046: You Can’t Beat a Classic

Show Notes: Episode 046

Today on The First 40 Miles, when dreams of a toasty fire turn to sour grapes, what’s a backpacker to do? You’ll learn 5 ways to deal with cancelled campfires. Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, instead of reviewing the latest piece of gear, we’re bringing back a 20 year old classic that’s trail beaten and is still trail worthy. For the Backpack Hack of the Week, the ugliest snack. Ever. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a guy who apparently does not own a van, we found out.


  • Prepping for trip to the Wallowas
  • In what ways do you feel unprepared?
  • In what ways to you feel more prepared than last year’s trip?
  • What are you hoping for?

The Top 5 Things to Do When Campfires Are Banned

Check the Report. Again.

  • …just because fire were banned last week, doesn’t mean they’re banned this week. The fire marshall makes that decision for the area.
  • Levels of Fire Danger

Create the Ambiance without the Flames

  • One of the magical things about a fire is light
  • People are drawn to light just like moths! Still gather!
  • LuminAID has a great pouch light…diffused light (not a blinding headlamp)
  • Games, stories, gathering, passing food

Stay Dry

  • Splashing in that stream mid day may seem like fun, but as the weather cools at night, the last thing you want is wet clothing…especially with no way to dry out your clothes.

Stay Warm

  • Bring extra layers, or even hand warmers

Pat Yourself on The Back

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Mattress


  • Closed cell foam with ridges to trap heat
  • Ours is 25 years old, but the newer ones have a side that’s aluminized to better reflect your body’s heat back to you.


  • Lightweight
  • 2.8 R which means it should get you through most 3 season camping
  • Rugged and durable
  • This pad is a classic for a reason!


  • 14 oz for regular (although I weighed ours in at 13 oz.)
  • 20×72 for regular size
  • L- 25×77
  • S-20×48


  • No patch kit needed
  • Solid, durable piece of lightweight gear
  • Need a strap to attach it to your pack


  • $30 for regular ($20-40 depending on size)
  • Look for deals


  • More comfortable than the cheap blue closed cell foam pads. If you’re ready to take a step up from those, then this is a fantastic next step.
  • Only really fits on outside of your pack, unless you open it to make it a tube, set it in your pack like a tube, and fill the inside of the tube with your stuff.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Chugly Crackers

Chugly= Cheddar + Ugly

Slice cheddar cheese 1/4 inch thick and about 1/2 x 1/2 pieces.

Place them on a preheated nonstick pan on medium heat. They will melt, bubble, crackle and brown. Flip them over when they have caramelized on the bottom and let them continue to cook. They get a little soft and not so crispy after a couple days in a Ziploc bag, but they’re still just as good!


CONGRATULATIONS TO:  Trails Club of Oregon

It’s their 100th Anniversary!

Trail Wisdom

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

-Vincent van Gogh