Has anyone ever said to you that less was more? Well, they were not just giving you some
cryptic, sensei type response, they might have been right. We are going to talk about just how
much less is more. There is a strategy of camping which involves eliminating and reducing
your amount of equipment instead of increasing your equipment and believing that bigger is
always better. This strategy is called minimalist camping. Based on the principle that the more
things you take with you, the less you are surrounded in your new environment, the minimalist
looks to fully understand and love the wilderness. By lessening the amount required for such
an endeavor, the minimalist seeks to better acquaint themselves with nature. This idea was
written about by the likes of John Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.
Okay, so the less you pack, the more you get to know your surroundings. But how exactly
does one manage to bring less? What can you stand to leave home? Is there a special
process I can use to decrease my gear? Absolutely. Here is a list of tips and techniques:
Leave the tent at home. If it is going to be a nice night, go without the tent. Nothing is better
than a clear night sleeping under the stars. By leaving the tent behind, it will not only lighten
your load, but it could make you fall in love with the beautiful nighttime sky.
Don’t take your electronics. I assure you a day without the phone and iPod won’t kill you.
It just might allow you to appreciate the beautiful sounds of nature.
Just bring a spoon. You absolutely do not need a full set of silverwear.
Find many uses for one item. For example, your water bottle can be your cup and also your
bowl. You don’t need three items, just one.
Teach yourself how to find food. Finding your food instead of bringing it can be a great
way to learn more about nature and a good way to respect your surroundings.
Camp without a sleeping pad. Gather some leaves or find a smooth grassy spot. Instead of
taking your pad with you, let nature be your pad.
Wear the same clothes. You can stay in your same clothing for your entire expedition. You
don’t need your entire wardrobe, especially if you wear high quality clothing like The North
Do not bring camp shoes. Bringing extra shoes does not make much sense if you are trying
to camp with the least amount of gear possible. A better option is to get a pair of lightweight
trail runners, such as Salomon Footwear, that will stay comfortable all day.
Leave those inhibitions at home also. One of the most important skills for minimalist campers
is to remember you should only take what you absolutely need. Do not be afraid to leave
some items out. It might be the best thing you could do.
Remember that going camping is
not about what you bring into the wilderness, but about the memories you take out of nature.