5 Budget-Friendly Outdoor Hobbies to Try This Summer

By Debbie Hanson

Jul 06, 2021

List of five outdoor hobbies that are budget-friendly, family-friendly, give you the opportunity to build on your outdoor recreation skills.

Warm weather has arrived, which means you might be looking for some new outdoor hobbies to try this summer. Check out this list of five interesting outdoor hobbies that are budget-friendly and give you the opportunity to spend more time with Mother Nature.


Fishing for panfish, like bluegill or sunfish, in a local pond is a great way to get everyone in the family engaged in affordable outdoor recreation. All you need is an ultra-light rod and reel combo, a container of worms, bobbers, split-shot sinkers, and some size 6 hooks. From there, you can practice baiting your hooks, casting out your lines, and celebrating every catch. If you want to know where to fish and boat near you, just check the places to fish and boat page.

Nature Photography

Nature photography is one of those cool outdoor hobbies that anyone can try. Dragonflies are starting to buzz around ponds, butterflies are fluttering around nearby gardens, and flowers are in full bloom. Buy a reasonably priced macro lens (which is basically a magnifying glass for your iPhone camera) which will allow you to take close-up photos that show incredible detail. You can usually buy a macro lens for around $40 or less, depending on the manufacturer.


If you like the idea of fishing and boating while getting some exercise, you can try casting from a kayak on a calm inland lake or peaceful flowing river. Unless you plan your trip on a license free fishing day during National Fishing and Boating Week, the first step would be to buy your fishing license online (usually less than $20 for a one-day resident license). Next, find a local outfitter or kayak rental company and learn about paddling safety before you get out to try this form of outdoor recreation. Kayak rentals generally run about $30 to $45 for a half day (4 hours).


Stargazing is one of the outdoor hobbies that you and your family can try without any special equipment aside from your eyes to get started. Just grab a blanket or a chair on a beautiful starry night and find a country spot (away from bright city lights) where you can sit comfortably and gaze up at the constellations.


Are you looking for more healthy hobbies to try this summer outdoors? If so, don’t leave hiking off your list. You might be surprised to find out how many amazing hiking trails you can find within just a short drive from your home. Check the parks and recreation websites for your county or city to find trails in your area. Hiking is great form of exercise that doesn’t cost a thing, plus it gives you the opportunity to explore natural settings within your local community.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.