I’ve written in earlier post about my move towards a minimalist lifestyle, in many ways inspired by my backpacking. So far my conversion from consumer to minimalist is working out just fine. There have been a lot of changes that I have had to make, but to be honest the feeling I get everyday is that of less stress, less worry and, well, less. I am not constantly obsessing about the stuff I own or what I need to buy to be complete. I have found the latter part to still be a fight though, I do find things I would like to buy and would make my life easier. Though admittedly it’s now about what one thing can replace several and help me with my productivity.
One example of this is have an iMac 27” an iPad Air and two iPhones. Considering I am rather un-productive on an iPad (I just surf the internet and read magazine). My iMac I don’t like sitting at because of it being downstairs and at a desk with a really bad chair. I decided to get rid of the iMac and iPad and replace them with a MacBook Pro instead. (I haven’t really figured out which I would like as my needs include video, photography and writing) I did purchase a MacBook Pro 15” but it is a bit heavy to have with me everywhere. Read More
Here is an article I wrote awhile ago but never got around to publishing. I call it the failure of man because we are always striving after “something” – yet what we don’t truly understand is that we already have everything we truly want or need. Enjoy.
This post is going to be a little different from my normal ones. Namely this isn’t about gear or specifically about hiking. It is simply about the philosophy and meaning of life. Small subject I know. I think about this question a lot, it’s one of those priviledges in life where I have a lot of free time and this allows my brain to focus on other things than work and paying bills. I think about this as I have lived my life fairly materialistic, there has never been anything I truly wanted that I haven’t been able to just go out and buy, and more often than not, I do just go out and buy with very little oversight or thought.
However over the years I have also been accutely aware of my materialism: I know I buy an amazing amount of gear, stuff and many times just garbage that sits in my closet. One of my mental phases or perhaps coping mechanisms with this insane materialism is that I sell just as much as I buy, I rarely lose money on the things I sell, but the fact remains: I am addicted to buying shit. Read More
Backpacking has given me so much in life. Nature is my psychologist and my mentor, it humbles me and it challenges me. What I get out of my hikes I could never possibly formulate in writing, anybody who has ever been on longer hikes would probably feel the same. Being in the wild reminds us of who and where we really are on earth. Our place in the natural order, somewhere in the middle of the food chain. There are all kinds of bad shit that can happen to us in the wild, from falling and breaking something, to being eaten to being poisoned, freeze to death, starve to death or heat exhaustion. You name it, you can die from it in the wild. It is when you are alone in the vast expanses of the wild that you realize just how insignificant you really are. An ant on a child’s playground. Read More
2013 it was revealed that the NSA had been recording, cataloging and spying on just about every human being on earth. With the majority of spying being done on it’s own citizens. Now, perhaps what had been unclear for many people, myself included, was what and who was being spied on. See I thought “well, it’s not so strange that Merkel is being spied on, she is after all a high ranking official.” You could make the argument that it’s a US ally, but in reality, the US doesn’t really have Allies, just servants to the corporate interests of the USA. (as per the Wikileaks documents). I also thought in my ignorance that only brown people named Mohammed are spied on. This of course is the ignorance that most people suffer from. Or atleast most middle class white people.
We don’t really know how to respond or feel about racial disparities, because we rarely if ever experience them. Instead we are able to live confidently within our false bubble of white persecution because nobody has a voice loud enough to snap us out of our delusion.
Anyway after watching an interview with Ed Snowden I started to think “well, I’m glad I don’t have any secrets that I wouldn’t want out” – so this spying doesn’t apply to me of course. Read More
Since I already had a blog up and running, and for better or worse ultralight backpacking is about minimalism in it’s essence. Being able to do more with less, not being hindered by all your shit. Instead, packing what you need and being able to go longer, harder and better with less. Knowing what you have and having a use for what you bring. In backpacking, at least ultralight backpacking you bring one backpack, one bed, one spoon, one kitchen set, one t-shirt and so on. And if you choose the stuff you really like than it’s the best feeling on earth knowing you are complete, that you couldn’t possibly need or want anything else. This joy is something I have felt for a long time when I am out on the trail. However, once I get home reality starts to set in.
This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, and with a few odd brush ins here and there with an occasional YouTube video about a guy in japan who owns only 150 things, I have never actually heard about minimalism or the movement that it is. Nor, have I ever thought about the benefits of owning less and so on. I do know that at times in my life when I am most productive is usually when I have a focused working environment, free from distraction. Then, one day a few a few months ago I went for a long walk, stressed and bothered about not having anytime and only have anxiety for the stuff that I owned. Namely a BMW, A motor boat, two Saab 900s, a fairly large house packed from wall to wall with stuff. I am by no means a hoarder, in fact I have always been pretty good at filtering out the stuff I don’t use. But somehow this last couple of years my consumption has really taken over without me noticing. Read More
In my last two post on my minimalist journey – simplify your backpacking and when your things become you I talk about my own journey, and how backpacking is shaping my life in more ways that I thought possible. I am allowing, finally the real me to surface again. I have always been a fairly productive and creative person, I have always been able to focus my mind and energy into certain projects and to more or less keep myself motivated. Hence why I have this blog, published book, another one on the way, produced music, rebuilt cars, different photo projects so on and so forth. My problem has never been inspiration or focus, as my life has shown me that doing leads to inspiration, not the other way around. We create our own inspiration by working hard. This is a subject I have written about many times, with my most recent article called “the art of getting shit done” Read More
My stuff is me:
On my last post I talked a lot about simplifying your backpack gear, and more broadly, about simplifying your life. That was about a week ago and I’ve had some time to just think about the overall theme of simplifying or minimalism. I realize that a lot of people identify themselves with what they own. For example, for many people, they might identify me as simply being an ultralight backpacker, because that is what the title of this site is, what my book is about and in general what my gear and hiking is like.
The truth is, that my stuff does not make me who I am. These are two completely different concepts altogether in my world. When we start to minimalize our lives, we start to identify ourselves not with what we own, but by our values and goals. When we minimalize the whole point is to disenfranchise ourselves and our identity from the bought and paid for consumer. (or brainwashed consumer who just needs stuff to be whole). For most people we automatically assume that we are our own person, that we have created ourselves from our values and goals. I used to think the same thing about myself. Until of course I started going on long walks with nothing more than my backpack and a few essentials to keep me alive. Read More