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Top 5 Outdoor Side Hustles for 2020 - Make Money and Get Outside!

Top 5 Outdoor Side Hustles for 2020 - Make Money and Get Outside!

It seems like nowadays, in order to make ends-meet, or perhaps to ensure some sort of discretionary income for things you want (or want to do) over and above just surviving, more and more people are finding creative ways to earn income. There is a plethora of listing on sites like Etsy or Facebook swap-n-shop of home-made products people sell to earn money.  I have a friend that create t-shirts, hoodies, and sells them on Facebook to supplement her income...she hasn't had the gig going too long but is already getting more orders than she can keep up with.  We call this type of thing a "Side Hustle".  This is the type of thing you can do in your spare time (when you are not working your "real job" to earn a little extra spending money.

As a dealer of outdoor adventure and treasure hunting supply, I am always trying to find new and exciting products and ideas with goal of encouraging people to get off the couch and get outside.  I also love the success stories my customers bring to me.  Although a great deal of the time, the users of our products are doing a lot of digging, they quite often do find real treasure - and they can, and do, make money.  This inspired us to create a list of activities that accomplish both of those goals - to make money and get outside.  Not all of them have to do with metal detecting or gold prospecting, but they do have the common goal of getting outside and getting some physical activity - and making money. Without further ado, here is our list of 5 outdoor side hustles:

  1. Metal Detecting to Make Money - In past articles I have discussed this in more detail.  So, I will summarize it here with links to more complete articles on the subject. There are several ways to do this and it can be quite lucrative.  One way is to Lend Help Finding Lost Items (namely rings and jewelry).  Yes, people will pay you to find their lost jewelry - cash money. There is even a site called Ring Finders where you can register as a Ring Finder and get calls coming in. Another way is to simply go out and coinshoot to find lost coins - they are everywhere.  Any given day you can get outside, get some fresh air, get some exercise and dig up a few bucks at almost any local park.  At the same time you will have the potential of striking it big by finding something more valuable - like a gold/diamond ring or a valuable coin.  Going on vacation?  Take stow a metal detector in your luggage and go comb the beach for ever-present lost jewelry.  There is also the potential to find relics while metal detecting.  These relics can be sold on Ebay or used to make crafts that can be sold.  Below is a small collection of some interesting relics found metal detecting.
  2. Morel Mushroom Hunting For Cash - If you are in an area where you can find morel mushrooms, or any type of outdoor edible mushroom for that matter, you have the potential to make some side money each and every spring.  Morels in particular are very coveted and very valuable.  In our area, at this time, they sell for upwards of $40 or more per pound.   Each spring you see signs pop up from outdoor entrepreneurs looking to cash in on their outdoor finds.  You will have to put in some work to find them, but it can be very rewarding work, both for your pocket book and your taste buds.  And, if you find a hot spot you can find a hoard of morel mushrooms and the same spot can produce morels every year.
  3. Rock Hounding For Money - The term "Rock Hounding" is the process of going out into nature and searching for interesting and potentially valuable rocks, gems, and minerals.  There are a few variations of this.  Some people go out to gem bearing lands and search for precious stones - this takes place predominantly in mountainous areas.  Some people get out and look for fossils -this can be done just about anywhere including the Midwest and upper Midwest where gems may not be as abundant.  There are lots of ways to make money rock hounding. Setting up a simple Ebay Listing to sell your stones is a good start.  If you get serious, like our friend Tammy Shaw of Shaw Earth Creations, you can take it to the next level by fashioning your gems and stones into jewelry and selling them at gem and mineral shows across the country.
  4. Gold Prospecting For Money - If you live in a region where gold is abundant like California, Colorado, Arizona, or eve the Carolinas, you have the potential to get out and find some gold.  Everyone things the days of the gold rush are over.  Think again.  We sell gold prospecting equipment to people all across the country and constantly hear success stories.  In addition to metal detecting for gold nuggets, for only a few bucks you can buy a gold pan to go find a little gold.  Added up over time those small quantities of gold can yield a decent profit.  Want to go bigger?  If you are willing to invest some money, you can step it up and purchase a small scale, one-man, mining operation like the Mountain Goat Gold Trommel and Desert Fox Spiral Wheel - upping the chances of finding gold by sorting through more gold bearing material faster.   Watch the video below of the Mountain Goat and Desert Fox in Action!
  5.  Re-purposing and Creating Crafts with The Things You Find Outside Hunting for Treasure - Now, here comes the final side hustle that involves activities from the previous 4 outdoor activities listed above (in addition to the previously listed making jewelry out of gems and minerals found rockhounding).  Accumulated gold can be smelted down at home and made into ingots with an inexpensive at-home gold kiln.  This gold can then sold to gold buyers.  Relics found metal detecting can be made into fancy craft items.  Even the junk, yes, the junk found metal detecting can be turned in to cash by recycling all of the aluminum cans, scrap copper, lead, and iron found while metal detecting.  All of this is a way to turn fun and interesting hobbies into cash.  

Even more exciting is that all of the activities listed above can be done in conjunction.  Metal detecting in the spring is a perfect time to find morels as your eyes are pointing towards the ground.  While prospecting you can always keep your eyes open for gems, other precious minerals, and fossils all of which can be tied together by re-purposing and creating crafts with the items you found.  All of this while getting outside, getting some exercise, becoming one with nature participating in an intriguing and interesting new hobby.

Visit our YouTube channel High Plains Prospectors to see videos of us doing this stuff in action!


Stay tuned to our blog for upcoming articles and episodes by following us on your favorite social media outlet to stay informed of releases:

YouTube:  HighPlainsProspectors

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  • Josh Turpin