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Thread: Scary thoughts...

  1. #1
    Mini Goon DodgyKnee's Avatar
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    Scary thoughts...

    Hi Hillwalkers.

    At 56 my wife & I are thinking of moving out of the smoke to the West country.

    The idea is to get a lowland or fell & hill walking certificate and see what I could earn from it.

    It's a big scary change and I wanted to invite comments and/or advise from you experienced outdoor types.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ultra King MoS's Avatar
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    I wondered what this thread was going to be about and expected something Halloween related

    The question of an outdoorsy career has come up in the past and I think it can work for people who are prepared to balance something they enjoy doing with making a modest income. It may be worth searching for old threads on the topic.

    I lived in West Penwith in the 80s/90s when it was a popular holiday destination but nothing like what it is now. I'm sure you're aware of the tourism business down there and already thought about what opportunities it offers.
    I doubt there are many guiding jobs and there'll be stiff competition for what there is, plus it will be seasonal to a large extent.
    So you may have to create your own work.

    If you are imaginative there are probably still opportunities to create something a bit different that might appeal to people wanting an outdoor type holiday.
    I'm thinking along the lines of a B&B aimed at people walking the coast path, if you can find a good location. If you have the skills and local knowledge you could offer tailor made walking holidays. You might have to offer drop offs and pick up too.....whatever it takes to compete. Maybe you have other skills to offer? Languages, cooking......relaxation techniques, ....errr feet massage??

    There's nothing particularly new in that but there does seem to be a growing demand for 'holiday experiences'. Personally I'd rather plan my own thing but a lot of folk seem to want to buy off the shelf holidays these days. I'm sure I came across wild camping nights being offered by someone who would set up the tent and everything you needed, guide you to it and then turn up in the morning to take you back to your car. Marketed in the right way it will appeal to the sort of person who would never dream of doing it on their own. They get their 'experience', put the photos on face book and tick it off as something else on their list of 'adventurous' things to do.
    You've either got to join in with what others are doing but try and do it differently or better.........or think of the next new thing.

    Anyway, good luck with the new venture

  3. #3
    Mini Goon DodgyKnee's Avatar
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    Hi Mos,

    Thanks for the comments.

    It's funny you should mention B&B's. Moving from London it's surprising the size of properties that are within our grasp.

    Maybe I'll look into creating more of an 'experience' (hopefully a pleasant one!)

    Mike

  4. #4
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    Like MoS, I think you'll have to work hard to make a full-time living out of it, and you will need to go out and find work, rather than wait for it to come to you.

    Where do you think clients will come from, and what will they want you to do for them?
    Do you really think that many people want lowland/fell guiding services?
    You'll have to factor in costs such as liability insurance, etc.
    Hopefully, I'm just suggesting things you already know...

    I have friends who do outdoor instruction and guiding, and they have 'real jobs' as well, despite having qualifications to teach in a number of different disciplines, and guide overseas and at altitude.

    There is a huge amount of competition, and your question is regularly asked on outdoor forums.

  5. #5
    Mini Goon DodgyKnee's Avatar
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    Captain,

    Prompted by MoS's comments, and similar elsewhere, the talk at home is turning towards developing a range of possible revenue sources: B&B, guiding, bar work! I'm an electronic engineer as well so maybe some repair work there.

    Lots to think about

  6. #6
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain paranoia View Post
    I have friends who do outdoor instruction and guiding, and they have 'real jobs' as well, despite having qualifications to teach in a number of different disciplines, and guide overseas and at altitude.
    Same goes for my pals with mucho certification and a huge wealth of experience. There are other cases of people who've retired from their "real jobs" and use outdoor ed of some description to keep at something interesting and top up their pension.
    Pre-retiral main job folk doing outdoor pursuits are either seriously good and towards the top of the game with a long and good track record or are working for some sort of activity provider (commercial or municipal), typically at non-stratospheric wages. There can be a mix, so the chap I co-led* a Bikeability Scotland training session for new instructors with last year was doing that on contract to P&K council, but he also does cycle training and leading as an independent (there's probably more work in cycling than walking, as while more people go walking most of them are happy they have the skills of putting one foot in front of another already, while cycling has become another "go and buy it off the shelf" activity).

    It boils down to, if it was easy making a living at your favourite pastime, then everyone would be doing it.

    Pete.

    * I do that as a volunteer cycle trainer, so I'm not making anything out of it bar good will

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