Want vs. Need vs. Luxury

Luxury – what’s your definition?

We’ve encountered a lot of thru-hikers over the years and many are happy to stop and chat for a bit.  Maureen loves the chat; Max generally likes to keep plodding along.  Nonetheless, if the topic comes up, even ultralight hikers will admit to lugging along something that isn’t really necessary, but that makes them happy.  What’s yours?

Maureen – Can’t sleep without a pillow

So, I’ve tried a few options – spare clothes in a stuff sack, rolled up puffy coat, blow-up variety.  I’ve even read that some folks carry a big old car wash sponge.  But, I haven’t found anything that works best as a pillow than a real life pillow.  Not the full bed-size, but a tiny home-made variety.  It’s about 10″x 4″, filled with stuffing, and just the right size to keep my head a bit elevated and avoid stiff-neck, even when the rest of the body is crying with hiker hobble.  It has no secondary use and, yes, takes up a little space, but it compresses down nicely and I am always happy to unpack at the end of the day.  I guess some would call the umbrella a luxury item, too, but it meets my definition of “need” when the sun is beating down on a 95 degree day.


I’m trying my best to shed every bit of extra weight, but I have electronics that are coming along.  I’ve got a GoPro and selfie stick (about 8 ounces).  I have my phone (luxury?).  I have a 4.4 ounce Anker battery charger to keep them charged.  I have three connecting wires.  There’s the outlet plug for whenever I encounter an outlet to charge everything.   Also, the crème de la crème, I have an MP3 player that rolls in at about an ounce, because hey, a lot of times a little tune can help the feet move.   And a waterproof sack to contain it all.  That whole pile of luxury described above clocks in at a little over a pound.  If you encounter me out in the woods do mug it up for the camera and make it worth my while!

What’s your pleasure?

Anyone willing to fess up to the luxury item taking up space in their bag or pocket?


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