053: Pilgrims and Strangers

Show Notes: Episode 053

Today on The First 40 Miles, is it possible to pack an entire Thanksgiving Dinner in your pack? Nope. But there are a few things you can pack that’ll get you pretty close to it. Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, you’ll learn about a unique way to light your camp space. On the Backpack Hack of the Week, we’ll share a secret ingredient that will make all of your backpacking dinners palatable. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from Roethke.


  • Thanksgiving: November 26th, 2015
  • Pilgrim Journals
  • Entry written by William Bradford in 1620 (Edited by Heather Legler)

“Monday, the 13th of November, we unshipped our shallop (small boat) and drew her on land, to mend and repair her. Our people went on shore to refresh themselves, and our women to wash, as they had great need. But whilst we lay thus still, hoping our shallop would be ready in five or six days, some of our people, impatient of delay, desired to travel by land into the country, which was not without appearance of danger, to see whether it might be fit for us; and so with cautions, directions, and instructions, sixteen men were set out with every man his musket, sword, and corslet (piece of defensive armor covering the torso), under the conduct of Captain Miles Standish, William Bradford, Stephen Hopkins, and Edward Tilley.

“Wednesday, the 15th of November, they were set ashore, and when they had ordered themselves and marched about the space of a mile, by the sea they espied five or six people with a dog, coming towards them, who were savages, who when they saw them, ran into the wood and whistled the dog after them. First they supposed them to be Master Jones, the master, and some of his men, for they were ashore and knew of their coming, but after they knew them to be Indians they marched after them into the woods, lest other of the Indians should lie in ambush; but when the Indians saw our men following them, they ran away with might and main and our men turned out of the wood after them, for it was the way they intended to go, but they could not come near them.

“They followed them that night about ten miles by the trace of their footings, and saw how they had come the same way they went. At length night came upon them, and they were constrained to take up their lodging, so they set forth three sentinels. And the rest: some kindled a fire, and others fetched wood, and there held our rendezvous that night.”

Thus it begins…

The Top 5 Foods to Bring on Your Thanksgiving Backpacking Trip

Turkey Jerky

  • You can also take a turkey pepperoni stick (cal/oz) 90 cal/oz
  • Can’t bring a whole turkey…

Thanksgiving Trail Mix

  • Dried cranberries (fruit native to North America)
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Reese’s Pieces for festive fall look
  • Candy corn—or—corn nuts (for more cal/oz)
  • Pecans/black walnuts (also native to North America)
  • Mini marshmallows if you’re feeling nostalgic for yam/marshmallow dish

Pumpkin Pie Fruit leather

  • 1 large container of full fat Greek yogurt
  • Some pumpkin puree (for color)
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon (along with some ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice)
  • Vanilla
  • A couple squirts of honey (for pliability)
  • Pour onto parchment paper and dehydrate

Stovetop Stuffing with added olive oil

  • Package of stovetop, add hot water, drizzle with olive oil (240 cal/oz)
  • Cheap, can be rehydrated with cold or hot water

Dehydrated mashed potatoes

  • Lots of different flavor options
  • Low cal/oz, so adding full fat milk powder like NIDO helps bump calories
  • Add hot water

SUMMIT Gear Review™: LuminAID PackLite 16


  • TPU (thermopolyurethane) plastic, a safe, and sustainable material that is 100% PVC-free and phthalate-free
  • Properties of TPU include:
    • abrasion resistance
    • low-temperature performance
    • mechanical properties, combined with a rubber-like elasticity
    • shear strength
    • elasticity
    • transparency
    • oil and grease resistance
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • High-efficiency ~19% monocrystalline solar panel


  • Has a handle at the top so you can carry it.
  • Also has two holes on side corners so you can attach it with a carabiner
  • 6 Hours LED light on Extra Bright setting
  • 10 Hours LED light on High setting
  • 30 Hours LED light on Low setting
  • Up to 32 Hours on FLASHING setting
  • Waterproof up to 1 meter deep and can float


  • Luminaid Packlight 16 is 2.9 ounces
  • When deflated, folded and snapped shut, it’s about the size of a smart phone from 2005
  • When opened, but not inflated, it’s about the size of a piece of copy paper
  • When inflated, it gains about 4 inches of loft


  • Recharges completely in 7 hours of direct sunlight
  • Hundreds of recharge cycles, designed to last multiple years of continuous use.


  • $25
  • You can also order the Give Light, Get Light package for $35, which will get you a light, then LuminAID will send a light to a disaster relief organization
  • One Year Warranty


  • Ours leaked air at seam, used tape to repair, but it still kept leaking. LuminAID guarantees products for a year and followed through on their promise
  • Perfect piece of gear to bring as the days get darker
  • Offers a gentle ambient glow in camp.
  • Loved it!

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Starbucks Free Sriracha Packets

Sriracha (pronounced see-rah-cha) Sauce is one of America’s favorite new condiments. Most often you’ll see it in Asian restaurants. It’s the red bottle with the rooster on it.   Extremely spicy…and covers a multitude of sins in the kitchen.

Ingredients: Red jalapeño chili peppers, sugar, salt, vinegar, garlic

Aaron, one of our listeners let us know that Starbucks is offering sriracha packets with their breakfast items. (We also heard rumors that you can order a secret menu item: a Srirachachino)

Trail Wisdom

“Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.”

-Theodore Roethk