A film documents two friends on the Sierra trek

Review of “Only the Essential: A Hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Colin Arisman.


Trailer 1: Only The Essential - Hiking the PCT from Colin Arisman on Vimeo.

Only the Essential: A Hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail
Colin Arisman
40 minutes,
DVD: $10.
www.wildconfluence.com, 2014.

In 2013, filmmaker Colin Arisman set out from Campo, California, just north of the Mexican border, to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with a friend. Motivated by a desire to reconnect with the natural world, the two spent five months on the trail, taking on the nicknames “Miracle Zen” and “Wabash” and documenting their daily progress. The resulting film, Only the Essential, vividly displays the dramatic vistas, perturbed rattlesnakes and slippery stream crossings they encounter. But much of the screen time is devoted to the two friends’ primary activity: just putting one foot in front of the other. Only the Essential, which takes its name from a quote by Henry David Thoreau, celebrates the act of boiling down life to its sparse necessities and exploring the joy that minimalism can give.

You can watch the full film here.

Less than a week into his 2,668-mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, Casey Gannon pauses to watch the sunset over the mountains of Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert.
Colin Arisman
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