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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 November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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