Unyoked invites you to get off the grid, unwind and reconnect with nature in your own tiny cabin.
Feeling trapped in the yoke of your 9-5 expectations? Feel the urge to go all wanderer in the woods for a while instead? Innovative startup Unyoked are strong proponents of getting ‘off the grid’ and leaving the daily grind behind you. To be clear though, this is no ordinary hotel getaway. These tiny eco-friendly cabins are scattered across regional Sydney and Melbourne, giving you the chance to truly immerse yourself in the wilderness in an experience like no other.
We got the chance to interview co-owners and twins, Chris and Cam Grant, about all issues surrounding business, mental health and the future of Unyoked.
Where did the inspiration to launch Unyoked come from?
“You could say that we were mistaking making a living for having a life, and Unyoked was an antidote to that. We were working late nights, doing PowerPoints in bed, and telling everyone how busy we were a little too often. Everyone around us was in the same trap, working hard for that one adventure away a year where we’d truly throw off the yoke of the 9-to-5 and disappear in a jungle, beach or mountain somewhere.”
“Unyoked came out of thinking that way of living kinda sucked. We wanted to create a way we, and others like us, could co-exist in the modern world but on our own terms and go exploring in the wild, disconnect from the commitments and concrete for a while.”
For the unknowing adventurer, how does Unyoked work?
“When you feel that itch to get off the grid, you head to our website, choose a hideout and get an adventure on your calendar. We keep most the details secret, like the location, until 48hrs before to keep a sense of spontaneous adventure going, and on the day you duck out of the city, follow our map and get to your own cabin in the wilderness in less than 2 podcasts time. You can get your Bear Grylls on and explore, slow down and chill by the campfire, or feel the creative vibes of the forest and let your mind wander.”
How do you go about acquiring land for the pop-up homes? Do you work with local national park reps? Private property owners?
“We’ve been pretty lucky, there’s actually a lot of people out there who have amazing properties and really get what Unyoked’s all about. Most of these guys come to us organically, applying through our website. We have a bit of a qualification process set up because there’s a certain level of wilderness-vibes that are needed, but after this and talking with the landowners we’ll head on a scouting trip and experience their property first-hand and then we’ll move the cabin on a short-time after if everyone’s keen to go ahead.”
When you arrive to your pop-up house, what can patrons expect?
“When you arrive you’ll find everything you need to help you do slow down. Everything is functional, pared back and the hideouts feature over-sized windows, forcing you to focus on what’s important while bringing the outside in. Then we build in other elements to embed our philosophy of slow, a curated collection of Penguin Classics, tools to hand-grind your morning coffee and campfire recipes. All our hideouts currently sleep 2 in a Queen bed, have a gas stove and a bar fridge, and the newer models have an additional stove outside just in case there’s fire bans on while you’re going full Jamie Oliver down there.”
“All our hideouts are 100% off the grid and as close to carbon neutral as possible. Our philosophy is tiny house, tiny footprint. You’ll find everything from full solar power, a composting toilet and rainwater capture. It allows us to unlock these unique areas for people but conserve them at the same time.”
Who is behind the design of these gorgeous pop-up homes?
We originally partnered with the legends over at Fresh Prince, Richie and Alice. They designed our first love Miguel and really helped us get the whole thing off the ground.
We noticed an underlying theme of mental health interwoven in the business model. In what ways do you see a correlation between self-care and getting ‘off the grid’?
“These days were so switched on or plugged in that it’s hard to realise the negative impact our obsession with being busy is. Can you remember the last time you really sat down and did nothing for a short while and didn’t just start swiping? The idea with Unyoked is to free us temporarily from those distractions. There’s been a lot of studies published recently on the regenerative benefits of being out amongst nature, but also on its ability to reduce stress and even to promote creativity. I mean it’s something that’s so simple yet somehow most of us forgot it along the way. We think we all need to be reminded, and that’s part of what getting unyoked is all about.”
What have past customers loved the MOST about Unyoked? Why should our readers book this experience in 2019?
“Mostly folks are stoked about having the ability to have this kind of experience within reach from their office door, to get off the grid but without the hassle of some of your longer, wilder expeditions.”
We also hear a lot of love for all the little things we weave throughout our hideouts. We’re always on the lookout for authentic, cool other companies to collab with and have some great ones on the go already, like Singe O coffee beans in each hideout complete with hand-grinders to help you get into the ritual and out of the routine. And Archie Rose who we collaborated with to develop unique camp-size Negronis, because sometimes when you’re out there, all you want is a good strong drink.”
What can we expect when looking at the future of Unyoked?
“2019 will be filled with a lot more things like that, we like to have fun with all of it so there’s some pretty exciting stuff on the horizon. And more locations of course! Our vision for this when we were back at our desks staring at Cabin Porn was to be able to duck down to our private cabin in the wilderness on a Wed night at 8pm when we needed it most. But we’ve been humbled with having such an awesome response from everyone out there sharing our vibes and are booked out a lot, so we’ll really be focusing on opening up new locations in some exciting new areas to make that vision a reality.”