How to Make Money While Backpacking

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If you want to know how to make money while backpacking, you are at the right place, this is what I am doing so read hear from my own first-hand experience.

Imagine you are on a hiking or backpacking tour, and this implies quite a number of outdoor items you have with you. Just see the top picture above, but you know this already if you are a backpacker.

Obviously, the most important and the biggest item is the backpack. Then you have you tent, your sleeping bag, your sleeping pad, your gas stove, your head torch, etc.

But wait, what about the clothing, your hiking shoes or boots, your sun glasses, the hat you have on the head, a pocket knife, a coffee maker. I do not go without my sport version of the classic Bialetti Moka pot.

How about food? You probably have some dehydrated food in the pack. Then there is some water filter or a purifier that you have with you. You have invested in all this stuff, you know how it all works and how it performs on the trail. Who can better describe all these things than you?

What if this is not about outdoors, and if this is about backpacking in some urban environment? You will be staying at some places, so you can promote them and earn, more below.

But how to really monetize the knowledge and experience you have with your backpacking equipment and backpacking trips?

Here is what you can do when you are on the trail:

  • Make notes about your equipment, what was good and what not, what you would change, etc.
  • Take photos of how you use the stuff.
  • Do you have a video camera or a smartphone? If so, make videos of your equipment.
  • Are you staying at some trailhead hotels? Check with the managers if they have some affiliate program, or check if these hotels are at Booking.com. You will learn below why.

So when you are back home, write full reviews of all this. If you are not good in writing, use a voice recorder, you have it already in the computer at home. After that go through the text and correct where it is necessary.

OK, but what to do with all this? Here is the answer:

  • Build a site and publish your texts as product reviews.
  • When you start getting some traffic, get in touch with some online sellers of the products you are using, and apply to become an affiliate. This is very easy with Amazon, you will definitely be approved. They give several months period to make sales, if I remember correctly at least three sales will be enough to become officially approved and you will be earning money.
  • I mentioned Booking.com. So they have an affiliate program, and this means you can write about trailhead hotels or about hotels in the cities where you have stayed and you can earn commission when somebody follows your link and books accommodation at such places.

I guess you may not have any idea of how to build a site. No worry, when I started a number of years ago, I was in the same situation. There are many site hosting platforms around, and they have site builders. So you can have a basic site structure in a few minutes time.

Of course this does not mean the job is done, no, this is just the beginning of a long but successful journey. When the site’s structure is ready, you start adding texts and publishing your posts. You will be surprised to see how quickly you can have a site up and running.

I started my first sites in 2014, and did not have any idea of what I would be doing. So it took time, I have built a number of sites in the past. It is important that you write about things you love and have passion for what you are describing. I am a mountaineer, and writing about mountains is always a pleasure for me.

Practical steps

  • To start a site, register here, this is a site building and site hosting platform, it is free for beginners. The steps will be clear. You can follow a number of lectures for free.
  • If you are in trouble, you can always contact me, I host my sites at the same hosting platform. You will see that this is a huge community and you will be able to ask questions. Though for free members this period of free asking questions is limited.
  • I would warmly advise you to go through the free lectures which they offer. This is good to get some basic knowledge and to learn terminology. They will offer you to upgrade so that you have full access to all the lectures and tools they offer, but note that this is not compulsory and do not  be under pressure to do this. Take your time and do not rush. When I started, it took me one month to decide, and then I upgraded and here I am still at the same platform.
  • If you still think that you cannot do this on your own, let me know. I can build you a basic site, so let me know, the price will depend on what you really want me to do. I can even maintain your site at an agreed yearly fee, but writing texts will be up to you.

On the site hosting platform which I am suggesting to use, you will have the site built in WordPress. This is a very convenient way for building a site and no doubt this will make your site ranking in Google easier. Typing is similar to MS Word so this is not a big issue. This site which is in front of you is a WordPress site.

  • If you still think that writing is not your favorite activity, how about making videos? You can have a YouTube video channel and earn money that way. Everything about this you can learn in the same platform, but this will require a premium membership so that you can go through their advanced courses. In this case, you can have all your videos recorded while on the trail, and when you are back at home, post them on YouTube.
  • Note that even in this case, you can still have a site, and you can direct your YouTube visitors to your site.
  • You can embed your own YouTube videos into your site.

What are true prospect of earning with this?

This will depend on how much time you want to invest in writing product reviews or making YouTube videos. When I started, I spent a full year just writing about my mountaineering and hiking tours. I did not even try to monetize this. Clearly, this is not a very economical way.

Later, when I knew much more about this type of marketing, with my fourth site, I started earning exactly two weeks after the first post was published on this site. After 7 months of blogging, this site was bringing a 4-figure income. With my fifth site, I was earning a 4-figure income after 6 months.

But this is not realistic for beginners. So give yourself at least one year time, do things at your speed, and bear in mind, you are building a long-term income stream. This is a business, so build it properly. You will be writing about things you love so this should be a pleasure. Note also that many outdoor brands will give your stuff free of charge for reviews.

So this is what I wanted to say about how to make money while backpacking. You might want also to read my another text about best ways to make money by traveling. Let me know if you have questions, there is a comment box below. Thank you for reading.

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