013: Are You Hiking Your Own Hike?

Sometimes the hardest part of a hike is the eight hours when your feet aren’t moving. Learn some tried and true tips for sleeping while on your next backpacking trip. The Top 5 List will give you some great insights for “hiking your own hike” to maximize personal growth. Next, Heather and Josh review a lightning fast way to boil water for your next freeze dried meal. Then, the humble dollar store liquid laundry detergent bottle comes to the rescue to help banish the dreaded ‘trail stank’.

Show Notes: Episode 013


What causes a rough night’s sleep?

Not Comfortable

  • Pillow made of clothing in a stuff sack
  • Hip pillow for side sleepers

Too Cold

  • Put on hat
  • Eat something before bed
  • Do sit ups in your sleeping bag
  • Try using a sleeping bag liner

Too Bright (full moon/early sunrise)

  • Buff like a “blind chicken” around your eyes

Too Loud

  • Ear plugs or ear buds

Odd phenomenon that many backpackers experience: even with a restless, uncomfortable or cold night, often times there are no ill effects that you would typically experience if you had the same night at home.

Please, no sleeping pills. Too dangerous. Fix the root of the problem.

Top 5 Tips for Hiking Your Own Hike

  1. Don’t be defensive
  • All types of hikers and styles are welcome on the trail
  • Glamping is OK (and so is a little friendly teasing)
  • Hair curlers story
  • Trail goals (achieving vs. experiencing)
  1. Don’t be offensive
  1. Don’t stay silent
  • Several situations where you may want to speak up:
  • Not prepared
  • Food poisoning/altitude sickness/other health concern
  • Something broke (people may be able to help)
  1. Welcome opportunities to grow on the trail
  • You’ll be challenged
  • You’ll be tired
  • You’ll have parts that ache
  • For the most part, you need to push past the challenges, fatigue and aches to reach a new place
  • If you are “kicking against the pricks” then you might miss opportunities to learn
  • Push yourself to hike a little further, smile a little more often, encourage those around you, serve others and look for opportunities to grow on the trail
  1. Remember that it’s not a “Winner Takes All” sport
  • Hiking and backpacking is a non-competitive sport where the only players are you and Mother Nature.
  • You’re not separate teams, you’re kind of on the same team, but not always playing the same game.
  • Snow, washouts, mudslides, freak thunderstorms can totally change your plans
  • Learn to respect Mother Nature and be flexible
  • If you go home early you haven’t “lost”
  • No one who leaves a trip alive ever “loses”

SUMMIT Gear Review™: JetBoil Flash Stove


  • Multiple components of stove
  • Fuel: Isobutane and propane mix


  • Boils water in record time (roughly 2 minutes in ideal conditions)


  • 15 ounces without the fuel canister
  • 7 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches


  • Know how to work the spark (see video below)
  • Know how to pack it up (see video below)


  • $100 for fast, hot water
  • Fuel canisters go a long way and are relatively inexpensive


  • Never needs a windscreen
  • Stove that did what it was supposed to do, and did it well—which exactly what you want out of your gear: reliability
  • Amazing piece of gear

Backpack Hack of the Week™: DIY Washing Machine

  • 42 Ounce bottle of unscented liquid laundry detergent (use up the laundry detergent at home or transfer to another bottle)
  • Has 2 1/2” wide lid and a 3” long handle
  • 2.9 ounces (80 grams)
  • The wide lid makes it possible for you to stuff a couple pair of socks, some sock liners, a bandana, and a pair of skivvies
  • Add some water, a little bit of biodegradable camp soap, and a maybe pinch of baking soda.
  • Shake or attach to your pack to agitate while you hike.
  • Doesn’t use a lot of water, just enough to saturate your clothes
  • Don’t drain next to a water source, try to scatter your grey water
  • If clean clothes are very important to you, then this is a simple, cheap 3 ounce solution

Trail Wisdom

“Nature does nothing uselessly.”