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How a modern mountain man can earn real money while living in the wilderness....

There are SO MANY scams out there that target the stay at home person with "easy ways to make money" and they really are scams!!! ... But let me share a few not so easy, but successful, ways we and others produced income even while living in the wilderness. If you have a vehicle and access to a road system it improves your opportunities for earning cash but is not necessary.

When you live a wilderness or homesteading lifestyle you yourself are an item in demand in and of yourself. You possess something that is already in demand by others...knowledge, experience and information. You have already succeeded at something they wish to dream of or pursue. They will pay you for that information. Many folks homesteading remote areas of Alaska (Alaska has several publishing companies just for writers in alaska about alaska) writing books is an option.
   A.   - Poetry Fiction Non-Fict
   B.                          - Literature & Art
   C.                    - Non-Fiction
   D.  -Childrens books
   E.      - Poetry

You don't have to be a professional writer, many journal style books are very popular because of the content rather than the style. Many Wilderness Living diaries have been published with great success over the decades. It is the experiences themselves that are entertaining, informative, and interesting.  Alot like soda pop, its not the container it comes in thats so appealing, its whats in the bottle that is interesting.

We also use a lot of firewood for "projects" that pay by piece a whole lot more than firewood does.  We found there is a big available niche for simple hand made rustic furniture. No not log beds either. Not legs and post made with electric tools. Simple legs made from a hunk of log rounded to peg ends with a hatchet. Put into a slab of wood and called a garden bench, end table, patio tea tables and other stools and the like. Something you can not buy in a store. (See our homesteading pics) Farmers markets, Fairs, tourist stores etc are good places to sell these items. We happen to have internet at our homestead (we generate our own electricity and have satellite internet), so we have had good luck marketing these things on . Ps. That big 'ol stump will make nice wide table tops when slabbed, or as itself. The quality and longevity of usefulness of hand made solid wood furniture is not available in stores dealing in cheap imports. So your hand made items are in demand with little competition for quality. The public is hungry for "real" and "genuine" wood furniture. They are sick of plywood, chipboard and laminates.

We also make money from our food sources....
We make maple syrup and sugar for ourselves, but have been offered money many times for the syrup. Check out the maple syrup guys

Honey & comb, raised or from natural wild hives can also be sold. Although Wild hives are getting hard to find and bees are becoming endangered in many ares due to diseases brought into our country. Great care should be taken in not over harvesting the honey or too late into the season toward fall when the bees need the honey to survive the winter.

Jams sell at the farmers markets, and the fruits & berries are free for the taking along boat landings, public forests, along ditches etc. This includes; blueberries, huckleberries, black berries, red raspberries, blackberries, wild grapes, currants, cherries, dewberries, mulberries, elderberries, strawberries, autumn olive berries, apple & crabapple, rose hips and plums. Check local laws in your locale.

From our meat harvest we make money selling unedible parts like antler carvings, antler buttons, antler knife handles, antler coat hooks, antler knobs and cupboard handles, antler lamps, antler gun racks etc. We also sell the tanned hides, use the leather to make clothing, boots, gun sleeves, gloves & mittens etc. The fur from rabbit, fox, mink, skunk, coyote can be used to decorate many leather items, and as insulation for slippers, boots, gloves, etc. or the pelts can be sold on the internet ( , ) or to local fur buyers. The skulls, teeth, claws, feathers, hooves and bones are also sellable.

We also enjoy auctions, book sales, flea markets, second hand stores where we often find resellable items for resale on ebay for profit. At book sales we have bought books for 50 cents that we sold on ebay for $260 or at yard sales we've picked up book sets for $15 that sold on ebay for $150. Popular name brand items purchased second hand almost always resell for a profit on ebay from companies like Cabelas, Ambercrombie, and USA MADE tool companies such as Stanley and Snap-on. Some folks still dont like or use the internet so garage sales are still great areas to find resale items.

We get paid for sawdust and wood chips -sold for gardening, animal pens and pathways (a left over by-product of our wood working and cutting wood for our wood stoves)

Boards and lumber can be sold that are cut with an Alaskan chainsaw mill (one can be purchased for about $165 at Baileys online) and all things buildable with lumber like dog houses, rabbit hutches, bird houses, butterfly houses, bat houses, porch furniture, trellises, arbors, fences, gates and more. 

Animals surplus offspring can be sold to purchase food for the animals you keep, such as selling the chicks to buy feed for your egg layers. It is nearly impossible at todays feed prices to make a profit on a homestead animal farm. You are privileged to "break even" when it comes to animals. Manure can sometimes be sold in the spring to organic gardeners if you are near a populous.

There are side jobs that are of a handy man/woman variety that can be done NOT on a regular basis that folks will pay you for such as; rototilling gardens for others in the spring, plowing snow from drives in winter, selling firewood, mowing lawns, housecleaning, farrier work on goats and horses. Leaf raking in the fall etc. Dont be shy, charge a fair price. ($30/hr) is what we generally make. If they wanted to do it themselves they wouldnt be asking you, and when a person does not want to do something they are willing to pay to not do it!  (equipment upkeep gas & oil etc come out of that $30/hr)

Never throw away anything metal! A truckload of old metal stuff...washing machines, dryers, grills, car parts, lawn mowers, refrigerators, wheel rims, old rakes and shovels, old rusty barrels, kitchen food tin cans, broken bikes, pots and pans, hangers,wire, door handles, coffee cans, anything metal, rusted or not... doesnt matter...about $250 a truck load right now. (prices vary due to season and locale)

Internet re-marketing, buying cheap in bulk or wholesale from one site and reselling individually on other sites like and

Gunsmithing during the hunting season to hunters who are far away from home. Getting a license for this is not difficult. Word of mouth spreads quickly if you are honest and do good work. Guys that specialize in muzzle loaders have gotten overflow work from local gun shops during the seasonal rush.

There are traditionally feminine talents (and a few famous and not so famous men) who are talented in knitting and crocheting, pottery, weaving, spinning yarn, quilting, and painting that also pay well in specialty niches/markets. 

Gardening. Many small town and innercity groceries will pay for fresh produce organic or not. Usually you are paid by the pound and can find grocers who buy from you by making a simple phone call to the market or just showing up at their door with your produce. Cherry tomatoes, green beans, corn on the cob, green peppers, okra, melons, peaches, raspberries and blueberries are almost always sure sales. Expect $ per pound on small item, or by the piece for large items. The price is usually good since there is no middleman being paid.

Many of these activities involve "outings" which we also consider our "family entertainment", that produces money, rather than outings like movies,restaurants etc that "consume" money. These are the main ways we've known homesteaders to have made money through the years. Hopefully it will give you some ideas and be helpful in some way to you.

I'd love suggestions if any of you have had sure successes with other ideas, I'd love to hear about it!



  1. Thanks for sharing this article, its been a really great read! I've never dealt with wilderness programs before. I've been looking for something new and different and think that I would love to try this for a summer if I can. Thanks again for sharing!

  2. I'm finding your blog extremely helpful in my research. My husband and I want to abandon our lifestyle in California and homestead somewhere far North of here (most likely Alaska). One of my concerns was generating income to cover expenses such as property taxes, any supplies we'll need, etc. It seems impossible to live without money. You're providing some great info and tips. It is greatly appreciated.


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