Lessons in Living With Less on Iceland's Laugavegurinn Hiking Trail

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Lesson: Less is Definitely More

I spent a lot of time thinking about how to minimize weight; we were going to be walking 55 km and would feel every gram of weight. I thought about Amundsen's preparations for his run for the south pole, where he spent the winter working on his equipment, shaving and sanding skis and repackaging everything for ease of use. He wrote:

To save weight, the pemmican was removed from its tins, but its shape "was cylindrical. This is ... unfortunate ... because [when packed they] leave a space ... difficult to fill. Well, difficulties have not yet frightened us.... These spaces, which are 4 cm. across and as high as the case -- 39 cm. -- are filled with milk powder. On his sewing machine, Wisting has sewn the necessary 189 sausage skins of thin material, and I have filled them with milk powder.... [Each] sausage holds 300 g., which is exactly what a tent team -- 4 men -- needs for their hot chocolate. Thus it is easy to obtain one's dried milk by extracting a sausage."

I was in charge of food, so I was going to try and be as efficient.

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