Remote work can open up your life in a lot of ways. You can spend more time with your friends, kids, and loved ones, sleep later, cut the commute, and save on takeout expenses.
But working remotely can also present logistical challenges when it comes to traveling, camping, and backpacking.
Sometimes, remote work needs to come with you on the road. How are you supposed to fit it in between driving, hiking, cooking, and everything else that comes with a good camping trip? And how are you supposed to keep your laptop charged and hop on video calls when you’re in the middle of the woods, far away from any signal or electrical outlets?
Fear not — thousands of people work remotely while camping, traveling, and generally living their best lives every year. If they can figure it out, you can too! With these simple steps, you’ll be up and running (remotely) in no time.
1. Choose the Right Campsite
The most pivotal choice you’ll make on any camping trip is where you choose to set up camp. It could be several places as you backpack across a range of hills, or you could set up your tents, hammock, and workspace near a lake and stay for two weeks.
No matter how you choose to camp, where you choose to do it makes all the difference. Since you’ll be working remotely, you need to bump that factor to the top of your consideration list. Someone in your party might want to camp as far into the woods as possible — if that means you can’t get a data signal, then too bad.
Luckily, mobile data hotspots make it possible to get coverage much further off-grid than even a few years. Just make sure you up your data plan in advance!
Work doesn’t have to come before play, but in this instance, you may need to make some compromises to get the balance just right.
2. Make Sure You Have a Reliable Power Source
The second most important decision is how you’ll power and charge your electronics. Working from home is all about devices and services — smartphones, laptops, and mobile hotspots. Have you thought about how you’re going to charge them all? Surely you won’t be driving into town to get a charge at a coffee shop or library and then driving back.
The solution? Solar generators. These little devices can store power and recharge from various sources—wall outlets, car batteries, and solar panels.
Bringing a portable solar generator with you when camping under the big sky in the spring and summer months is a great idea.
You can generate power by day and at night, use it to power cooking devices, a cooler, a blender for margaritas, and charge up your devices for tomorrow’s shift.
3. Set up a Decent Wi-Fi Hotspot
We tend to take mobile, roaming internet for granted. But according to the United Nations, over a third of the world’s population has never even accessed the internet!
If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, chances are you haven’t stopped to appreciate the genuinely staggering power of mobile internet access. When working while camping, potentially off the grid, you may learn a new appreciation for Wi-Fi, given how hard it can be to secure.
Luckily, technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Wi-Fi hotspots retail for very affordable costs. Also, when using a hotspot, you’ll want to double up on the security and password-protect it to the hilt — Wi-Fi is one of the main ways hackers get into your devices.
4. Arrange Your Work Space
Setting up your workspace will establish the mood that carries you through your remote work shifts. Do it wisely, and be gentle to yourself. If you’re “glamping,” as some call it, think about what you need to make it through each day’s tasks.
You’ll want a steady water supply on hand, so keep a cooler at a short walking distance from your workspace — not close to it! Intentionally setting it at a distance will make you get up and retrieve the water, giving you a chance to stretch and move around.
Also, as with any campsite, it’s best to keep snacks away from where you sleep. Storing food at a distance and in airtight containers reduces the chance that hungry bears will come searching in your sleeping area or workspace.
You’ll also need a comfortable chair, a flat surface for your laptop, and possibly a little fan if it’s hot outside.
5. Set Boundaries
Your supervisor and coworkers need to know your limits. You can do everything imaginable to prepare for working from the road. You can buy a solar generator, secure a data signal, and fully charge all your devices. Things can still go wrong.
Rain can pour down, or the signal can falter. Just let your colleagues and supervisors know that you may need a bit of grace — they’ll understand.
6. Get Sun Protectant for Your Laptop
It’s easy for devices like laptops to overheat. It doesn’t take too much sun exposure to damage the encasing material, the keyboard, and especially the sensitive screen.
If you don’t have a natural source of shade, like a tree, overhang, or the RV/tent itself, you can buy an inexpensive, portable canopy for your laptop.
7. Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Beautiful Outdoors
Finally, you’re camping!
Don’t spend the whole time on the computer!
Enjoy your lunch break away from screens. Spend your mornings with coffee as far away from technology as you can.
Nature time is vital to mental health. Write your downtime off as therapy!
Working remotely while camping is all about preparation—a reliable power source is a big part of that!
These devices are great for more than just remote working while traveling and camping.
Bring them to your next picnic, and count on them the next time the power goes out.