109: Wish List

Show Notes: Episode 109

Today on the First 40 Miles, if we could give a pack full of brightly wrapped gifts to each of our listeners, what would we give?  Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, Columbia has cracked the code on rain gear.  Next today’s Backpack Hack of the Week is a unique way to find deals ultralight backpacking gear.  And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom to denumb your brain.


  • What’s on our backpacking wish list
  • Josh wants a warmer jacket
  • Heather wants a Strumstick

Top 5 Things We Wish We Could Give Each of Our First 40 Milers

Time together on the trail

  • We love hearing your stories, and we’d love to meet you in person and get to know each of you. We promise we’d let you do the talking
  • If you want to share your backpacking story with us, go to TheFirst40Miles.com/story

0 degree down quilt

  • We’d love to make sure all our listeners are cozy + warm on their backpacking trips!

Homemade beef jerky

  • Closest thing we can do is give a recipe…
  • Microwave Beef Jerky www.TheFirst40Miles.com/040


  • We have a couple scales that we use.
  • A scale to weigh your pack ($15 at your local big box)
  • A digital kitchen scale
  • It’s great to weigh your gear and your food.
  • Weigh leftover food when you get back home to see what you really used

All-weather protection

  • One of the things that keeps people from getting out is the weather

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Columbia OutDry Extreme Eco Jacket


  • Columbia started by rethinking the traditional DWR coating on rain jackets…and what they’re doing is a landmark change for not just Columbia, but the industry as well
  • PFCs have been used for decades as Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatments on the surface of outdoor clothing, equipment and footwear.
  • However, PFCs have even been found to be bio-accumulative in animals and humans.
  • The feel of the fabric they used is very unique…if you feel the jacket, it’s almost like a rubberized satin, with a matte finish.
  • The fabric of the Columbia Extreme ECO Jacket is not dyed. Eliminating the fabric dyeing process reduces water, energy, and chemicals traditionally used in the manufacturing process and saves approximately 13.5 gallons (51L) per jacket.


  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Does not wet out
  • Instead of having an outer layer of fabric with a DWR coating, they eliminated the outer fabric layer and the need for a protective coating of PFC-based DWR.
  • This gives the jacket a true waterproof super-powers.
  • Zippered pockets that also provide great ventilation and generous storage
  • Bottom can be cinched tight
  • Hood can be adjusted with a Velcro strap so you can have even broader visibility
  • The hood also has a visor to protect your face from rain
  • Hood cinches down with invisible cinch cords that are embedded in the hood.


  • Weighs 11.6 ounces (332 grams)


  • Spot clean
  • Dry before storing
  • White, so if you spend time in the outdoors, it will develop a travelogue of forests you’ve tramped, moss you’ve brushed up against, and dirt you’ve known.
  • Most of it can be brushed off or wiped clean…but some marks may remain.


  • $200
  • Jacket is available at REI.com


  • Heather wore it on our Mount Jefferson trip
  • This jacket does not wet out
  • Heather’s hiking shoes wetted out, her pack was soaked, her wool pants were wet, but everything under the Columbia OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket was 100% dry.

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  MassDrop

  • Group buying site, and you pick what group you want to be a part of
  • Ultralight Backpacking
  • Great deals that are only activated if a certain number of people grab the deal
  • You can make special gear tweaks and requests. If enough people are interested, the gear company will create special run.

Trail Wisdom

“I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail.” –Hamlin Garland