No, just enough is more. My charcoal chimney starter is the perfect example. For mine the perfect amount of newspaper is one and a half standard sheets crumpled, or two tabloid pages. Less and the charcoal does not start and more creates a smokey mess.
The correct dosage is the most important part of homeopathy -- too little is not effective, too much may be dangerous.
We had a thread on this long ago. It is time to post the idea again.
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not." Yogi Berra
Interesting thought... When I built my bicycle wheels, less weight is certainly "more faster" however strength was a concern. 12 spoke, 20 spoke, carbon fiber, ti/steel, etc. Having witnessed wheel failures I always built them the old way...32-36 spoke but with light rims and nipples. A little heavier but much stronger. Curbs and railroad tracks never fazed me and I never had a failure. Trekking poles run the same way. My wife's super light poles 'slip' if I put my weight on them on a very steep down hill or climbing. I use converted ski poles, good ones....just a tad heavier but they don't fail or rattle. So yes, "just enough" is a better way to go at it than shaving weight for sake of it.
When designing anything, be it backpack gear or cars, you are always playing a game of optimization - balancing conflicting criteria - a real multi-variable problem. "less is more" is a cute saying, but fairly meaningless. And since most of us are not millionaires, we have to select from all the gear out there to optimize gear to our own specific uses. We all would like the magic - one piece fits all applications. But this just is not possible. If 10 different sized bear cannisters were made and I were rich I could have the perfect solution to each length trip I take!
I think the more general gist of the saying "less is more" is to counter our western cultural idea that more stuff is better. At some point the stuff takes over and runs the show. I sort of go back to basics with backpacking - adding all those gagets and gizmos just means I have to carry more weight, keep track of them, and bring batteries or whatever to keep them going. The key as I see it is to really know what is essential and what is discretionary. Then you can evaluate each trip regarding how may discretionary items you are willing to add for comfort, fun, whatever.
Loc: southern california
I agree with less is more. It is something I always think about when I go backpacking also.
All these things we surround ourselves with, the materialism and the hypocritical society that has been constructed, is so out of wack and out of touch with what we actually need. When you cast all those things away, strip your psyche of the walls it has built out of the projections of society, you realize that the human world is just way more complicated than it needs to be.
We need to fine tune our society. Simplify the machine. It will never happen.
It's funny though. The nature of the universe seems to be one of chaos and order, working in perfect conjunction. I see that as an accurate reflection of human society. Maybe our selfish and fearful human ego fits into the universal plan somehow? After all the earth can't all be rainbows and fluffy clouds, humans had to be created to balance things out. Eradicate certain species of plants and animals. Atomic radiation causing gene mutations. Maybe we are the forest fire here just to burn the duff from the forest floor. To cleans it, and create new life. Nothing new nothing special, it is just what the universe does...
Chaos and order, you can see it in human society around the world, you can see it in quantum physics and in the behavior of galaxies.
Whoa ok I kind of ranted there....
I don't know if I am saying less is more anymore, but I sure don't need a lot to be happy
"Less is more" can have many different meanings even within the same context. It is these different interpretations which is why some people will agree or disagree. Within the confines of backpacking I interpret the statement to mean... As one decreases the amount of 'stuff' one brings into the wilderness, this increases the connection one experiences with mother earth. If one doesn't bring and use an ipod, one will hear the sounds of nature. If one doesn't bring a sleeping pad, one will feel the ground beneath them. For most it seems the gear they bring is to find the proper balance they desire in experiencing the outdoors. The less you bring, the more you will experience. Different people will have different opinions on whether a specific experience is positive or negative.
While I enjoy the sounds of nature and the solitude. I also enjoy sharing the experience with others. If Jim was ever up in this area, I would welcome the opportunity to take a trip with him. The sentiment also extends to the rest of you.
Here is an interesting idea. If you build some of your gear using natural materials readily available in the region you hike, they can sometimes be built lighter, because if you break it you can repair or replace it. Not everything can be built light or easily using natural materials, but some things. Pack frames maybe. Hiking sticks maybe. Cordage? Maybe not for climbing but maybe for something. Buttons? Coffee mug?