It goes without saying, working a 9-5 and still pushing yourself to explore/exercise in the outdoors is tough. It takes a high level of commitment and requires a lot of trial and error to figure out just what is possible to accomplish. You often find yourself up against quick deadlines and short timeframes… and I’m not talking about the career side of things. Sometimes dinner is a bag of chips you had at the back of your cupboard and that solid 8 hours of sleep they recommend turns in to only 4 or 5. But we love it. The lack of sleep and challenge is what we desire. It’s difficult, always rewarding, and delivers us to the most beautiful places we’ve seen.

Over the years of living this “weekend warrior” lifestyle I’ve picked up a number of tips that have been critical for a successful adventure. Hopefully they can help you to get out more and realize just what is possible with the remaining hours of your day.

1. Overnight at a trailhead.
For me this has been the best way to get the most out of a day. Save yourself the drive in the morning and just camp at the trailhead the night before. (Keep a low profile though and don’t be an annoyance to others who might be doing the same thing).

2. Eat on the move.
Shave time by eating your breakfast or lunch on the go. I rarely sit down to enjoy a cooked meal on a weekend trip out. Plus, smashed PB&J always taste bomb in the mountains. So do burritos..

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3. Keep your gear organized and ready at a moments notice.
Whenever I get back from a trip I hang up my gear and make sure it’s organized. So when that phone call comes in, and it’s time to head out right after work, I know exactly where to find what I need. No running around the house to find bits and pieces of kit. (I’ll be honest. This one is hard to follow, especially when you’re dog tired).

4. Travel light
Heading out on an objective directly after work on a Friday night is tough on your body. You’ll find you have limitations, and that you will hit a wall at a certain point. Make it easier on yourself and use gear that is light in weight. You’ll thank yourself at the end of it.

5. Hydrate throughout the day.
Leading up to your epic, make sure to hydrate yourself and drink plenty of water. I make sure to refill  my 32oz REI water bottle throughout my work day. When you’re hydrated you can go further.

Post in partnership with REI. All opinions shared here are my own.