Great Jobs for People Who Love Backpacking

Great Jobs for People Who Love Backpacking

Great Jobs for People Who Love Backpacking


If you’re the type of person who loves the outdoors and hates the office, then it’s likely you’ve considered leaving it all to live off the grid. However, due to circumstances, you have obligations that prevent you from living this way, and you’ve resorted to hiking only on weekends and vacations. Well, what if we told you that there’s a way to ‘be financially responsible’, and be in the wilderness all at once? It’s possible. If you love backpacking, then consider these jobs.

Park Ranger

Park Ranger

Without a doubt, being a park ranger is a great way to get to spend time in the backcountry as much as possible. After all, your job is to monitor your park and educate those about it. You’ll know every trail of the park and every creature who lives inside of it. So, you might have to wear a funny uniform, but who cares? You get to wake up every morning to do exactly what you love.

Average salary: $32,000, including all the benefits that come with a government job.


An archaeologist has the opportunity to dig up pieces of the past, and sometimes the only way to do so is to head out into the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, archaeologists have no idea how long they may be digging in a certain place, and it’s essential they bring along all the supplies necessary. Archaeologists often need to get deep in ditches, hike up high mountains, and tread out far and wide to find something important. Best of all, they get to explore tons of places.

Average salary: $60,000, and some really cool stories to tell.



What’s cooler than studying the Earth? As someone who loves backpacking, being a geologist is the ultimate career. With so many different jobs in this branch of science, the opportunities are endless. As a geologist, the outdoors is your office, and everyday you will put your skills into work to solve the puzzles of our planet and use what you know to keep it going as long as possible. Without geologists, we would have no idea how our land has formed or where it’s going. There will never be a dull moment when your job requires you to be outside every day.

Average salary: Over $100,000, with tons of flexibility.


Some of the most well-known hikers of all time were known for the work they did with the environment, such as John Muir or Rachel Carson. These people lived for the outdoors, and did everything they could to educate others about our impact. As a conservationist or environmentalist, you can spend your days investigating the outdoors, and working with various organizations to figure out what needs attention most. You’ll speak for the animals and the trees who can’t speak for themselves, and your work assignments will require you to pack a bag and head into the wilderness.

Average salary: $50,000


Being a writer or journalist is an awesome job because you are the one in charge of the stories you want to tell. Whether you like making films or documentaries, writing articles, doing news stories, or even creating travel journals and guides, you’ll have the ability to get outside as much a possible. In fact, the more close you get to the things you’re writing about, the better, and people who don’t want to do it themselves will pay you to do it for them. You have a front row seat to all the adventure, and you get to tell others all about it. For inspiration, look at people like Bill Bryson or Paul Theroux.

Average salary: $70,000, as well as freelance opportunities.



In case you haven’t quite realized it, pretty much any scientist will have interactions with the outdoors most of the time. However, there are obviously certain jobs that have more opportunities than others. One of these scientist jobs is that of a botanist, a person who studies plants. You are an expert on these precious living things, and to do your job properly, you’re going to have to get outside as much as you can, especially to remote places where there’s little known about certain species of plants.

Average salary: $63,000

Trip Leader/Tour Guide

As a trip leader or adventure tour guide, you get to be outside all the time, leading others on a journey. You’re the type of person people hope to be; the type of person that when you finish leading a trip, they say “man, I wish I had your job!”. That’s because your job is just plain awesome. You literally get paid to hike mountains, go down canyons, and sleep outdoors with your crew after long days of hiking. What’s better than that?

Average salary: $40,000

Are you ready for a career change yet?

hanalarock I'm Hana- a freelance travel writer and teacher who currently lives in South Korea. I'm originally from New York, but have spent the last two years traveling and living abroad. My first time hiking in the US was when I traveled around the country as a teenager. Though, my first adult backpacking trip was a year ago, when I hiked from Thailand down to Singapore for a month. I'm looking forward to many more adventures in the future. Visit my site for more information.