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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 July 10, 2020

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

        Boundaries are limits

        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
        • When do you feel disrespected?
        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
        • When do you want to be alone?
        • How much space do you need?

        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

        Sample language:

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        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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        Final Thoughts

        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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