The Subtle Danger of “Just in Case” Items

This fall I’ll be trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal. Most people who take this type of trip hire guides and porters to carry their gear from village to village. I’m going to be carrying my own bag with everything I need around some of the tallest mountains on the planet. 

This requires some major light packing skills, scrutinizing every item, and counting ounces. I was so proud of myself for starting out with a 10-pound (4.5 kilograms) backpack. That’s for three weeks of travel!

Then I started adding in the “just in case” items. 

What if I get really cold? What if it rains/snows/hails/sleets? What if I get really sick? What if the power goes out? What if there is a major disaster?

After adding in these panic-induced items, my pack crept up to 15 pounds. Then 17 pounds. As I hovered near the 20-pound mark, I really began to question my “just in case” items.

In the area where I’ll be traveling, it’s a trekker’s haven. Nearly every little village has items for sale. These include warm clothing and socks, solar chargers, and medicine. If anything major happens, then I’ll just have to deal with it at that time and bring extra cash.

My backpack is back down to 10 pounds.

So, what does this have to do with tiny houses? Everything. To live a smaller and more downsized life, the “just in case” items have to go. In fact, they really can’t be added into your space at all. Not only do tiny houses not fit a lot, but if you happen to tow yours around, weight is essential to easier travel.

Think of your tiny house like my backpack. You will eventually have to carry it all on your back at some point in time.

Photo by Matthias Groeneveld

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

1 thought on “The Subtle Danger of “Just in Case” Items”

  1. People get surprised a lot, when you start asking ’em: “Do you really need that in your backpack?”. I had one of the folks come to 3-day hunt with me and he legit brought like 20+lbs of stuff in his backpack, meanwhile I’m just standing there with a small bag(I was planning to use same Browning hunting clothes from for all 3 days, only brought some spare socks+some necessary stuff like first aid kit and that’s pretty much it). Ultralight packing is an art, and many people don’t understand it, so they end up putting everything they have and then carrying extra pounds around!


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