33 Prepper Side Hustles for Long-term Survival

Prepper side hustles are a great launching pad for preppers who want to work from home. Working from home is the best option for any prepper… unless you win the lottery and do not have to work at all!

Some folks are fortunate enough to be able to transfer from a traditional job to a full time work from home scenario. But for others, starting a side hustle that builds into a full time income, has to come first first.

woman riding a horse among other livestock

A prepper side hustle does not have to be part of a full time work from home plan, it can also simply be an added revenue stream to help the family become far more self reliant and disaster prepared.

Where you live will dictate the demand for specific types of prepper side hustles that either exist or are allowed.

Sure, any online work from home job could be considered a side hustle that a prepper could do to earn some extra cash or full time income, but a real prepper side hustle is going to somehow incorporate or enhance at least one type of self reliance skill or trade.

Earning extra income while furthering your skill set in a traditional trade, specialty trade, or 1800s era style career will help you not only become better prepared but also help establish yourself as an expert in a field that will still be necessary during or after a long-term disaster.

blacksmith shop

Blacksmith

Even in the 21st century blacksmiths still exist, and these skilled tradesmen and women make a good living creating both useful as well as decorative items.

Selling cookware and interior and exterior home decor items can be a superb prepper side hustle and one that can be churned into a full time career over time.

How To Start Blacksmithing for $100

During and after a SHTF event, blacksmiths will once again be in high demand. Horses will return to a place of superiority in the transportation realm in many post-disaster scenarios … and they will need shoes.

Simple yet durable tools, hinges, and cookware will be needed and folks will no longer be able to hop online and order them from Amazon or drive to a big box store and purchase them.

Gunsmith

A gunsmith has been a valuable part of our society for over a century – at least. Any prepper guy or gal who can repair a firearm should be able to create a successful prepper side hustle regardless of their geographic area.

During and after a disaster a gunsmith – just like a blacksmith, should see a vast decrease in demand for services.

In most if not all states, there is no particular license needed to become a gunsmith, but check with all local laws before investing either time or money into this type of a prepper side hustle.

apothecary cabinet
My apothecary cabinet

Apothecary Operator

Becoming an herbalist and opening an at-home apothecary that can sell locally and also online could be quite a lucrative prepper side hustle. Herbalists are typically not doctors or any type of medical professionals, meaning there is no requirement for years of higher education to become one.

While the rules may vary by state, there is not usually any type of licensure associated with becoming an herbalist, as long as the individual doesn’t offer medical advice, or claim any of the herbal products sold are a treatment or attempt to diagnose any condition.

Herbalists often make and sell salves, ointments, dried herbs, herbal infusions, tinctures, soaps, and natural beauty products.

During and after a SHTF event when modern health care and medications are no longer available, a self-reliant apothecary operator may likely be the person survivors turn to to barter for old-fashioned natural remedies.

Logger – Firewood Hauler

Loggers are firewood haulers (or sawyers) who can cut, split, and haul firewood for folks in their region for extra money.

Although the price for a pickup truck load of cut firewood varies sometimes greatly by location, in rural regions it is not uncommon for a load of firewood to sell for about $100 to $150 per haul.

When deciding to start this type of prepper side hustle, remember that while the demand for firewood is seasonal, it is a year round chore to cut down the trees, allow the wood to dry, split it, and then stack or haul it.

It would be wise to also learn how to safely cut down a tree and to split wood without the use of modern tools so that this side hustle can carry on and even expand both during and after a SHTF scenario.

Gardener

Growing your own fruits, vegetables, herbs, roots, and wild medicinal plants provides a nutritional service to your local community.

Fresh and naturally grown produce is always in high demand. In addition to selling the harvested plants on-site from a produce stand, you could also market the produce at area groceries and sell at a farmer’s market.

A home gardener can also sell seed packets, plant starts, and in many states, home canned goods.

During and long-term disaster, being able to provide not only seeds or starter plants but gardening knowledge to neighbors who survive the event will help keep them and their loved ones from starving while providing your own family with a sustainable barter or cash (if it is still worth anything) income.

man on a tractor

Farmer – Rancher

As with gardening, folks who raise or grow their own food can create a viable prepper side hustle both now before the world goes pear shaped, and after disaster strikes.

In addition to being able to sell meat producing animals to customers for butchering, a farmer or rancher could also sell eggs, wool, and mohair directly to customers.

Even if you only have a backyard or only 10 acres or less of land, you can still do small scale farming. It takes up very little place to become a chicken keeper, duck keeper, or even to keep miniature goat breeds.

The benefits of operating a farm or ranch prepper side hustle during and after a long-term disaster are obvious.

But, there can also be drawbacks from a security perspective to folks in your region knowing you produce your own food that must be considered before launching an agriculture venture like this one.

butcher shop
This is the butcher’s shop I’ve set up on my homestead.

Butcher

Although you will have to jump through some government hoops to set up a commercial butcher shop, the money that can be made home butchering in or near a rural community can turn this side hustle into a full time business in a relatively short amount of time.

Butchering livestock and wild game during the various hunting seasons can keep this survival side hustler gig busy year-round.

Learning how to butcher the old-fashioned way without the use of electricity and modern powered equipment will position you to be able to continue offering an essential service during and most especially after, a long-term disaster.

Hogs are heavy animals, investing in a tractor to lift them for hanging during the butchering process is highly recommended. Choose a simple to repair old tractor, and stockpile extra parts for potential necessary repairs as a part of the prepper side hustle plan.

Auto Mechanic

Opening up a home garage to further a love of mechanics can turn a hobby into a viable prepper side hustle. Not only could you work on gas cars and gas-powered pickup trucks, but also on diesel pickup and large trucks, as well as tractors and other farm equipment.

Being the go to guy (or gal) to fix a vehicle or equipment problem will help bring extra money into the family and again, enhance and increase a vital trade skill for whatever the future brings.

Amish farrier shoeing a horse

Farrier

Being able to take care of a horse’s shoeing needs as well as general livestock hoof trimming needs is a wonderful way to turn a love of horses into an on-site or traveling business.

Combining a farrier service with blacksmith skills would further create money making opportunities for an industrious prepper.

In a power grid down scenario or a similar situation that would cause modern transportation to be impossible or problematic, knowing how to shoe horses would make the skilled prepper farrier a high demand tradesperson.

HAM Radio Operator – Trainer

Knowledge is power – and so is the sharing of information. Becoming a HAM radio operator and trainer – and also a device dealer, can become a profitable prepper side hustle.

Being able to share and relay information about what is going on in the outside world, and help folks in your community reach loved ones could become a vital bartering business.

Becoming a HAM radio operator and trainer will require taking about six to 10 hours of training and passing a licensure test.

Seamstress

Turning a passion for creating clothing, fabric accessories, and making sewing patterns into a prepper side hustle will allow you to earn a solid income doing what you love in either your spare time or on a full-time basis.

An affordable home embroidery or embroidery and sewing machine will allow you the ability to pick up super cheap items, like pot holders, and sell them for a much higher price. Making personalized pot holders and ones with mascots on them for local schools can provide a handsome revenue stream year-round.

A seamstress can make custom orders on demand, online, sell creations at local shops, events, flea markets, or from a home-based studio. During a long-term disaster people will need clothes repaired, taken in, as well as attire made for growing children and new babies.

Disclosure: This post has links to 3rd party websites, so I may get a commission if you buy through those links. See my full disclosure for more.

Investing in an embroidery machine, sublimation printer and heat press, and even a quilting machine will increase the customization, creativity, and product options that you can offer customers.

An embroidery machine or a sewing and embroidery combo machine will allow you the ability to embroider directly onto garments and quilts you make, to create uniforms and insignias on any fabric, as well as make hair bows.

To make this prepper side hustle ready for a long-term disaster that may not offer electrical power you should practice hand sewing skills in various stitches and also find an old-fashioned treadle foot powered sewing machine.

Stockpiling patterns and learning how to measure, trace, and make your own patterns in various sizes is also highly recommended.

Solar Panels Dealer

Becoming a dealer for solar power panels is but one way that you can make money adding more off grid power options in your community.

Learning how to repair solar panels, set up solar systems to power a customer’s needs would increase your money making opportunities.

Greenhouse Operator

Opening a home greenhouse is a dream for many a home gardener. A prepper with their own greenhouse can cultivate seeds and plants nearly year-round – or even throughout the entire year in some geographic locations.

In addition to being able to grow and preserve more of your family’s food, you can grow vegetables, fruit plants, herbs, and roots to sell on-site and at markets in your area. By drying the herbs you can also sell them online as another type of revenue stream.

Greenhouse operators can also offer on-site general gardening classes, seed starting and storing classes, as well as workshops on harvest preservation such as water bath and pressure canning, dehydrating, and even pickling produce grown from plants started in the greenhouse.

Carpenter

Woodworking is a skilled craft that is always in demand. Being up to cut boards for construction, make cabinets and furniture, and be able to build porches and do repairs is a side hustle that should keep a prepper busy all year long.

In the wonderful rural region where I live, you can build and repair your own home or any other project sans any government intrusion or licensure – but such rules can vary greatly by locality. Yet, cabinet as well as indoor and outdoor furniture building will not cause you to get any type of license or bonding anywhere in the United States.

If you are seeking a prepper side hustle that will also set you up with a solid and growing type of business that will serve the family well during and after a SHTF long-term disaster.

Leathercrafter

While leather crafting is often viewed solely as a handicraft hobby, these pioneering skills can earn a talented leathercrafter a lot of money. Leathercrafters typically make jewelry, saddles, bags, knife sheaths, various bag straps, etc.

Learning how to adorn the leather crafts made using punches, conchos, and the like can substantially increase the money charged for original creations sold both locally and online.

In a long-term survival situation, a leathercrafter can help repair and make saddles, shoes and boots, and bags to carry necessary items.

Livestock Breeder

Starting a livestock breeding operation will not only increase the amount of meat raised on your prepper homestead, but also allow you to funnel more money into your preps by selling to the public and 4-H club members.

In addition or instead of raising animals that are kept for their meat, milk, or eggs, you can also breed livestock that are used for transportation or hauling like horses, mules, and donkeys – or even livestock guardian dogs to help keep the herds of farmers and ranchers safe.

While the more land you have the larger and most economical type of breeding operation can be created, you can still breed animals in only a backyard or small acreage, too. Miniature donkeys (great for guarding goat and sheep herds) and miniature goats are an excellent option for small acreage preppers.

Rabbits, ducks, and chickens are viable options for backyard preppers seeking a side hustle that will serve them well both now and during or after a disaster.

Beekeeper

A beekeeper has multiple options to make money doing this type of survival side hustle. While cultivating bees to sell the honey and wax is the most common way to make money from beekeeping, there are also several other ways to make keeping these powerful little pollinators highly lucrative.

Beekeepers can rent out their hives to farmers and gardeners to help them naturally pollinate their crops so they can produce a more potent yield.

A beekeeper can also “breed” bees to sell to customers both locally and via an online mail order type system. Selling queen bees singularly to customers is one way to make money from the bees busy working in your hives.

You can also sell worker and drone bees either by the pound, or in a “nuc” – an established working colony. Selling nucs is typically far more profitable than selling bees by the pound, especially once you have developed a reputation for producing quality bees.

Beekeepers can continue on selling or bartering their skills during a long-term disaster without little to no interruption. Honey has historically been used to not only preserve food, but also to help prevent infections in wounds while fostering enhanced healing.

Honey will likely once again become an extremely valuable commodity when modern medicine and refrigeration are no longer available.

Potter

Creating unique and custom pottery decor as well as functional homesteading cookware and bakeware is a prepper hustle that requires a decent amount of workspace but not a lot of expensive equipment.

10 Steps to becoming a POTTER!

Investing in a manual pottery wheel (which is surprisingly often more expensive than electrical models) will allow you to gain the skills and techniques necessary to work off grid by choice on your prepper retreat or without electricity.

potter's wheel
a traditional pottery wheel

Take the time to learn how to both harvest and process your own natural clay, and build an off-the-grid kiln so you can work entirely independently to make food containers for storage as well as durable cookware.

Basket Weaver

Weaving baskets requires patience and skill but not expensive equipment whatsoever. Selling baskets both locally and online for decorative purposes is a wonderful way to turn a hobby into a successful side hustle.

coil basket

During a long-term disaster, baskets will be used for far more than making a shelf look pretty. They will once again be used to tote produce, fish, eggs, and a host of other daily necessary tasks around a society that has become agrarian once again by necessity.

Cooper

It would probably surprise a lot of folks to realize that being a cooper is still not just a job, but a good paying job in our modern society. A cooper makes barrels that are used for preserving, storing, and transporting food, liquor, and goods.

As you may have guessed, most of the folks earning a cooper’s paycheck today are making the barrels that delicious whiskeys like Jack Daniels are aged in.

Learning how to make wood barrels and buckets to sell them for decorative or useful purposes will help set you up in an in-demand new career that is extensive and runs long-term, creating a time once again when barrels instead of plastic or cardboard are needed to store and transport goods.

Tinker

No one likely lists their job occupation on a form as a tinker. Unfortunately, far too many folks simply pitch an object when it needs repair instead of fixing it.

Part of the problem is that we live in an often wasteful society, but a lot of the issue with things being tossed unnecessarily into the trash bin is that people do not know where to go to simply get something repaired.

No one wants to throw away a treasured family keepsake, be it a tool or a piece of jewelry. A quality tin item be it utensils, cookware, or the making of a simple part to replace a broken one for mechanics remains to this day a needed and valuable skill.

You will not get rich being a tinker, but you can earn a nice side income now and be wonderfully positioned to be in even higher demand during and after a SHTF situation.

Rope Maker

Making rope is both an art and a skill. Selling custom diameter, length, and even color rope to individuals, teams, and businesses both locally and online is a low-key and off grid way to launch a prepper side hustle.

Setting up a booth at bushcraft and survival events to sell pre-made rope and to take custom orders would be a fun opportunity to both make money and to mingle with more like-minded self-reliant folks.

Martial Arts Instructor

Sharing your martial arts skills with both youth and adults requires nothing more than some indoor space and matts.

There is no need to open up a large studio to teach individual or small group martial arts sessions. You can improve and expand on your own martial arts skills while earning a nice side hustle income from practicing and teaching others.

Firearms Instructor

Teaching neighbors and community members how to defend themselves and their property will not only be a good prepper side hustle but also help the area around where you live better prepared to stave off bad guys and gals during a disaster scenario.

In most states you do not need a license to teach others how to shoot, but check all local laws before embarking on this side-hustle.

Hunting Instructor – Guide

Turn your knowledge of local terrain and hunting lands into a potentially deep well of side hustle cash.

You do not need any equipment or even extra space to set up a hunting instructor gig, but you will need to spend time and even a little bit of money marketing your service online and local community bulletin boards to get your name out there, and let people know you are ready to provide a service.

Angler Instructor – Guide

Teaching others where the fish are biting, teaching them how to fish, or offering guided boat tours is another fun way to make extra money on a prepper side hustle.

If you live on the water, consider starting a canoe or kayak livery and investing in boats that can be rented to increase the revenue stream from a fishing guide side hustle.

Opening a little garage or shed style shop to provide anglers and boaters with their needs, and maybe even cool T-shirts and food are yet more ways to turn a love of fishing into a side hustle, or even an eventual full-time job.

Tutor – Homeschooling

The number of homeschooling students in the United States is going nowhere but up. Not only are more and more prepper parents opting for teaching their children at home, but mainstream families disgusted with the opening and closing of school doors and masking mandates are also skipping out on the brick and mortar academic experience.

Offering your services as an at home tudor in one or many subjects will help increase the family’s bottom line. Teaching specific skills like gardening, engineering, mechanics, baking, etc.

You could also start a homeschool co-op and provide space and hands-on activities for a fee on a weekly or monthly basis. If you are homeschooling already, all the contacts you need to launch a homeschool co-op or tutoring business are likely already in your hands.

During and most likely after a long term disaster, you can continue to barter your teaching skills with nearby families to provide basic and vocational education to the children to help them become more self-reliant and literate in at least basic reading and math.

Brick Maker

Brick making factories are near extinction in the United States, yet folks still need to build with them and love the rustic decorative look of brick. Space, time, and a modest to moderate investment will be needed to set up a “backyard brick plant.

Being able to create a brick, and to properly lay the brick will further increase the earning potential of this side hustle. Bricks will become an even more popular building material after a long-term power grid down disaster, making this a pre and post-SHTF win.

Knitting and – or Crochet Artist

A passion for knitting or crochet (or both) can be turned into a fulfilling and profitable side hustle. You can make custom and original designs when creating garments, blankets, afghans, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, wall hangings, and more to sell locally and online.

Teaching others how to knit and even selling knitting supplies can bolster your prepper side hustle money making endeavor.

During and after a disaster, folks won’t care less about the look of cold weather outerwear, but the protection it provides from the elements. Selling or bartering knitted and crocheted items with folks in your area will help you keep your cabinets stocked.

Fiber Spinner

You do not have to be a Disney princess or possess an expensive spinning wheel to spin wool sheared from your sheep, mohair from your goats, or lapin from your rabbits into yarn that can be used to make any of the above outerwear gear, decorative items, or toys.

woman showcasing a spinning wheel

A small foot pedal spinning wheel or a manual hand spinner like the one in the photo above can be purchased nominally, and help get your prepper side hustle rolling.

Churning raw livestock fiber into yarn will be a valuable skill to have after a SHTF event that has long-term consequences.

Candle Maker

Candle making would make a superb husband and wife combo prepper side hustle. The wax from the beehives can be used to make rustically beautiful and long burning candles. The candles can be primitive and lovely or as ornate as the maker or customer wishes.

Candles can often easily be sold locally at community events, markets, and on commission in specialty shops in addition to being marketed online. You do not have to be tech savvy and launch your own website, you could simply open a virtual storefront on a makers site like ETSY.

Soap Maker

A bit of kitchen space and a semi-outdoor work space to work with lye are about all that is needed to launch a soap making business. If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, you are already well situated to collect wood ash and make a free supply of lye for soap making.

Making herbal and decorative soaps as well as all natural ingredient soaps are hot sellers – especially when well marketed with a quaint backstory and photos relating to the makers.

While homemade soap customs are currently looking for a bar created with only ingredients they can pronounce or with healing herbs right now, during and after an emergency, any bar of soap you make for sell or barter will be welcome by dirty, stinky survivors who only wish to get clean – or cleanse their wounds.

Flea Market – Trading Post Operator

You can set up a trading post or flea market on a pole barn building or even on a small scale in your garage. Selling new and used items in a rented booth at established flea markets or community events is a great and often very fun way to make extra cash.

Purchasing pallets of goods by wholesalers or at pallet auctions is often an affordable way to score deals cheap enough to create a profit at secondary market resale.

Launching a prepper side hustle running what might seem like a permanent or portable yard sale would set a self-reliant person up nicely to start a trading post for goods and services post-collapse.

These 33 prepper side hustle ideas have a little something for everyone, regardless of where you live or your self-reliant skill level.

One of the best parts associated with making the important decision to start a survival side gig is not the money (although that can be really great) but the increase in disaster readiness and vital skill level you can also achieve.

prepper side hustle Pinterest image

4 thoughts on “33 Prepper Side Hustles for Long-term Survival”

  1. The rub with a perpetual yard sale is that the local Code Compliance is unlikely to allow it, and has ginormous power to not just assess huge fines, but to jail you for non compliance.
    That being said, my Cousin paid off a 3BR house in three years before the authorities shut him down.
    He gave it up to avoid jail.

  2. I forgot to mention that at least half the things my Cousin sold in his never ending yard sale came from the curb on trash day, including some fairly valuable antiques from the turn of the twentieth century.
    People throw away bicycles with one bent wheel all the time, and cheap, running bikes are always in demand and move quickly.
    You can generally find tarps and poles for outdoor sun protection at your nearest flea market much cheaper than a tent and awning store.
    If you are serious, that should be your first investment, you will regret it if you skip that part.
    All in all, I think the yard sale concept is the most universal.
    Pretty much anyone can do it with no training at all .

  3. Once again Miss Tara, you have written an interesting, informative, and I believe, needed article. Thank you.
    With a brother’s love,
    CB
    Matthew 24
    1st Timothy 5:8

  4. My Ex-wife and #1 daughter are both excellent seamstresses and quilt makers. The Ex has an old treadle sewing machine in excellent condition (with spare parts) that she uses periodically to keep her hand (and feet) in with the machine. Normally she has several electric sewing machines (including industrials), computerized embroidery machines, and a big quilting machine. #1 daughter has the same, except for a treadle machine and quilt machine, but does heat transfer work. The Ex can also do good hand-sewing work too. She learned her sewing starting as a little girl growing up in communist Cuba where sewing was a necessity to keep your family’s clothing serviceable and for barter with neighbors. In the past, the Ex has done complete bridal ensembles, including the gown and bridesmaids outfits, so she knows what she is doing. #2 daughter isn’t as skilled, but she does know how to sew using an electric machine, doing hemming and other repairs and adjustments. The Ex doesn’t do too much outside work right now, but #1 daughter does. She made a tidy sum when things kicked off and there was a high demand for masks.

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