055: GIVE: The Gift Giving Episode

Show Notes: Episode 055

Today on The First 40 Miles, GIVE: The Gift Giving Episode! If you’ve ever wanted to give the 12 Days of Christmas, we have the whole thing planned out for you—minus the Lords a Leaping and other weird gifts! Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a pad that can take you through all four seasons of backpacking! On the Backpack Hack of the Week, a simple way to wrap a gift for the backpacker in your life. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a little girl who loved adventures.

Opening + Top 5 List

12 Days of Christmas (Santa’s Prerogative)

1: A tent for our next adventure

2: Sleeping bags

3: Mini Bics

4: Pair of socks

5: Golden Trails (maps!)

6: Fun size snickers

7: Feet of duct tape

8: 8-ounce umbrella

9: Fire starters

10: Freeze dried dinners

11: Miles of hiking

12: Strong and Kind bars

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Thermarest NeoAir XTherm


  • Top 30 Denier Ripstop nylon
  • Bottom 70 Denier Nylon
  • Soft, textured no-slip fabric
  • No crinkly like past models


  • 5.7 R Value, which means this mattress is good for all your winter backpacking trips.
  • You can inflate this mattress with your own breath, but we recommend using the NeoAir Pump Sack
  • There’s nothing wrong with inflating it with your breath (it won’t ruin the interior)
  • We do not recommend using it as a toboggan


  • 15 oz. (430 grams)
  • 20 inches wide
  • 72 inches long
  • 5 inches thick
  • Packed: 9” x 4”


  • Comes with patch kit
  • Larger holes and tears take 24 hours to dry
  • For storage: leave the valve open and store mattress in a stuff sack to protect it
  • It’s small enough to fit inside your pack. When pads are put on the ouside of the pack (typically at the bottom) there’s a lot of abrasion that can happen every time you set your pack down.


  • $200
  • You are paying for four-season warmth and lightweight gear


  • 30 breaths to inflate…or use the NeoAir Pump Sack
  • NeoAir Pump Sack- purchase separately (also doubles to create a Jembe, or, camp seat)

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Old Map Gift Wrap

  • Old Maps make beautiful wrapping paper for backpackers.
  • Find old maps at thrift stores in the books section or used book stores
  • Maps are frequently updated because land changes, trails get washed out, development…
  • If you’re giving a small gift, you can easily find topo maps online to print for free. OR stitch a few together to make a larger piece of wrapping paper.

Trail Wisdom

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass