024: Shoulder Season Backpacking

Today on The First 40 Miles, we’ll take a peak at the magical time between peak season and off peak season. On the SUMMIT Gear Review, you’ll meet the short, powerful cousin of the JetBoil Flash. Next, if you’ve always wanted to try Canadian cuisine, but were afraid to ask, we’ll give you the perfect recipe on the Backpack Hack of the Week. On the Backpackers Q+A, Mike from Utah has some questions about packs for all ages. Then we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, writer and outspoken man with a beard: Edward Abbey.

Show Notes: Episode 024


  • Backpacker Magazine Gear Issue
  • Thoughts from Josh on Price/Weight/Performance
  • Tent comparison

Top 5 Shoulder Season Must Haves

Plan B

First night of our Redwoods trip poured and poured, with high winds…

Our Plan B (kids in car, parents in a tent) turned into a Plan C (motel)

Wool Baselayer

Woolpower Survival Kit

Has same weight as my base layer I left at home, but has a special weave with loops to trap heat. Loved it.)

This baselayer survival kit from Woolpower also includes a short tube which can be used as a neck gaiter or hat

Fire Redundancy

It’s not going to be enough to bring a book of matches. If it gets cold fast or if all the tinder and kindling around you is wet, you’re going to want to have a sure fire way to get warm.


Lightning Strike (with tinder)

Extra, Easy-to-Eat Food

Everything takes longer when it’s wet and windy. It’s just so comforting to have a bag of food you can consume without having to get out other gear. Just open a package, cram a bar, and drink some water.

Also, lower temperatures also mean you’re burning more calories. Bring some easy to cram bars, pop tarts, chewy cookies with chunks of chocolate.


You are guaranteed to see things no one else will see.

Be prepared with a camera.

CamKix: Great for getting extraordinary shots with your phone

SUMMIT Gear Review™: JetBoil MiniMo


Very similar to JetBoil Flash, just squattier


Simmer feature, great for actually cooking on the trail

Doesn’t have the same boil indicator strip that the Flash has

Because it used for more than just boiling

The lid has a pour spout, that we used for pouring boiling water into our dried meals.

Also, we learned that you don’t need to unscrew the fuel right after you boil the water

If you want to use another pan with this stove, you need to purchase the JetBoil Pot Support $10 (I bought at Cabela’s for $12 but REI’s site has it for $9.)


5×6 inches

14.6 ounces

Full fuel canister weighs 7 ounces

21.6 ounces total


Keep igniter protected

Store fuel and stove sideways in pot




This has the freakishly fast boiling power that is standard for all JetBoil stoves.

Handles never get hot

One thing I didn’t like was that there was no extra room to store the extra pot stand.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Canadian Bannock

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 Tbs NIDO

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until powdery. Store in a zip top sandwich sized bag. When ready to make, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.

Mix with 1/4-1/2 cup water in a plastic bag with a spoon or by squeezing the plastic bag. Divide into 2-4 pieces so it’s easier to flip. Cook 5 minutes on medium heat, then flip. Cook 5 minutes on the other side. Serve with a jam or honey packet.

This recipe comes in at 1005 calories for the whole pan of bannock.

Backpackers Q + A

What do you do for your kids packs? What do you recommend?

Day pack for younger kids

Gregory Wander Youth pack for older kids

Trail Wisdom

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”

-Edward Abbey