Ultralight hiking and gear brings mankind back to nature. period. (see how I did there.. but wrote the actual . and spelled it out to make it more effective). It’s the title and my point. I wrote about going lighter and why you should do it, and it brought some funny images to my mind and something I thought would be fun to write about – mainly because I’m an asshole, but also because I think the people reading this are like me and find what I write to at least to be mildly entertaining.

I can’t shake the image of the hipster backpacker with the cool plaid shirt, long perfectly groomed beard and kick ass cotton pants – it is so synonymous with the outdoor lifestyle that it’s hilarious. If you get the chance you really should go on a group backpacking trip – it will be the funnest and most inspiring time of your life. It will inspire you to quit being a jackass and buy gear that you can be comfortable in. Gear that won’t make you afraid of the dark clouds and icky water streams. Gear that will liberate you from the enslavement of the hipster bubble.

I am at the core fairly un-domesticated in my manners and being. I don’t care what other people think, or who I happen to offend – it is one of those gifts in life that enable true happiness. Throw me out in the wild and my un-domestication turns into a kind of wild feral being that many might be mistaken as some kind of ape man living among humans. The sheer thought of having to get dressed up and look good in the wild invokes a kind of repulsion in me. Much like getting stomach flu – you know the kind where you wake up in the middle of the night and shit yourself for hours on end.. that’s my reaction.

As i’ve stated before – being in the outdoors is suppose to be fun. It enables freedom and sense of wonderment that is hard to get anywhere else. Hiking solo is the best for this – it gets your back to your roots: It exposes you for who you are – to yourself. Your fears, your dreams, what you want out of life. Being free from fear of your packing and elements makes this journey even more incredible.

Being in nature is not about high fashion, it’s not about trying to avoid the inevitabilities of being in the outdoors – it’s about being human, about being in your own way feral, it’s about not giving two-fucks. The lighter your gear, the quicker drying your shoes, the less you care about getting rained on makes this journey even more profound. So here’s my advice: Live in the outdoors like you would love to live your life. For me it’s about being in the now and not giving two-fucks – lighter, dry-able gear makes that possible.

Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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  1. […] shoes or trail runners Going lighter: The Tent Bring man back to nature Going lighter: The backpack Going lighter: The first […]


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