I’m an extreme minimalist practicing low-waste. Today I’ll be sharing my minimal camping gear. I’ll also be sharing tips on sustainability and how to keep a lightweight pack. My long-term backpacking includes places like the AppalachianTrail and Zion in Utah. I was on the at last year backpacking mindfully with the monks from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Blue Cliff Monastery. I’ve also done many day hikes including trails in South Korea like mount Seorak, Jeju Island, and mostly inNew York like Harriman State Park. I’ll also be hiking in Japan when I stay there for 3 months starting September. If you also love being in nature feel free to share what you like to do in the comments below also let me know what is one thing you cannot live without when you’re outdoors. For storage, I have my woman’s hiking backpack. I also use this smaller bag for my day trips. I enjoy how utilitarian this bag is mainly because I focus on compactness and ease of use when it comes to mindful consumption. The top is detachable and can be used as a waist or crossbody bag. Also, if you know any backpacks made with recycled materials feel free to share with the community.
Using a stuff sack helps keep everything compact I can downsize space-consuming gear like my sleeping bag. I do focus on keeping my things lightweight and compact but I also believe that I need to listen to my own level of comfort. If I need something extra like an inflatable pillow for better sleep, I don’t really mind adding this and I don’t force myself to be the perfect minimalist guru. I’m open to everyone’s standard of what being minimal and being maximal is. I believe it’s good to have variety and flexibility especially when it comes to our lifestyle choices. I’ve seen many people using tents and I also use our family tent at times but I do prefer my hammock set up. My hammock and straps are from Kammok. It’s super compact and lightweight. I also have a bug net that goes over this and I use this all season. My diamond styleKelty tarp goes over the hammock. And inside I have my inflatable style sleeping pad. Also, I wanted to share how hiking is such a big part of my culture. A lot of Korean people practice 삼림욕 (samlim-yog) which is forest-bathing. I appreciate how I’m able to align with my ancestors and with my roots. I definitely think that my Korean background has influenced my appreciation for nature, simplicity, and also my practice of mindfulness.
For insulation, I use a mummy-style down which I got before I went fully Vegan. For my under quilt, I use my recycled Kammock Bobcat during colder months. This one is eco-friendly and certified Blue Sign. I do try my best to eat fresh raw food but most of my camping meals are dehydrated vegetables and fruits. I also thought of growing my own sprouts on the trail next time so I might do that in the future. I use my gas burner for cooking quinoa, lentils, or for boiling tea. But this gas is carcinogenic and it does have the prop65 warning so I try not to use it too often. If being chemical-free and natural is a concern for you I do recommend finding an alternative way to cook your meals. I do include a basic first aid kit with an emergency whistle and space blanket. I sometimes take my bentonite clay as a holistic remedy for food poisoning. I also have my solar charger for my phone but I usually don’t look at my phone. This way I can stay focused and be in the present moment. I also want you to know that it’s not necessary to own many things in order to be with nature. You only have to be in the present moment while being surrounded by natural elements.
It is a luxury to have all these things in order to support my lifestyle. I do appreciate the abundance I have but I also know that I can always let go of all of these and I know that I can thrive and be happy even without it. Some other things that I have are my trowel, recycled TP, and a non-toxic tooth powder. If you want to try this out I recommend Uncle Harry’s tooth powder and I’ll leave that in the description below. I also have a gear repair kit which is simply duct tape. Also a tick remover key and magnifier. I also have my tarp stakes and paracord for hanging my bear bag. Wild animals are not really a concern here but it’s useful in places like New York. Some of you might already know that I have a 15 item capsule wardrobe. So feel free to read my article if you’re intrigued. I usually add three underwear and two extra pairs of socks. I might also add two more tops if the trip is in the summer. If keeping up with your hygiene on the trail is your thing I’m open to that and I would also love to do that. I simply don’t find it necessary to change my clothes every day or every other day when I am in nature. For hiking shoes, I take my everyday sneaker that’s actually meant for trail running. If you want to know more about my barefoot minimalist shoe, you can also read my previous article. Last time I checked my pack weighed about 28 pounds and I was able to shed some weight by cutting off all the labels, removing plastic drawstring fasteners, and instead of using this I just made a simple slip knot.
I also removed a lot of the packaging materials to shed weight. I’ve also seen some people cut the toothbrush into half and if that’s something that’s going to help, I do recommend it. Also, the hammock carabiner can weigh a ton so I often ditch these and use sturdy knot instead. My sister used this pack on our AT trip but of course, we shared the cookwares. I think everyone’s really different from their level of comfort and need. So it’s good to listen to your own capacity when it comes to picking your backpack and when deciding the amount of things that you want to take on your trip. I do find it difficult to look for sustainable and eco-friendly options when it comes to outdoor gear. That’s why I was so happy to see thatKammok had a 100% recycled stuffing blanket that was Blue Sign certified. I’m very happy to receive this as a free gift. this can also be used as an under quilt with my hammock and as a sleeping bag as well. I appreciate how thoughtful they were in their design. It’s definitely a good fit for my needs because I value how versatile and minimalistic it is.
I’m also grateful that they donate 1% of their profit to green causes. I enjoy having an abundance of what nourishes me, that’s why I love keeping my camping gear collection for my hobby even though it may not be seen as minimal. It only matters to me that I fully appreciate and enjoy what I own so that these things can help bring experiences and happy memories.