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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Preparing For Prius Minimalist Living

(Note: I am not affiliated with REI and receive no compensation)

I recently posted about how I originally planned to live out of a Prius, down sizing from a Clasd B after my 2014 Travels. My logic was that if someone can live backpacking the Appalachian Trail for months that I could live like a king in a Prius as I have much more room.

Well, I may have done this out of order, but I recently went to a free REI course on how to hike the Appalachian Trail.

I am more of believer now of new car dwellers starting off, using items needed for backpacking as their initial list of items in their car.

Here is the first half of the backpacking list from my class.

Here is the second half of the backpacking list.

The class was excellent with our instructor having hiked the trail with his brother some years ago.  

Like blog where vandwellers get first hand advice, the REI class participants asked questions on where do you make camp, where do you get trail food and how often, where can you get a general delivery at a post office, and what worked and what didn't.

To keep weight down our instructor had a second pair of socks but only one tee shirt and undershorts.  Every 5 days or so he would find a town where he would get a shower and then put his rain pants and rain jacket on, having removed all his other clothing and he would wash his laundry for the next leg of the hike.  

Certainly there is enough room in the Prius or other small car for a number of change of clothes and more fresh food that a backpacker would bring.

So, if you are thinking about Vandwelling in a small car the list above is a good starting point, provided you substitute items for the season you are traveling.

Since I hike while traveling in my Prius the things I learned in the class gave me some new ideas for my backpacking.

To answer the question, I have thought I would like to hike the Appalachian Trail in segments as I am not interested in a 5-6 month 2000 mile hike.  I also would do it with another person.  I do not currently have any plans.



  1. I see that many of these items are made from synthetic materials. That makes sense because they are light weight. I try to stay away from man0made chemicals. Did the course talk about items made from organic or at least from natural materials?

  2. Joseph,
    There was discussion about materials and it was driven toward synthetic since it less likely to absorb moisture and quicker to dry. I have replaced my cotton jeans this year for synthetic pants that wear without ironing, are light weight and dry fast if wet. When I hike I wear a Polyester sock liner and a wool sock to wick moisture away. There is no reason natural fiber products can't be substituted but if you are likely to sweat or get wet ensure you have something dry to wear until it dries.

    I did choose a polyester sleeping bag for moisture reasons and ability to put in a commercial washing machine if it gets dirty or smells, but use cotton sheet liner to wash weekly. I also have a cotton pillowcase with pillow liner under for weekly washing as well.

  3. I was going to leave a think piece on your channel but I am GEAUX PRIUS COWBOY I will put my comment there where more will view it. Thank you for your writing I will be more into your channel I can't believe you focus on the very things I think but you actually do something about it a lot better than I do. Much easier to figure it out when you live it.