Chad Miller wrote:
"Personally I think it's rather silly and obtuse to have to read a book in order to learn how to live a minimalist / simple lifestyle.
If you as a person need an instruction manual in order to live a simpler life then you will never be able to do so. Living a simple lifestyle is a personal choice that involves you as a person deciding how you can make your life simplistic. What will work for you in your life may or may not work for someone else"
Chad, I don't get your point. So shut up and don't bother? Henry David Thoreau wrote about this sort of thing in the 1840's and is revered for it. You could say that it is a personal choice for *any* lifestyle change subject, including hiking, ergo the phrase "hike your own hike." The point is to share what works for the author and identity the paradigm shift to others.
Years ago I had a BBS and I opened a thread about simple living and creating limits to work within. My personal challenge was that I was being mired down by my possessions, that they owned me. Simply put, every asset is a liability. All the STUFF I owned needed storage, maintenance and organization. In my thread I offered the idea of creating defined physical limits to what we owned. I came up with the idea of being able to put everything I owned in a one meter cube (much as you put all your gear in a certain size backpack). The objections to my idea were strong and negative. So many people said that it wasn't possible and I was puzzled by it. Certainly, half the people on the planet would see a one meter cube full of personal possessions as great wealth!
Another way to approach this shift in thinking about possessions is to work in reverse: you have nothing but the clothes on your back and you are going to select to tools you will live with. If it helps, make believe that you are going to live on an island or another planet. You are allotted a one meter cube for all your possessions. Fill 'er up!
There is so much more to simple living-- utilization of resources, career and income level, housing, rural vs urban living, etc, etc. The goal is to get all the details organized so you can live your life in a way that brings you joy and satisfaction. In the same way, UL hiking allows you to enjoy the hike.
I've said before that UL hiking involves a sort of hyper materialism, where each item is thoroughly scrutinized and selected for it maximum performance with weight being the leading criterion.
At a time when overpopulation, pollution, dwindling resources and climate change are major concerns, what and how we consume are critical choices. The planet you save may be your own!
Applying the tenets of UL hiking to our daily lives makes a lot of sense to me:
*Take (own) only what you will actually use
*Seek products that have multiple uses
*Let function take precedent over fashion
*Seek products that deliver the highest performance
*Seek products that suit your true personal needs
Typically self help books appeal to someone who finds themselves in crisis but can't identify the problem--- or the solution. In this case someone has dealt with an issue and found solutions and shared them. Thoreau did it and Ray Jardine and Ryan Jordan have too. Saying that if you need instructions (help) to change your lifestyle means that you will never be able to accomplish change is so terribly negative and defeating!