002: Surprising Places to Find Backpacking Stuff

In this episode we talk about trail magic and surprising places to find hiking and backpacking stuff.  We’ll also review a waterproof hiking shoe that won’t give you “squeaky toes”.  The show wraps up with a super fast recipe that will keep you fueled up on the trail.

Show Notes: Episode 002


  • Trail Magic
  • Milo McIver State Park hike with family
  • Tired kids and fresh blackberries

The Top 5 Surprising Places to Find Backpacking and Hiking Stuff

Craft Store/Fabric Store

  • Small containers
  • Waterproof fabrics
  • Unscented melt and pour soup

Dollar Store

  • Car drying towel
  • Small containers
  • Travel section


  • Nylon poncho, sleeping bags, packs, stuff sacks
  • Prices range from competitive to absurd
  • Long ship time
  • Read reviews and check stars

Grocery Store

  • Bulk Section
  • Discount Grocery Store
  • Deli
  • Asian market or other ethnic markets

Recycle Bin

  • Milk jug, cat food can (for stove), peanut butter containers, etc.

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Women’s KEEN Koven WP Shoe


  • Waterproof leather and mesh upper
  • Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Sturdy feel
  • EVA Midsole. EVA is a polymer that is soft and flexible, low-temperature toughness, stress-crack resistance, hot-melt adhesive waterproof properties, and resistance to UV radiation


  • Waterproof shoes that don’t make you feel like you’re wearing a plastic bag
  • Love the non-tie bungee laces
  • Brilliantly designed to let out moisture from your feet, but not let in moisture from


  • Mine are youth size six, weigh 1 lb 8 oz (site says 13oz.)


  • Care for Leather: Gently brush the shoe with a soft bristle brush or hand towel to remove loose dirt and debris. Stains can be treated by lightly rubbing a gum eraser in a circular motion over the location and lightly brushing afterwards.
  • Realistic hiking shoe care? Smack your shoes together after the mud has dried…


  • $110 for adult size, $65 for youth (youth 6 is a women’s adult 8 1/2)


  • Tested on a 5 1/2 mile hike in Oregon
  • Hiked thru rain, wet grass, mud, rocky river shore
  • No squeaky toes
  • Feet perfectly dry
  • Lots of vertical toe room
  • May eventually add padding inside the shoe

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Nut Bars

Nut Bars

2 Tbs butter

2 cups mini marshmallows

2 1/2 cups nuts and seeds

In a medium pot, heat butter/marshmallows, remove from heat. Then stir in nuts and seeds. Press mixture into parchment lined 8×8 pan.

  • 150-170 calories per ounce
  • Can use sunflower, chia, flax, almonds, pepitas, peanuts, cashews
  • Infinitely adaptable
  • Not overly sweet!
  • Flavor variations (cinnamon, vanilla, dried fruit like cherries or cranberries)
  • Bars are 1/2 inch thick. Double for larger bars.

Trail Wisdom

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne