2017-10-25 / Columns

Now Here's a Tip

• Roll clothing to pack: For shirts, you can stack them all together, then fold over the sleeves before rolling. Pants are best rolled individually. Fold one leg onto the other, then roll tightly from ankle to waist, being sure to smooth wrinkles as you go. Stuff socks into shoes. Make use of all your space.

• Trouble getting to sleep? Maybe you should try listening to soothing sounds. There are many to choose from, from white or pink noise (find it free on YouTube or get a CD from the library). There’s even a podcast where a person reads a boring book in a monotone voice (Sleep with Me). You never know if it’ll help unless you try. — C.A. in Florida

• Homemade ice pack: Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water in a zippertop bag; seal and place in the freezer. It gets really cold but never hardens, so you can manipulate it. Every athlete (or parent) should pin this. -- M.W. (Add food coloring so you can tell if it’s leaking, and label it properly!)

• Airport hacks: Bring a few extra zipper-top bags, just in case you need them on the return flight; bring an empty water bottle to fill up after you clear security; bring your own snacks; tie or otherwise fasten an identifiable scrap of material to your plain black luggage to make it easy to spot on the luggage carousel; wear a heavy coat -- you can always take it off and stow it, but it won’t count against your weight limit if it’s on you at check-in.

• Winter driver safety list! Check levels for the following: engine oil, coolant and antifreeze, as well as windshield wiper fluid (non-freezing), tire pressure and tread depth.

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