Journeys Over Gear – Embrace Sunrises

by Andy Amick on April 30, 2015

in Bikepacking, Gear

In the initial post on this topic, I wrote about the dilemma of bikepacking. Lots of gear is required to go bikepacking, but the gear itself should not be the focus. Instead, it should be about the journey – the sunrises, sunsets, and people along the way.

quiet break with prairie vistas

The idea of gear isn’t bad, nor should it be. Outdoor adventures are not possible without gear. One is not possible without the other. The key is finding a balance, sometimes a very delicate balance, where the pursuit of gear doesn’t over take the actual journey.

Work with me on this one. I’m about to go into an area that is deeper in thought than I wanted this post to go. Somehow, I kept coming back to Maslow’s hierarchy for an analogy to bikepacking. If it’s way to “thinky”, please let me know.

So…

The idea of meeting certain needs with gear and certain needs with the journey reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where Maslow theorized that once specific needs are met, a person seeks to fulfill the next one. You can’t move on to the second level until the basics of breathing, food, shelter, and clothing are met.

maslow's hierarchy of needs, bikepacking needs

This is where gear comes into the picture. Certain gear is required to provide the first and second levels of needs.

Once you pass the second level of needs (safety and security), gear doesn’t necessarily translate into a better journey. Gear cannot help us achieve the higher order needs such as friendship, experience purpose, or inner potential.

This excerpt from Simple Psychology better describes the top-level self-actualization goal. (I never thought I would quote a Psychology article. I told you this was deeper in thought that I wanted)

In self-actualization a person comes to find a meaning to life that is important to them.

 

Maslow (1962) believed self-actualization could be measured through the concept of peak experiences. This occurs when a person experiences the world totally for what it is, and there are feelings of euphoria, joy and wonder.

That sounds a lot like bikepacking to me! Self-actualization is found in the experiences, the joy, the wonder, and the amazing times that are possible with a bikepacking journey. Nowhere is there a mention about a specific tool or item that helps create that joy and wonder.

Or, if I wanted to summarize this to a single sentence:

Opening our eyes to a beautiful sunrise is always better than opening the packaging to a new piece of gear.

Sunrises over new gear

If you got this far, thank you for reading all the way through. Or maybe you were looking for the “this guy is crazy” button.  Either way, thanks for making it to the end of my “too deep in thought” post.

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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  • Dennis Latta

    nice bike bags. where did you get them?

    • It’s supposed to be about the sunrises, not the bags :) I now use J. Paks for all of my bags. The frame bag in that picture is from No Logo out of Wales.

  • Joan

    Great article and like this application of Maslows Needs- thanks for talking about the important topics!

    • Andy Amick

      Thanks Joan. Glad you liked the Maslow’s part. I wasn’t really sure how that was going to turn out when I was writing it.

  • Den

    Gear for any endeavor are just tools necessary to complete the task. The more challenging the endeavor the more dependable the tools required. Knowledge and experience are the lightest and most efficient tools. Of course looking kool while your doin it is a plus.

    • Very good points and I like the way you worded the part about necessary tools. I guess we do require tools for any endeavor.

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