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Thread: Minimalist Lightweight Gear ... who else aims for less?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    240
    I have enough equipment to do a lot of different setups. Having one good set of lightweight equipment covers everything from backpacking to motorcycle camping.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
    I think it's a slippery slope. I think a lot of us start with ultralight junk while 20-something climbers and boaters so naturally the first outfit is a beater pickup or Civic that acts like a quasi-backpack with an engine.

    Then we get a roomier tent and justify that it's not so bad being able to almost kneel upright. Then we get a Coleman stove and justify that it's nice not having your MSR pot tip over and dump your oatmeal. Then we get a fridge and justify that it sure is nice having cold beer and no ice. Before you know it you have a V8 full size, RTT and drawers and a 1,000 lbs of junk.

    So we rediscover ultralight and realize that it's the experience and not the gear.

    But you'll have to drag the fridge from cold, dead hands.
    Ha! This is exactly me. Started as a teen/20-something fit and hungry for adventure...2 person ultralight tent (more like 1 + small backpack), mini-thermarest, MSR Whisperlite that can't simmer worth a damn, etc. Started my adventures with a Nissan Micra, terrible compression, but it was mine.

    This weekend, as I was standing in front of my tailgate table making coffee on the MSR...I was thinking that the dang stove is SO sketchy!! Why do I have all this other cool gear and yet I am still using this little bent wire inferno maker?

    I've done similar things, bring loads of stuff, then find out you forgot you even had all of it with you, and didn't even have the slightest need for any of it.

    I try to take note each time I am organizing things in the trailer/jeep - which things did I *really* need on that last trip, which are nice, which I do not need. Then I consider the space and weight. If it is big/heavy/both, it is higher on the list to get left behind next time around.

    I find that things like a sleeping pad, amount of water (showers), all the solar gear, and quality of food are high on the list. If I make enough room, sometimes I will enjoy the breathing room, other times, I'll bring more 'comfy' stuff.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    716
    Quote Originally Posted by Function > Form View Post
    Ha! This is exactly me. Started as a teen/20-something fit and hungry for adventure...2 person ultralight tent (more like 1 + small backpack), mini-thermarest, MSR Whisperlite that can't simmer worth a damn, etc. Started my adventures with a Nissan Micra, terrible compression, but it was mine.

    This weekend, as I was standing in front of my tailgate table making coffee on the MSR...I was thinking that the dang stove is SO sketchy!! Why do I have all this other cool gear and yet I am still using this little bent wire inferno maker?

    I've done similar things, bring loads of stuff, then find out you forgot you even had all of it with you, and didn't even have the slightest need for any of it.

    I try to take note each time I am organizing things in the trailer/jeep - which things did I *really* need on that last trip, which are nice, which I do not need. Then I consider the space and weight. If it is big/heavy/both, it is higher on the list to get left behind next time around.

    I find that things like a sleeping pad, amount of water (showers), all the solar gear, and quality of food are high on the list. If I make enough room, sometimes I will enjoy the breathing room, other times, I'll bring more 'comfy' stuff.
    I dunno. I kinda went through that, in that I started with backpacking and climbing when one had very very few choices in gear; it was pretty much whatever REI had in their mail order catalog and you could wait to get, or in three (count 'em) stores in SoCal. Three. So mostly tube tents, jeans and maybe a choice of a Svea, Primus or Bluet stove was about it. Wasn't much gear to argue about then; guess that's why they had to invent the internet (I'm only kinda joking...it was some of the first stuff argued about on usenet, before even web forums).

    But I had friends that car camped so we always mixed both, and that continued up to today. I don't backpack or climb now, but still there's river trips and pack trips. And motel trips and Class A trips and camper van trips and back of a pickup trips. I just choose the gear that suits and don't worry 'bout it, same as always. So the experience has always been it, not the tools. And sure, the experience can be enhanced with a suitable choice in gear, but you always gotta make compromises, like any time you dive into the tool chest. I think the fact I was lucky enough to always have a very wide range of outdoor experiences kept me from getting too gear-identified.

    But I think some people kinda get hung up in the gear thing. In part cuz they wanna identify with a tribe: the Tree Huggers, the Backpackers (normal), the Backpackers (Ultralight; tough crowd), the River Rats, the Glampers, the RVers, the VW hippies, the vanlifers, the Pirate Offroaders, the ExPO Overlanders, and so on. It's funny how sometimes I get the hairy eyeball from one of these groups, like when I'm in the Toyhauler tribe and we camp next to the Ultralight Bibler tent people somewhere. When I'm no different than when I was occupying that Bibler (well, maybe Mountain Hardware..but close). I wander by and say something like "single wall, huh?" and suddenly I'm somebody they can talk to without fear I'm gonna do donuts with an ATV in their camp. I think we all can kinda get sucked into it, being social like we are, but people are right to step back and question whether our material stuff is having too much influence on us.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    240
    Camping gear is my true addiction in life. I've camped since the 70's and the gear available today is mind boggling....and I love it all!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    28
    I'm with you on cooking. It makes for great pictures and articles to cook gourmet. But it takes a sh&tload of time too. And I'm usually by myself. I do a lot of cheese, sausage, olives, dried tomatoes for lunches and dinners. Maybe simply grilling burgers or a steak. Cereal / yogurt./ nuts for breakfast. Instant Starbucks coffee (its pretty good, and even though i love getting a percolator going it takes time to do and clean up.) With a Jetboil i have coffee in about 4 minutes. About all i "cook" is a bowl of canned soup.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlacidWaters View Post
    I guess there are different definitions of "minimalist." Total weight of gear, space it takes up. But also maybe simplicity in the way you go about things. I've been phasing out cooking. If I cook it's more likely to be at home for a trip of a few days, and then eaten cold. Last trip supper was cold steak and vegetables. Not very exciting, but not having to carry a stove and pots and having just a couple of dishes (or no dishes---just eat out of the container) to wash WAS exciting. It leaves more time for other things. On longer trips I would cook though.

    As for gear, we're always searching for the middle ground of comfort, light weight, small packed size, and affordable. That changes every single year with new designs. So while I become more minimalist with lighter gear . . . the previous years' stuff accumulates and has to go on Craigslist, which is not a minimalist approach.

    Age plays a role here. I agree, Christophe, there was a time when I backpacked with 30 lbs and noticed how soft rocks were when I took a nap on them by a stream. Really soft was a 1/4" closed-cell pad. These days it mystifies me that some people can sleep on a cot without a 3" air mattress.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Central Coast, California USA
    Posts
    398
    I'm OK with the cooking ... it's the washing up that I hate. Limited water in so much of the West, plus the health/hygiene issue of getting it "clean enough", especially rinsed enough, and then disposing of the waste water in bear country. For what it's worth, my wife can travel lighter than me. But our trips normally include mountain bikes, which brings along a whole second set of gear as well as the bikes themselves. So we've been trying to cut back in other areas.
    -dman93
    Tacoma TRD OR DCSB
    Suzuki DR and DL650

  7. #27
    Iím slowly beginning to consider a more lightweight approach. Or at least ditching the RTT in favor of a cap on the back of the the truck.

    The Coleman stove is non negotiable.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    High Desert of Idaho
    Posts
    763
    I can glamp in my van but in my Lexus Land Cruiser, I travel like I'm backpacking. However, so far, 2 nights is about my max. I use a small cooler, MSR stove, and try to keep most of my gear in a medium size duffel (vs. a backpack).
    2002 Lexus Land Cruiser (LLC)
    2002 Pleasure Way Traverse Class B pop top van
    2001 GMC 4x4 2500HD EC, LB
    2007 Nash 27-5B fifth wheel

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