032: Jocks, Fancy Pants and Hobbits

Today on The First 40 Miles, the Top 5 reasons not to sweat It on the trail. Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review™, we’ll show you a pair of pants that will stand up to unexpected rain storms and puddle jumps. On the Backpack Hack of the Week™, we’ll introduce you to the classics. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a guy who does NOT live in a hole in the ground filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat.

Show Notes: Episode 032


  • Does athleticism transfer to the trail?
  • If you’ve been an athlete all your life, and have never tried backpacking, are there natural advantages or surprising disadvantages?
  • Quote that defines athleticism by Vern Gambetta:

“Athleticism is the ability to execute athletic movements at optimum speed with precision, style and grace in the context of the sport or activity. It is easy to see when someone has it.”

  • Conclusion: Anytime you are active, you are building your skills and abilities. Just as every sport and activity has a learning curve. You’ll get better the more you get out on the trail and develop the athleticism that matches your goals.

Top 5 Reasons to Not Sweat It on the Trail

Lose electrolytes

  • Unbalanced electrolyte levels can lead to either weak muscles, or muscles that contract too severely.

Cool down too quickly when stopped

  • When you sweat, your body is heated up and is trying to cool itself down.
  • Then when you stop, your body cools down, but your sweat is still doing its job of continuing to cool your body down.
  • Hypothermia

Sweat indicates you may need to slow your pace

  • Slow is OK. Slow is better than stopped. Slow and steady is better than
  • No rule that says you have to push to your physical limits

Animals are attracted to the salts in your sweat

  • Damaged gear

Slow + Steady wins the race

  • For the most part, you’ll know how many miles you’ll be covering and what the terrain is like based on the pre-trip research you’ve done.
  • Usually no reason to rush if you’ve pre-planned your trip

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Columbia Men’s Royce Peak Pant


  • Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 sun protection
  • Omni-Shield™ advanced repellency helps shed moisture and stains
  • Elastane gives the pants 2-way stretch
  • Gusset detail; articulated knees
  • Pockets with rip-and-stick closures; mesh pocket bags
  • Columbia Royce Peak Pants have a modern classic fit with straight legs (not cargo legs)
  • Colors: Everblue, Gravel, Grill, Tusk
  • 96% nylon/4% elastane
  • Variable Inseam (30, 32, 34”), variable waist sizes available (30-44”)


  • Not “Rain Pants” but they shed moisture
  • Also shed stains
  • Come with webbed belt
  • No “cargo” style pockets, but on right side, there’s a discreet zippered pocket the size of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • All pockets are mesh , so they don’t hold grit or water
  • Back pockets are secured by hook and loop closure


  • 6 oz (with belt)


  • Machine wash, cold
  • Tumble dry on low
  • Do not use fabric softener!


  • $40-60


  • Canoe trip with pants…
  • Some online reviewers complained that these pants were too tight around legs.
  • Slim leg fit

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Books on Tape (mp3 Audiobooks)

Your local library may have access to free ebooks and digital books on tape.

Our local library does through an app called Overdrive.

You get the audio book for two weeks or more, depending on your settings.

  •  Bible (Old and New Testament): about 72 hours
  • Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Les Mis By Victor Hugo: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Around the World in 80 Days: 7 hours
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Tolkien 18 hr 20 minutes
  • The Hobbit by Tolkien: 11 hours

Trail Wisdom

“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien