I think we can all agree that organization is pretty dang important. It lowers stress levels, helps us become more productive, and raises the overall quality of our lives. That said, I have never been a very organized person. During college I probably wasted a good amount of time on homework searching through binders, looking for the right notes. It wasn’t until I started my first real job that I realized how important organization actually is. Before, my lack of organization just made my life a little more difficult. Now my time spent searching for things equals money; which is not a good thing to waste.
So how can we improve our organization skills? I’m sure there are plenty of life tips telling you use a planner more effectively or to place items back exactly where you found them, but none of these tips are very fun. If only there were a way to combine the outdoors and organizational learning skills…
That’s where backpacking comes in! And even camping for that matter. Backpacking helps train the mind by forcing it to think ahead and plan accurately. For example, when I go backpacking, I lay out all my gear the night before so I can make sure everything is accounted for. I will sometimes create a checklist if the trip requires more gear than normal. Consequently, I have learned to create checklists for large projects at work. This helps me remember what tasks I have already completed (items packed) and what tasks I still need to do (items that need to be packed).
Planning out food rations is another key aspect of backpacking that requires organizational skills. If you want to be extra prepared for the trip, you could always pack more food than necessary and deal with the heavy pack, but not everybody wants to carry those extra pounds. In order to maximize calories consumed and minimize weight, meals must be strategically thought out. You pack out what you pack in, so planning for waste is just as important as the food itself. Planning out my meals for the trip helps train my brain to organize small daily activities such as short projects or organizing weekend agendas.
Backpacking also helps with the obvious skill of cramming a bunch of items into a small bag. This is not so much an organization skill as it is a willpower skill, but it’s helpful nonetheless. Do you have any other ideas on how backpacking, camping, or travel has helped you organize? Comment below!