Searching my thoughts, I often find that carrying things is top on my list of things I worry about. That might sound weird at first, but when you consider that every situation can be made better or worse by the tools you’ve brought along, it begins to gel. How you carry those tools further complications the equation and the vast dilemma of burdens spawns a tasty blog article.

The types of ways we carry things, the reasons we do them for and what we actually carry all tell philosophical stories about the people that do so. I dive deep into the reasons I carry things…

Oh, what a burden

Night shot w/ REI
Carson Pass, CA

Backpacking is a funny thing when you consider it. We go into the wild, carrying only what our backs and hips can. Usually a sleeping bag, tent, food and clothes. We eat, drink and sleep for a while then come back out, all for fun.

Why? The backpack hurts, sleeping on cold hard ground isn’t exactly pleasant, and using the bathroom… I’ll stop there.

We do it because the isolation, nature, and challenge are all things that renew those that dare. Well worth the price of entry and well worth whatever burden we incur while doing so, but carrying stuff seems to be at the heart of that burden.

Bring on the gear

Arc'teryx motus crew
Hiking at Contra Loma, CA

As a photographer, I often have to carry lots of gear. My job and hobby requires it and sometimes what goes in my bag is a matter of choice, other times, a matter of necessity. Lenses, cameras, accessories, a dizzying array of items and add to that whatever needs I have and you can see why my shoulders are sore at the end of the day.

When I do have the choice, I often make it with much conflict. I want the most options possible. Physics doesn’t always allow that. Weight adds up quickly and more choices means more headache. Where do you begin and where do you stop?

Carrying smart is part of the art

every da carry
An assortment of items I might have on me at any day of the week.

Though knowledge truly weighs nothing, the safety net of extra “things” feels much better at times; therein lies an interesting duality for the things we carry with us. So far I’ve only found two solutions for the burdens of what we take along and the dual nature of the beast.

  • Be smart about what you take. Don’t take what you don’t need. If you feel the need but aren’t sure, spice up that mind of yours and learn a bit more, then take less.
  • Find a better way to carry, or at least one that suits you. I have way too many bag and backpacks, more than I actually need, because I’m constantly finding what I’ve bought doesn’t suit my style. I think that’s OK. I’m always finding new things that make carrying the load a bit lighter.

Because we’re constantly learning, we’ll constantly find new ways we prefer to do things. Herein lies the true duality of carry, or rather a philosopher’s way of why we do in the first place:

Carrying (or not) is a process of learning or using, and the constant kinetic motion of that is almost directly in flux with the amount of what we bring along.

A shame that it took me this long to figure out, but I’m glad you were along for the ride. What do you think? What are you thoughts on the things we carry along as humans?

 

1 Comment

  1. This article is such an amazingly thought out, expansive and structured. To the point with just that perfect little hint to funny. You smile, snicker or HA! Well I do at least). I continually learn more every time I watch it. Kudos. Kudos…

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