Office By Day, Safari Lounge By Night: Adventure Is Still Out There (It Just May Be In Your Backyard)

Greetings to all of you during these, how to put it…interesting times?

Interesting times I suppose is the word to sum it up. There are many opinions out there that I’ve seen expressing how we’ve subconsciously been prepping ourselves for a moment like this. With our “social distancing” already being in place (for some of us) due to social media, introverted personalities, lifestyle choices (not going to bars), career paths (photography) or whatever else I forgot to mention. To me it doesn’t seem that much different. I’ve been doing this for years.

I suppose the only difference for people like me is the loss of my “regular” job which provided consistent income. Being one of the millions in this situation I wanted to give you an idea. With my wife working from home now, and myself being “forced” into constructing my brand and self-marketing, working on SEO and reorganizing my online galleries and presence, we had to figure out something that made it feel less “worky”, for definite lack of a better word. So for those working from home, pay attention, I’ve got some ideas for you to make your work life a bit more fun or adventurous. Working from home doesn’t have to be boring. Let’s have some fun with it.

The Gazelle G6 Portable Gazebo in action in the Ouachita Mountains.

Being an outdoor industry employee for the past 3 years, let’s just say I’ve stockpiled some outdoor gear. Something of which I am very appreciative of. I really should take advantage of providing you all with experienced reviews of the products I have acquired that help me on my photographic career and expeditions. So let’s begin with a portable gazebo by Gazelle Tents—the G6.

The G6 Portable Gazebo by Gazelle Tents is a supreme piece of equipment. Oftentimes being utilized as a standalone camp kitchen for our family adventures.

Gazelle Tents truly makes an incredible piece of equipment that I really have grown to appreciate over the last couple weeks—the G6 Portable Gazebo. It has gone from regular use as outdoor camp kitchen, to backyard office by day/makeshift safari lounge by night. FYI, I am in no way affiliated with Gazelle Tents, I just happen to really like this piece of equipment. What makes it especially friendly, is the ease of setup and tear down. It is a hub style tent so you literally pull it out of its storage bag (which is about 6′ long, maybe 10″x10″) and spread it out around the ground. From there it is a simple matter of pulling each wall hub out going about the gazebo in a circle. The final step is popping up the top which is done by a solid push of your arm straight up and an audible “hi-ya!” If you’re worried about a breeze, there are plenty of places to tie out guy lines and stake it down.

Shaded space. Mesh walls. Best outdoor office for quarantine.

All 6 sides of the gazebo are mesh, with the front having your usual robust YKK zipper down the middle. There is plenty of space inside for what they claim 8 people + table and I have to say you could do it. We currently have ours setup with our patio table + 4 chairs, an Alps Mountaineering 6′ cot (I slept outside a couple nights this week and will probably do so again), and a dog bed for our husky/shepherd, Tuukka. Remove the patio furniture, put in this Camp Chef gas fire pit and BOOM you have yourself a legitimate makeshift safari style lounge in your backyard. Use that with caution of course, nylon is kind of flammable ;).

To add to this setup, I use a Goal Zero Yeti 150 electric generator to keep my camera batteries charged while on expeditions. Pairing that with a Goal Zero Boulder 50 solar panel to keep the Yeti 150 charged as I drive. Take these two items and put them outside with your outdoor workspace and you’ll have power whenever you need it without having to run extension cords.

Goal Zero’s Boulder 50 paired with their Yeti 150 generator has been adequate for my use. The Camp Chef fire pit can be seen behind it.
My wife, hard at work on a sunny Saint Louis day. Before I put the cot and dog bed in. But there is still room for both.

At night I move the solar panel and electric generator back into my gear room and we put the computers away. The G6 Gazebo transforms into what I call a safari style lounge at night (a 1996 adventure by Land Rover in Africa may have been the spark in my imagination for this). We get the propane fire pit going on low flame, have a couple drinks and our domesticated hyena—er, I mean husky/shepherd relaxes with us. As the night time temperatures go down, the gazebo holds in enough warmth with the fire pit to keep us comfy and we raise a glass or pint to another day lived.

Enjoying the fire with Tuukka and a bottle of Trader Joe’s so-so Islay Storm.

Working from home doesn’t have to be boring. Have some fun with it. I know those of us who thrive off of our wanderlust spirituality can’t and shouldn’t go anywhere right now. But, if you need a cure for your fix that you can’t get right now, give this a shot. If you have the means to, pick up yourself one of these Gazelle Tents Portable Gazebos. Use your 10×10 pop up tent, or use a tarp and rig something up. Just use your imagination and you can really step up your work-from-home game that still gives a feeling of being on the road. Now, back to work!

Stay safe out there,

—Jake

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