Workamping various jobs over the past five years has certainly had its ups and downs. Mostly ups though, since we’re picky about the jobs we’ve taken and if we didn’t like a job we could always just leave.
I recently asked members of the Workampers Facebook Group to list their dream workamping jobs, and their nightmares. This got me thinking about the pros and cons of workamping, many of which might be viewed either way, depending on your point of view…
Hard Work or Rewarding Physical Labor?
Many workamping jobs can be quite physically demanding. I know for a fact that hay season ranch work sure is! But even standing on one’s feet all day while working at Amazon during the holidays might be too much for some. Hard work can be very gratifying and physically beneficial. Or, it can be a downright pain.
What was your most challenging workamping job, and was it enjoyable?
The Ethical Dilemma
Say you love your job, but don’t necessarily agree with some of your responsibilities. What do you do if workamping includes duties you’re not all that comfortable performing? Like falling trees or guarding oil field gates?
Last summer, one of my tasks was to trap pack rats who had made themselves at home with guests in the cabins. Fine, we use humane traps. Choosing not to tempt karma, however, I started a rodent relocation program. This only brought a look of disdain from my boss who insisted they just come back and that they should be relocated to the bottom of the pond.
The Financial Reward, Or Not
You get what you pay for, or at least employers do. Workampers get what they work for, and good paid workamping jobs are hard to find. We are fortunate enough to have found a seasonal job we love that actually pays, in addition to our free site. But it isn’t quite enough to make up for our time lost operating our own business endeavors.
New workampers should keep in mind that not all paid jobs will actually have you making money. Many typical RV resort type jobs may pay you for hours work, but then turn around and charge you for your site and/or utilities.
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Work Local, Eat local, Live Local
Workamping offers a great way to explore new locations. Unless the job offers plenty of time off though, you rarely have the time to explore an area at all. And that area may be incredibly isolated. In many cases, one must be willing to be remain culturally or nutritionally stranded at their job or be prepared to move on.
While working at a remote mountain ranch may sound peaceful, workamping for anyone with a vegetarian diet on a ranch can be difficult all summer if an hour from the nearest “big city”.
Politics in the Workplace
You may agree 100% with your co-workers’ political points of view. Then again, you may be 100% on the other side of the fence. This isn’t usually something discovered until after a couple weeks into the job. If your misunderstanding is not so bad that you wand to leave, the best thing may be to grin and bear it.
We actually had a blast hanging out with some hard core republicans last summer. We may not have agreed with each others’ politics, but we did agree to disagree, and to just change the subject if the topic of elections came up.
Pros Or Cons, You Decide
My point with all this, is that you have to decide what you’re willing to put up with for whatever you get out of your workamping job. That’s what life is all about after all; give, and take. What are you willing to give for what you take.
What do you consider the pros or cons of your most (or least) favorite workamping job?
How To Be A Happy Workamper
Here are a few things to consider for making sure you enjoy your next workamping job:
- A clear description of job duties
- An agreement about hours worked and compensation
- Knowledge about the area, and nearby amenities
- The willingness and ability to leave if you don’t like it!
2 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Workamping”
We have worked for the last 2 summers in 2 different parks. Lake Paradise Resort and Jackson County parks. Having the time of our life. We love meeting people and a chance to do what our passion is which is Camping…
Glad to hear it’s working for you and your partner, Richard! What state are these parks located in? And how did you find the jobs? Are you a Workamper member?