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April 04, 2018

It's 2pm on Friday. Your productivity at the office is rapidly declining as you stare at the clock. You mentally run through your pre-trip checklist for the 100th time. You check the weekend forecast one more time just in case it's changed in the last 3 minutes. You, my friend, are a weekend warrior.

You spend all week working hard and dreaming of weekend adventures. And every week you face the same dilemma - how to make the most of your precious free time. You make compromises by limiting activities or reducing the distance you're willing to travel or giving up sleep. Don't worry you're not alone in the constant struggle of balancing responsibility and play.

 Be the weekend warrior you've always wanted to be with these tips and tricks

Whether you're a weekend warrior or a weekend wanderer, with a little planning and organization, you can maximize your time and adventure.

Plan and Pack Ahead

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but planning ahead is more than deciding on a destination. Your destination can be affected by a variety of factors like activities, drive time, permits, and weather. It's easy to get stuck in going to the same routine places within your driving radius. With a little extra effort, you can expand your horizons. Make trip planning easier with apps like AllTrails and The Dyrt by scoping out trails and campsites around your destination.

Once you have picked out your destination, don't wait until Friday night or Saturday morning to start packing your gear. Packing and loading up gear ahead of time means you can hit the road right after work on Friday night. Although it's easier said than done, packing ahead can be one of your biggest time savers.

Plus, packing ahead means you'll have time to take that Instagram-worthy gear shot.

Get Organized

Imagine going camping for the weekend and only having to toss in a couple totes, your sleeping bag, and tent. Packing is a breeze by when you use totes and bins dedicated to specific gear or activities. Reduce the chaos (and the chance of forgetting something) by getting organized. You can be packed and ready for the weekend with minimal effort.

Let's be honest, we all dread cleaning out and unpacking our cars post-adventure. However, with a little mindfulness and effort up front, you can be a Sunday night warrior too. Save yourself the headache by keeping your dirty clothes piled together or having a designated dirty clothes bag, making a single trash bag to use throughout the weekend, and most importantly, repack your gear back into its designated bin before you pack up your car to head home.

Yes, staying organized takes effort, but you'll be thanking yourself when you pull into the driveway Sunday night.

IAD: In A Day

For those who are ambitious and don't mind early morning alarm clocks, do it "in a day" can be a viable option -- sometimes it's the only option. Waking up before the sun, hitting the road in the pre-dawn glow, playing all day, and driving home in the dark can be exhausting. However, when your head hits the pillow you can doze off with a deeply rewarding sense of accomplishment. The IAD approach provides the perfect excuse for Sunday brunch.

If you have the discipline to wake up before the sun and ignore the voice in your head telling you to hit the snooze, then mega IAD adventures are for you.

Go Solo

Be brave and go solo. Logistics are simpler when planning for one. It's easier to make adjustments and go with the flow when you aren't coordinating with a group. However, if you go solo make sure you're prepared with the appropriate gear and tell someone you trust your trip plans. Going into the wilderness solo can give you a greater sense of accomplishment. Also, not having the distraction of other people means your trip into the wilderness alone can be more meditative and therapeutic.

Being a weekend warrior comes with a small price but a huge reward. You may not be able to do it all, but you can try -- the Monday morning post-adventure hangover is well worth it!

– Kayla Haas, Midland Adventures Contributor

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