It’s that time of year where outdoor enthusiasts flock to campgrounds on the weekends to escape the stresses of work and enjoy nature. However, as weekend warriors head into the great outdoors, one company is bringing the great outdoors to the office.
San Fransisco-based startup Campsyte just launched what it claims is the city’s first outdoor co-working space, styled to mimic a woodsy, tree-filled campground. Using vintage camp trailers sourced mostly via Craigslist, the company created a natural setting called “OutCamp” in a vacant city lot. The urban campground features potted trees, a firepit, Astroturf ground covering, and a mural based on the Muir Woods National Monument. Amenities include high-speed internet, utilities, bike storage, and meeting rooms.
Campsyte outfitted each trailer with thrift store furnishings and a fully stocked kitchen with artisan coffee, craft beer, Kombucha, and snack bars. Nature-inspired paintings decorate the site with work from local artists including Ian Ross, Ricky Watts, and Antoine Marnata. At the moment, there are no plumbed bathrooms on-site — just two Port-a-Potties currently serve as the restroom. However, Campyste cofounder Niki Choo says it does hope to find permanent bathroom structures soon.
Users have the option of renting each co-working space by the hour, day, or month. For individuals using the communal spaces, the cost is $5 an hour, or $11 a day. A one-person monthly pass costs just $35. Companies interested in hosting meetings and team events can also book any of the private campers which have personalized names like “George,” “Betsy,” and “Sandy,” as well as a treehouse, its private camper trailers, or tree tents. There is no staff on-site at OutCamp — users simply plug a code into a mobile webpage on their phones to to gain access inside.
Choo and fellow cofounder Dennis Wong say that in the age of Uber and Lyft, fewer people own cars, leaving many former parking lots empty throughout the city. Campsyte has taken advantage of that, renting those lots from the city and converting them into productive co-working spaces. The company’s first project, for example, showcased shipping containers transformed into mini-offices. Since it rarely rains in San Fransisco and the temperature doesn’t typically dip below 50 degrees, it make the city the perfect place for an outdoor working space.