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How is UL backpacking creeping into your daily life?
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Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: How UL Backpacking Creeps Into My Daily Life on 12/10/2010 22:39:01 MST Print View

"Every single day I am committed to removing at least one object from my possessions."

Ryan: Since I read your post I have tried to remove one possession each day also. I have been at it now for a few weeks. At the outset I was concerned that I would quickly run out of things I wanted to discard.

To my pleasant surprise, just the opposite has happened. My list of things I plan to consider for recycling, give away or trash has been growing, not shrinking, with no end in sight. Each day it has been very easy to find one possession to remove.

Many of the things I have gotten rid of have been things I have had for years, some more than a decade. Just collecting dust.

I look forward to deciding what to get rid of each day and plan to continue indefinitely.

I have for years worked to simplify my life and possessions (an uphill battle for sure), but for some reason this simple practice has caused me to notice more acutely how many new possessions still enter my life daily, which assures me I will not run out of things to remove for quite some time.


David Loome
(DavidLoome) - F

Locale: American Southwest
Backpacking- The best thing that has ever happened to my quality of life. on 12/11/2010 13:51:31 MST Print View

I think what's affected my lifestyle so much is not necessarily UL backpacking- It's simply spending weeks and months by myself with what I can carry on my back or bike. Whether that's 6lb or 15lb or whatever, the result is the same: Whenever I get back home, I think "WOW I have a lot of stuff" and do a sort of 'pack shakedown' of my possessions and lifestyle.

I definitely approach consumer choices in the same way I build a gear list for a hike now- I don't buy stuff I don't need or won't use regularly, I don't buy single-use items, if I haven't used something in a long time it goes to Goodwill, and I'd rather borrow and trade than buy something new that I won't use regularly. Things like books I pass on instead of accumulating...

Because I usually spend 4-5 months of the year hiking, this has forced me to be REALLY frugal and discerning of how I use my income. I was always broke before I discovered backpacking, even though I was always working. Now, I work about 40% less, have been financially independent of my parents for several years, am able to save for hikes, pay for school with NO loans, have 0 debt, and am still able to put money aside for long term goals... probably a sight better than many of my early-20's peers. (They all have much nicer cars than me though... :) )

Most importantly, I think backpacking has helped me redefine terms like "comfort" so even though my lifestyle isn't what most Americans would envy, I am comfortable and very content with it.

Its been a while... Whats up BPL? on 06/06/2011 23:25:32 MDT Print View

UL has without a doubt leached into my daily life. Like the soft embrace of a Down layer it has wrapped itself around my mind and cradles it in natural principles and simplicity.

I live in the opposite of a UL city, but it still reminds me to approach each decision and choice I make with more insight than I might have previously. Bombproof, single use items, over-built items, and the mindset purporting it are flawed and perhaps lacking in clarity. This view point is abundant in cities.

I will carry a 4lb purse to hold a 3oz wallet, 5oz phone, and three keys...

Perfect logic there! Lulz

Moreover it has made me ask, "What is the price of materials and labor going into said item? It it actually worth it's retail price?"

But I digress. In my life Ive come to look at UL as a framework for informed decision making. Yes weight is one of the leading precepts but multi-functional is a very close second. Instead of carrying a large dip/chin belt to the gym a loop of 3mm blue cord does wonders, as well as hanging my bag in a tree for an impromptu Frisbee golf game!

When I wake, I pack a svelte little top loading 10L backpack with lunch and my daily needs and reused Ito En bottle (why because I think they are cute an aesthetic). Gone are the days of looking and feeling like an armadillo slogging a 5lb 35L bag with all sorts of junk (and I see 50+ of these guys daily).

Was there ever a need to lug a Nalgene to and from plentiful water sources, to do anything other than say, "Yes, I like to go outside"?

Granted my bag is still ballistic nylon but that will insure it stands up to the rigors of rude commuters... ;P and save the sweet stuff for where it matters.

And you better believe every single extra doodad, tassel, and label has been ceremonially razor-ed off all my things and yes a ribbon has replaced my zipper pull, for weight savings. I'm talking to you Roger Caffin!

In my home its the same, simple, clean lines, aesthetic, & Zen like. I only keep one small staging area where all my adventures are launched from. Nothing more.

It appears that even a non-zealous zealot like myself has been caught preaching the gospel of UL as my partner recently did a 3 month UL tour of the whole of Italy! Attributing it all to a well thought out and tiny pack...

One last thing I will share is this:


In the stuff sack it is a Frankenstein-esque collection of bungees, cord-locks, and straps to be reused. I refer to this before making any new acquisition. I always ask myself, "What can I make?" I enjoy the tinkering. In the Ziploc I have a small graveyard of things that will never need to make the journey again.

Small but numerous things left by the wayside leaving me just that much more unencumbered.

Oh, and while doing rounds, I can be found grovelling to fill my snowpeak Ti mug with the best, freest, and strongest coffee flowing!


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Its been a while... Whats up BPL? on 06/07/2011 04:11:40 MDT Print View

Hi Yamabushi

> And you better believe every single extra doodad, tassel, and label has been
> ceremonially razor-ed off all my things and yes a ribbon has replaced my zipper
> pull, for weight savings. I'm talking to you Roger Caffin!

Um ... ??? Why me???
I put a few inches of mason's line on mine to act as pulls which I can handle with snow gloves on.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: How UL Backpacking Creeps Into My Daily Life on 06/10/2011 17:07:24 MDT Print View

I go backpacking to get away from my mountain of crap.

I have a really hard time throwing things away. Maybe I need professional help. I think about how somewhere in the landfill there's the banana peel from my lunch in the 5th grade. I think some archaeologist from the future will find all the plastic crap I threw in there someday they'll have pieced together my life from my trash and DNA and I'll be in some textbook about the wasteful people of the era. So I just close the closet door or shut the junk drawer and try not to think about it.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Re: How UL Backpacking Creeps Into My Daily Life on 06/10/2011 17:11:01 MDT Print View

Piper -- Your comment was better than "Five Easy Pieces"