066: Passion, Sport, Trend or Lifestyle?

Show Notes: Episode 066

Today on The First 40 Miles, is backpacking just a fad, a trend or is it more—and why didn’t the Beach Boys ever sing about it? Then on today’s top 5 list, we’ll share some backpacking realities—and how to adapt. Then, on the Ready for Adventure segment, we plan a trip for two along the beautiful Salmon River. On the Backpack Hack of the Week, everyone loves how their clothes feel when they come straight out of the dryer—we’ll show you how to duplicate that feeling on the trail. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, English poet William Henry Davies.


  • How Would You Define Backpacking?
  • Do you do your job so you can get out and do more outdoor exploring?
  • Do you dream of telling the teacher you’re hiking?
  • More than just a fad, more than a lifestyle, more than just a genre, more than the clothes you wear…
  • Sport? Trend? Activity? Passion? Hobby? Lifestyle? Diversion? Recreation? Necessity?

The First 40 Miles Book Announcement!

Top 5 Backpacking Realities (And How to Adapt)

Spider webs in the morning

  • Tall guy in front to clear the path
  • Use trekking poles or a handy stick from the forest

The New Clean + Tidy

  • The only mirror outside is stowed away in your 10 essentials—and it’s for signaling
  • That means, you get to practice what we call a “New Clean”
  • Hands: Keep them clean with soap and water, rubbing alcohol or Purelle
  • Soot: Baking soda, nice gentle abrasive
  • Greasy Hair: Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder

The Great Stink

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soap (use the BPHOTW soap tube)
  • Baking soda (get pits damp and rub bs under them)
  • Synthetics are notorious for holding on to stink…wool doesn’t
  • Campfire smell (sell candles in boutique that is the campfire smell…)
  • Outdoors, you have maximum ventilation
  • Synthetic No-Stink Shirt: Vargo Titanium Infused Shirt
  • Bamboo experiment: TASC 365 SS Crew Shirt

Being Big

  • You stick out, your pack, your poles
  • Collapsible trekking poles
  • Take moments to be small
  • Rethink big pack for next time
  • Keep more gear inside, and less on outside

Food Fatigue

  • One word solution: Share
  • Next time pack multi part meals instead of one big dinner (small soup, pita + cheese)

Ready for Adventure: A Trip for Two

  • Anniversary BP Trip
  • You’re heading out on a two day one night, 8 mile loop hike. No kids. This trail travels through mossy old growth forest next to a wild and scenic river. There are several established campsites along the way for backpackers.
  • The Forest Service is considering closing the Salmon River to all camping because of the high volume of garbage, human waste, and toilet paper left at the backcountry campsites.  The forest service doesn’t not have the budget to maintain the area with the extra challenges.
  • This give us a chance to be trail stewards
  • Rain…100% chance
  • Bring a large tarp, like Eno Housefly, to prepare meals, have a second room of the “house”, and a place to prep meals and eat.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Toasty Clothes

One of the hardest parts of waking up on the trail is changing into the clothes that have been in your pack all night. They’re cold and wrinkly.

Solution: Put your clothes in the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep them warm.

Trail Wisdom

“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? ‘Ride,’ Pleasure said; ‘Walk,’ Joy replied.”

–William Henry Davies