Are you drawn to remote, wild places? Do you love sharing your passion for adventure? Are you looking to design a life and career centred around the outdoors? Do you like the idea of being your own boss? Here are 5 exciting outdoor business ideas to get you started on your entrepreneurship journey.

Starting an adventure travel company  

The demand for adventure tourism is on a rising trend so there has never been a better time to start an adventure travel business. You could offer group packages targeted at solo travellers, create custom itineraries, run trekking trips, surfing holidays, multi-day running adventures,… the possibilities are endless.

Just remember: if you want to stand out from the competition, it’s best to choose a narrow niche so that you can become known as the expert in that sector. One option would be to specialise in one activity (Trail Run Adventures is a great example of this model). Alternatively, you could niche down on a single location (check out the Adventure Creators to get a better idea of what that could look like).  

The pros: growing market with large demand, a lot of time spent outdoors doing what you love 

The cons: potentially having to deal with needy clients, seasonal pressure 

Running a wilderness survival school 

If you have all the required skills to survive in the backcountry and like teaching people, then starting your own wilderness survival school could be a great fit. You could work with a wide range of clients like for example aspiring trekking guides, schools, community centres, outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers getting ready for a specific expedition.  

The pros: a lot of time spent outdoors, growing demand 

The cons: teaching the basic courses might become repetitive, relatively high business insurance costs 

Opening a bike rental store 

Are you a bike geek? Do you like the idea of starting a local business that fosters community? Why not start a bike rental store? For this type of business, location is obviously key. So make sure you pick a spot with cycling-friendly climate (i.e. lots of sun all year round), great roads, good gravel trails and stunning scenery. 

If you need some inspiration, have a look at the Eat Sleep Cycle website. This Girona-based bike rental store has created a successful business model combining bike rental, gear sales and guided tours. And they have also managed to create a really cool community of bike lovers in the process.

The pros: multiple income streams, you get to spend all your time around bikes 

The cons: requires a relatively high starting capital, seasonal pressures, might not be able to get out on your bike as much as you’d like to during peak season 

Starting an adventure media company  

Marketing is not about straight-up ads and selling products any more. It’s about reaching and connecting with customers through story telling. That means that businesses are increasingly looking for talented content creators to produce films and images to help them spread their brand message. So if you have photography and/or filmmaking skills and already have a portfolio then you are in a great position to launch your own adventure media company.

The pros: very varied and creative work, could involve paid trips to remote locations, flexible schedule 

The cons: high competition, will also involve a lot of time indoors at a computer 

Creating an online outdoor gear store  

Is your priority to be super flexible and to be able to work from anywhere? Do you want to start a business that can be run 100% online? In that case, starting an outdoor-focused eCommerce store could be the ideal option.  If you decide to go down this route, check out this great step-by-step guide for starting an online gear store

The pros: low running costs, flexible schedule, ability to work from anywhere you like  

The cons: high competition, will also involve a lot of time indoors at a computer 

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