to clean glass both indoors and outdoors in residential homes and commercial buildings.

It will likely be difficult to land customers who operate large buildings since you’ll need special skills and equipment. 

But just a few tools — such as squeegees, extension poles, cleaning solution, and maybe a ladder — are needed to work on residential homes and small buildings.

Cleaning gutters

ronstik/Adobe male worker wearing gloves standing on ladder clearing gutter

If you live in an area with a lot of trees, you can make great money on the side by offering gutter cleaning services. Many homeowners need their gutters cleaned regularly and would welcome the opportunity to have someone else do the job.

With some basic tools — such as a sturdy ladder, work gloves, and a bucket for your debris — you can offer gutter-cleaning services year-round.

Pro tip: If you are trying to crush your debts in 2023, a side hustle is a great way to generate extra cash that you can use to pay down bills.

Flea market seller

Daniel Ernst/Adobe female salesman laughing while talking to female client in flea market

Those interested in selling old items or buying discounted products and flipping them for resale can consider setting up shop at local outdoor flea markets.

Selling goods at a local flea market can also be a fun and potentially lucrative way to spend the weekend. In some states, you might have to register as a seller for tax purposes.


ShannonK/Adobe umpire and catcher wearing mitten to catch ball in ground

If you’re into sports and have some free time on weekends, working as an umpire or referee is another way to earn extra cash and stay active.

Local leagues — both for children and adults — often need these pros. Look up how to go about becoming an umpire or referee through a local recreation department.

Working farmers markets

Rawpixel.com/Adobe african american couple setting up fresh organic vegetables at roadside market

If you have a green thumb or other talents, you can make money selling goods at a local farmers market.

Many towns have farmers markets that operate either year-round or seasonally where participants rent booths or tables to sell their goods.

You can make decent cash selling popular items such as fresh produce, homemade jams or pickled items, baked goods, and handmade crafts.

Dog walker

hedgehog94/Adobe young female taking out dogs on leash for walk in outdoor park

Dog walking can be a lucrative gig for animal lovers, especially if you have free time during normal work hours.

You can advertise dog-walking services locally or use an app like Rover or Wag to connect with potential customers in your area.

While these dog-walking apps can be a great way to find clients, they do also take a cut of your earnings.

Ski instructor

Microgen/Adobe male skiing instructor wearing protective gear teaching little boy to skii in snow

If you live near a ski resort and have enough experience on the slopes, picking up a few hours per week as a ski instructor can be a great side gig.

Ski instructors may work with individual clients or groups. The qualifications depend on where you plan to work. Some resorts require a certification from the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association for Snowboard Instructors.

Surf instructor

fesenko/Adobe male instructor using surfing board to teach woman how to surf in water

Experienced surfers who love spending time on the water might consider teaching surfing on the side. This is a job that can require time and effort to get started, as instructors need to be certified through the International Surfing Association.

Once you get the go-ahead, though, you can make good money teaching both group and private lessons.


ikostudio/Adobe young woman wearing denim jacket posing with vintage camera outdoor

If you have an eye for photography, you can develop a lucrative side hustle that works well as a part-time or freelance gig.

While it may take a while to grow a customer base, photographers who take on just a few high-paying gigs per month — such as weddings and outdoor concerts — can make a steady stream of side income.

House painter

Linda Macpherson/Adobe male painter on ladder painting house with green color

If you enjoy painting, you might be able to earn decent cash by offering house-painting services locally. The job requires some basic tools, such as brushes, rollers, and a ladder.

You could also earn more cash by expanding your services to include painting or staining wood items such as decks and gazebos.

Furniture flipper

FotoHelin/Adobe worker using water hose with high pressure to clean wooden bench in lawn

Flipping furniture can be a great side hustle for handy and creative types. While you don’t have to work on furniture outside, it’s helpful if you have some outdoor space to refurbish items since the process may involve painting and staining.

You can shop for furniture to flip at garage sales or flea markets, or even on your neighbors’ curbs on garbage day. Many flippers use online services such as Facebook Marketplace to resell.

Tour guide

Courtney Haas/peopleimages.com/Adobe tour guide showing local destinations

If you live close to a hot tourist spot — whether it’s a historic landmark, a place with popular hiking trails, or something made famous by pop culture — you might be able to find work as a tour guide.

Tour guides may offer walking or bus tours in major cities or guide people through museums or natural wonders. Keep in mind that some states require that tour guides be certified.

Bottom line

Lumeez/peopleimages.com/Adobe man wearing protective helmet on bike using gps on smartphone

If you spend a lot of time inside during a normal week at work, picking up a side hustle that is done primarily outdoors is a win-win.

Not only can it provide another stream of income and help you build wealth, but you can get some much-needed time away from a desk and out in the sun.

Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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