011: Beware the Raccoons

In this episode, we’ll talk about common fears on the trail and how to deal with them. Then we’ll share some high calorie trail snacks from a specialty food store that has been nicknamed “The Backpackers 7-Eleven.” The SUMMIT™ Gear Review will review a trail luxury that will keep you pumped up (without caffeine!). Next, the Backpack Hack of the Week™ will show you a sweet and simple way to add fuel to your internal furnace.

Show Notes: Episode 011


  • Common fears: wild animals, hypothermia, injury, etc
  • Know how to deal with fears (knowledge is power)
  • Don’t let fear ruin your trip
  • Be prepared

Top 5 Trader Joe’s Snacks for Your Next BP Adventure

Roasted Plantain Chips

  • 140 calories/oz
  • Ingredients: plantains, sunflower oil, salt
  • Product of Peru

Coconut Strips

  • 146 calories /oz
  • Ingredients: coconut, cane sugar, sulfur dioxide
  • Product of Thailand

Coconut Cashews

  • 160 calories/oz
  • Appear to be cashews that have been coated in coconut powder
  • Product of Thailand

Vegetable Root Chips

  • 160 calories/oz
  • Fascinating ingredient list: sweet potato, taro, batata, parsnip, beet juice, oil and salt
  • Packaging claims that” these chips will transform any occasion” (and by that they mean backpacking trip) “into a gourmet snacking experience”
  • Bulky packaging, unlike the other foods we got

Candied Pecan

  • 190 calories/oz
  • Ingredients: pecan, sugar, canola oil, salt

SUMMIT Gear Review™: SanDisk Clip Sport MP3 Player


  • Plastic
  • Color LCD Display
  • Comes with ear buds


  • Comes with a 4GB card (but can also be purchased with an 8GB)
  • Lasts 25 hours on a charge
  • Charges with a micro-usb connector cable
  • 42 inch ear buds that block out nearly all sound—they can double as ear plugs for nighttime
  • Clips to clothes or to a pack strap


  • 4 ounces/40 grams
  • 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches x 1/2 inch


  • Keep charged
  • Keep dry in a plastic bag


  • $40
  • Purchased a cheap “no-brand” mp3at a big box store for $20 and it kept playing all my songs from the beginning from the list each time.


  • Play by artist, album, random
  • Listened with one bud in so that I could be aware on trail
  • Only used on stretches when I needed extra energy…otherwise I was engaged with the people around me and aware of my surroundings
  • Great way to get pumped up and energized on long stretches

Backpack Hack of the Week™: DIY Mint Hot Chocolate Mix

1/4 cup NIDO (160 cal)

6 individual Andes Mints (230 cal)

1 cup of hot water

  • 390 calories
  • To make the Mint Hot Chocolate on the trail, heat up a cup of water, add NIDO and 6 Andes Choc mints. Stir until smooth.
  • Purchase the Andes Mints that come individually wrapped in foil/plastic (often sold in small bags at the dollar store)
  • Individually wrapped mints and will be less likely to make a huge mess if they get warm
  • Andes Mints have the most calories per ounce compared with other mint chocolates like Junior Mints or York Peppermint Patties
  • Andes Mints are 158 calories/ounce

Trail Wisdom

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

-John Burroughs