“‘Just in case’ are the three most dangerous words in the English language,” says Joshua Fields Millburn, who, along with Ryan Nicodemus, spent the last 10 months on an 82-city road trip across North America to promote the duo’s newest book, Everything That Remains, a memoir of life as the self-proclaimed “Minimalists.”

So how do you fit a whole life into a car for a year? Well, these two don’t. “We use the 20/20 rule: We don’t bring anything we think we might need that can be replaced for $20 in less than 20 minutes,” says Nicodemus, noting that he no longer packs, say, an extra pair of shoelaces. As a result, the duo each lived out of an approximately 40-litre bag for the whole journey.

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Their one indulgence? Great coffee. “We joke that ‘yeah, we’re on a book tour, but we’re also on a coffee tour.’” In their car’s trunk, you’ll find a kettle, a pour-over, filters and coffee, as well as an iron — purchased, of course, en route using their 20/20 rule.


BEST ROASTER Joshua and Ryan: Dogwood Coffee Co. in Minneapolis, Minn.: “When we are home in Missoula, Mont., we mail-order our coffee from here — they have the best roast around.”

BEST CUP OF COFFEE CartelCoffee Lab in Tucson, Ariz.: “The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe pour-over is fruity, crisp, perfect.”

BEST SHOT OF ESPRESSO Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, Oakland and New York City: “They have consistently great high- quality espresso that’s masterfully pulled.”

OVERALL BEST Press Coffee Bar in Dayton, Ohio: “We love the neighbourhood and that the staff are so passionate.”

BEST AMBIANCE Matchstick Coffee Roasters in Vancouver: “The space has an elegant, minimalist style and outstanding coffee.”

MOST MEMORABLE CITIES Ryan: “The sky in Tucson is like HD — that’s the only way I can describe it. And Halifax has this great vegan restaurant called Wild Leek.” Joshua: “The people in Salt Lake City are serious about being nice — it’s not this faux thing. And Des Moines, Iowa, has some of the best architecture I’ve ever seen.”

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CAR ESSENTIALS Joshua: “A Belkin multi-charging unit and a GPS app.” Ryan: “Fruit and healthy snacks from Whole Foods.”

PIT STOP Joshua: “The Headspace meditation app, a six-minute exercise routine and an Airbnb reservation.”Ryan: “Skype, to keep in touch with my girlfiend back in Montana. I also mail her a postcard from every city.”

TRAVEL STYLE Ryan: “Jeans and a black T-shirt. I’ve gone to a wedding wearing this outfit.” Joshua: “My uniform is a denim button-up, blue jeans and boots. And I will say that Ryan does have one blue shirt.”


Cotton shirt, Joe Fresh ($29); Leather boots, Zara ($169); 40-litre nylon weatherproof rucksack, Mission Workshop ($249).

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