Top 10 Tips And Tricks We Learned From The Military

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

You pick up unique, useful skills in the military -- not just for special ops, but also often applicable to everyday life. Here are ten of the most interesting ones we've learned over the years.

Photos by Ryan Jorgensen -- Jorgo (Shutterstock), Tara Hunt, fodwyer, Official US Navy Page, City of Boston Archives, Official US Navy Imagery.

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

10. Pack Your Clothes Efficiently

Those in the military often have to be ready to "move out" at a moment's notice, packing light and keeping their uniforms wrinkle-free. They're pros at folding shirts, rolling pants, and even saving space with optimal socks folding. By the way, any army disposals store is a great place to pick up a versatile bag for travel or day-to-day journeys.

9. Make Your Bed Every Morning... Fast

Mum was right -- and so is the US Navy: Making your bed every morning is important. Former Navy SEAL Adm. McRaven points out how making your bed each day gets you the push you need to conquer the rest of the day's tasks. (Sometimes it's just the one small thing that pulls you out of a rut and keeps you going.)

The military's also taught us how to make crisp "hospital corners" for a neater bed and how to make your bed in less than a minute.

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

8. Beat Jet Lag with Your Diet

Fewer things are worse than going on a long flight only to be sick for hours when you get there thanks to jet lag. There's an Anti-Jet Lag Diet designed by the US Department of Defence and supported by a military study as effective at keeping jet lag at bay. It's a four-day plan where you alternate feasting and semi-fasting (not as bad as it sounds!).

7. Save Energy and Money with the Navy Shower

Everyone who enjoys showers can skip this one, but everyone else might want to just give it a chance because you can not only save a couple of hundred dollars on your water bill, but also help conserve water. The trick is to turn off the shower after your body's wet, lather up and then turn the water back on just to rinse off. It makes sense, even if it doesn't sound fun. Maybe not the best practise in the middle of winter, but one to keep in mind as the weather improves.

6. Keep Your Dress Shirt Tucked in Neatly

Billowing dress shirts just aren't in fashion anymore. The video above shows how to pinch and tuck your dress shirt in, military style, for a more presentable, slimmer appearance (plus other dress shirt tricks).

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

5. "Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable"

This one's not so much a trick but a mind hack (or at least a quotable to keep in mind): Change your perspective so you're comfortable with the uncomfortable and you'll be prepared for anything. Not necessarily extreme physical situations, but any of the many uncomfortable situations life will throw at you.

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

4. Gauge Your Fitness Level

Speaking of discomfort, here's the US Marine Corps fitness test that will show you how fit or unfit you are. It doesn't matter if you're Marine material or not, the three exercises (pull-ups, crunches and a 4.8km run done within two hours) will give you a benchmark of your current fitness for future reference.

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

3. Know the Real Signs of Drowning

The signs of drowning are very subtle -- not the splashy, loud show you might expect. The US Coast Guard posted the signs everyone should be aware of, so you can know when to call for help or act, if you're properly trained. (Don't be a hero, remember the life-saving advice "reach, throw, row, go.")

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

2. Make Great Coffee Anywhere

Great coffee? From the military? As you've noticed by now, these guys get around a lot and know how to improvise. Former US Marines-turned-coffee-book-authors Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez showed us the best methods for making great coffee on the go, whether you're camping or happen to be somewhere you need a very sturdy mug.

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

1. Survive in Harsh Situations

You'll hopefully never need the US Military Survival Manual, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Download it on your phone to learn about fire starting, dealing with dangerous animals, and more wilderness survival skills from the experts.

Take a look at even more military tricks to make your daily life easier here.


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