Working From The Wilderness

Tactical Tips

Here are a few tips to consider when planning your own outpost-office adventure.

  • Always be accessible during business hours--save those long drives in areas without cellular service for the evenings.
  • Create a portable post office with pre-addressed, stamped envelopes to your likely correspondents.
  • Keep a day pack full of current projects you can take with you on walks.
  • Take advantage of electrical connections whenever possible; get used to saying, "Hey, stranger, do you mind if I plug in my cell phone for a while?" Pack a spare battery for the computer and the phone.
  • Plan on treating yourself to strategically planned hotel stays when a good shower and meal are in order.
  • Your first outpost-office attempt should probably not last more than a month.
  • Create a portable desk and a portable kitchen in separate, sealable, watertight cases.
  • Don't change locations more than once a week.
  • Plan the places where you can send and receive mail; make sure you send this information to your pertinent business contacts.
  • Share your tales of adventure with your customers. It livens their day and creates an understanding of your struggles.
  • Don't forget the bug spray, a folding table and a chair with armrests.
  • Make sure someone at home will check your mail.
  • Install a remote-control software package such as PC Anywhere on your main computer system.
  • Be flexible and stay mentally prepared to work at any given moment.
  • Learn how to access and forward faxes from your PC.
  • Change your cell-phone plan so you have one rate for all long-distance calls, and increase the base amount of talk time. A thousand minutes a month served me pretty well.
  • Begin operating out of your outpost-office setup before you leave the house, so you can debug. Practice using all your communications gear--cellular, modem, etc.--before you leave.

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