Seneca wrote an essay, “On Festivals and Fasting.” It talks about how to live meagerly, so that you are never afraid of what would happen if the worst case happened.
This trip has really brought into focus how amazingly little we need to survive.
I live off what’s in my 100 cubic feet car, and even then, I barely use half of that.
When I’m sleeping outside, all the gear I need is my tent, a camp stove, food, sleeping bag, air mattress, pillow, headlamp, water bottle.
I wear the same duffel bag of clothes. For seven months. (I have a duffle bag of reserve clothes for different climates, but even then – I have way too many clothes.)
The only “new” things I’ve bought are souvenirs and postcards and food. Camp gas sometimes. Gas for my car. I haven’t even gone through two bottles of sunscreen, or bug spray (and I hate bugs.)
Don’t Forget the Phone
Most of my stuff is done on my phone, though I have an atlas and a National Park guidebook and a journal and a nice DSLR camera.
I’ve barely touched any of the 50+ physical books I brought with me (and the however man that I bought on this trip … used book stores are my kryptonite.) Why? Because of audiobooks, podcasts, Spotify, and Taylor Swift’s new album, and too much time in the car.
So I know what it’s like to live in my own version of “On Festivals and Fasting,” and I’m grateful for that.