Starting on Wednesday November 1st, 2017, I am going to be wearing clothes only from a carefully selected group of 24 articles for the duration of the month. This experiment was inspired by the Wool & Prince Founder's own experiments such as wearing the same shirt for 100 days straight. For my experiment, I limited the selection to what would fit in my backpack.
To begin, a bit about why I'm doing this experiment:
Ultimately, it is a goal of mine to travel the world with only this backpack in tow, working remotely from my computer for some extended period of time (1 year - ???). This will involve only having one article of clothing from each category (i.e. button down, t-shirt, pants, etc.) and keeping physical possessions to a minimum. After traveling close to this style last summer, I began to question why I need so many more clothes at home, when not traveling. This really became apparent when packing for college and I realized that a person (me) who tries to lean towards a minimalist lifestyle still had more things than would fit in the car.
I think that after traveling even more in this manner I will be inclined to get rid of all my clothes except for the ones I travel with, but that day hasn't come just yet. Another possible benefit is less time spent in the morning trying to pick out a matching outfit. I know this is something people often tell me I struggle with, and I'm hoping reducing the amount of choices will improve the outcome. Lastly, I like fun challenges like these, I'm not quite sure why but they tend to get me excited about all the possibilities that life has to offer beyond what society deems as normal.
When choosing the items I was looking for articles that could be functional in multiple situations, could be worn multiple times, and would keep me warm in the cold Chicago weather.
So, here's a list of everything that fit in my Minaal Daily (21L):
1 x Rain Jacket
1 x Down Jacket
2 x Bluffworks Chinos (Khaki & Charcoal)
1 x Scarf
3 x short wool socks
3 x long wool socks
1 x gloves
1 x hat
2 x t-shirt (one wool, one cotton)
3 x boxers
2 x button downs (one wool, one cotton)
1 x athletic tee
1 x athletic shorts
1 x sweatpants
1 x light wool jacket
These are all the clothes that fit in my bag. I'm a bit nervous as to their efficacy in the cold wind of Chicago, but I'm hoping with lots of layers I'll stay warm.
Exceptions: I will be wearing a suit to the opera and to my carillon audition. I also did not count one bath robe, bath towels, wash cloths, or shoes. Additionally, I will be able to schedule one exception, as long as I put it on my calendar a week in advance, and I will be able to make one more exception with no strings attached.
If this is something you are interested in, I encourage you to join me in this challenge! Feel free to pick more clothes than I did or even less if you are up to the challenge. The point is just to see what we really need in order to feel like we can have multiple outfits while meeting the needs of our environment. I've already travelled with significantly fewer clothes than this, but I think this might be an effective way to find a happy medium.
Challenges like this can be a fun way to try a new lifestyle or activity for a limited timespan in order to see what it is like. Committing to something for life is often intimidating. However, I think anyone with some level of interest can commit for a single month.
Photo is of my Minaal stuffed full of November's clothes. If there are any challenges you are interested in, feel free to leave a comment below, perhaps we could start a group challenge!
Welcome to the 2016 Gear Post! This is my most anticipated post of the year, which means that it's the one I'm harrassed about the most. Due to popular request, I did individual photos for each item, which takes considerably longer to do. My curent backpack weight is around 10.5 pounds, and as you probably know, this is everything I take with me to 20+ countries per year. A huge thank you to the people who buy items through my Amazon links (which fund more experimentation for the next year) and to all of the companies that give me free products to evaluate.
If you are one of the many travelers who bases your own packing list off mine, consider linking to this post.
My main criteria when choosing clothing is versatility. I need clothing rugged enough that I can blaze trails on the island, yet formal enough for nice dinners. For many years this balance was impossible to strike, so I opted for rugged clothes that got the job done but made me look like a confused alpinist. Now such great options exist that most people don't realize just how versatile my clothing is.
And now it's time for the one post per year about which people bug me for months: the 2017 gear post.
I realized that a lot of non-subscribers read this post every year, so I thought I'd drop a little background for context.
I've been more or less a nomad since 2008, and was one of the very first to really travel in a minimalist (one small backpack) way. I'm sure others came before me (and my friend Todd), but none I'm aware of who were writing about it.
I still travel for half to two-thirds of the year, exclusively with the gear I'll outline below. And even though I obviously have more items at home (cooking stuff, gym shoes), I don't have any additional clothes or warm-weather gear. In any given year I go to warm places in the summer as well as cold places in the winter. I work full time from my laptop both programming and writing. In other words— this is all of the gear I have, and I use it to do a lot of stuff.