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How To Pack Your Backpack

Whether you’re a first-time camper or an old vet, use these tips to properly pack your backpack so you can hike to your destination quickly and comfortably.

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When you’re about to head out on a camping trip the most important thing you can do is pack your backpack and pack it correctly. When you’re on the trail you will be thanking yourself after you have packed your bag correctly.

But if you have packed a little haphazardly then half way through trekking to your destination your back will hurt and your ears will hurt too from all the pots and pans that you left to clank over and over again with each and every step you take. You don’t want something to poke you in the back, and you don’t want the weight unevenly distributed.

Whether you’re a first-time camper or an old vet, use these tips to properly pack your backpack so you can hike to your destination quickly and comfortably.

BALANCE YOUR WEIGHT

If your backpack is not balanced then your back will start to hurt wherever the majority of the weight lies. Or, even worse, you could fall down a hill when you take an awkward step because when the weight is unevenly distributed it could swing one way and lead to you losing your footing.

Start by putting the heavy items close to your body while making sure that nothing hard or pointy will be jabbing your back all hike long. Think about making a barrier of soft stuff all along the outside of your backpack with the hard stuff in the center.

KEEP TRAIL NEEDS EASILY ACCESSIBLE

If you pack up stuff that you are going to want to use on the trail just make sure you won’t have to completely unpack your entire pack just to get it. Don’t jam your water bottle on the bottom of your backpack underneath your camping stove. You don’t want to have to unpack everything every time you need a drink.

Keep sunscreen, medical supplies, snacks and headlamps in places that you or a friend can get to quickly and easily. Think of everything you might need and keep it in a convenient place so you’re not spending your whole camping trip regretting not being able to get to necessities like your sunscreen.

CHECK THE FORECAST

Before you leave, make sure that you check the forecast so you can properly prepare for your hike ahead. If it’s going to rain halfway through your hike then you’ll want to be able to quickly be able to grab a raincoat. If it’s going to be super hot then you’re going to want to keep your sunscreen close. Knowing the weather will lead you to know how to pack. Knowing how to pack is the best way to pack for a trip successfully.

STORE YOUR FUEL SAFELY

If you are bringing liquid fuel on your trip then make sure it is sealed and it is packed somewhere safely where it will not open up during your hike. The last thing you want is to be covered in liquid fuel on your hike because even if you don’t catch yourself on fire you still will not enjoy the smell. Trust me.

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Guides

Why You Should Always Learn The Language While Traveling

Here are some great reasons why learning a little bit of a language can go a long way when you’re traveling to a foreign country.

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When leaving the country a lot of people don’t usually bother to learn the language of the country they are about to visit. While it is true that you can get by pretty much anywhere just by speaking English, it is rude and a little presumptuous to not at least try. You don’t have to become fully fluent in any language before you visit their country, but if you just learn a few key phrases then you can at least appear to be trying and that will work wonders for you.

If you’re still not convinced, here are some great reasons why learning a little bit of a language can go a long way when you’re traveling to a foreign country.

YOU’LL MEET THE LOCALS

It is extremely hard to really meet someone if you don’t speak their language. Unless you’re an award-winning charades player, speaking the same language is the only way to connect with a stranger. Some locals will, of course, speak English, but then you’re limiting yourself to who you can meet and who you can hang out with based on who is able to communicate with you. When you speak the language, you will be able to communicate with anyone and you will be able to get a lot further than you would without the language.

Human connection is what makes life special, so if you enlarge the likelihood of your human connections then not only will your trip be more memorable, but you open up the opportunity for some unique and amazing experiences. Meeting locals is a must when you travel.

YOU MIGHT FALL IN LOVE

When you speak the native language, you open up the world of romance. Meeting a special someone is always fantastic when traveling abroad, or honestly, even when you’re at home. Don’t miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience foreign romance by not knowing a few key phrases in a different language.

If you can string together a few compliments then maybe cupid will strike and you’ll be sucking face in no-time. This obviously isn’t a guarantee for romance, but if you don’t speak any of the native languages then it’s almost a guarantee for no romance. So why not help give yourself a chance?

THE FOOD IS BETTER

The food is better because you actually know what is in it. Instead of crossing your fingers every time you order a dish and hoping you didn’t just order pig anus stew, learn a little of the language and order with confidence. When you don’t know what you’re saying, you will probably just order the same dishes you know and play it very safe at restaurants.

While you can still definitely get some great food this way, you will not be able to branch out and try something you’ve never tried before which is very limiting. My favorite foods have been dishes I’ve never heard of before and then once I tried them I was sent into culinary bliss. Let your palate explore the area in which you travel by learning a bit of the language before you venture off.

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The Best Backpacks For Your Next Adventure

If you’ve got an adventure coming up that requires a reliable backpack, look no further than these six great options. 

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One of the most important elements of any traveling experience is also the most frequently overlooked… the backpack. It’s with us at all times and typically holds our most important items. But more often than not, most travelers just grab that same raggedy old backpack they’ve had since high school.

But there are so many options out there! And certain backpacks are better for certain experiences. So read through this list and make sure you have the right backpack for your next adventure!

THE JANSPORT RIGHT PACK

It’s safe to say just about everyone has had a Jansport backpack in their life. It is the most popular backpack in the world and honestly one of the most durable. This particular model is known as the “Right Pack.” It’s very affordable, has a large main compartment, a sleeve specifically for laptops, and plenty of room leftover in the two front pockets. If you need a reliable backpack and you’re working on a budget, this is the pack for you.

THE PATAGONIA ARBOR PACK

This is a great option if you want something reliable and durable, but still don’t want to lug around something huge and heavy. This pack is water-repellent, compact, and has a significantly padded compartment for laptops.

TOPO DESIGNS KLETTERSACK

This is one of the toughest packs out there. It’s built from leather and nylon and is great for long trips on foot or camping and hiking. Thanks to the extra straps it can easily carry a rolled up blanket or heavy jacket. It also has a very cool look so you can still look hip while wearing it in the city.

CHROME URBAN EX 18 BIKE PACK

As the name suggests, this pack is ideal for the avid biker. It’s waterproof so you don’t have to worry about precious cargo getting damaged. And despite being relatively compact, you could still fit a laptop, camera, and a sweater or jacket with ease. If keeping your things safe and dry is a major concern, get this pack!

JANSPORT DRIVER 8

Surprise! The most popular backpack brand in the world is making a second appearance on this list! And this backpack is a fantastic option for a carry-on bag as it operates as both a standard backpack and a rolling suitcase. So this backpack will give you exactly what you need from airport to the top of Mount Everest and back.

OSPREY AURA AG 65

If you’ve got a backpacking trip across Europe planned after college to find yourself, this is the only pack you should be looking at. Osprey has long been one of the most trusted models for long backpacking trips, and this one is especially nice as it’s designed to fit naturally to the contours of the human body. It also includes a rain cover that can protect your all-important stuff no matter what conditions you may find yourself in.

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How To Prepare For The Nightmare That Is Sitting In The Middle Seat

Try these simple tips the next time you have to endure a flight in the dreaded middle seat. 

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Traveling, and especially flights, are almost always stressful. Did I forget anything? Are all the appropriate batteries properly charged? Are my toiletries too big or in the wrong bag? Oh no, I’m already late, I’m going to miss my flight! These are thoughts that have gone through all of our heads.

So the last thing any of us ever want to deal with is having to sit in the dreaded middle seat on the airplane! It’s the worst. Always has been, always will be. But have no fear! There are still a lot of things you can do to prep for your flight so your time in the middle seat won’t be the nightmare it usually is. So buckle up and take notes!

PREPARE YOUR BODY

Even if you’re some kind of maniac that doesn’t mind sitting so tightly between two strangers, you still could have an uncomfortable flight if your body isn’t right. So make sure you prepare for your flight by avoiding high-social foods, avoiding alcohol and caffeine (as best you can), and getting in some light exercise before and after the flight. Even if it’s just taking a couple laps around the terminal, it can make all the difference in making sure you’re as comfortable as possible in that middle seat.

At while you’re at, don’t forget to focus on your breathing. Slow, calm breathing can be a lifesaver in any stressful or annoying situation. More specifically, try taking in a deep breath, hold it for 5-10 seconds, then let it all out. Trust me, it’ll help.

STORE EVERYTHING IN THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT

Surprise, surprise… it’s gonna be cramped! You will have limited space to get comfortable in the middle seat. Hence the nightmare! That’s why you should make sure to pack light enough that all your carry-ons can fit in the overhead compartments. Having to stuff at your feet or hold one in your lap will only amplify your discomfort. All you really need is your phone/tablet, headphones, a book, and what we’re about to cover in the next paragraph.

BRING WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO TO HELP YOU FALL ASLEEP

This is key. One of the easiest ways to overcome the discomfort of sitting in the middle seat is just to sleep through as much of the flight as you can! There are a lot of products out there that can help you, too. Noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, and of course a neck pillow (make sure you find the perfect one for you!). I know it sounds crazy… but sleeping can actually help you avoid the nightmare!

GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS!

OK, I know this is a stretch. The last thing a lot of us want to do is force a conversation with a stranger. And most of us don’t want a stranger to force a conversation with us! But sometimes, if approached properly, a little polite conversation can really help time… fly (sorry). So while you shouldn’t force it and should, of course, leave them alone if they’re not into it, there’s no harm in giving someone a polite smile and trying out a few icebreakers.

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