17 EPIC Hiking Online Business Ideas

hiking online business ideas

Climbing the Mountain with a Hiking Online Business


Hiking’s popularity has steadily grown over the past decade, with more people embracing the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of hitting the trails. This presents an excellent opportunity to build an online business catering to hiking enthusiasts. This comprehensive hiking online business guide will explore various options for launching a business in the hiking niche.

Defining the Hiking Online Business Niche

Hiking refers to long walks outdoors in natural settings. It encompasses day hikes, overnight backpacking trips, thru-hiking long-distance trails, peak bagging mountains, and more. The hiking niche includes products, services, and resources related to:

– Hiking gear – backpacks, footwear, apparel, accessories, navigation, safety.

– Camping gear – tents, sleeping bags, stoves, water filtration, lighting.

– Hiking nutrition and hydration – high-energy trail snacks, meals, electrolyte mixes, water bottles, and reservoirs.

– First aid and health – blister care, muscle soothing, altitude sickness aids.

– Trail resources – maps, guide books, GPS navigation, map apps.

– Trip planning – destinations, permits, transportation, lodging.

– Outdoor skills – navigation, bear safety, creek crossings, weather hazards.

– Leave No Trace ethics – minimizing ecological impact through 7 principles.

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– Fitness and conditioning – strength training, cardio endurance, balance, flexibility.

– Hiking with dogs – leashes, dog packs, pet first aid, training.

– Hiking community – clubs, groups, events, volunteering, advocacy.

The core themes are gear, skills, trip resources, health, and community support for the hiking experience.

Business Model Options for a Hiking Online Business

There are many creative ways to start an online business catering to the sizable hiking audience:

Blog – Share hiking tips, trail recommendations, trip reports, gear reviews, interviews, how-to articles, and more through blogging. Monetize with display ads, affiliate links, and brand sponsorships.

Online Courses – Create online video courses teaching hiking skills like navigation, fitness/training, nutrition, safety, Photography, trip planning, lightweight backpacking, etc.

eBooks – Write and sell hiking-related ebooks focused on skills, health, camping meals, trip planning for specific regions, etc. Publish on Kindle Direct Publishing.

Gear Shop – Curate and sell hiking, backpacking, and camping gear from quality brands. Provide helpful gear guides and sizing tools.

Subscription Box – Offer themed subscription boxes with hiking gear, snacks, informational cards, and other goodies delivered monthly.

Directory – Compile listings, reviews, and recommendations for the best hiking trails, campsites, lodging, tours, guides, and events in target regions.

Guided Trips – Provide guided hiking, backpacking, adventure day trips, and excursions for clients.

Outdoor Retreats – Host multi-day hiking, yoga, mindfulness, boot camp, or fitness retreats in scenic destinations.

There are diverse options to match your interests and skills, from content-focused to product or service-based businesses. Combine multiple approaches for added monetization streams.

Key Demographics for the Hiking Online Business Niche

The main demographic segments within the hiking niche include:

– Casual Day Hikers – People take occasional short walks on local trails to enjoy nature and get exercise. Often, families and seniors at parks.

– Weekend Warrior Backpackers – Younger adults who go on overnight camping trips close to home on weekends. Often groups of friends.

– Avid Thru-Hikers – Experienced backpackers hiking long-distance scenic trails like the Appalachian Trail end-to-end over months.

– Peakbaggers – Goal-oriented hikers who focus on summiting mountain peaks. Willing to hike challenging trails.

– Ultra-Lite Enthusiasts – Committed to carrying very light loads (under 10 lbs). Invest in expensive lightweight gear.

– Adventure Racers – Athletic individuals participating in multi-day competitive adventure races involving hiking, navigation, and endurance.

– Armchair Adventurers – People who enjoy learning about hiking or live vicariously through others’ adventures but don’t get out much themselves.

Understanding the motivations and approach to hiking across these personas allows you to tailor content and products better. For example, backpacking gear would appeal to weekend warrior and thru-hiker segments. Local trail recommendations help casual day hikers. Fitness programs appeal to peakbaggers.

There is also the opportunity to cater to consumers across the spectrum by offering a more comprehensive range of gear, resources, and content.

Content Ideas for the Hiking Online Business Category

Focusing great content in the subject areas of physical fitness and nutrition as it pertains to hiking would be valuable content for a hiking online business!
Focusing great content in the subject areas of physical fitness and nutrition as it pertains to hiking would be valuable content for a hiking online business!

Here are some initial content ideas and themes to create resources for:

– Gear guides – Recommendations and comparisons for essential gear like hiking shoes, packs, headlamps, navigation tools, tents, sleeping bags, stoves, etc.

– Skills and safety – How to navigate with map/compass, use trekking poles, cross streams, handle wildlife encounters, manage weather hazards, perform first aid, etc.

– Trip planning – Planning checklists, permits, finding trails, where to camp, transportation and lodging tips for destinations.

– Getting in shape – Bootcamp programs, strength training plans, cardio conditioning, stability and mobility exercises.

– Nutrition – Best high-energy hiking snacks and backpacking meal ideas organized by dietary preferences.

– Mindset – Building mental toughness and awareness, managing fears and discomforts, staying motivated on the trail.

– Photography – Capturing epic scenic vistas, editing tips, and sharing images from the trails.

– Gear maintenance – Cleaning, repairs, storage, and organizational tips to care for equipment.

– Hiking with dogs – Off-leash control, dog packs, conditioning, dog-friendly trails, care on the trail.

– Environmental ethics – Leave No Trace principles, preserving wilderness, and volunteering for conservation.

Keywords and SEO Ideas for the Hiking Online Business Niche

Relevant high-volume keywords to target through your content, pages, and product descriptions:

– Hiking – 301K searches/month
– Hiking trails – 246K searches/month
– Hiking gear – 201K searches/month
– Backpacking – 138K searches/month
– Camping – 110K searches/month
– Hiking boots – 73K searches/month
– Day hikes – 66K searches/month
– Hiking tips – 58K searches/month
– Hiking backpack – 53K searches/month
– Camping gear – 48K searches/month
– Backpacking gear – 44K searches/month
– Backpacking trails – 40K searches/month
– Hiking for beginners – 37K searches/month
– Hiking clothes – 28K searches/month
– Hiking food – 26K searches/month
– Ultralight backpacking – 18K searches/month
– Hiking packs – 18K searches/month
– Adventure racing – 12K searches/month
– Thru hiking – 12K searches/month
– Hiking nutrition – 12K searches/month
– Hiking conditioning – 10K searches/month

Optimizing content for keywords like “best hiking shoes” and “beginner backpacking gear” can attract targeted traffic.

Getting Started in the Hiking Online Business Niche

Identifying gaps and creating content that fills that gap in the key to standing out in your hiking online business
Identifying gaps and creating content that fills those gaps is the key to standing out in your hiking online business

The hiking niche provides diverse opportunities to start an engaging online business. Combining your passion for hiking with products or content that enriches the experience for others is a great approach.

Start by identifying gaps in the niche, from gear recommendations for underserved demographics to online courses teaching specific skills. Compile resources and trip planning insights for popular hiking regions.

Build authority and community through blogging, social media, and developing high-quality educational offerings. Promote affiliate products and brand sponsorships relevant to your audience.

Eventually, progress into selling specialized hiking merch or trip services if you have the capacity. Offer retreats and guided trips to sought-after destinations.

You can build trust and loyalty by adding value for hikers rather than just driving sales. Be helpful and informative, and foster the fun community spirit of the trails.

It takes consistency over time to see results. But nurturing your niche community as a fellow hiking enthusiast sets you up for sustainable success. The hiking boom presents exciting entrepreneurial possibilities.

Target Sub-Niches within the Hiking Online Business Space

Family hiking can be its' own category within a hiking online business!
Family hiking can be its’ own category within a hiking online business!

Here are some more specific hiking sub-niches with opportunities:

Hiking with Dogs – Resources for hitting the trail with dogs, including dog-friendly gear, training, trails, safety, and preparing your pup for hiking adventures.

Hiking Nutrition – Offering the best nutrition tips, high-protein snacks, and lightweight backpacking meal ideas to fuel hikes.

Plus Size Hiking Gear – Providing gear recommendations explicitly tailored to plus-size men/women, which most mainstream brands ignore.

Hiking Mindset – helping hikers strengthen the mental game with mindfulness, resilience, motivation, and overcoming inner saboteurs on the trail.

Ultralight Backpacking – Catering to the ultralight niche by offering guides to lightweight gear choices, packing strategies, and techniques to minimize pack weight.

Mountaineering / Peakbagging – Resources focused on summiting mountain peaks, including fitness, mountaineering skills, safety, and famous peaks to ascend.

Gear Repairs & Maintenance – Providing guides to repairing gear, cleaning, moisture control, storing, and organizing hiking and camping equipment.

Identifying and catering to underserved niches allows you to differentiate from broader hiking sites. Find gaps in the market from demographics to skills. Combine content and product offerings tailored to each.


 Additional Sub-Niches For A Hiking Online Business

While hiking is a broad category, drilling down into specific sub-niches allows you to target particular segments of the hiking audience better. Here are some more hiking sub-niches to consider:

Hiking Photography

Capturing epic scenic vistas is a massive motivation for many hikers. Catering to the hiking photography niche with gear advice, composition tips, editing tutorials, and sharing incredible photos from the trails can attract this audience.

Discuss topics like packing photography gear for lightweight backpacking, protecting camera equipment, shooting in harsh weather, composing landscape shots, editing software picks, and leveraging social media. Feature guest photographers and showcase photo collections from beautiful trails.

Solo Hiking

Many hikers hit the trails alone for the tranquility, challenge, and self-reflection. Providing resources for safely and confidently solo hiking appeals to this segment.

Cover topics like essential gear, overcoming solo hiking fears, emergency preparedness, avoiding burnout, finding community, connecting with other solo hikers, and sharing inspiration from transformative solo experiences. Solo hiking requires a distinct mindset and planning skills you can address.

Winter Hiking

Cold-weather hiking is increasingly popular for avoiding crowds and experiencing snow-covered scenery. Guides tailored for winter conditions help hikers pursue this niche safely.

Discuss winter-specific gear like snowshoes, microspikes, and gaiters. Share winter hiking safety tips like avalanche awareness, shelter options, navigation, and trip planning for shorter daylight. Recommend the top winter hiking trails and snowshoeing destinations for different regions. Provide advice for avoiding hypothermia and frostbite.

Ultralight Backpacking

The ultralight niche attracts hikers seeking to pare their pack weight down to under 10 pounds, typically through expensive lightweight gear. Providing buying advice on quilts, Dyneema packs, trekking pole shelters, and compact stoves caters to these dedicated minimalists.

Also, discuss skills like carrying less food and water, using found items for gear, designing ultralight first aid kits, and substituting grip strength training instead of heavy weights. Showcase complete ultralight gear lists from real hikers.

Plus Size Hikers

The average hiker is around 25 pounds heavier than a decade ago. However, many mainstream hiking brands still cater to smaller frames in apparel and gear designs. Providing plus-size hiking content and product recommendations tailored to larger bodies fills an important gap.

Discuss plus size considerations for packs, footwear, clothing, sleeping pads, and bags. Share plus-size hiking gear picks for all categories. Talk about mental and physical preparations for larger hikers, plus size conditioning, finding properly fitting gear, and building a supportive community.

Hiking with Children

Many parents want to take their kids hiking but don’t know where to start. Providing family-oriented advice allows parents to get their children on the trail.

Share tips on keeping kids engaged, choosing kid-friendly destinations, building hiking skills and endurance, packing and safety considerations, and integrating education. Recommend gear picks like kid-sized packs, trail snacks, and games. Share fun and doable hiking adventures to try as a family.

Hiking for Seniors

Content aimed at getting older adults into hiking to reap the age-defying health benefits. Overcoming aches and concerns. Senior-friendly trails and gear.

As Baby Boomers enter retirement, many seek to stay active on the trails. Catering to senior hikers enables them to pursue this rewarding activity longer.

Address concerns like fitness, injury prevention, pacing, nutrition, and health support. Recommend senior-friendly gear and trails. Share inspiration from older hikers staying vibrant through hiking into their 60s, 70s, and beyond. Provide tips for connecting with other senior hiking groups.

These niche pursuits enable you to drill down into unique audiences’ hiking interests and needs. Combine tailored content and product offerings with community building to provide real value. Get increasingly specific as you build your authority.

Here is some additional market research on the hiking online business niche:

– According to The Outdoor Foundation, over 52 million Americans ages 6 and up went hiking in 2020. This reflects a 9.7% increase from the previous year, indicating the growing popularity of hiking.

– National park visitation reached 297 million in 2021, up from 237 million in 2020, likely due to increasing outdoor activity trends during the pandemic—more significant interest in hiking destinations.

– Sales of hiking equipment like footwear, apparel, backpacks, and accessories reached over $2.3 billion in 2021, a 40% increase over the previous year, according to Leisure Trends Group—more new hikers investing in gear.

– The 2022 North American Camping Report found a 19% increase in camping households taking overnight hiking trips where they travel to trailheads and camp. Immersive hiking adventures gaining appeal.

– AllTrails, a leading hiking app, reported 25 million users in 2020. This implies a massive demand for trail guides, GPS navigation tools, and hiking resources.

– GPS navigation brand Garmin reported 25% year-over-year increase in sales of dedicated handheld hiking GPS devices in 2021, outpacing smartwatch growth, showing continued interest in specialized hiking tools.

– According to a Kampgrounds of America 2022 survey, getting exercise, enjoying nature, and spending time with family were the top motivations for camping vacations involving hiking, reflecting why people hike.

– Over 70% of hikers consider themselves beginners or intermediates, while only 5% identify as expert or advanced hikers, according to a Statista survey. This suggests opportunities to provide education.

– Participation in hiking among 18-24-year-olds increased by over 40% from 2014 to 2019 per Statista data. Hiking appeals across age groups but is trending with millennials.

In summary, market data confirms hiking’s popularity is rising, from occasional day hikers to dedicated backpackers. This presents a growing opportunity.

Here are some vital keywords related to the hiking online business niche:


Broad Keywords:

– Hiking – 301K searches/month
– Hiking trails – 246K searches/month
– Hiking gear – 201K searches/month
– Backpacking – 138K searches/month
– Camping – 110K searches/month
– Hiking boots – 73K searches/month
– Day hikes – 66K searches/month
– Hiking tips – 58K searches/month
– Hiking backpack – 53K searches/month
– Camping gear – 48K searches/month
– Backpacking gear – 44K searches/month
– Backpacking trails – 40K searches/month
– Hiking for beginners – 37K searches/month
– Hiking clothes – 28K searches/month
– Hiking food – 26K searches/month
– Ultralight backpacking – 18K searches/month
– Hiking packs – 18K searches/month
– Adventure racing – 12K searches/month
– Thru hiking – 12K searches/month
– Hiking nutrition – 12K searches/month
– Hiking conditioning – 10K searches/month
– Hiking magazine – 9K searches/month
– Hiking vacations – 8K searches/month
– Dog hiking – 7K searches/month
– Hiking gear reviews – 5K searches/month
– Day hiking packing list – 3K searches/month
– Hiking gifts – 2K searches/month
– Kids hiking – 1K searches/month
– Senior hiking – 1K searches/month
– Winter hiking – 740 searches/month
– Mountain hiking – 590 searches/month
– Desert hiking – 320 searches/month
– Coastal hiking – 170 searches/month
– Fall hiking – 140 searches/month
– Spring hiking – 70 searches/month
– Rainy day hiking – 40 searches/month

Long-Tail Keywords:

– Good beginner hiking trails near me – 2,400 searches/month
– Solo hiking tips for women – 590 searches/month
– Hiking trails open near me – 320 searches/month
– Easy day hikes NJ – 310 searches/month
– Hiking gear list template – 290 searches/month
– Hiking clubs Portland Oregon – 220 searches/month
– Dog friendly hiking trails Bay Area – 210 searches/month
– Backpacking meals vegetarian – 190 searches/month
– Leave no trace hiking principles – 160 searches/month
– Hiking trails that allow dogs – 140 searches/month
– Best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis – 130 searches/month
– Training for mountain hiking – 120 searches/month
– Guided hiking tours Sedona AZ – 110 searches/month
– Hiking trails and camping Wisconsin – 100 searches/month
– Ultralight backpacking gear list – 90 searches/month
– Top hiking trails Maui Hawaii – 70 searches/month
– Kid hiking backpack carrier – 60 searches/month
– Hiking trails with waterfalls Georgia – 50 searches/month
– Easy hiking trails for seniors AZ – 40 searches/month


Packing up our coverage of the Hiking Online Business Category

In summary, the growing popularity of hiking provides tremendous potential for launching an engaging and profitable online business. The audience is substantial, with over 50 million hikers hitting the trails yearly.

By providing helpful hiking-related resources, gear, trip services, or content that enriches the hiking experience, you can build a business catering to this thriving community. Focus on specific personas and sub-niches rather than hiking generally to stand out.

For example, create resources tailored to solo hikers, winter hiking enthusiasts, families with young kids, the ultralight gear niche, or senior hikers. Drill down into niches underserved by broader outdoor sites. Combine product recommendations and educational content on your blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.

Offer online courses focused on relevant skills like navigation, fitness training, landscape photography, trip planning for popular trails and national parks, and leave-no-trace principles. Sell ebooks on hiking nutrition, budget gear guides, and hiking with dogs.

Once established, progress into specialized guided trips, gear shops, and niche events. For maximum impact, zero in on helping specific hiking audiences pursue their unique passions safely and confidently.

Deliver exceptional value through your niche hiking offerings. Build community and trust through consistent, high-quality content that entertains, educates, and inspires. In time, your loyal audience will support your monetization model.

The hiking boom presents an ideal time to turn your knowledge and passion into an online business, making hiking more fulfilling. With focus and commitment, you can build a brand that hikers relate to.

Not Ready to Climb the Mountain with A Hiking Online Business?  Check out more of our research GUIDES:

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FAQ on the Hiking Online Business Niche

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about building a hiking business:

What are the most popular platforms?
Blogs, YouTube channels, online courses, podcasts, and niche gear sites have the broadest reach. Instagram and TikTok are great for visual content.

What monetization strategies work best?
Affiliate sales, digital products like ebooks and courses, sponsored content, merchandise, guides/tours, and niche events offer options. Choose models that suit your strengths.

What production skills are needed?
For video content, videography and editing skills are essential. Writing and photography skills enable blogging and static content. Customer service abilities are vital for guide services.

What hiking skills and knowledge should I have?
Credibility is built through first-hand experience. Seek deep knowledge of your sub-niche, like winter hiking or backpacking nutrition. Get hiking training certifications if teaching niche skills.

How long does it take to gain traction?
Give yourself 12-18 months of consistent, high-quality content creation and networking/community building to see results. Progressively focus your niche over time.

How do I validate product-market fit?
Conduct surveys with your target hiking subgroup. Join Facebook groups and forums to assess needs. Get feedback from open-minded customers.

What costs are involved?
Startup costs can be modest outside of any inventory or paid ads. Ongoing expenses include web hosting, domain registration, content creation tools, and software subscriptions.

Is SEO important?
Absolutely. Many hikers find resources through search. Optimizing content for keywords like “hiking with dogs” and “lightweight backpacking gear” is crucial for discovery.

How vital are high-quality photos/videos?
Very – visuals attract hiker interest quickly. Invest in nice camera equipment and skill development: images and video boost perceived expertise.

What metrics should I track?
Website traffic, email list growth, social media followers, engagement rate, affiliate conversions, online course sales, customer feedback, and reviews.

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