What is the lightest, cheapest hiking gear? No gear at all! A life with less stuff is a life with more room for beautiful thoughts and experiences. In that spirit, here is a list of gear we don’t plan to bring on our hike:
- Camp shoes/sandals: no need, as we’ll spend most of our time hiking, not in camp.
- Bowls and plates: we’ll eat straight from our pot.
- Cooking utensils and silverware: bring only a spoon.
- Extra clothes: one of each item suffices.
- Pack lid: we won’t need the extra space.
- Towel, pot holder, water pre-filter: use a bandana.
- Pillow: a puffy jacket feels great.
- Notebook/diary, GPS unit, watch/alarm: our phones replace these.
- Whistle: our pack buckles and headlamps have these built in.
- Shovel: use a stick, rock, or tent stake instead.
- Car: we’re walking!
Backpacking is a great exercise in being temporarily homeless and self-reliant. You learn what you really need to survive — not much! Returning to civilization after a good hike, it’s informative to consider each of your possessions in light of this. Sometimes giving something away, or not buying something, removes stress and makes you happier.