Even the most playful adventure lover needs to grow up at some point. After all, there are bills to pay, right? But?then there are those who take their?offices outside and make the mountains, oceans, deserts and wilderness?their place of work. Here are some of the coolest outdoor jobs around:
Adventure Tour Guide/Outdoor Program Leader
They take groups river running down the Colorado, up the face of an Alaskan glacier, Half Dome in Yosemite or on a wilderness expedition.
Outdoor program leaders for groups like Outward Bound and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)?lead courses for kids and adults in wilderness and desert backpacking, canoeing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, sailing—even dogsledding.
As for adventure tours—pick your poison and start applying. Abroad or stateside, in the ocean, on the mountains, through the air, chances are, if it gets your adrenaline pumping, many others out there will want to participate, too. And they'll pay you money to include them.
Whether for a non-profit or other type of organization like the Nature Conservancy, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club, National Audubon or on the state and federal level (National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency),?environmentalists celebrate?their love for the outdoors every day at work by protecting the resources in which?they love to play.
But becoming an environmentalist can come in many shapes and sizes. Lawyers, fundraisers or grant writers, researchers, lobbyists...the list goes on.
This is a hardcore job with hardcore training. Think mud runs and obstacle course racing—but for real. Professional firefighting careers and jobs on wildland fire crews and Interagency Hotshot Crews are so coveted that those who land them are few and far between.
Most members train for months before being invited to join a crew by hitting a gym and trail running with weights on their chests to simulate all of their equipment. The job consists of hiking in to the burning fire, grappling with intense heat and high altitudes carrying everything they need--their job is to fight fires where cars and machines can't get to.
Not many people?ever really become a straight-up "Marine Biologist" in his or her title—but they do exist. They work in the field if marine sciences, mostly, and deal with the study of marine life.
They can be technicians, ichthyologists, fishery biologists, marine mammalogists working at fisheries, laboratories, research, aquariums or zoos. But a love for the ocean is a must.