044: Wanna Go Stoveless?

Today on The First 40 Miles, you may be prepared for your next backpacking trip, but are you prepared for a natural disaster? You may be more prepared than you think! Then, we share the top 5 benefits of leaving behind one of Heather’s favorite pieces of gear. On our Ready for Adventure segment, we prep for a hypothetical trip with two friends and the kids for a fun 24 hour trip. Next, get out your x-acto knife and get creative with your closed cell foam pad!

Show Notes: Episode 044


  • September 2015 is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, National
  • If your pack is packed, you basically have most everything you need to survive.
  • Throw in some granola bars, fresh water (since you won’t be able to filter contaminated city water)
  • Be sure to not compress sleep bag or down jacket but have them close by…
  • http://www.ready.gov/document/family-supply-list

The Top 5 Benefits of Going Stoveless

Lighter load

  • No stove and no fuel can mean a one pound savings in pack weight
  • For safety’s sake, still bring matches and a metal mug.

More trail time

  • No set up of cooking gear, and no waiting for water to boil or dinner to rehydrate.
  • That can mean a 30-60 minute savings in trail time—and that’s just for dinner!

No camp odors from cooking

  • When you pull out your meal replacement bar, dried fruit, tortillas and peanut butter, the scent won’t carry across the canyon.

Leftovers are easier to deal with

  • If you’re enjoying a meal made with shelf stable ingredients, you don’t have to finish the whole thing like you do with rehydrated meals

No worries

  • When summer is hot and dry, forest rangers start getting nervous about campfires and stoves. You will be free from worries about your stove being the cause of a fire.

Ready for Adventure™

You and another mom have decided to hit the trail. You have two children, she has three. All the kids are old enough to wipe their own noses and pick their own fights. (Ages 6-10). You’ve found a trail that will be perfect for the kids. You’re also thinking of how to pack so that you can be prepared for any situation that can come up while backpacking with children.

  • One night: Leave after school on Friday, stay through Saturday late afternoon
  • Tent: one per family
  • Kids will carry sleeping bag, pad, snacks, water, flashlights, and a change of clothes
  • Moms will carry the rest (first aid kit, tents, meals, cooking equipment, water filter)

It’ll be a two mile out and back, with a challenging elevation gain at the beginning. but it levels out for the rest of the trail.

  • Bring a few extra rewards/include fun activities for kids to help them up the trail
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Elevation can be deflating to a child…who imagines it going on forever

The weather in September is still cool, but there is a zero percent chance of rain.

  • Make sure everyone had insulating layers and a warm jacket

Shallow creek near campsite

  • Bring a super absorbent camp towel (ie. full-sized Light Load Towel)
  • And gallon zip top bags—because SOMEONE is going to step into the stream and have wet shoes.)
  • Also, Matador also makes some cool waterproof bags called Matador Droplets that hold 3 liters, If you’re traveling with kids, these are a great thing to have on hand no matter where you are…They attach onto your key chain or carabiner onto your pack.

One of the kids wakes up in the middle of the night sick…

  • Remove the offending sleeping bag, have the kids sleep on the pads with the one good sleeping bag acting as a big quilt or blanket.
  • Offer sick child a gallon sized Ziploc bag in case there is more.
  • Consider trekking out or not…

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Custom Cut Closed Cell Foam Pad

  • Kids: cut smaller so it fits their frame
  • Adults: trim sides so you won’t knock people off the trail
  • Can also be cut up into rear end sized pieces and used as a sitting pad
  • Buy one pad, and you can have mini camp seats

Trail Wisdom

“Thoughts come clearly while one walks.”

-Thomas Mann