Minimalism and lifestyle

Discussion in 'Hiking Chat' started by Victor, Nov 10, 2018.

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  1. Victor

    Victor Backpacker

    In general, I find backpacking to be more enjoyable when carrying less. With a minimalistic approach to what I bring with me it's less of a burden on my back. It's easier to decide what to use if there is no alternative - I value the item that fulfills a certain task more if there is no redundancy. I feel free when all I need to survive fits in a backpack. I feel free when the things that keep me warm, dry, fed, and sheltered are movable, all at once, by my body.

    I wonder - are there people here who lives minimalistically and adapts the above principles in some ways to their everyday life?

    I also wonder - are there people in here who has moved to a place to get easier access to the lifestyle they want, in this case backpacking and living in nature.

    I'm looking forward to hear your story.
  2. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    We lives in a trailer, and get lots of fresh air n exercise ;)

    In a field full of organically grown veg, most of which is sold locally, once we've eaten several tonnes of it. .

    Kinda minimises living costs :o o:
    (in fact the veg growing even makes me a living! )

    The yoga teaching is for 'luxuries' such as tents, the occasion hotel, beer, meals out, train tickets, that kinda thing :angelic:

    Very luckily other people who value the farm, will look after it sometimes..

    Giving the freedom to go hiking, and biking , both close to home, and in places reachable by train, from time to time.

    Was that the kindöv thing you had in mind Victor??
    Daymoth likes this.
  3. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    But I couldn't quite claim to be minimalist, certainly not with my farmlife, anyhoe.. :angelic:

    A few too many tractor implements, in need of rationalisation.

    Anyone wanna buy a third hand Lilliston weeder / cultivator?

    Apparently they're quite sought after ; but it doesn't quite fit in with my tillage regime :arghh:

    You know how it is... Impulse purchases and so forth :bag:
  4. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I'd love to get away from it all, we've discussed it a few times over the years but nothing ever happened unfortunately. Exciting things like moving to an off-grid log cabin in British Columbia, then there was the self sufficient homestead in Assynt, sadly I'm still in IT and the wife is still teaching at an inner city school, but I still hope to live a simpler life one day, away from the gadgets and always being contactable and accountable :)
  5. Victor

    Victor Backpacker

    This is what I had in mind @Fair Weather Camper. I think my questions are rather open so whoever wants to reply can do it in their own fashion.

    I think backpacking has the potential to open people's mind to the concept of living with less. It's therefore interesting to read if there are backpackers here who apply these principles to their own everyday life.

    Do you have kids @Fair Weather Camper? I think it is easier to live such quite a free life as yours without kids.
    Fair Weather Camper likes this.
  6. Victor

    Victor Backpacker

    Many IT jobs can be done from a distance. I do about half of my work from home.
  7. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    A mentor of mine told me never to have more things in your life than you can fit in the back of a London cab in case SHTF.

    I lived by these wise words for many years and they served me well. Having 13 different houses in 4 1/2 years involved many a moonlight flit and lost deposit.

    When I decided to come back to Suffolk I fitted my whole life into the boot and back seat of an ancient BMW coupe.

    Since then I have probably lost the art of minimalism. Although my house and decor may appear minimalistic (the 1,000+ books in the lounge excepted) there is always a loft bulging at the seams with the 'stuff' of modern life, at least it is hidden away though.

    I would like to have less stuff.....
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  8. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I'm currently doing four days in the office and one at home, realistically I could do 90% of my role remotely but my company want us on site, they are getting more flexible though.
    Fair Weather Camper likes this.
  9. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Trail Blazer

    Is had a mate who would only own the contents of a brown leather grip as a well tailored suit. If he wanted to own something else, then another thing had to come out of the bag to make way for it.

    I thought he was bonkers at the time. However, after 25 years of reflection and spiritual growth, I look back at his philosophy and think.... I bet he’s given up on that idea.
    Jon jons, Diddi and Enzo like this.
  10. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Yes two children.
    Grown up now though... Yay :)

    Although younger one has sortov boomeranged back home in his own trailer.

    They both came backpacking / wildcamping from three months of age onwards..

    Very minimalist too, on the whole.

    Given that I was carrying their ready warmed meals, on tap.

    Plus they always seemed to sleep better within earshot of a river, the sea, or the wind in the trees :thumbsup:

    But they are free to go on their own self-propelled adventures now :happy:

    Edit... I wouldn't quite call it a 'free life' though.. Self employed food growing and farming do place a few demands on one's time and energies :happy: and getting to a place where all this is possible hasn't been without its trials :facepalm:
  11. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    :rolleyes:We ain't no minimalists.

    Let alone the farm, on the personal front alone, I seem to move on boxes of stuff and sacks of clothes each year. Yet still it piles up:arghh: it's just too easy if you have space and an acquisitive habit when it comes to backpacking gear.
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  12. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Like many, I dream of a more minimalist life.

    Backpacking ( the actual thing - trips) is living in a minimally way. I strive to reduce the amount/variety of gear I take - easier in summer when warm.
    Fair Weather Camper likes this.
  13. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Maybe a concerted effort to sort some stuff and pass it on... :) Is called for??

    Gotta find something to do with the looong winter nights :angelic:
  14. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I used to, several times before I settled down I got rid of everything and went walkabout.
    But far from minimal now :eek:
    Jon z talks lots about hiking and minimalism.
    I do hike minimal though.
    Fair Weather Camper likes this.
  15. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    dogs are the answer :rolleyeses:
  16. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Trail Blazer

    Oddly enough, Cesar Millan believes that vagrants and tramps are the ideal dog owners because they are so minimal. They deliver the fundamental laws of pack leadership to dog in spadefulls. Exercise, pack migration, opportunistic feeding and pack support.

    Edited: actually homeless is probably the collective noun I should have used... my bad.
  17. Daymoth

    Daymoth Ultralighter

    I try... Specially since moving countries and learning the hard way how horrible posessions are when there is land and sea in between.

    I think I dont do too bad.... And having destructive pets helps. But I do have more rucksacks and clothes than I actually need. And I do enjoy buying stuff time to time.
  18. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Sell some stuff on POGO!! It was your idea.
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  19. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Shhhh Clare :o o: Don't tell 'em it was my idea.

    Or it'll never get off the ground :confused:

    But yes, any incentive would help.

    Edit - look look :):) they're brought out a beer in our honour !

    I suddenly lose the will to live, when faced with a roomful of random stuff, and feel the need to take a good long hike to recover :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  20. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Agreed, although some might still maintain I take too many clothes (and possibly food too)

    But I hate being hungry, or cold.

    "I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry"

    Could be my epithet.

    Also I call it a win if ive never had to wear all my clothes at once to keep warm, on a trip.

    Having that slight margin for error (or mountainside catastrophe) would be akin to 'packing my fears' I spose.

    On my last trip I was packing for a weeks backpacking, bookended with two town based gigs, where I had to be reasonably (!) presentable.:whistling:

    Oh and then someone gave me 800g of book, that needed reviewing...

    I didn't weigh my pack :geek: but UL it weres'nt
  21. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    I think that's why some of us like this lark. At least for the short periods we're on the hills we can engage with the minimal self-sufficient thing. On our return to 'normal' life, the effects stay with us for a while. Adopting it as our permanent lifestyle would, I suspect, be another thing entirely. There are times when it seems an attractive option though, and at least we've probably gained a bit of knowledge about some practicalities during our little excursions.

    But as for enjoying backpacking more when carrying less, I doubt it. Taking that proposition to the ultimate would mean carrying nothing at all. There is a 'sweet spot' where we carry the least we can but still feel comfortable enough, and that varies between individuals. A perusal of most threads on this site serves to illustrate the unceasing search for the ideal, and there is much to be learned from other peoples' experiences.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  22. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    Being happy in your own skin for me
    Fair Weather Camper and Robin like this.
  23. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker


    Sounds a tad gruesome.

    I'd be wary Victor, if Dave suggests a private meet :o o:
    Victor and Imperial Dave like this.
  24. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    The true minimalist is the fella living under a scrap of tarp on a patch of ground, with only a pair of shorts and a hoe to his name. Most of what we call minimalism here in the first world is just outsourcing.
    cathyjc and edh like this.
  25. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker


    Not always a fella..
    Most of the peasant farming undertaken world-wide is done by women, and girls.

    But generally I'd agree with your sentiment.

    I took part in a radio show some time back where there was a great deal of romanticising of living the allegedly 'simple' or 'good life' in this country.

    I pointed out that this image is mainly a conceit, a luxury 'lifestyle' option for most.

    Obtaining access to land to hoe, or indeed live on, is very difficult, in this country, land prices, and planning regs being what they are.

    Our choice to go minimal, in the hills is a luxury first world option, which most don't have.

    And yeah. our ul goods will more than likely have had some 'outsourcing' in terms of low paid labour, environmental costs elsewhere..

    Anyone who has ever made a jacket, or tent, or what have you, comes to appreciate, pretty quick, just how cheap, even the most expensive item is, in real terms..
    cathyjc likes this.
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