Minimalism For Kids — It Works

The first time we visited Moab, we pulled into town looking like identical Pigpens – remember that character from Peanuts – desperately in need of a shower after rolling out of Breckenridge without one following a Spartan Beast race.

What? We had to get to Arches, and we were losing daylight. It was still the same day, so it wasn’t THAT bad.

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The sign is hiding our dirtiest parts.

We also forgot to pack towels on that visit. So we dried off from our showers with those brown paper towels that come out of those automatic dispensers, one at a time, in perfect squares. You know – the ones with the zig-zag edges.

You could say we needed towels. But, you could also say we didn’t. Because, the KOA shower had those rough paper towels that never absorb any water whatsoever.

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Our bare-bones but totally adorable cabin that had no towels.

As we got ready to leave for another road trip, this time with five kids, that “need/want” conversation is even louder because space is at a premium and weight is a factor. I mean, the Journey has proven how strong she is, but she hasn’t had to pull a trailer yet. We’re just trying to put her in the best position to succeed.

We were bargaining needs and wants right down to extra hot chocolate packets. It’s getting real.

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Each of us only brought four outfits, max, as we relied on laundry services along the way to clean us up every few days. And, that clothing limit is why we were so happy we got to pack for everyone – we’d have to double-check their packs anyway, for undies and socks, even if they did pack themselves.

For more reasons than we can imagine, this adventure was so educational – starting with an immersion into minimalism. Do you need it?  Or do you want it?

They had to ask themselves that right out of the chute, because this was the first adventure we’ve taken where they would each be carrying their own daypacks. It was time. And our two packs can only carry so many sweatshirts and snacks. With five kids, it gets to be a bit much.

So, they would be in charge of what they need each day. Of what they commit to carrying. And then adjusting if they misjudged. That’s how you learn, right?

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Five ducklings. Five packs.

I definitely did in Havasupai, when you couldn’t see any of my body, except my calves, around my pack. The kids won’t come close to this look, but they might feel that way. Unless they learn from it.