003: Shave the Ounces and the Pounds Will Follow

Get ready to lose some excess pack weight–and then add it back a few grams at a time.  We’ll also review a budget sleeping pad and find out how it actually worked on a recent camp out.  If you’re planning on making your next backpacking trip a creative retreat, then stay tuned to learn how to make an ultralight DIY Plein Air Watercolor Kit to toss into your pack for when creativity strikes on the trail!

Show Notes: Episode 003


  • Shave the ounces and the pounds will follow
  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Weighs up to 12 pounds
  • Inaccuracies in package information/online information
  • Grams vs. ounces
  • Recommend: Use frequently to weigh and reweigh all your items.

The Top 5 Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Things You Need to Add to Your 10 Essentials

Diaper Pin

  • Safety Pin vs. Diaper Pin
  • Gear Repair (sleeping bag pull, temporary hole repair)
  • Securing tarp, poncho, etc.
  • First aid (splinters, blisters)

Essential Oils

  • Lavender and peppermint
  • Lavender for burns, relaxation, sleep
  • Peppermint: to prevent nausea, as toothpaste, to soothe sore muscles


  • Small, simple golf pencil
  • No eraser necessary
  • Pencil vs. pen (even if pencil is broken, you can still use it)

Razor Blade

  • Ultralight knife
  • Basic, simple tool
  • Pencil sharpener

Rubber Band

  • Eraser
  • Gear Repair
  • Hair tie
  • Secure bandage
  • Mark levels on water bottle to monitor fluid intake
  • Bundle things together in pack

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Ozark Trail Egg Crate Camp Pad


  • Closed cell foam pad
  • Somewhat bumpy, “egg cartony”
  • Indestructable, even with scratches it will still perform at 100% capacity


  • Waterproof
  • Trimmed 6 inches off edge (72”x6”)
  • Use excess as sitting pad


  • Size: 72”x24”1/2”
  • Weight: 13 ounces (without straps that it comes with)


  • Clean: wipe or brush off with dap rag
  • Roll opposite way each time, prevents it curling under your sleeping bag


  • Under $15


  • I slept on it for one night
  • Bruised hips…worse than pack bruising (of which there was none)
  • Traded with husband for his Therm-a-rest Z Lite
  • Next camping trip, I used it with no problem because I brought a pillow for my hip

En Plein Air Painting

Backpack Hack of the Week™: DIY Plein Air Watercolor Kit

  •  “Plein Air” means “painting outdoors”
  • Instead of heavy gear, easel, box of brushes…go lightweight
  • Perfect for creative retreat
  • Make: Plein Air Watercolor Kit
  • Cost: $1 gum in blister pack, $4 liquid water color pack of 6
  • Take gum out of blister pack
  • Squirt a small amount of liquid watercolor into each hole and let dry
  • Also pack: palette for blending colors, brush, water cup, paper
  • Put everything in zip top plastic bag

Trail Wisdom

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”

-E. B. White