Have you ever looked at your collection of gear or equipment or belongings and thought, wow, I have a lot of stuff? For a while now, I've been employing a philosophy of doing more with less on my hunting and fishing outings. The days of lugging two tackle bags bursting at the seams or loading down my daypack until it's too heavy are over. I know many of us are familiar with the scenario - well, I'll take this in case I need it and I'll take that, too, because you never know. And I might need this, maybe. Let's be honest, only a small percentage of the "stuff" we take along on hunting or fishing trips actually gets used. And I'm not including items that we take for emergency or survival situations. Being prepared is important. I'm talking about the excess stuff that gets packed and carried around even though we know it won't be utilized.
Downsizing or doing more with less is certainly not a new approach and many people adhere to that philosophy. I no longer take tons of tackle out on the boat. Realistically, only a small portion of the tackle in one bag gets used. There's no reason to have two or three bags full of stuff sitting around. My hunting pack used to have things in it that I thought I might use someday, but never did. I'm more diligent about packing for specific outings. If I'm bowhunting, I don't leave things in my pack that are only used for firearms season and vice versa. I grew tired of hauling stuff around that never got used. The idea is to pack smarter, not work harder.
I have also applied this on a slightly larger scale to include my general packing, say, for a weekend hunting trip to the cabin. In the past, I may have taken three or four pairs of boots and 95% of the time I only wore one pair. Now, I'll take two pairs of boots in case one gets really wet or there's a big temperature change. I don't pack as many clothes as I used to, either. Most of the stuff I took in the past didn't get worn. I've stopped taking multiple pieces of outwear. I pack so I can layer and adjust to changing weather accordingly without taking everything I own.
Not only have I been implementing "less is more" in my hunting and fishing, but I'm doing it in my life as a whole. My parents have a very nice home and it is one of the most uncluttered homes you will ever see. They have a simple rule - if it's not used or not needed, it goes. It goes to the church, Goodwill, or the trash depending on what it is. It's a rule I am using, particularly in light of my recent move. This is my fourth house and each time I've moved I've thrown stuff out, as I'm sure many folks have. I'm being even more strict this time, though. If I have no legitimate use for something, it goes. I am definitely not a hoarder, but you don't have to be to accumulate things. Stuff just has a way of collecting without us really realizing what is happening.
I want my house and my life to be uncluttered. I have learned that I am actually happier with less. Each time I come across something I know I can get rid of, I have a sense of satisfaction. It's almost like a challenge to see just what I can really do without. I'm not trying to put myself back to the Stone Age, but I have a feeling many of us have more stuff than we actually need or use. My goal is to simplify and remove any clutter. I'm enjoying the results of this philosophy. It's almost a sense of freedom. And I like it.