069: The Ten Essentials

Show Notes: Episode 069

Today on the First 40 Miles, we get to dump out our ten essentials and spill what’s really inside. Then on today’s Top 5 list, we’ll take our First 40 Milers with us to the Salmon River. On the SUMMIT Gear Review, see what Lifestraw did to keep your knees clean. Next, we’ll show you how to make a primitive chair out of stuff from the hardware store. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, Charles de Lint.


  • Josh’s Ten Essentials + Extras
  • Heather’s Ten Essentials + Extras

Top 5 Things We Loved About Our Recent Trip

  1. The canyon view
  2. Slower pace
  3. Anniversary trip (with doilies and cheese!)
  4. 1950s-style division of labor
  5. We got out–even in the winter

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Lifestraw GO


  • 22 ounce hard-sided water bottle with a replaceable filter
  • Uses a microfiltration membrane
  • Removes 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.9 percent of protozoan cysts
  • Filters down to .2 microns
  • It has a flip-top bite valve and carabiner for attaching to your backpack
  • BPA Free and contains no chemicals
  • Meets US EPA drinking water standards


  • Lifestraw GO: another excellent option for idiot-proof water treatment
  • No pumping, wand waving, or waiting. Just instant water
  • Fill bottle at a good water source, and then screw the lid back on


  • Right out of the package, the Lifestraw GO weighs 7.1 ounces (not 5.9 ounces as they claim)
  • You can reduce weight be removing the carry strap with carabiner and d-ring. Now it weighs 6.6 oz.
  • The lid and filter alone weigh 3.1 ounces, the bottle alone weighs 3.4 ounces
  • The bottle it comes with measures 9.25” (235 mm) long and 3.14” (80 mm) in diameter
  • Holds 22 ounces or .65 liters
  • Lid has the same threading as a quart Nalgene, so you can easily transfer the lid and get even great water carrying capacity


  • After using the Lifestraw GO (like before each new refill of water) blow into the mouthpiece to remove dirty water. Do this before putting away after your trip.
  • Requires no electrical power, batteries
  • Filter lasts for ~1000 liters
  • Can’t be frozen or it will possibly crack the membrane


  • $30
  • Follow the Liters program, for every LifeStraw water filter sold, a child in Africa receives an entire year of clean drinking water at school.


  • Don’t drink the first few sips the very first time you use the LifeStraw GO. Spit out the very first few sips, then you’re good to go after that.
  • This water bottle is strictly for drinking, it will not purify or filter your water for cooking. because the only way to access the water in the bottle is by sucking it out. There’s no way to pump it out or pour it out
  • Once the spigot is closed and the cap is sealed this is a leak-proof water bottle.
  • LifeStraw water filters and purifiers are manufactured by Vestergaard, a Switzerland-based company specializing in disease control products for developing countries.
  • Simple to use, simple to maintain, won’t be the end all solution for all your water needs on the trail, but certainly for hydration, it’s an awesome option.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Seatless Strap Chair

  • 6-7 feet of webbing
  • 5 inch wide to avoid having the webbing dig into your back
  • Simple version: 6-7 feet of webbing, two ends sewn or tied in a knot
  • Advanced option (to make chair adjustable): Use a Cam buckle
  • Around $5 chair (if you include the hardware)
  • The idea is that it’s not your bum that’s tired, it’s your back. This strap gives you a place to rest your back.
  • Instructables design

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”

-Charles de Lint