071: The Art of Nanomanaging

Show Notes: Episode 071

Today on The First 40 Miles, micromanaging is a terrible strategy for bosses, and nanomanaging is even worse—but does it have merit on the trail? Then, 5 ways that you can nanomanage your little domain. Next, on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a lightweight solution to cooking for a family. For today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, learn when to bring shallots, prime rib and crusty bread. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, author Donald Miller.


  • The Art of Nanomanaging: Anticipating, predicting, outsmarting and responding to external and internal conditions while on the trail
  • External conditions (heat, cold, wind, rain, altitude, light, terrain, wildlife) Sometimes we lose ourselves in the rhythm of the trail and forget that we’re out in mother nature’s territory. Nanomanaging means being cognizant of your surroundings.
  • Internal conditions (thirst, hunger, body temp, fatigue, mental state, attitude, comfort) Sometimes we believe that we need to soldier on, when in fact, pain is the language our body uses to talk to us.
  • Not about control, it’s about anticipating, predicting, outsmarting and responding to what’s going on outside of you and inside of you.
  • Nanomanaging is about being present, responsive, and adaptable

Top 5 Things You Can Nanomanage on the Trail

Your balance

  • How your pack is fitting?
  • Four different adjustment straps on an internal frame pack: shoulder straps, sternum strap, hip belt, load adjuster straps
  • Side to side load balancing
  • Heavy vs. light item placement (heavy close to back)

Your energy level

  • Stop for lunch, but not too long
  • If you stop too long, you could cool down
  • Food helps! Constant food so you don’t crash

Your water level

  • Don’t think, just drink
  • Drinking when it’s raining
  • Check your perspiration

Your pace

  • Nanomanage your pace based on terrain, weather, load, traveling companions
  • 2 miles per hour is a pretty average pace—not your normal 4 mph on paved paths
  • If you’re going uphill, slow it down and keep your steps small
  • Picking up your pace on long flat stretches can make you feel great!

Your thoughts

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself
  • You’re doing great!

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Evernew Ti Nonstick Pot


  • Titanium
  • Silicon-ceramic non-stick coating
  • Silicone is not as durable with metal utensils, so be gentle—might be a good idea to switch to plastic utensils if you use nonstick cookware
  • Rolled edges


  • Titanium is famous for being rugged and ultralight
  • However, that doesn’t give you permission to abuse your titanium gear or even expect the same performance that you get from your pans at home
  • The pans you use at home have thin sides, and a thick bottom. This helps hold and disperse heat. With the titanium pan, it’s extremely thin and light, and it does not have a way to disperse the heat. Where the heat hits, that’s where it stays.
  • Better to use this pot with a wide flame than a direct hot flame—especially when cooking instead of just boiling water.
  • The Evernew Ti Nonstick1.9 Liter Pot, has graduated marks at 500, 1000 and 1500 mL


  • Weighs 7.4 ounces (without stuff sack)
  • Measures 6.5 x 3.5


  • No direct high heat
  • No “dry baking” (Cooking at high temperatures with no liquid in pot)
  • Even our frying experiment using the JetBoil on simmer didn’t provide the dispersed flame needed to get even browning on all our doughnuts.
  • Blackening on interior of pan
  • Clean non-stick coating with a non metallic scrubby



  • Might be better if handle were “plasti-dipped” for a better grip when lifting the pot. The silicone sleeves slipped a little when lifting the pot
  • This is a great pot to use with an alcohol stove
  • Not recommended for use with a JetBoil or similar high output stove. The JetBoil just puts out too much focused heat out. (It may warp the pot and/or impact the nonstick coating.)
  • Cooks up pasta and sauce for a group of 4-6
  • Great size and weight. Handles fold up conveniently

Backpack Hack of the Week™: 24 Hour Food

If you’re just going to be an overnight trip, your food options open up significantly! You can easily pack a small serving of frozen meat, bring fresh fruits and vegetables, or carry dairy products or eggs.

Shorter trips lend themselves to greater freedom when it comes to food options.

The longer the length of the trip and the more intense the miles, the more that calories per ounce matters. So if you are a foodie of the highest degree and the thought of buying processed foods just makes you crazy, then here’s your chance to satisfy your need to be outdoors and have an incredible culinary experience.

Trail Wisdom

“And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth’s shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.”

-Donald Miller