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Gear Not Stuff: June Edition

Gear Not Stuff: June Edition

We’re introducing a new series for Members. It’s called Gear Not Stuff. It features the best gear I’ve used in different scenarios.

Why it matters: Having the right gear and knowing how to use it helps you live better and not break Rule 2.

Quick housekeeping …

  • Full access to this post is for Members only. The audio reading is at the bottom.
  • If you want full access, become a Member of 2% in the button below.

A word on the new series …

In short

This new series will cover gear, not stuff.

The details

The concept for Gear Not Stuff is simple.

We live in a world of mass consumerism. It’s easier than ever to buy and accumulate lots of stuff. I recently spoke to a psychology researcher who studies hoarding. She told me, “People today are all hoarders in the grand scheme of time.”

In thinking about how we can make smarter purchasing decisions, I’ve begun to delineate between gear and stuff.

Stuff is a possession for the sake of it. Stuff adds to a collection of (too many) items. We often buy stuff impulsively as a fix for boredom or stress or to solve a problem we could figure out creatively with another item.

Gear, on the other hand, has a clear purpose of helping us achieve a higher purpose. Gear is a tool we can use to have better experiences that make us healthier and give our lives meaning.

I’ve had to learn and think a lot about gear due to the nature of my work and the wild scenarios it throws at me. For example, I’ve had to plan and use gear for stints into the Arctic, conflict zones, and the most remote reaches of South American jungles. These places all require different types of reliable gear.

So this new column—which will appear every second Friday of the month—is about gear. We’ll cover the best gear I’ve used in different places and situations.

  • Side note: If you’re interested in the concept of gear not stuff, I have a whole chapter on it in my new book, Scarcity Brain, which is available for pre-order now and out in September. The chapter investigates how our relationship to material possessions has changed over time, how curious forces are now leading us to acquire more stuff than we need, and how minimalism has been an utter failure at solving the issue. Luckily, I found a smarter way we can get more from less.

Now onto today’s post …

In short

We’re covering the best rain and puffy jacket, and a pair of killer outdoor boots.

The details

We recently covered four tips to stay safe in the mountains this summer. Those came from John Barklow, an outdoor survival and gear savant. He led a division of the Navy that researched and developed survival techniques and gear to use in extreme mountain environments.

It doesn’t matter who you are; you need good gear whenever you go into the mountains.

When I spoke with John, we both commented on a strange phenomenon we’ve seen. Experienced outdoor people typically don’t encounter dangerous situations when they go deep into the wild for long stretches. They’ve prepared for those.

Instead, they tend to get in trouble closer to home. When they’re taking a four-hour hike up a mountain they’ve summited often. Or hunting in their local wilderness. Or going for a trail run or mountain bike ride for a few hours. They think whatever they’re doing will be quick and easy—but then an unexpected storm strikes, and they find themselves in a pickle.

John’s top advice for staying safe in the mountains is to always (always) take a rain jacket and puffy.

So that’s what we’re covering the best of today. We’ll also reveal a pair of killer boots that’ll help you cover more ground no matter the environment.