114: Winter is Summer Prep

Show Notes: Episode 114

Today on the First 40 Miles, we have work to do!  Winter is summer prep for backpackers!  Then we’ll share the top 5 extras that you’ll want to consider next time you pack.  For the SUMMIT Gear Review, a daypack that packs down to the size of a baked potato.  Next, a Backpack Hack of the Week that will fill up the dark winter days with a flood of backpacking memories.  And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from someone who knew how to hike light.


  • Winter is Summer Prep
  • If you’re all bummed out because you don’t have the gear or desire to go out backpacking this winter…here are some ideas for what to do!
  • Gear shopping or repair
  • Research (topical or gear related)
  • Mapping (or waterproofing your maps!)
  • Training (be in peak physical condition for a trip)
  • Inviting
  • Meeting
  • Dayhikes or familiarization trips
  • Photo editing and sharing

Top 5 Extras You’ll Need on Your Next Trip

Extra food

  • Why do you need extra food?
  • One of the ten essentials is food. Whether you’re going on a day trip or a week long trip—always bring a little extra food
  • There are some good reasons for this:
  • Extra food is not just for your physical well being, but extra food can help your psychological well-being. If you get turned around, you can relax knowing that you have an extra day’s worth of food, relax and focus on
  • You may have underestimated the amount of calories you needed on this trip
  • What counts as extra food? Three to five energy bars, so peanut butter packets and a package of sugared drink mix like Tang.  When you’re hungry, flavored water goes a long way!  We learned that on our coast trip last year, when we ran out of food, but we had a few packages of the Nuun Tablets.  We ended up drinking lots of flavored water that last morning.
  • Extra food could help someone else
  • Extra food is nice to have on the ride home…

Extra plastic bags

  • Ziptop bags + garbage bags
  • Here’s the funny thing…I usually put my trash in Ziploc bags, and my gear in a big trash bag!
  • Everyone should have a big ol’ trash bag in their 10 essentials—or two! They’re one of those MacGyver items that can do so much.  They’re a tarp, they’re emergency rain gear, they ca be cut up and wrapped around your feet so your socks won’t get wet in the rain, they can be filled to transport water, they can protect gear from getting wet…they’re light  weight and there’s no reason for you to NOT have one in your pack.

Extra set of glasses or contacts + solution

  • If you brought one, bring the other—have a backup
  • We talked about glasses and contacts on our BLINK: The Eyes Episode

Extra power

  • Extra batteries has always been on the 10 Essentials list…this used to come in the form of extra AA batteries, now it comes in the form of a power bank or a solar charger
  • If you’re bringing your phone or your camera…having extra power is essential

Extra time…

  • Everything takes longer
  • A little margin in your schedule will go a long way to ensuring that no one feels rushed

SUMMIT Gear Review: Matador Daylite 16


  • 30 D Ripstop nylon Cordura fabric
  • Water proof material
  • Water-resistant zippers
  • Puncture resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable, lightweight straps (no padding)


  • Super packable packs down to a small stuff sack which is attached to the inside
  • 16 liter capacity
  • One main compartment, but also has a good sized zippered pouch on the outside that is pretty large—about 5”x10”
  • Two water bottle holders which are made of durable stretchy mesh
  • Inside, the stuff sack is attached, and that can be used as a compartment to hold a small cell phone or keys


  • Weighs 4.2 ounces (120 grams)
  • Narrow webbing straps that reduce weight—and small cinch straps


  • Hand wash with warm water
  • Hang dry


  • $50
  • One year warranty against defects or workmanship


  • Really packs down small
  • Has a loop on outside of stuff sack so you can hook it to your backpack
  • Packs away to fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Pack is going to be able to carry your gear for a quick side trip. There’s no hip belt, so you’ll want to keep the load light and the trip short.  You’ll be able to fit your 10 essentials, some snacks, some water, your rain gear, and a few other items.
  • Durable, small, lightweight, and super packable
  • For you impulsive types, this is the kind of thing that you should stow in your car’s glove compartment for when your sun-drenched morning commute ends up turning into a sick day on the trail.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Photo books

  • Chatbooks $8 for 60 pics, download app
  • Walmart
  • Lots of other photobox options
  • Make a nice book to give as a gift to your hiking buddies, or just keep for yourself

Trail Wisdom

“To walk well, you hike light–light on yourself, light on your budget, light on the land.”

–Marlyn Doan, Hiking Light, 1982