How to Packing a Duffel Bag

unduhanNo matter how many bags you got, you always “need” another one! Bags are an obsession, a hobby. But even apart from that, bags are a necessity. It simply does not make sense to carry a suitcase to your friend’s place for the weekend. Also even with a suitcase, you need something smaller to carry things you are going to need on the journey when you embark on a long trip or vacation. A duffel bag is the answer to such situations.

Duffel bags come in all sizes, shapes, and styles too! They are easy-to-carry multipurpose bags that make traveling so much easier. But give one to someone who is not used to duffel bags, and the person will spend an entire day trying to figure out how to pack one! Here are some pointers…

How to Pack a Duffel Bag…

… for a Day
A small duffel bag would be ideal to pack if you are going over to your friend’s place to spend the day together, or if you are going for a sleepover or a pajama party. You would not be carrying any linen or too many clothes if you are going for just one night. But you would be carrying your toiletries, and maybe a little bit of make-up if you plan to head out of the house.

  • Pack your towel and clothes at the bottom – you are not going to need them as soon as you arrive at your friend’s place! Also carry light – pack only one extra set of clothes, and your nightwear.
  • If you are going to carry an extra pair of footwear (oh it so goes with the dress you are going to wear when you go out for dinner!) then carry it in a shoe bag. Duffel bags do not come with shoe bags, so you will have to arrange for one!
  • Carry your toiletries and make-up material in two separate pouches, so you do not make a mess or have to empty the entire bag on your friend’s bed while hunting for the kohl stick!

… for the Weekend
You would need a slightly larger duffel bag when going off to somewhere for an entire weekend. You would or would not carry bedspreads or blankets depending on how you are traveling, how far away the place is, is it a camp or an indoor get-away etc. You would also be carrying more than just one extra set of clothes. Definitely the number of things you would pack would be more.

  • Lay all the linen, bedspreads, blankets etc., at the bottom on the back.
  • Try to carry clothes that you can mix and match – any bottoms with any tops. That way you have lesser things to pack and more room in the bag. Pack the clothes in two stacks above the bottom layer of clothes – bottoms in one stack on one side, tops in another on the other side.
  • Big duffel bags usually have two small compartments on the sides. Use these efficiently. You can pack your make-up and toiletries pouches into one side compartment. Extra pair of footwear can go into the other.

… for a Long Trip
When headed for a long trip, a duffel bag acts more like an accessory bag, with most of your clothes going into a bigger suitcase. Your footwear, your jackets, everything would go into your main suitcase. So your duffel bag may suddenly seem too empty! But there is in fact a lot that can go into it.

  • Carry your money, passport and visa (if you are flying), travel tickets (plane or train, any), and all essential documents that you may have to produce in the course of the journey in your duffel bag.
  • You can carry belongings you will need during the travel in your duffel bag – bottle of water, a book or magazines, a pen, chocolates, chewing gums and mouth fresheners, reading glasses, a hanky or napkin etc. Also carry your medicines in your duffel bag so you can quickly retrieve them as and when the need be. Motion-sickness tablets, tablets for headache, etc., should all go into the duffel bag.
  • Finally, pack the things you are going to need immediately on arrival at your destination in your duffel bag too. This could include things like hotel reservation details, addresses diary etc.

… for a Business Trip
Duffel bags prove to be a real blessing when on a business trip. On a business or official trip, there would be two kinds of belongings you would be carrying – personal and professional/work-related. A leather duffel bag would look rather smart on a business trip. It can also carry a lot of things and in a smart way!

  • Pack your laptop in your duffel bag. It should be the first thing that goes in, and probably also the first thing you are going to need on arrival at your destination. Better have it handy.
  • Carry work related documents in the duffel bag. You can carry them in separate folders so they don’t get mixed up and so they are more organized.
  • Carry all other gadgets in the duffel bag too – CDs, DVDs, pen-drives, extra laptop batteries etc., should all go into the duffel bag.

I hope these tips have got your packing sorted for you! A few general tips I can give are – don’t overpack! Travel light and carry only your essentials, especially if it’s a short trip. As a final tip, I would say make a packing checklist to make sure you are carrying everything you need. Happy journey!

Tips to Pack Your Makeup Bag for Travel

Packing your bags for traveling isn’t the pleasurable activity it used to be, no thanks to the innumerable restrictions that have been imposed upon us in the recent times. Just as you’re through with the maniacal calculation to stay within the baggage weight restriction, out comes the no-sharp-items and the no-carrying-aerosols rule. So out go your tweezers and deodorants; never mind the fact that you may look like a raccoon and smell like a skunk on your holiday.

Apologies for being too dramatic, but there is always a way to packing makeup for a vacation, and we’re about to tell you how.

Tips to Pack Your Makeup Bag for Travel

Only pick the must-haves

Easier said than done, isn’t it? It’s hard for any woman to pick up certain items and leave others out, because you never know when you’ll be in the need for something, right? But seriously, you have to pack your makeup bag wisely to ensure that you’re not lugging around stuff unnecessarily. For instance, a high SPF lip balm counts as an essential for a beach holiday, as opposed to a jar of rejuvenating face mask. It would really help if you make a list of things to carry, keeping in mind the purpose of your trip and the destination.

Emphasize on practicality

No, you don’t need to carry 7 lip colors to a weekend trip. Yes, you can make do with the hair dryer that the hotel provides. No, that neon eye pencil cannot travel with you to the office conference. Place great importance on practicality, and only pack stuff that you honestly need. Beauty gadgets are bulky and heavy, so they’re best left at home. The same applies to certain serums, conditioners, and moisturizers that you surely can live without for a few days.

Think smart

As cosmetic companies continue to dazzle us with their amazingly versatile products, can we afford to ignore them? So pack your eye pencil/lip liner, a lip tint that doubles up as a creamy blush, and a concealer stick that works as a foundation. All-in-one products like BB or CC creams offer the combined benefits of a moisturizer, sunblock, and foundation, so you’ll end up carrying just one tube instead of three. As far as your fave fragrance is concerned, pick up a miniature roll-on when you buy a bottle, and save it for your trips.

Say no to bulk

Bulk comes in the form of makeup brushes, as each serves just one purpose. These brushes also need delicate handling, which is rather cumbersome if you’re backpacking. Dismiss their inclusion by carrying to-be-applied-directly products like sticks or creams. Again, going by the previous point, stress on carrying versatile products. And if you absolutely cannot do without your makeup brushes, purchase a travel-sized kit to carry along.

Dramatically downsize

If your stay happens to be longish, you’ll surely be yearning for your staples in a few days’ time. To combat the separation anxiety, carry miniature versions of your must-haves. Most cosmetic makers offer travel kits of their best sellers, so stock these if you’re a jet-setter. You can also purchase a set of small bottles or jars, and transfer your favorite lotions and potions into them instead of carrying those huge containers. Ziploc bags may also serve the purpose.

Don’t get roomy

Just get yourself a really tiny, wallet-sized pouch to carry all your makeup goodies, and force yourself to fit in everything you need in there. If you honestly manage to do this, it means that you’ve actually followed every point mentioned here, and this entire operation has been a rip-roaring success!

Never get caught unawares

The second Sex and the City movie showed us how the Samantha Jones had to let go of her various potions at the customs just as she lands in Abu Dhabi. Well, if quirky (read: non-branded) products are your thing, you have to make sure that you’re allowed to carry them to the country you’re visiting. If you’re doing so for medical reasons, you should carry detailed prescriptions along with you. Most countries maintain a list of import restrictions on their embassy website, so do check it out before you begin packing.

So, with all this in mind, I’m sure that packing your makeup bag isn’t exactly going to be a dream. But suck it up, we have to, because rules are rules, after all. Get past it, and have the time of your life on your next holiday.

Want to Hike the Appalachian Trail

On the off chance that you need to join the world class club of individuals who have effectively finished the Appalachian Trail climb, we have for you here, a few tips which will put you destined for success. They will make your climb safe, without you sacrificing on the experience perspective.

Hiking along the 2000-mile long Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States is an adventure of a lifetime which attracts thousands of Americans every year. It is estimated that 3 to 4 million people hike the Appalachian Trail every year. Though the hike cannot be defined as dangerous, you need to be a little cautious when planning it. Before you set out or even plan a hike to the Appalachian Trail, you need to be well-versed with facts, like the right time to hike, equipment you require, time taken to complete it, etc.

About Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, also referred to as the Appalachian National Scenic Trail or AT, is a hiking trail extending over a distance of 2175 miles, between Springer Mountain (Georgia) and Mount Katahdin (Maine). Almost the entire Trail passes through the natural surroundings of the 14 states of the eastern United States. Only at some points, it comes close to human habitation. With river crossings, steep climbing, and forests rich with wild animals, such as the American Black Bear and venomous snakes, to its credit, the trail has something for all. The maintenance of the Appalachian Trail is overlooked by 30 trail clubs, along with several other organizations and locals. In fact, the local people played a major role in building this trail between 1921, when the idea was conceived by Benton MacKaye, to 1937, when the trail was finally completed.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

The foremost thing to do while preparing to hike the Appalachian is to decide what exactly you want: a short hike for a day, a backpacking trip over a weekend, or a long hike. This will, in turn, help you plan the trip accordingly. A short hike will require limited amount of supplies, while a long hike or back packing trip will require more supplies and overnight camping gear along with proper hiking equipment. In order to make sure that your trip is less cumbersome, you can ideally spend some extra money on buying light hiking equipment instead of those heavy ones.

The weather at the Appalachian Trail can change within seconds, especially in particular parts of the trail, and hence, you will have to do some research about the weather of the state you plan to hike in. If you are planning the hike in winter, make sure that you carry enough clothes and safety material. You will also need to make sure that the terrain of the state you choose, is suitable for you, or else you might end up exhausting yourself due to steep climbing, which can turn out to be dangerous at times. Hiking in certain segments, such as the White Mountain National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is relatively risky owing to unpredictable climatic conditions and difficult terrain, and hence, is best avoided unless you have a proper hiking experience.

The other essential things you need to carry along with you on this hike are Appalachian Trail guide or maps, medical aid and packed food in case of emergency, etc. Being enthusiastic is fine, but becoming overenthusiastic and exerting your limits on the very first day will leave your body pleading for rest throughout the rest of the journey. Hiking early morning will not just save you from unnecessary exhaustion, but also increase your chances of seeing nature at its best and spotting animals in the wild. When it comes to hiking on such trails, one needs to remember that it is the journey that matters; not the destination.

Among the other things to keep in mind, you need to also know that the hike to the Appalachian Trail is not actually meant for casual picnickers. It needs a great deal of physical as well as mental strength, along with that never say die attitude, which will help you carry on along this moderate to difficult terrain. After a couple of relatively small hikes, you can go for the big one, wherein like a true Appalachian Trail thru-hiker you can attempt to hike the entire trail in a single season.

Tips to Properly Choose the Best Trekking Poles

A trekking pole is one of the most-used equipment by trekkers, hikers and backpackers. They are used to increase your stability and act as a scaffolding on any track. It is a must-have in your trekking gear.

Why do We Use Trekking Poles?

Trekking poles are most utile for people who have any sort of damage in their legs. These poles reduces the compressive pressure by 25%. Trekking poles are basically used to attain more balance while trekking. While you are going up-hill or down-hill, a trekking pole helps in reducing the stress and fatigue on your leg-joints. It also eases, crossing slippery surfaces like streams or snow patches, and also makes it safer. They can probe into the mucky areas, confirming if it is safe to walk over.

How to Choose the Perfect Trekking Pole

To choose proper poles, you will have to consider factors like its type, size, capacity, grip, etc. Let’s go through these factors one by one.

Type of Poles
1. Anti-shock Poles
Anti-shock poles consist of internal springs which helps in absorbing shocks and jerks on the trails. Also, these poles have an option to switch to a standard (without internal spring) trekking pole, when not needed. An anti-shock trekking pole is highly recommended for those who have any sort of a leg-joint or a hip problem. Anti-shock poles are a little expensive.

2. Standard Poles
These are anti-shock poles minus the anti-shock effect. These poles provide a good support and balance but are not as good as anti-shock poles. They are less expensive and lighter in weight.

3. Compact Poles
Compact poles are relatively smaller than the above mentioned poles. These poles are also known as ‘women poles’ as these have smaller grips addressing to the woman’s needs. They are light in weight and are very easy to carry.

4. Hiking Staff
Hiking staffs are single poles that are best used when the terrain is flat and you have no burden on your back. They are available with an anti-shock system and also with a camera.

Weight
Normally, lighter the poles are, the more they cost. They are easier to swing and easier to carry. Lighter poles facilitates quicker movements and less stress.

Price
Depending on your reliability on a pole during trekking, you should pick your trekking pole. There are variety of brands and different price ranges for trekking poles. If the price is not a concern, pick an anti-shock-light-weight pole for trekking.

Grip
The grip of a trekking pole varies from brand to brand. A few brands have different poles for left-hand and for right-hand. Many poles also have an extended grip, which enables the user to have a lower grip position. This shortens the length of pole for an uphill climb.

The grips on the poles are made up of cork, foam or rubber. A cork grip adjusts with the shape of a hand easily, giving you a better grip. It also prevents vibration and moisture from sweaty hands. Similarly, a foam grip absorbs sweat and is very soft to touch whereas, a grip made out of rubber is harder, prevents your hand from vibration, and shock. However, during the summers these grips have been complained to cause blisters. Therefore, rubber grips are best used in winters.

Shaft
It’s the shaft of the pole that you actually pay the money for. A shaft is usually made up of either aluminum or carbon. An aluminum shaft has an tendency to bend under high stress trekking, though it does not break easily whereas carbon poles are better at reducing vibrations. They are strong too, but they are more threatened to splint or break under high stress. So, choose whatever suits you, out of the two.

Locking Mechanism
Locking mechanisms are adapted in poles to enable the user to adjust the length of the pole according to the slope and his height. There are four type of locks.

1. Stop Lock: This system prevents the lock from being unstable.
2. Flick Lock: This is very strong and easy to adjust. This lock is lever based.
3. Duo Lock: You can adjust the length of the pole here easily.
4. Super Lock: This locking system uses an expander to adjust the length of the pole. It is very strong and reliable.

Baskets
Normally all the trekking poles have removable baskets. Baskets used in them are small.

Pole Tips
Pole tips are made of carbide or steel and both are durable. However, buy a pole with a rubber-coated tip to protect your gear.

It is important that you clean your pole, specially the multi-locking area to prevent the locking system from slipping and corroding. I hope that the explanation above was of help. In the end, you should keep your needs in mind before the purchase. All the best!