076: On the Rogue Again

Show Notes: Episode 076

Today on The First 40 Miles, our family heads out on a spring adventure, being careful to dodge areas of dense population and rascally weather—and we’ll let the kids share the highlights on today’s Top 5 List. Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a technical throw quilt that looks a lot like your favorite puffy jacket, but without the annoying arm holes and hood. Next, on today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, we’ll hook you up with the master list we use before every backpacking trip. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a precocious 6 year old boy and his tiger.


  • Criteria for our Spring Break trip:
  • Below 2500 feet so no snow
  • ~2 hours from home
  • Out of bear country since it was a 4 day trip and we didn’t want to bring bear bins with 4 days’ and 6 peoples worth of food
  • Coast Range + Deschutes River
  • Our two options one got rained out one got winded out
  • We wanted to get back to the Rogue

Top 5 Things the Kids Loved About This Trip

“I really liked throwing huge rocks off the bridge” -8 y.o. boy

“I really enjoyed skipping rocks and the rock shaped like a toilet” -11 y.o. boy

“I really like the valuable substance (flecks of gold) we found” -13 y.o. boy

“My favorite part was being able to set up my own tent” – 15 y.o. girl

Combined favorites: the river, going to bed, throwing rocks, not going to school.

SUMMIT Gear Review: Rumpl Puffy Quilt


  • Performance fabric, 20 Denier Ripstop Nylon
  • Repels water, stains and odor (which it actually does)
  • Gave it the sniff test when we got home, and it smelled nothing like our camping clothes


  • Supplement for existing bedding
  • Great for shoulder season family camping
  • Not waterproof, but it will repel water spitting from the sky.


  • Weighs 2.1 pounds
  • Throw is 50×70
  • In its stuff sack, it measures 6.5” x 14”
  • Other traditional sizes King, Queen, Twin, Throw, Baby


  • Machine washable
  • Something you don’t feel bad about throwing on the ground
  • It’s really tough to stuff into its stuff sack, and it has to be folded, not stuffed in order for it to fit.


  • $99
  • One year warranty


  • Brought it on our Rogue River trip
  • Also brought it because we wanted some insurance…backpacking with kids, anything can happen.
  • It weighs 2 pounds, which is like adding a lightweight sleeping bag that’s more versatile than a sleeping bag.
  • We used it outside as a picnic blanket
  • We used it over our sleeping bags as a second layer of warmth
  • The throw size was large enough to fit over two sleeping adults
  • Cozy
  • Rumpl does make a down version of this quilt: Rumpl Down Puffy.
  • The Rumpl Puffy is a technical, versatile, great little item for shoulder season family backpacking.
  • It’s the kind of gear where if you bring it, you’ll definitely use it, and if you don’t, you’ll wish you had.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: REI Packing List

  • Before each family trip, we go to REI’s website and print off a packing list for each child. We write their name at the top and have them gather the gear they need and find their backpacking clothes (which are always scattered throughout their bedrooms)
  • This list is pretty comprehensive—and sometimes it’s hard to know what you can leave behind. This is a good opportunity to talk to a friend and ask “Do I really need measuring cups on my trip?”

After this episode aired, a listener pointed out that REI also has an Ultralight Backpacking List. Here are links to both lists:

Trail Wisdom

“Look! A trickle of water running through some dirt! I’d say our afternoon just got booked solid!”

-Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes