075: What Ever Happened to GoLite?

Show Notes: Episode 075 What Ever Happened to GoLite?

Today on The First 40 Miles, what ever happened to GoLite, the well-loved backpacking gear company? We have some great news! Then we’ll share the top 5 benefits that a thin wall of nylon can provide. Next, on the SUMMIT Gear Review, we’ll share what happens when you mash up two pieces of trail equipment. On today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, you’ll learn about a free resource for folks who like to get lost…in a good book.


Top 5 Benefits of Using a Tent


  • Tents provide solitude and separateness
  • Place to change your clothes and clean your toes
  • No sound protection
  • If you are going to be camping with snorers or if you’re easily spooked by falling pine cones, then bring earplugs


  • While some of this is admittedly psychological, you can reliably depend on your tent to protect you from flies and mosquitoes, probably snakes.
  • Don’t expect it to protect you from anything with gnawing teeth or sharp anything.
  • And don’t expect your tent to protect your food stash—the walls of your tent are no match for rodents.
  • If you’re planning on using your tent for protection from the cold (or to trap heat)…it’s a better idea to add more insulation to your body than to try to heat your tent space
  • You want to heat the air between you and your sleeping bag, not necessarily the air between you and the tent fabric—that’s a lot of air to heat!

Adjustable Climate Control

  • Protection from rain
  • Of course if you camp without a tent at all, you have 100% ventilation, but it’s not adjustable.
  • It only offers 5-10 degrees in thermal insulation

No Trees Needed

  • Tents do have an advantage over hammocks, in that they are stand alone structures
  • No trees needed—important if you’re above the tree line

It’s Home

  • If you’re doing some exploring, it’s nice to have a tent to come back to.
  • It can act as somewhat of a landmark
  • Home base for your side trips
  • No matter what your home looks like, it always feels good to come back to it
  • If you’re in an exposed area, move it or put it away so it won’t be destroyed by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

SUMMIT Gear Review: Vargo Titanium Bot


  • 100% Titanium pot with a lid that screws on so that it also functions as a water bottle
  • The lid comes with a silicone ring around lid to prevent leaks


  • The Vargo Bot is designed to be used as a waterbottle and a cooking vessel
  • It has a similar diameter to the 32 ounce wide mouth Nalgene bottle, so it can fit in your water bottle pouch
  • Graduated marks 300, 600, and 900 mL
  • Main part of the Vargo Bot holds 1 Liter of water, and if you unscrew the lid, it holds over a cup of water
  • Lid can be unscrewed and flipped upside down and used as a nested lid for the Bot for when you use it to boil water


  • Titanium version weighs 4.8 ounces (136 grams)


  • The lid can be an issue to open…it’s tough and sometimes gets pressurized
  • Don’t cook with lid screwed on
  • Also, remove lid before you drive home
  • The pressure will make the bot hard to open


  • $100 for the Titanium Bot, however they also have a stainless steel version that is $40 and weighs 8.4 ounces
  • 100% manufacturer’s guarantee against any product defect.


  • We used it as a water collection vessel on our Salmon River Trip. We set it under the tarp and let the rain water drip in
  • Wish it had handles! You can use a pot lifter with it, but handles would be much more convenient…
  • Lots of people use their cooking pot or mug as a storage container for their stove/windscreen/pot stand/matches, which would make it so you wouldn’t be able to use it to hold water. So before you dive into purchasing the Vargo Bot, really think about where you’re going to store those items if you are going to use the Vargo Bot as another water bottle.
  • We really wanted to share this review because it combines two items into one and potentially shrinks your pack weight

Backpack Hack of the Week™: LibriVox.org Free Public Domain Audio Books

  • “Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”
  • If you enjoy audio books while you’re driving to your destination, or if you love to listen on the trail, we found another free resource other than your local public library! It’s LibriVox. Everything is read by volunteers.
  • If you’ll be doing the Wonderland Trail, you might want to download Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
  • They also have lots from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, PG Wodehouse, William Shakespeare and Mark Twain.
  • One ear bud in so you can be aware of your surroundings

Trail Wisdom

“What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!”

–Helen Keller

Oh, and check out our interview on episode 57 of the S’more Outdoor Podcast with Brett Traudt!