065: Hopelessly in Love

Show Notes: Episode 065

Today on The First 40 Miles, if you’re hopelessly in love with someone, we have a few ideas you can stow away in your pack or use for Valentine’s Day. Then, on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a mini blanket that is the perfect size for an outdoor romantic picnic for two. Next, on the Backpack Hack of the Week, we’ll share a relationship saver for the one who refuses to stop to ask for directions. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a husband and wife team who loved to be outdoors and write books about it!

Book Announcement!  40 Backpacking Hacks: Tried and True Tricks of the Trail


  • Valentine’s Day + Anniversary
  • Romantic gifts for backpackers?
  • “You don’t stink”
  • Love notes on the trail
  • Tree carving, not so cool anymore
  • You’re welcome to write your name with a stick in the dirt…although not as romantic…

Top 5 Romantic Backpacking Gifts

Every area has a trail, waterfall or destination with a romantic sounding name

  • Skip Lake Foulweather or Battle Ax Loop Hike
  • Niagara Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Enchanted Valley
  • Paradise Point Loop Hike
  • Placid Lake
  • Or put in an application for a remote area that requires permits

Create a playlist to listen to while driving to your next trip

  • Josh did that four our Redwoods trip
  • Most trips require a several hour drive

Sweet treat on a backpacking trip

  • Carry it in for them and surprise them!
  • Dove chocolate or kisses (great for shoulder season backpacking, so it won’t melt)
  • Dark chocolate less likely to melt in warmer temps

Framed shot of the two of you with some pretty scenery in the background

  • Good off-the-trail gift
  • Favorite shot use as episode image for this episode

Candlelight dinner (so easy to do on a trip)

  • Bring a couple candles or a UCO Micro Candle Lantern
  • Fancy paper napkins that you can burn later so you don’t have to carry them out
  • Paper doilies from Dollar store: cheap, lightweight, fancy and ridiculous
  • Dollar store even has those fancy plastic fluted glasses that are ultra lightweight, and the bottom pops off so they’re pretty compact. Just take a few Nuun Tablets for a semi-fizzy drink that also has electrolytes!

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Matador Mini Pocket Blanket


  • Hyprlite Ripstop Nylon
  • This isn’t your classic ripstop–it has tiny squares less than a square millimeter
  • Attached storage pouch has a carry loop so you can attach onto back of your pack


  • Water repellent (not water-proof)
  • Puncture resistant
  • So it’s the perfect things to lay out on damp grass, beach sand or dirt, so you can sit and relax


  • Weighs 1.1 ounces (33 grams)
  • 28 x 44 inches
  • Perfect size for two people to sit and have a romantic picnic lunch or a lovely candlelight dinner
  • Extremely compact when stored
  • It fit perfectly into 1/3 cup measuring cup


  • The stuff sack is attached, really easy to fold up, you just follow the red stitched lines
  • You can stuff it, too, but it is so much prettier when it’s folded—besides you have those nice stitched lines


  • $19.95


  • When you’re pulling it out of the tiny pouch, you feel sort of like a magician pulling out the endless scarf!
  • Super convenient, water resistant, durable
  • Josh’s experiment with testing for water-proofness
  • There’s a beefier version of the Matador Mini Pocket Blanket, which is weighted in the corners so the blanket won’t fly away, and weighs 3.7 ounces and is the size of a deck of cards when folded up.
  • Think of it as a non-crinkly, super compactable tarp, that doesn’t feel like a tarp!

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Double Checking Reverse Polarity

  • If you’re using a compass to navigate, and it has gone awry, you’ll start to get off course quickly.
  • Fortunately there’s a way to double check your compass.
  • Our sun is pretty reliable (on the days when you can see it)
  • Rises in east, sets in west. That means if you’re facing north, east should be on your right hand and west should be on your left. (West and left kind of rhyme)
  • You shouldn’t re-polarize it yourself—send it in to Silva.

Trail Wisdom

  • Journey Into Ice
  • Nature On the Rampage
  • The American West
  • The American West- a Natural History
  • The Appalachian Trail
  • The Life Of the Desert
  • The Wild Shores Of North America
  • The Wilderness World Of the Grand Canyon
  • Wilderness Areas Of North America
  • Yellowstone a Century Of the Wilderness Idea

“Continually.… I think back on the pleasures that I’ve had on the trail and the teachings that it has imparted to me, and how those pleasures and those teachings have given me happiness and a greater understanding of how to bring fullness and richness into my life.”

–Ann and Myron Sutton

Who are Ann and Myron Sutton? Please solve the mystery!