When it comes to hobbies related to wildlife, nature, and animals, there are many to choose from in this niche. The great outdoors is so vast with so much to offer just about anyone is able to find something that fits in with their interests and lifestyle.
Some are expensive, some are cheap, and some are free. You just have to find out what interests you the most. In this post I have come up with a giant list of hobbies for people who enjoy watching, learning about, and being out in nature.
15 hobbies for animal and nature lovers
1. Wildlife Photography
Wildlife photography involves taking photos of animals in their natural habitat in the wild. It requires photography skills and can be pricey to get into with all of the expensive camera equipment. Although not the cheapest hobby for animal lovers, it can be quite addicting and thousands of people do it especially with the introduction of social media platforms like Instagram.
2. Bird watching
A category of wildlife photography, bird watching focuses on just birds. There are thousands of species around the world to capture, so many that you’ll always have new ones to add to your life list. This hobby can also come with the expenses of high quality camera gear like a DSLR, tripods, binoculars, or spotting scopes. You can always start in your backyard making it much cheaper to get started. Which brings us to out next hobby, bird feeding.
3. Bird feeding
If either of the two above this one interest you, I highly suggest starting with bird feeding. You can get started very cheap by simply putting a couple of bird feeders in your yard. There are tons of options and you be watching wildlife in your own backyard soon after you decide to take up this hobby. All you need is a feeder, something to hang it from, and some bird seed. Then you wait and watch!
This hobby may have the lowest cost to get started on this list because all you have to do is walk in the woods. That’s not to say there are a million things you can buy like hiking shoes, hiking poles, hiking backpacks, and on and on. However you can simply drive to your nearest state park and hit a trail for only the cost of gas to drive there.
Camping is another outdoor activity that is very popular. It takes little to no skill to get started but the costs associated with this hobby can get way up there, especially if you go the RV camping route which could costs tens of thousands of dollars. If you just want to try it out I suggest car camping at a state park and just renting or borrowing your tent and other gear. This hobby isn’t for everyone, many prefer to sleep in a comfy bed in their own home at night.
This is a wonderful hobby for any nature lover that can be done right in your own backyard. One popular type of gardening is raised bed gardens where you build a frame out of wood and fill it with rich soil and nutrients. There is little digging with this method and you can better control what you grow. Although it may cost a little more to build this type of garden.
Foraging is the act of searching for food and resources in nature. Wild animals do this constantly and so can we but it requires us to know what is and isn’t safe to gather and ultimately eat.
Although canoes and kayaks are expensive to buy, almost anywhere that you can go canoeing has a local canoe rental business nearby. Do some research for “canoeing near me” and see what you can find. It’s a great activity for friends, couples, or even by yourself.
9. Horseback riding
Horseback riding is one way to get up close and personal with an animal, horses to be exact. While this can be a really cool hobby if you love horses, the barrier to entry can be very expensive. In fact, horseback riding is thought of as one of the most expensive hobbies a person can do.
This is such a cool hobby and another that you can do in your own backyard, assuming you have the space for it. It involves the housing and maintenance of bee colonies, then harvesting their honey. It does require a fair amount of equipment to get started as well as a lot of research and precautions. It’s one hobby your friends are unlikely to have though!
Amateur astronomy involves viewing celestial objects in the sky. I find this hobby to be highly interesting and it’s one that is best done at night making it very unique to others. The entry barrier can range from free by just looking at planets and stars with the unaided eye, to thousands of dollars with high powered telescopes.
12. Butterfly watching
Butterfly watching is a very niche hobby that could go well with gardening. It simply involves watching and learning about butterflies as well as butterfly conservation. Not a highly popular hobby but definitely one that will get you a little closer to nature.
Geocaching is a very new hobby that was invented at the beginning of the century. It involves hiding and finding hidden items through the use of GPS devices. Another name for geocaching is “treasure hunting”.
Composting is a type of waste disposal that can be highly beneficial to the environment, especially gardeners. It involves biodegrading organic waste and is thought of as nature’s way of recycling. Compost is organic matter that is rich in nutrients and makes perfect soil for garden beds.
15. Free range chickens
This involves raising chickens on your property or in your backyard and harvesting the eggs. It can be a lot of trouble and requires a lot of work but the rewards can be quite nice if you stick with it. This can be not only a hobby but a side job as well.