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7 Things Only Backpackers Would Understand

7 Things Only Backpackers Would Understand

Backpacking is one of the most exciting ways to travel. As you adventure to incredible places while carrying your gear on your back, you learn more about yourself and the human condition than you could ever imagine. Those who truly love the experience understand more than a few things about how to maximize on fun.

1. We know why REI is so amazing

Backpackers need specific types of gear. It’s not always easy to find the perfect sleeping bag or trail ready backpack. When you shop onREI, you can get everything you need to hit the road with none of the drama of failed equipment.

Plus, with a membership, you give dividends back each year, making it the best $20 membership a backpacker can have. But while REI is a fantastic option, you also know how to pull the ropes at Walmar.

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2. We get excited looking at maps

No matter what your next journey entails, you will probably need a map to get you there. Maps are glorious things filled with unlimited possibilities.

Since backpackers are happy to go off the beaten trail, we can’t always just find someone to ask for directions. That’s just the moment you need that handy dandy map.

3. We impress friends by mentioning how cheap we travel

Sure, you can buy one of those package travel deals that takes you all over Europe. But, you pay a lot of overhead when you get in on those group deals. We trade the simplicity of travel packages for the excitement of lesser known travel.

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Anyways, we love the stories we get from crashing at the semi-sketchy hotel and camping out beneath the stars. That’s really what travel is all about, after all. And it can save us a lot of dough. All the better to plan our next trip.

4. We have super buff back muscles

One of the best parts of backpacking is the simplicity of carrying all your stuff on your back. Forget the rolling bags and fancy people carrying suitcasesto your room.

With a few quick zips and snaps, you can easily carry everything you’ll need. Hoisting that pack up on your back is like a bonus workout for every journey. Back muscles are sexy and backpackers definitely have more than their share.

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5. We love to do as the locals do

When you are backpacking, you get to see the world in a radically different way than those doing packaged tours. You have the opportunity to really chat with locals.

This also gives you the opportunity to find the cheapest and best experiences in this new place. Instead of paying those tourist prices, you go hang with the guys at the local pub and enjoy a more authentic travel experience.

6. We have some really beaten travel clothes

Remember when you were hiking over the Andes? When you came back, your boots were really too beaten to take on another journey, but you couldn’t just throw them out. Those boots are an important part of your history.

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You couldn’t have seen all that you did without their help. It’s much easier to throw them in the closet and occasionally reminisce as they come out. And don’t even get me started on that old beaten jacket that helped you survive that long winter in Europe.

7. We have way too many travel guides

Backpackers tend to set their own agenda when traveling. This means that we need a book or two to help us plan the journey. If your family has some old school backpackers, you may find chunks of travel guides laying about.

Why take the whole book when you can simply out the parts you need? Modern backpackers may have printouts of digital guides or maybe just a phone overflowing with travel apps. Either way, we have lots of information about the places we love to visit.

Featured photo credit: Hermann via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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