“Ready, on three,” Jamie Love said to the group of hikers as they huddled for a photo. “One, two, three …”
“Don’t die!” they shouted in unison.
The dozen or so strangers were gathered at the foot of Temescal Canyon Trail along the Pacific coast in Los Angeles on a cool Saturday morning in mid-December. Several of them, including Ms. Love, 38, who had organized the outing, wore black T-shirts with the bold white text, “DON’T DIE.”
The hikers had come together with a shared goal: to extend their life spans through diet, sleep, exercise and whatever technologies might come along.
Not present was the spiritual leader of the gathering, the internet celebrity and centimillionaire tech founder turned longevity guru Bryan Johnson. In the past year, Mr. Johnson has arguably taken the lead in the race among Silicon Valley rich guys going to extremes in a quest to live forever. (Move over, Messrs. Bezos, Zuckerberg and Thiel.) Now he’s turning that longevity mission — and the online infamy he has earned because of it — into a lifestyle business, selling supplements and prepackaged meals to less-rich people who would also like to live for a very long time. The hike, one of more than 30 “Don’t Die Meet-Ups” around the world that day, was a cross between community-building and a guerrilla marketing tactic.