102: Stories that Inspire

Show Notes: Episode 102

Today on the First 40 Miles, there is power in sharing stories—and we’ll tell you why your stories are so important!  Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a super simple water filter that uses very long and impressive words to keep you safe on the trail.  On Today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, Happy Halloween—now let’s get on to Christmas.  And we’ll share our experience with Rainy Pass Repair and a zipper repair that was beyond our skill level.


  • What was your most recent backpacking trip?
  • What made it memorable?
  • Stories that are authentic and simple are inspiring!
  • Share your backpacking story at: TheFirst40Miles.com/story

Top 5 Benefits of Sharing Your Backpacking  Story

Sharing your story can compel you or others to act

  • Your story helps others!
  • Simple stories have the power to inspire

Stories teach indirectly

  • Stories even have the power to teach beyond the obvious message.
  • Multiple lessons can be gleaned from a story

Stories connect us as a tribe

  • Your story is our story
  • When we share our stories, it brings us closer together
  • Sharing stories reminds us of why we go backpacking
  • First 40 Milers on the trail…I wonder if I’ve ever encountered my tribe…

Sharing your story is therapeutic and revealing

  • As you share, you may say things that you didn’t even realize had that much of an impact until the words come out

Sharing your story contributes to the larger story

  • Each of us sharing our story paints a canvas using a thousand tiny dots of color.
  • Sharing your story helps us all to see the big picture
  • Helps to define the backpacking culture

SUMMIT Gear Review: Grayl Water Filter


  • Grayl is a straight-sided 16 ounce bottle that has an insert that fits perfectly inside with a filter attached.
  • Top has a loop in the lid
  • Filter technology: Electroadsorption, ultra-powdered activated carbon and silver treated zeolites, electroadsorptive media, electroadhesion and ion exchange
  • No batteries, UV bulbs, chemicals, pumping, sucking, squeezing or waiting


  • To use the Grayl, take out the insert, fill your Grayl with water, place the insert inside and press it down. As you press, the water is pressed through the filter and comes in through the insert.  At that point you can screw on the lid—or you can pour the filtered, purified water into another bottle.
  • Removes 99.9999% of viruses (e.g. Hepatitis A, SARS, Rotavirus).
  • Removes 99.9999% of disease-causing bacteria (e.g. E. coli, Salmonella)
  • Removes 99.999% of protozoan cysts (e.g. Giardia, Cryptosporidium).
  • Filters particulates (e.g. sediment, silt), many chemicals (e.g. chlorine, benzene)
  • Also filters heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic)
  • Filter lasts 300 uses or 40 gallons/150 Liters
  • Use this to hold water and filter extra water for your secondary water bottle


  • Weighs 10.9 ounces
  • The replaceable filter by itself weighs 2.8 oz (80 g)


  • Unopened filter can be stored for 10 years


  • Costs $60 for bottle, which comes with a filter
  • $25 for replacement filters


  • It’s fast! 15 seconds per 16 ounces.
  • Best filtering experience when you screw the lid partially on, so when you press down, you have something to press onto besides the edges of the filter.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Dollar Store LED Tent Lights

Happy Halloween!  Now on to Christmas!  The Christmas decor is out at the dollar store, so get a pack of white LED battery-powered Christmas lights for your tent.  They’re cheap, lightweight and they’ll light your tent during those cold, dark nights.

One more thing…

Fall is a great time to do repairs on gear.  Lots of gear can be temporarily patched with duct tape, but some gear deserves a little more love and attention.  We recently discovered Rainy Pass Repair based out of Seattle.  You ship your gear to their facility and they lovingly fix whatever is beyond your ability to repair.   They’ll give you an estimate.

They can also have laundry services which include de-stinking, down care, and reapplying DWR to waterproof gear.

They also do gear modifications!  They can add pockets where there weren’t’ pockets before, alter clothing, and make windows in tents.  If you have some of that “outdoor innovator” in you, but you don’t have the industrial sewing machine, then you might want to check out Rainy Pass Repair.

Trail Wisdom

“Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson