Every packing list and shopping list should take zero waste into consideration. I look up to folks who have achieved this lifestyle with awe and admiration. They seem to be able to make sacrifices and sign up for inconveniences for no immediate return. They spend more money to be earth-friendly. Money that can be used for brunch / clothes / travel / vacation / buying a house / retirement or what ever else is our priority. They deserve the recognition and applause. Take a bow for doing what I can’t seem to achieve. It is an intimidating concept. ( A 0 or 1. Trash in a mason jar. It has a branding problem ! ) The binary connotation to it that always makes me fixate on my failures instead of what I have done right. Low waste is my goal and very achievable given my location, circumstances and resolve. Ariana talks about finding a way to make zero waste work for you – great advice and thank you for all the encouragement.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware” – Martin Buber
Camping means different things to Harsha and me. It’s his escape from the city life for a day or two… a getaway. I go because I want to live in the woods. I go for the pleasure. Campgrounds are million star hotels in disguise. The beauty of living close to nature with as little as possible has a purity that I lose constantly find myself losing in my everyday life. Perhaps I am looking for an escape too, from my own bad habits. Our backpacks are always packed and ready to go at moments notice. I see the nature that we currently have access to, attached to a ticking time bomb. The castles in Italy and the vineyards in France will stand. Not sure about the health of our forests. I am determined to explore California’s backcountry until our list is exhausted. I want to be that aunt who introduces the kids to the pleasures of sleeping under the trees and eating pancakes at sunrise. I want to be the grandma telling her grand-children about the great trees she walked under. I will tell them about the makeshift jingles that Harsha and I used to sing, to alert the bears of our presence on our trails. I will tell them about how we became children of the forest – climbing trees, jumping into swimming holes, counting banana slugs, cooking with fire, snuggling in feather beds, breathing the pure air, … Camping without trashing is a matter of planning and doing the required prep work. This is our master packing list. The longest we have done is 12 days. The longest backcountry trail we did was 15 miles in day while carrying our gear and carried it out it out the next day. We do weekend trips and day trips which require a subset of items from this list. It’s optimized for weight, budget and self-sufficiency.