There are income opportunities in remote areas for Jeep Wrangler JK/JL drivers

7 Cool Jobs for a Jeep Owner in the Remote Wilderness

 

Genuinely cool job ideas that require no advanced skills you can do by just driving your Wrangler JK/JKU/JL in the wilderness. Get off the beaten trails for real adventures and earn enough money to live off-the-grid with your Jeep as your main work tool.

 

There are plenty of job opportunities in extremely remote environments for those who can manage to transport themselves from one spot to another through a network of steep, snowy, uneven, bumpy, rocky, muddy, and unmaintained trails and gravel roads. Sometimes, just showing up at an inaccessible location almost guarantees you to get the job. In those conditions, your Jeep is your primary asset.

Jobs for a Jeep Driver

 

Take advantage of having low costs of living, get a unique schedule, enjoy an incredible scenery on a daily basis, find peace in the quiet wilderness, and become highly independent.

 

Jobs for Jeep Drivers in the Wilderness

 

Just one word before you go


These job ideas for Jeepers are only based on my personal experience and things/activities I’ve encountered in the remote Canadian and US wilderness. I’m not any kind of expert. Whatever you plan to do, I recommend you fulfill your tax obligations right off the bat. For instance, if you desire to work as a freelancer, you should register your freelance sole proprietorship business. It’s easy and costs only a few bucks. Then, you become eligible fortax deductions and legit in the eyes of clients and insurance companies. Don’t make the mistake to just go and rely on “under the table jobs” once in the bush. The fact is that there’s not much paper money in circulation anyway (mainly caused by a lack of ATMs or bank branches). And carrying thousands of dollars in cash in the wilderness is absolutely unsafe.

 

I also warmly recommend you get at least some kind of personal accident insurance that covers the cost of an air ambulance, in-hospital benefits, and a narrow spectrum of compensations in case of bodily injury (a very basic insurance might be as low as $20/month). It could make a HUGE difference in your life because living and working in the wilderness can be a risky business. You are also required to contact your car insurance company and tell them that you will now use your personal vehicle for business purposes (expect a rate increase of around $15/month).

 

Before you move to a remote location, be responsible and take a couple of days to double-check the legal/tax/medical coverage aspects of your personal and very specific situation. Okay?

 



1. Security Guard - Remote Camps

Logging Sites - Medium Mining Operation - Remote Plants - Etc.

Security Guard Cement Plant Yukon Canada

Security Guard: Competitive Income $$$ I Vehicle Allowance I On Site Lodging

There’s no need to be a seasoned security professional to succeed in this kind of career move. Whatever the economy is doing, there is always a shortage of security guards in remote locations. To my knowledge, it’s been the case especially in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Alaska, Washington, and Montana. Of course, starting your own security guard company is incredibly difficult because it requires a lot of law enforcement credentials, permits, liability insurances, etc. But if you just get a basic security guard license, you are now allowed to work for any licensed patrol and security guard agency as a freelancer (as long as your client’s insurance covers you and your personal vehicle with a liability insurance, among other things). They can also hire you as an employee and require you to use your own vehicle (while normally paying for your mileage expense).

Duties

- Patrol logging/mining sites and oil and gas sites.

- Track and report suspicious activity.

- Lock and manage gates.

- Control IDs.

- Inspect trucks and other vehicles crossing your designated areas.

- Welcome visitors/job seekers and escort them.

- Flag safety hazards.

- A large territory to patrol (drive at least 50 miles every day).

- Not a job for sissies : you mostly work alone and often patrol at night.

Oil Pump Jack Night Surveillance Alberta Canada

Why this job is so cool

- The certification-training courses are really interesting, and wherever you live in Canada or the USA, you can get several recognized certifications and licenses in less than four weeks through a mix of online training and in-class courses (subjects include PCST/CSTS, WHMIS, Emergency Level First Aid, Incident Response, Observation & Patrol, Safety on Mining Access Roads, and Petroleum Safety Training). Check what’s available in the province/state where you plan to work.

- A high school education (or equivalent) is sufficient.

- You may get access to forbidden locations (including ghost towns).

- Under certain circumstances, your Jeep can now be equipped with a rotating amber light and/or emergency flashing lights. Because you are on private property, and depending on the state/province regulations where you work, you can generally use those emergency lights on backroads and trails too.

- You contribute to protect companies' assets (and jobs).

- You act as a valuable and respected helper in case of an emergency on the site.

- Nice uniforms : companies are proud to make their security guards look good.

- You can carry a firearm at all times without being a certified “armed security guard.” Technically speaking, if you have a basic firearm license, you can carry any non-restricted loaded firearm (like a 12-gauge Remington pump shotgun) for personal wilderness protection. Having a shotgun overhead should get you some extra respect when you bring some wanderers to a halt on the company’s premises (just my humble opinion).

- You can carry a handgun at all times without being a certified armed security guard. Yes, it’s also possible to openly carry a handgun (like a .44 or .454 Magnum) when you work in the bush for, once again, personal wilderness protection. You can file an application, and if the authorities consider that your arguments are good enough (you work in an area infested with grizzlies, for instance), you might get a license.

- There is on-premise lodging. I’ve never seen a security guard having to sleep in his vehicle or a tent.

- Receive good income and plenty of other opportunities when you have accumulated some credentials.

Mining Camp Security Guard Nightshift Yukon Canada

Strategies for getting hired

- Provide your own vehicle for the job. Make your future employer save money by just asking a standard rate or flat allowance for gas and mileage.

- Don’t get only a basic security guard license but add some other certifications to your resume before applying for your first job.

- Spend some days/weeks wandering in the area before you apply for a job and try to make contact with security guards. Most are really nice guys always willing to chat. Ask them the names of security agencies operating in the area.

- During the job interview, talk about landmarks, name roads and trails by their names, and show that you know a bit about the local challenges.

- Dress, look, and speak like a security guard.

- Agree to any criminal record check and drug screening. You can also pay and bring those official documents prior to your interview.

- Show up directly atsecurity agency offices and fill out a job application on-site. If there’s a position available, wait around and sleep in the area. Keep showing up. Show them you really want to be hired.

- Ask for unpaid training with another security guard on duty to get extremely valuable experience.

- Accept any occasional shift. You need to get experience. Even an eight-hour shift looks better on your resume than nothing.

- Live frugally and stay patient (and positive) until you get your first real opportunity. Once you have accumulated some credentials, you won't believe how easy it's gonna be to find work anywhere you want.

Closing the Security Gate at Logging Site Camp

2. Wildfire Detection Aide

Lookout Tower - Mountain Summits - Dense Forests

Alaska Fire Lookout Tower

$20 - $30/Hour I Vehicle Allowance I Flexible Schedule I Seasonal Income I Rough Trails

Believe it or not, there are currently way over 1,000 lookout towers in operation throughout Canada and the US. In Alberta alone, there are officially 128 active lookout towers and probably twice that number in Alaska. The job of an observer is to spot forest fires from a high vantage point. They literally live in their tower for several weeks in a row (even months).

That detection system may look archaic, but it still works very well. However, it’s expensive to operate. In order to save money, governments tend to subcontract several services related to those lookout towers (like the maintenance). One of those services relates to delivering supplies to every unit. Because those lookout towers are generally located in remotes areas hardly accessible by motor vehicle, few companies bid for that kind of contract. And when they do, they ask a lot of money. That’s exactly why you should give it a try.

Duties

- Deliver groceries and other supplies to lookout observers on duty.

- Deliver supplies to wildfire crews.

- Perform extra patrols and report to the observer or area supervisor.

- Drive hundreds of miles on a network of bad roads every week.

- Study the maps, make your own decisions, and find your way.

- Expect to spend the night outdoor frequently.

- Use an airband handheld radio transceiver to communicate (aeronautical)

Wildfire Lookout Tower Alaska Forest

Why this job is so cool

- You now drive your Jeep off-road on purpose (and still have fun)

- Getting a Restricted Operator Certificate- Aeronautical (ROC-A;Canada) or aRestricted Radio Telephone Operators License (USA) allows you to use an airband transceiver to talk not only with your client and the observers but also with pilots (aerial firefighters). It takes about a week of work to get that license.

- Highly flexible delivery schedule. The client knows the obstacles you face while driving the territory. You move at your own pace, step by step.

- It’s an excellent way to get recognized experience if you dream to become a wildfire firefighter. During that contract, you get familiarized with concepts like chainsaw operation, fireline coms, incident command system, wildfire entrapments, etc.

- Lose weight and get fit (guaranteed!). You’ll get stuck often and will constantly have to move logs and obstacles away from the path. You will probably end the season in the best shape of your life.

Driving a Jeep for Wildfire Detection in Canada and USA

Strategies for getting hired

- Prior to your application, try to complete any recognized course related to the fields of wildlife management, natural resources, forestry (including tree cutting and falling). This knowledge and basic experience are highly regarded.

- Get your airband radio operator license before your application. It can be done in a week, and it’s a valuable asset for many other contract opportunities in the wilderness.

- Provide your own 4x4 vehicle and ask for a reasonable vehicle allowance.

- Obtain a vehicle inspection report froman government-certified auto repair shop. Make your client know that you own a quality off-road vehicle. It will not go unnoticed.

- Get the following online degrees: WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems in Canada (HazMat in the US), TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods in Canada, (IATA in the US) and FPA (Fall Protection Awareness). It’s gonna take you less than five hours to complete these three courses (and the total fee is less than $200).

- In addition to the always required Standard First Aid with CPR Level C certification, you should consider getting the Red Cross Advanced Wilderness & Remote First Aid (Wilderness First Aid Field Services, WFA-FS, in the US). The duration of that course is about 40 hours, but it’s affordable ($200 to $400, depending on your location).

Note: If you bring all this to the table, expect the client to offer you extra duties (and more money).

3. Merchandise Transportation for Placer Gold Miners

Small and Medium Gold Mining Operations I Delivery and Tow Service for Supplies, Parts, and Small Machinery

Small Gold Mining Operation Klondike Yukon

Get a taste of the gold fever!

Small gold-claim owners are extraordinarily hard workers for whom leaving the claim means they stop making money. If you wander in Alaska (Fairbanks), Oregon (Klamath Mountains, Blue Mountains), Montana (Madison), Yukon (Klondike), and British Columbia (Sooke, Cariboo), you will encounter thousands of very small or medium-sized operations. Some are dreamers, but most are professional gold miners who know what they are doing and succeed in making a living, especially in these days where the gold price is high. There is a constant need for external help when it comes to towing or transporting stuff to supply prospector campsites.

Transport Gold Claim Equipment with a Jeep Wrangler

Duties

- Tow gold-claim machinery (under 1,000 lbs) on the trail: sluice boxes, highbankers, water pumps, trommels, etc.

- Transport small tools and machinery parts.

- Deal with mechanical repair and welding shops.

- Supply gold claims with groceries, etc.

- Run personal errands for gold miners.

- Act as a liaison between the gold-claim owners in the district and beyond

Gold Panning Equipment Placer Gold Claim Yukon Klondike

Why this job is so cool

- You build genuine friendships.

- Many gold-claim owners already have an account at the closest grocery store, gas station, hardware store, etc. The merchant charges the client’s credit card or withdraws money from the client’s account. Then, you only have to show up with the list and pick up the order.

- A Jeep Wrangler JK/Rubicon/JL is very strong when it comes to towing something. Technically speaking, the maximum safe and recommended tow capacity is only 2,000 lbs for a 2-door JK/Rubicon/JL (because of the shorter wheelbase compared to a pickup truck), and no expert will ever recommend you tow more than 1,000 lbs when driving off-road. But a Jeep can easily move 5,000 lbs (even with a stock gear ratio). That makes your Wrangler or Rubicon an impressive vehicle when it comes to getting unstruck in extreme terrain without necessarily having to disconnect the trailer or the machinery you are towing every time. Keep your load under 1,000 lbs, and you’ll do just fine in the bush.

Hauling Water Pump with Jeep Wrangler Gold Claim Klondike

Strategies for getting hired

- Make the rounds at the gold claims in the area where you want to live/work and introduce yourself.

- While trying to build a clientele, start by taking orders and paying upfront. Charge a reasonable markup (20%) when you deliver it to your new client. Build their trust.

- Carry a sales order form book + receipts. Act as a professional.

- Accept gold as a payment.

- Do your best to provide rush and same-day deliveries.

- Set your CB radio to channel 4 and camp on high ground to extend your signal and reception. In the off-road community, many 4x4 clubs use channel 4 (while others use 16). Anyway, make everyone in your mining district know that they can contact you anytime by using channel 4. You are the lone Jeeper reachable on channel 4. That simple.

*Just a quick note concerning the range of your CB radio (based on my own experience): With a perfectly tuned 4-foot antenna and parked on high ground but surrounded by hills and deep creeks, you can expect a range of 3 miles. If you are dominating a wooded valley, the range easily increases to 5 miles. The most important thing is to park your Jeep at the highest-possible altitude.

Gold Mining Operation Klondike Dawson City Yukon

4. Assistant Hunting Guide

Outfitting Concessions

Assistant Hunting Guide with a Jeep Wrangler

 

Just drive, patrol, and assist.

Working as a hunting guide is hell of a job, and wherever you live in Canada or the US, it’s really hard to get the license. Years of school and training, extensive hunting experience, and incredibly strong references are required by the authorities (and hunting-outfitter businesses). So, most applicants will never succeed in that field. Ne-ver. But it’s a different scenario if you only want to become an assistant hunting guide (also often called assistant guide outfitter). The requirements vary from one jurisdiction to another, but in most cases the following apply:

1) You only need to have 60 days of structured hunting experience over the last several years.

2) Possess a recognized first aid certification.

3) Pass an exam (multiple-choice questions and true/false answers; it takes about five to eight hours to study the manual, and the fee is something like $300).

4) Get a reference letter from a registered guide-outfitter. If you can get some quality references (from another field of work), provide a 100% clean driving/criminal record, show enthusiasm, and, above all, use your own vehicle, the odds are high that you’re gonna quickly find a registered outfitter willing to help you to become an assistant hunting guide. The fact is that there is a clear shortage of assistants, particularly in Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Alaska. The reason is that those are not well-paid positions, and you will oftenhave to work part-time.

If your goal is to build a self-sustainable off-grid lifestyle, get an income without having to spend months getting a degree or spending money upfront, have plenty of freedom and spare time, and drive your Jeep in nice sceneries, becoming an assistant hunting guide looks like the perfect plan.

Duties

- Escort hunters and make sure they reach their hunting zone in time.

- Choose best routes to reach sites.

- Help hunters to get their vehicle unstuck

- Directly assist hunting guides and fulfill their requests (CB radio / VHF).

- Perform first aid to injured sportsmen.

- Conduct round-the-clock patrols (campsites).

- Prevent legislation violations by hunters.

Driving a Jeep for an Outfitter - Hunting Area Surveillance

Why this job is so cool

- No spotting, no animal stalking. Many hunting outfitters will just pay you to drive your Jeep from one spot to another.

- Drive your own vehicle and get mileage paid + other benefits.

- No spotting, no animal stalking. Many hunting outfitters will just pay you to drive your Jeep from one spot to another.

- There are thousands of outfitters to work for. Move and explore concessions endlessly.

Strategies for getting hired

- Focus your learning on the most popular games (elk, caribou, mountain goat, black bear, grizzly, etc.) in the area you plan to work.

- Successfully complete the Assistant Hunting Guide Exam (or equivalent) before offering your services to any hunting outfitter.

- Pay for your own mileage during your probation.

- Download and familiarize yourself with the Hunting Map Apps used by your potential clients.

- Make sure your Jeep is in pristine condition.

5. Windshield Repair

Freelance Glass Technician

Chipped Windshield Repair on the Trail

 

An easy job when you become good at it.

Whitehorse is a small city in the Yukon (population: 25 000), but you can find over ten specialized auto glass repair/replacement shops + numerous auto repair establishments offering that service. It’s quite a thriving industry. The fact is that driving in the wilderness is a nightmare for windshields. I personally had my windshield chipped three times the same day while driving on a gravel road under construction near Fort Simpson (Northwest Territories).

However, I’ve never seen a car glass repair technician trying to sell his services in the bush. If you wander a bit around gold claims, mining sites, logging campsites, hunting outfitters, and remote campings, you’ll see that many vehicles have at least one chip or a crack somewhere on their windshield. If it gets worse, they will have to go to the closest city, order a brand-new windshield, and wait for it (might take weeks). It’s in remote workers’ best interest to have their windshield repaired on site if they can. Driving with a chipped or cracked windshield is dangerous because it compromises the structure of the vehicle, decreases your safety in case of an accident, and obstructs your line of vision. It also exposes you to be ticketed (fines vary from one state/province to another from $50 to $200).

Chipped Windshield Jeep Wrangler

Duties

- Carry a Professional Windshield Repair Kit.

- Wash surfaces thoroughly and remove residues.

- Perform windshield and glass repair in the wilderness.

- Choose the appropriate intervention for bull’s-eye cracks, star-shaped chips, cracks, and scratches.

- Get the best result while working outdoors and in various weather conditions.

Why this job is so cool

- There is no real competition in the bush.

- A complete professional kit (including a 12V dryer) fits in a small case and can perform hundreds of repairs.

- Low initial investment : $500 to $700.

- You do a 500% better job than any cheap windshield repair kit sold for $25.

- Repair your own windshield when needed.

- You could make very good deals if you start trading. In aboriginal reserves and other remote communities, it’s easy to trade that kind of service for gas, ammo, fresh food (incredible fresh salmon, for example), and other supplies. Don’t just think about money all the time. Money doesn’t buy everything in the wilderness.

Strategies for getting hired

- Find some auto recycler and ask the manager to try to repair some damaged windshields. Perform at least 10 glass repairs.

- Stick around mining operations, logging camps, outfitters, etc. In Yukon, we call it the broken windshield club.

- Rest areas along scenic drives are also promising spots. Talk with tourists or truck drivers.

6. Firewood Bundles

Pick up wood available for free on Crown Lands and State Lands

Pile of Cut Trees on Crown Lands Vancouver Island Canada

On crown land (British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories) and state land (Alaska, Montana, and numerous other US states), people are allowed topick up and transport firewood for free. For various reasons (insect infestation, transportation issues, lack of staff, wood species preferences, etc.), logging companies happen to waste and leave a huge amount of wood behind. It’s easy to find not only top-quality hardwood species like red oak and red alder but also dense birch, white spruce, and black spruce. However, most accesses are abandoned and no longer maintained. Only capable 4x4 vehicles and determined off-roaders can venture in those very rich zones and retrieve the precious firewood. You can quickly assemble bundles and transport up to eight mesh firewood bags (sold for $20 or $25 each) with just a small 4x5 all-terrain cargo trailer. Quality firewood is incredibly easy to sell in the wilderness (tourists with RVs, gold-claim owners, hunters, etc.).

Technically speaking, and to my knowledge, retrieving firewood for business purposes is illegal, and you could be fined (or even arrested) for that. But if it remains an occasional occupation that you rely on to get extra money, you’ll probably never be bothered by the natural resource officers or conservation officers. Especially when you are only towing a small trailer. You also have to be aware where you are picking up wood because if you ever do it on private land or First Nations reserves, you might be arrested (or at least face legitimate anger).

Easy extra income I Unlimited (free) resource

Before you start, you certainly need:

1) A small and robust off-road trailer (www.tentrax.com is a good choice, but there are several other manufacturers like Manley ORV)

Tentrax Off-Road Trailer for Jeep Wrangler

Off-Road Trailer from Tentrax (source: www.tentrax.com)

2) Gloves and protective glasses.

3) A light and affordable chainsaw with its case (I recommend the short 16-inch and only 10.3-pound Husqvarna 240 sold for about $250 because it’s light, is easy to adjust/operate, and makes clean cuts).

Ultralight Chainsaw Husqvarna 240

4) A sharp splitting axe (the Husqvarna S2800 is under $100, light, and very effective for that kind of jobs)

Splitting Axe Husqvarna S2800

5) Firewood mesh bags (sold for about $75 for a pack of 100 = $0.75/bag)

Firewood Mesh Bags

6) Apply for a Personal Firewood Cutting Permit (generally $0).

Duties

- Find a way to access rich firewood zones.

- Cut and split logs and wood chunks.

- Wrap firewood bundles in mesh bags.

- Get a firewood cutting permit in your district (free).

 

Why this job is so cool


- Get extra cash when you need it the most.

- Fast: cutting five to eight firewood bundles will take you no more than an hour. It’s not like cutting whole cords of wood (8 ft x 4 ft x 4ft).

- Provide yourself with top quality firewood to burn.

- Extra recovery gear: a chainsaw is also a valuable item added to your recovery gear kit. It extends you capacities when stuck on the trail.

- Easy to sell or trade your chainsaw in the bush.

Strategies for selling your firewood

- Package the firewood in cool and eye-catching mesh bags. You can buy hundreds of those on Amazon.

- Ask a reasonable price for each bundle ($20).

- Target travellers and hikers camping in the bush.

Campfire Jeep Wrangler Vancouver Island BC Canada

7. Transport Farm Produce

Off-Grid Homesteads

Alaska Off-Grid Homestead

Thousands of off-grid homesteads are scattered in Alaska, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, and Oregon. Probably over 75% of those off-gridders rely on food products as their main stream of income. They sell their products on farmers’ markets or to food distributors. Many of those products are luxury stuff like honey, mushrooms, jams, etc. with a high profit margin. But those producers have to transport their products on a network of roads and trails in poor condition. It takes time and money. Acting as a delivery person for small quantities is an easy way to make a living by just driving your Jeep. You won’t get rich by transporting jams, honey, and fancy vegetables, but it will allow you to have a job and fun on the trail.

Duties


- Transport small quantities of produce homegrown by off-grid homesteads

- Deliver boxes to national distributors and food markets

- Respect a delivery schedule

- Drive your Jeep for long off-road distances

- Responsible for not damaging produce

Mushrooms Crate to Transport in a Jeep

 

Why this job is so cool


- No special requirements : just drive and deliver small quantities.

- You have to be creative to move fast and safely on vast territories.

- Face off-road situations and obstacles. Lots of adventures.

- Make around $300 (minus $100 for mileage expenses) for every $1,000 worth of deliveries (charge 30% for every delivery).

Bee Hives Honey Boxes to Transport from Homestead Yukon Canada

Strategies for getting hired

- Identify your Jeep with an appropriate sign and the name of your business (for example: Yukon Off-Grid Farm Produce Delivery).

- Tow a quality all-terrain trailer (with a cover).

- Pad your cargo trailer with foams and keep the interior super clean.

- Offer the first delivery free of charge—build trust.

- Keep your delivery fee low (and your profit margin high) by sleeping in the wilderness.

- Ask your client to write a cheque to your name instead of paying you with cash.

*Note: Homestead owners are paid by cheque by distributors. Off-gridders are not as reclusive as you might imagine. Most have a bank account, credit cards, and, above all, satellite phone/Internet access. They use cell phone apps to make their cheque deposits, and you should do the same. Banks like CIBC, Royal Bank, National Bank, US Bank, HSBC, CitiBank, and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (among others) offer thosephone app features.

 



 

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