012: Inventors, Innovators, and Backpackers

Heather and Josh share some innovative backpacking gear from the brilliant inventors on Kickstarter.com. Next, you’ll learn about the top 5 pack messes and how to avoid them. Then we’ll review a pair of socks made by some hard-working worms. And the Backpack Hack of the Week™ features an easy way to keep a lid on leftovers.

Show Notes: Episode 012


Backpacking gear on Kickstarter.com

  • Trekkayak Inflatable Kayak
  • Microstove
  • Indus Walking Stick
  • Snowxu (foldable snow shoes)
  • Qlipter
  • Made in the USA Fleece
  • Documentaries

To find more, use the search feature on Kickstarter.com for the words: hiking, outdoor, backpacking, trail, or camping.

Top 5 Pack Messes and How to Avoid Them!

Melted Chocolate

  • But good chocolate melts at body temperature.
  • An afternoon of a bag of chocolates next to your back could mean a huge mess in your pack
  • Solution: M&Ms or Sunspire SunDrops

Leaky Peanut Butter

  • Calorie-dense, so it’s a natural favorite among backpackers
  • Solution: Justin’s Peanut Butter or Almond Butter packets

Punctured Water Bladder

  • Even the best water bladder systems are subject to punctures
  • Water isn’t the worst thing to get all over your pack…unless you planned on staying dry
  • Solution: Water bottles—esp. the lightweight disposable ones

Drippy Olive Oil

  • We pack our olive oil in a plastic screw top container, but it makes me nervous
  • Solution: Subway packets of olive oil and canola oil mix (ask to purchase or ask for them with a purchase)

Weeping Cheese and High Fat Meat

  • As cheese and meat warm up, the fats in them melt
  • Solution: powdered cheese from the green shaker can and dry meats (like beef jerky or cured dry salami), or wrap your meat and cheesecloth to absorb some of the excess oil

“Anything that can leak, will”

If you must bring leaky stuff, follow these 4 steps:

  • Wrap it in paper towel
  • Double bag it or store it in a leak proof container like a tested PB jar or Nalgene bottle
  • Store it upright
  • Make sure it doesn’t get crushed in your pack

SUMMIT Gear Review™: REI Silk One Liner Socks


  • 54% spun silk/43% nylon/2% polyester/4% spandex
  • Super buttery soft


  • Prevent blisters if worn with a pair of hiking socks
  • Silk has good tensile strength
  • Wicking
  • Cool in summer, warm in winter


  • .8 ounces/22 grams


  • Hand wash or machine wash
  • No bleach


  • $9.50
  • They are thin and dry fairly quickly
  • Purchase two pairs: a pair to wear, a pair to wash


  • The only thing I would change is the color
  • White is a silly color for backpacking gear
  • They never got clean looking on or off the trail

Today’s Backpack Hack of the Week™: Leak-resistant Cup

  • Backpackers do everything they can to simplify their gear and make sure that everything that goes into their pack is a multi-use item.
  • Need: small plastic Nutella jar or a small plastic Peanut Butter jar and use it up, peel off the label, wash the container and the lid in the dishwasher, so there’s no scent left
  • Reusable
  • Portion control for times when you want a smaller meal
  • It’s shallow enough to reach your spoon into
  • Limits food waste
  • Food can be prepared and stored for later
  • Easy to wash, just add a little water, swish and scatter or swish and swallow
  • Don’t use boiling water—it will melt the plastic
  • Weighs barely over an ounce

Trail Wisdom

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not man the less, but Nature more”

– George Gordon Byron