The Essentials

One of my favorite documentaries is called The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. They also have a great podcast that I’ve been listening to a lot on the Trail. They are spreading the word that we can all live with much less and be happier in the end. Their message really resonates with me and I’ve been trying to put this into practice in my life for the last few years.

The AT is a perfect place to really focus in on this. For two months now I’ve been carrying everything I need on my back and I haven’t been happier. I love the simplicity of just having two outfits, a sleeping bag and a tent. I like keeping everything clean and organized and in good shape. I get excited about doing little repairs to my gear to keep them in good shape. I don’t lose things because I have so little to keep track of. Trust me – when you have one pair of pants you aren’t going to leave those behind. Now that I am half way through, I thought it would be interesting to see if my gear list has changed much since I first packed my bag in February.

My brand new clean smelling shirt

Not much has changed actually. From my original list, I sent home the following items:

Tyvek House Wrap
Long Sleeve Running Shirt
Hiking Poles
Go Pro 7
Titanium Bowl and lid
Coffee Press
Black Plastic Garbage Bag

I haven’t really added anything and it feels good. In the process of hiking, I don’t think about the things I don’t have. I’m surrounded by so many amazing and new things in nature that I don’t have time to think about it. As long as I have enough food and clothes to keep me warm I can keep moving and enjoy everything the Trail has to offer.

The challenge is going to be taking this attitude home with me. I certainly don’t need to live this sparsely in Atlanta but I will definitely remember how happy I am in this realm of uber simplicity. This should help me second guess my next purchase and stick to Joshua and Ryan’s favorite saying “love people and use things”.

I arrived in Pennsylvania today and am going to do a quick resupply. I heard from Mallwalker and he made it to Harpers Ferry but unfortunately he rolled his ankle and he thinks it might be pretty serious. I hope he can recover and get back soon but he said that he thinks he might have to go home. I hope he can heal quickly but this is a good reminder that injury can take you out of this game at any time.

9 thoughts on “The Essentials

  1. Pennsylvania already! You will be in
    Maine before you know it. We heard from our kayaking employer and we are suppose to start on
    June 15th. Sorry to hear about Mallwalker.


  2. Love your new clean shirt. Was really cheering Mallwalker along. Sorry to hear about his injury. Reminder to be safe and cautious. He was probably rushing his walk trying to catch up with you. Are you still hiking with your other friends? You are really making progress. Send me another p.o. address. This time I will use U.S. mail. Much love


    1. Thanks Mom. I’m with Jellyfish, Astronaut, Fire and NC’Ice and we are leaving Rouzerville today. Stocked up on some extra warm winter gear at Super Wal-Mart.


  3. Dearest Drew – your posts are the highlight of my day – truly – I love today’s post in particular since it speaks to my soul…thanks for sharing your journey — xoxo


  4. I might have missed it, but if you sent home your coffee press…how are you making coffee? I can’t see you simplifying enough to go to instant, although everything tastes better on the trail. Even instant coffee.


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