031: Summertime

Today on The First 40 Miles, the Top 5 List for Totally Fun Summertime Backpacking Gear. Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, we’ll show you the simplest way to drink 500 liters of water. On the Backpack Hack of the Week, we’ll explain a cool trick that dads can do to impress their kids while on their next backpacking adventure. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a quotologist.

Show Notes: Episode 031


Father’s Day: Tribute to our fathers

Outdoor experiences, childhood

Top 5 List for Summer Fun Backpacking Gear

Lunatec Aquabot

  • Turns your waterbottle into an air-pressurized water pump so you can get a jet stream spray, or mist, or even shower
  • Works upside-down
  • Works with a Nalgene or Camelbak bottle
  • Great gift idea!

NUUN (pronounced NOON)

  • Fizzy tablets that turn water into an non-carbonated electrolyte sports drink
  • Summertime: sweating more, these tablets fizz in the water, and are a fun way to flavor your drink.
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Sweetened with sorbitol and acesulfame potassium (or stevia on some flavors…)
  • Nuun’s goal is for all of their products to receive USDA Organic, Non-GMO and Vegan certifications
  • $5 makes twelve 16 ounce drinks


  • Available SUMMER 2015
  • Collapsible wrap-around performance sunglasses
  • They are so small they will fit in the palm of your hand
  • Love this idea because sunglasses are normally so bulky and fragile!
  • These are slim and streamlined

Raw Elements Organic Sunscreen

  • This is NOT a chemical sunscreen
  • This uses actual zinc oxide (not the nano particles)
  • Benefits? It works, it’s biodegradable, won’t drip into water, it has all natural and organic ingredients
  • Easy to use
  • Will show up on your skin as a little bit lighter
  • Research is questioning the safety of nano particles and chemicals in our sunscreen

Lightload Towels

  • Lightweight, burnable, disposable, compact, durable
  • You may have seen these little discs at the check out counter at your local outdoor store.
  • They are sold compressed, and need to get wet in order to expand and uncompress
  • They’re a multi-use item on the trail

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Vapur Microfilter


  • Soft polyethelene/nylon bottle-not rigid
  • Hollow-fiber filter membrane has a high flow rate so you can sip on the straw and it filters water as it’s on the way to your mouth; no pumping, no batteries and no chemicals
  • BPA-free
  • Two colors: Blue and Olive Green


  • 2-micron filter physically removes 99.9999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; removes 99.9% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
  • Filters 500 liters
  • Has a clip so you can store it anywhere on yourself or your pack


  • 2 ounces
  • Holds 1 liter


  • Waterbottle is dishwasher safe
  • Don’t put filter through dishwasher


  • $40


  • Easy to use
  • No-brainer
  • Love the weight, convenience, and amount it filters
  • Fits in water bottle pockets of all backpacks
  • Chemical taste for the first liter, then it totally went away. Rinse and squeeze before first use.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: How to Put on Your Pack Impressively

  • We saw this trick on a documentary about a group that hiked the John Muir Trail.
  • Lay pack on ground with straps facing up, and your pack upside-down.
  • Then grab your pack, by the sides and hoist it up over your head while sliding your arms into the straps

Watch for it at 1:05:18:

You Might Be a Backpacker…

  • If you save the Priority Mail bags from online purchases because “Hey, it’sTyvek, people”…
  • If you know exactly how long it takes for your hiking pants to dry on a day with a 58 degree high with 7-10 mph winds from the West and partial clearing in the mid-afternoon….
  • If you can switch seamlessly between liters, gallons, grams and ounces–all in the same conversation…
  • If your bedroom looks like a bomb went off, but your pack is organized like it’s owned by a Marine with OCD…
  • If you’re freakishly good at estimating weight, and you’ve discovered is not as cool of a party trick as you thought…

Trail Wisdom

“Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.”

-Carrie Latet