This one requires you to be tough with yourself. Do you really need three flashlights and a camping lantern? Will you use all of the cooking supplies you’re planning to bring? Make a list of basic camping supplies you actually need and use on a regular basis. You can also do a test run: Bring it all and take note of the items you actually use. When you get back, create a master minimalist camping list of must-haves to follow in the future. This will cut down on so many extras that you won’t even miss. Plus, it’ll make traveling, packing, and unpacking a breeze.
Now it’s time to be even tougher. Shopping for campground meals is where lots of temptations and last minute items can slip into our load for the weekend. We’re not suggesting you forgo camping favorites like s’mores (never!), but stick to the amount of food you’ll actually eat. We’re all guilty of packing way too many snacks, which may end up going to waste, getting stale, or spoiling. Focus on simple camp food, without throwing those extra items in your cart ‘just in case’ or ‘because it’s on sale.’
It’s so easy to overpack clothes and shoes because it seems like you never quite know what you need most. But it can quickly get out of hand. Keep it to two practical pairs of shoes, like hiking boots and flip flops. Then throw in a jacket or sweatshirt for sitting by the fire, some extra socks and undies, and, weather permitting, a swimsuit and towel. After all, you’re camping—it’s okay to rough it! Wear the same clothes two days in a row. No one will tell.
When minimalist camping, every piece of gear counts. If your packing list includes items that can perform multiple functions, you’re ahead of the game! You probably already have some versatility in your collection. For example, a waterproof jacket that can keep you warm and protect you from the rain. Or a multi tool that can cut twigs, light fires, and open your bottles, all in one handy gadget. Or a simple mug that can serve as a coffee cup, soup bowl, and whiskey tumbler—you get the idea!
As tempting as it is to pile up books, electronics, chargers, and games to keep your family entertained, avoid it. After all, unplugging is one of the great benefits of minimalist camping. Take reading material and a deck of cards, but don’t feel bad about leaving the iPad behind. You’ll save space and will likely have a much more meaningful experience overall. Remember why you love camping in the first place. Chances are, it doesn’t have much to do with all the stuff that can come along with it. So try to minimize your camping footprint this season and focus on what matters—getting outdoors and having a blast.
If you love kayaking, paddle boarding, or any other water sport, then you know just how much space these large items occupy in your home. When minimalist camping, rent, borrow, or share with friends. You’ll cut down on packing time and save space, too. You can even rent fishing equipment and camping equipment! Check Airbnb, Craigslist, and local campgrounds to ask about camping rentals.
Minimalist living is not just about getting rid of stuff. It’s also about getting the most value from life and focusing on what’s important. Do a spending vs. value test to figure out what matters the most. Make a list of the ten most expensive items that you own. This can include your house, car, jewelry, TV, etc. Then make another list with the things that add the most value to your life. This could include playing with your kids at the park, traveling, or enjoying new cuisines. When you’re done, compare the two lists and see where there’s overlap. If there isn’t any, think if you can get rid of some items from the “stuff” list to pay for or make room for the “value” list. This list may also show what you should stop buying to make more room in your budget for your values.
Deciding to try living with less can not only lead to having more money in the bank, but it’s a chance to consolidate and simplify your finances, making it easier to manage your money. There are a few ways you can do this:
Chores and responsibilities become more fun when they become a game. And minimalist living is no different. Break the process down into smaller chunks and make it enjoyable by turning it into a challenge. Let’s say you want to get rid of items in your house but you don’t know where to start. An easy place to begin is by getting rid of the number of items that correspond to the day of the month. So on May 1, you’ll get rid of one item, May 2, you’ll get rid of two, and so on. In one month, you’ll have removed 496 items from your home while doing it in a way that’s manageable. It’s easier to pick two items to remove than 100. You can get your friends to do this challenge, share it on social media, or hold a yard sale when you’re done to make extra money from your clutter. Related: 26 Best Selling Apps to Sell Stuff Online (and Locally)
Studies have shown that the average person spends three hours per day just on social media. If you choose to share your progress on social media, consider how social media impacts your mood and mental health. When you open up a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Is it to alleviate boredom or check for likes on your latest picture? Do you find yourself falling into a comparison trap the longer you spend on the platform? If so, consider taking a break from social media. Delete any unnecessary apps for a period of time, whether it’s a weekend, week, or month, and when the time frame is over, assess how you feel without them. Ask yourself: