116: Three Stories and Three Takeaways

Show Notes: Episode 116

Today on the First 40 Miles,  we have three stories we want to share with you today—of women on the trail—plus our takeaways from their experiences.  Then on the SUMMIT Gear Review, an inflatable hammock that may not make it on your 40 miler, but might find a way onto your weekend two mile out and back packing list.  Next, we’ll share the real recipe for a healthy, simple trail snack that almost everyone makes incorrectly.  And we’ll leave you with a little trail wisdom from a guy who has strong opinions about one piece of backpacking gear.


  • Over the past few months we’ve been collecting stories
  • Where to record your story:  TheFirst40Miles.com/story
  • Every story is different, every story is valuable
  • Every story has takeaways that will make your next outdoor adventure even more powerful

3 Stories and 3 Takeaways


  • 100 mile section of Oregon Pacific Crest Trail, 60th birthday, wanted to do something epic
  • Challenging, fun, inspiring, beautiful, getting to know people
  • Kept a small journal, people, miles, mood,
  • Hot lava flows, discouraged, hot, parched
  • Instinct…
  • Stronger than we give ourselves credit for
  • Age-owning


  • Tuckerman’s Ravine in New Hampshire
  • Felt like it was too hard when she was a teenager
  • Now she’s 51 and wanted to do something difficult
  • Beautiful detour
  • Stepped on rock and fell to her face…
  • “Leave me alone, I just want to cry”
  • Got to where she wasn’t afraid, then something stopped her
  • “Dirtbags” People who choose freedom over showers
  • “I can fall again, and I’ll still be accomplishing what I set out to do”
  • Age-owning


  • From Georgia
  • Emery Creek Trails
  • 3 miles to waterfalls
  • Great time—but learned a ton!
  • Nuts and bolts of a trip—gives new backpackers a taste of what kinds of road blocks you may run into
  • Water levels change your experience…crossing a creek ten times

SUMMIT Gear Review: Wind Pouch GO Inflatable Hammock


  • The WindPouch Go is an inflatable, ground dwelling hammock
  • Looks kind of like a puffy canoe
  • Parachute material (hexagonal nylon ripstop shell) with an inner plastic bag—which you inflate.
  • You then roll the top like a roll-top dry bag and close it with a locking buckle.
  • The Wind Pouch Go has a DWR (durable water repellent) coating.
  • Has a leak resistant seal
  • Integrated hanging mesh pocket for water bottles, books, phones and tablets.
  • Reinforced seams and triple stitching, supports up to 550 lbs.
  • Wedge pillow headrest design
  • Included accessories: Anodized aluminum stake kit and carabiner and a carrying case.


  • How do you inflate this inflatable hammock?
  • Inflate by dragging Wind Pouch through the air and running with it


  • 3 lbs 1 oz


  • Because of the inner plastic bag in the Wind Pouch GO, it makes sense to buy the Repair Kit
  • Comes with inner plastic liner, liner adhesive, pouch patches. $13


  • $ 80 with a limited lifetime warranty


  • You’re probably wondering, can I use the Wind Pouch in place of a traditional hammock?
  • WindLock™ Technology creates a leak resistant seal to retain air for up to 6 – 8 hours of relaxation time.
  • Heavy
  • Comfy
  • Easy and fun to use
  • Has that “wow” factor
  • If you don’t take it on a backpacking trip (because of the weight) it will certainly be a fun piece of gear this summer when you’re going to the lake or if you’re just dayhiking and picnicking.
  • Holds 550 lbs, so 2-3 people, but each person that gets in or out causes everyone else to bounce. Pretty funny…

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  Chickpea Trail Snacks

  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • salt
  • 1-2 Tbs oil (see recipe!)

Bake chickpeas on a parchment lined cookie sheet @ 400 for 30 minutes, shaking every 10 minutes.  Then toss roasted chickpeas in oil and salt.  Don’t add oil before the chickpeas are done roasting or you will have chewy mushy chickpeas.  You want them crisp!  Adding oil before you have roasted the chickpeas will trap the moisture.

*I’ve tried this with home-cooked chickpeas and they don’t get crunchy like the canned ones do.

Trail Wisdom

“Although the vast majority of walkers never even think of using a walking staff, I unhesitatingly include it among the foundations of the house that travels on my back.”

–Colin Fletcher, The Complete Walker III, 1989