Learn how to outwit pesky, hungry trail rodents without dangling your food from a tree. Then, we’ll expose five ridiculous ultralight fails (HINT: Bubble wrap is for heirloom vases and vintage china). Next we review a lightweight, super durable map that would leave Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea a little jealous. And you’ll learn the trick to making unscented hand sanitizer that costs less than the gel hand sanitizer you keep in your glove box.
Show Notes: Episode 008
- A bear’s sense of smell is 2,100 times better than a human.
- Mice, rats, chipmunks, raccoons and other animals on the trail also have an extremely keen sense of smell.
- They’ll gnaw through your pack to eat toiletries
- Don’t keep food in your pack!
- Protect your food from birds and rodents by keeping it in a steel mesh bag
- RatSack, OutSak, GrubPack, or FoodSack
- If you’re going to be in bear country, that’s more regulated, so find out exactly which containers are approved for the area you’ll be hiking in
The Top 5 Ultralight Backpacking Fails
Ultralight Bubble Wrap Sleeping Pad
- Easily punctured
- Cannot be repaired once deflated
- Not sturdy
Dollar Store Poncho
- Snags on everything
- Can’t be reused
- Not heavy enough to cover you if the wind picks up
- Weighs only 1.5 oz, but…not worth the weight
Eating Uncooked Ramen Noodles
- Food fatigue
- Unimaginative, disappointing
- Food acts as morale booster, but not uncooked ramen
- Comfort and safety when you bring a stove
No Toilet Paper
- Not only is it a comfort item, but its lightweight
- No guarantee that you’ll find soft leaves on trail
- I’m terrible at identifying poison oak, ivy and sumac
- Toilet paper biodegrades within days
- Is a multi-use item: fire starting, first aid, ear plugs, cleaning up odd messes where you may not want to use your camp towel or bandana.
- Don’t limit your water or go from waterhole to waterhole
- Carry the weight and have the assurance of water
SUMMIT™ Gear Review: Green Trails Maps S Series
- Lightweight, Waterproof, Tear Resistant Maps
- 462S Mt Hood/Timberline Trail
- Current map: Original Issue:2006, Current Issue:2013
- Updated frequently
- 5 oz
- 40% lighter than paper maps
- 18×24 inches
- 6×9 folded up
- Wipe with damp rag
- Do not use solvents to clean!!
- Typical paper Green Trails Map $8
- Came with two stickers declaring Waterproof! Tear Resistant! And now ultralight too!
- Tried peeling of those labels, left sticky residue
- Ultralight, loved map, durable, washable
- Found spelling error Ramona Falls (spelled “Romona”)
- Took a beating on our trip, didn’t tear or get wear marks on creases
- Didn’t get dog-eared
- Nice coloring details
- Used washi tape from craft store with arrows on it to mark spots on map
- May add DIY eyelet or grommet to secure map in heavy wind
Backpack Hack of the Week™: DIY Hand Sanitizer
- In episode 7 we talked about the benefits of bringing a bottle on Isopropyl Alcohol (Related: 007: When It Rains, You’re Covered)
- This DIY Hand Sanitizer is a cheaper, and equally effective way to kill germs
- Need: 1 oz flip top bottle or 1 oz. spray bottle and 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
- This is NOT scented…Most hand sanitizers are scented.
- 70% (not 91%) Isopropyl Alcohol is best for germicidal effect
“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”