Gear is something you don’t think in the beginning when you are interested in simplifying your life. Gear makes most minimalist excited and stress out, we want to use gear, not obsessing about it. The simple idea of having to purchase items should stress out anybody, more stuff to store around the house and maintain. Hopefully the gear you’ll need for a day hike or a overnight hike is all you need for a lifetime. Purchasing ultralight second hand gear is most recommended, finding and researching the correct gear is never easy, making decisions normally comes down to the price instead of the function. For a short hike, most ultralight hikers get the essentials, shirt, pants, small backpack, water filter, food, jacket and water bottles. For a overnight hike or through hike, the list may vary depending in your style of hiking. Ultralight is expensive but recommended, getting just the essentials is a must. Any items label as “just in case” should be remove immediately from the list.
Hikers should not start with overnight backpacking excursions, instead, a few day hikes should be in the list to start learning about the gear needed. Anything you don’t use should be returned or never purchased. The best gear is the one that you don’t buy it and don’t needed. You’ll meet many hikers with gear they have never used and they currently carry on their day hikes. Does not mean to avoid being prepared, you always should carry the emergency items in your backpack; first aid kit, flashlight, water filter and a poncho for the rain.
Purchasing those items from REI or Amazon, allows you to return any item you haven’t use or that didn’t work well. Having the minimum amount of gear will help you reach the ultralight goal instead of purchasing very light items. Understanding about the activity and the area will help you to make better decisions on your gear. Experience will give also help you avoid purchasing items you don’t need. The most experience hikers carry the less weight. In the duration of your hiking life, you will replace most of the items you purchased in the beginning of your journey to connect with the earth around you.
At the end of the day if you stress too much about gear, you should try to go hiking using items around the house. Living a life outdoors should be a purposely relax life. Being able to enjoy simple moments connected to nature and people around you away from distractions and boring routines. Think about what you need and not what other people wants you to have. When you are alone in the woods, doesn’t matter if the jacket is from North Face or Patagonia. Depending on your values than may be more after you. Looking for an ethically build gear is hard to find.
When supporting ethical gear companies aligns with your values, makes the decision easier and sometimes cheaper in the long run. Whatever you decide, the important part is to go hiking.