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10 Backpacking Hacks You Can Pick Up at Walmart

10 Backpacking Hacks You Can Pick Up at Walmart

Backpacking is considered to be a rough way to travel with high costs for good gear and many inconveniences. While true in some regards, there are ways to hack your travels to make life a bit easier on you. Here are ten items that you can use to make life on the road a bit easier. No high costs – you can find them all at Walmart. No added weight – they each weigh only a few ounces.

Drain Stopper

Your universal drain stopper can be used in just about any sink or tub. Stopping the drain allows you to pool water for washing clothes. Whether your lodging doesn’t have accommodations or they are just too expensive, you’ve got the answer in your pack.

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Camping Clothes Line

If you’re washing clothes, you’ll also need a place to dry them. A basic bungee cord style camping clothes line allows you to hang your clothes just about anywhere: between two trees, between bed posts or even a couple of chairs. Clothes lines also come in handy for supporting a tarp to protect your hammock or sleeping bag from the dew or rain.

Carabiner

These small clips are invaluable when backpacking. Most travel packs will have an abundance of D-rings, straps or handles that you can clip your carabiner to, allowing you to attach nearly anything to your pack. If you’re swapping out shoes, tie your laces together and hang your old pair from your back. Got a water bottle? Slip it in a side pocket and secure it to a strap with a simple clip. It’s an easy and convenient way to carry your loose items that won’t quite fit into the pack itself.

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Ziplock Bags

Ziplock bags work well for storing items that you want to keep dry. Put your electronics in one before you travel to keep them from frying if you get caught in a rainstorm or drop your pack in a creek. Slip a sandwich in one for the road. Stuff your toiletries in them before boarding an airplane to get them through security and avoid spilling soap and toothpaste on your pack’s contents should it spill. The uses are endless!

Under Armour

Backpacking is difficult for many people because they want to pack everything they normally would in a large, 50lbs suitcase into a backpack. If you have to cut down on the amount of clothes you bring, you have to aim for versatility. What items can be paired with any of the other articles of clothing I bring? Under Armour is light and packs small while still bringing that added layer of warmth without the bulk of a jacket.

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Camp Utensil Set

When traveling, food is a big concern. Many tourists or vacationers will just go out to eat. The backpacker, on the other hand, must often buy his/her own food. Buying food on the road means you’re also stuck figuring out plates/utensils. A simple camp utensil set will solve that problem for you.

Garbage Bags

Like Ziplock bags, garbage bags are tremendously helpful. With a few tears, one could be converted to a pancho during a downpour. Slip another over your pack and you’ll keep it dry as well. Heading into town for the day? Put your gear in a bag and toss it in the bushes near your campsite. People will think it’s trash if they find it and it’ll stay dry from any unexpected rains. They’re also quite helpful when you need to pack that muddy pair of shoes in the same bag as your clean clothes.

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Athletic Tape

Just as strong as duct tape, but more versatile, athletic tape allows you to patch leaky tarps, brace sprained ankles or any number of other hacks. It also packs smaller, allowing you to take more tape per role.

Nail Clippers

Everyone knows you can’t take a knife on an airplane unless you check your bags. If you’re carrying your backpack on the plane, that’s out of the question. On the road, however, a pocket knife can be invaluable. Of course, you can purchase a knife once you get to your destination. However, an alternative should that option not be available is to bring a pair of nail clippers. Passable through security and incredibly sharp, they can be used to cut bits of string, tape, cloth or plastic. Though they might take a bit longer, they’ll get the job done.

Padlock

Finally, pick up a padlock. Look for one with a large loop but a medium sized latch. This will give you maximum versatility when securing your possessions in a hostel’s locker, locking your zippers together or simply lashing it all to a bed post.

Bon voyage!

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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