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5 Ways To Pack Light On Your Backpacking Adventure

5 Ways To Pack Light On Your Backpacking Adventure

Choosing what to bring on your first backpacking trip can be tough. It’s almost too easy bring an excessive amount of belongings, which inevitably end up getting left behind after a bag reshuffle or a souvenir purchases means there’s no longer room for everything. Travelling light is essential, making it easier to make the train on time on an InterRailing trip or squeezing onto a packed bus. Read on to discover the five best ways to stop your bag bursting at it’s seams.

The power of three

With space at a premium, It’s important you only pack the essentials. Packing light on clothing can be especially tough for any roving fashionista – naturally you’ll want to rock up in an new city in your finest threads.

Clothes are probably the bulkiest of things you’ll bring with you, however, so this is an important area to limit yourself. The fact is that no matter how long you’ll be travelling for, you’ll only really ever need up to three of each item of clothing. Regardless of where you go, you should be able to access a launderette or at least a sink at some point every three days – if you’re really heading out into the sticks then clean clothes are probably not going to be a priority.

Most people will only need three of everything – three tops, three pairs of underwear, three pairs of shorts, and so on.

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Buy travel detergent

Travel D

    Travel laundry detergent is ideal for any backpacker, allowing them to hand wash their clothes with little more than a bucket of cold water. Many brands even work with sea water!

    Travel detergent usually comes in 100ml containers too, so they’ll get through security in your hand luggage with no problem, taking up minimal space. It’s ideal for anyone looking to save money, as you’ll be able to avoid local laundrettes.

    The only other things you’ll need is a universal sink plug and a travel laundry line.

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    Leave the laptop and paper map at home

    If you’re travelling for a long time, you’ll want some gadgets with you for entertainment in your downtime. If you’re blogging about your travels, you’ll also want something to write your posts on.

    As internet cafes are gradually being phased out in favour of wifi hotspots, it’s best to bring along your own device, however even small laptops can add some considerable bulk and weight to your backpack.

    Consider what you’ll actually need to do while your away. Can a small 7-8 inch tablet suffice? An iPad mini can do almost everything a laptop can do, yet weighs under 300 grams. Add an external bluetooth keyboard, and you’ve got the perfect combo to write your blog en-route.

    Similarly, leave the paper maps, magazines and guide books at home, replacing them with apps.

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    Google maps now has an offline maps function, allowing you to download maps over WiFi and track your position using GPS. Similarly, booking.com also offers offline maps, and if you book accommodation through them, you’ll get a free local guide to the area that you can download to your device.

    Use the space you’ve saved to pack a portable battery pack to keep your devices juiced up. You’ll be glad you did if you have to spend more than a couple of days without access to mains electricity!

    Store your things in freezer bags

    Clothes in bags

      See-through freezer bags or zip-lock are an ideal way to categorize your things while taking up minimal space in your backpack. Ever tried to dig out something at the bottom of your bag, having to take everything else out first? Freezer bags mean its much easier to keep related items together, so it’s easier to find what you’re after.

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      If you’re especially organised, you can even label bags by category so you’ll have no problems finding whatever you need.

      Fold and roll your clothes

      How to fold and roll your clothes

        Clothes can take up a lot of space thanks to having a large amount of air pockets. The image conscious traveller will also want to avoid getting their garments too creased.

        The best way to pack in clothes as tightly as possible in your bag is to first fold them, then roll them up. This helps to squeeze out any air pockets and can help keep clothes crease-free.

        Better still, try wrapping larger pieces of clothing around smaller ones, which will keep your clothes packed tightly without air pockets.

        Featured photo credit: Aaron Alvarado via unsplash.com

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        Last Updated on September 28, 2020

        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

        At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

        Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

        One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

        When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

        So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

        Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

        This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

        Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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        When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

        Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

        One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

        Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

        An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

        When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

        Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

        Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

        We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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        By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

        Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

        While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

        I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

        You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

        Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

        When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

        Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

        Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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        Con #2: Less Human Interaction

        One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

        Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

        Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

        This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

        While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

        Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

        Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

        This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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        For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

        Con #4: Unique Distractions

        Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

        For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

        To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

        Final Thoughts

        Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

        We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

        More About Working From Home

        Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

        Reference

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