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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 October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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