How to spend summer in an office if you are a nomadic adventurer (read: dirtbag) at heart

Note: This is not an overt hint to my bosses asking for more time off, (they give me plenty already).

We live in the Sierra Nevada surrounded by lakes, rivers, trails, and peaks because we love the mountains. We love being outside, playing with our outdoor toys, hiking, swimming, and getting that vitamin D fix. This is why many of us started our employed lives in the outdoors – from river guides to ski instructors to backcountry tour leaders, we have lived outside and loved it. Happily employed now in a more conventional office than the river banks of my past, I look for smaller ways to return to my dirtbag roots. Although I no longer spend 90% of my nights sleeping under the stars these days, I still get myself outside to play and then show up at the office ready to tackle whatever project comes my way (like this blog post!). Here’s how I do it:

COMM JessCar River Blog 2016 07Car Locker Room

Did you think your car was just a cute way to get around town? Rethink your car’s purpose and start storing everything you need for a quick trail run, hike, or swim in your trunk. Pro tip: Do remember to wash these clothes every once in a while.

Showering Deodorant

Get comfortable with not showering every day. Dry shampoo, freshwater lake access, deodorant, rivers, etc. The alternatives to showering are endless if you’re willing to deal with a less than perfect hairdo or a little dirt left over on your feet. Pro tip: Stash a towel with all those clothes in your trunk!

Find activities close to your home or office

I reserve the weekends for longer adventures, and stay on the trails close to home in the mornings. This way I waste no time on travel and maximize my trail time. Pro tip: Double days! Run in the morning near your office, and take a quick bike ride on your way home.

Don’t rely on your bed for sleep.

Check out the campgrounds that are close to home for a weeknight getaway. We are surrounded by beautiful places to get some rest outdoors. Pro tip: So close to home it might be your backyard! Nothing beats falling asleep to the stars, even if it’s on your own deck.

And finally, I end every activity with a dip in the lake. It’s good for the soul!

It’s not the perfect dirtbag lifestyle. You’ll still end up putting 40-50 hours in at the office. If you take advantage of your daylight hours though, you shouldn’t find yourself looking longingly out the window for long. You (and your boss!) will be pleasantly surprised at the productivity and creativity you experience after a long morning paddle. We live in the mountains! Let’s play in them just as hard as we work in them.