119: Sidelined By Injury

Show Notes: Episode 119

Today on the First 40 Miles, we’re not made of titanium (well some people are) but most of us experience injury that can sideline us from even getting out on the trail.  We’ll share some ideas that will turn that recovery time into valuable trail prep.  Then, on the SUMMIT Gear Review, Katadyn rocks the water filtration scene with a collapsible, ultralight, dead-simple filter.  For today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, you’ll learn how to get your knife sharp enough to split a hair or a log…


  • Heather’s recent experience with lower back pain…
  • Limited mobility
  • Rest vs. movement
  • Pain is our body’s way of trying to tell us something important

Top 5 Things to Learn and Do While You’re Sidelined

Focus on powerful nutrition!

  • Regardless of your injury or health issue, it’s always good to come back to nutrition basics.
  • Real foods, whole foods, foods that were grown in the dirt.
  • Focus on greens, beans, grains, legumes—the common sense foods that are the pillars of nutritional health…don’t quibble over calories, health food fads, just resolve today to take your nutrition to the next level.
  • Food has the power to heal
  • While going through my back pain, I found out some foods that help reduce inflammation: Blueberries, ginger, pomegranates.
  • Recovery may take a long time, but nutrition can aid in recovery—so you’re not just waiting out your recovery—you’re being proactive about what you eat

Ask “What can I learn from this?”

  • This is an incredibly empowering question.
  • When we’re not able to do what we want to do, and just take off on the trail, it can be super frustrating. But if you look at it from the angle of what can I learn from this, and just be open to whatever that is, you will be amazed.
  • Maybe it’s an opportunity to learn about your body: If you have a recurring injury, see what muscles you can develop that will support your body so it will be less likely to happen again.
  • Maybe it’s an opportunity to slow down and learn mindfulness
  • Maybe it’s an opportunity to get to the root of the problem once and for all
  • Maybe this means going to a physical therapist and learning how to ask for help


  • After experiencing lower back pain that affected Heather’s ability to sit, stand, walk and sleep—she was so grateful for each day that brought greater mobility and comfort.
  • Gratitude is an antidote to whining

Support your recovery through movement

  • “Rest, but not too much rest”
  • You don’t want your muscles to atrophy
  • If things are really bad, you may want to start small and practice breathing and a having a more open posture (instead of our traditional American hunched-over-a-keyboard posture.
  • Yoga and slow movements where you get to know your body
  • Yoga With Adriene 30 Day Challenge

Practice good body mechanics

All of these things can help you on your path to recovery…but sometimes a speedy recovery  isn’t in the plan.  Sometimes a long slow learn is what we’re supposed to experience.  And the great news is that you can take all that knowledge and strength with you next time you’re able to hit the trail.

SUMMIT Gear Review: Katadyn BeFree Water Bottle and Filter


  • The Katadyn BeFree is a water filter that has a soft-sided water flask attached to it (made by Hydrapak) so you can store your water—and it has a flip top lid so you can drink it straight from the filter.
  • The flask is completely collapsible—which means this the Katadyn BeFree takes up very little space.
  • Hydrapak SoftFlask which is made of super durableTPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), 100% PVC and BPA free
  • The filter has a hollow fiber membrane


  • Filters 2 liters/min
  • Removes bacteria, cysts and sediment with its pore size of 0.1 micron (0.0001 mm).
  • Can be used with cloudy water (Note: the uv light purifiers can’t…)
  • Up to 1,000 liters depending on water quality
  • Because of the half liter water bottle that’s attached, it’s best for solo use—however, you can switch out the .6 liter soft-sided flask from the Katadyn BeFree Water Bottle and Filter, and attach it to the Hydrapak Seeker 3L, which is also a soft-sided flask—but it holds 3 liters!


  • Weighs 1.9 ounces (57grams)
  • Measures 9 inches x 2 3/4 inches


  • The Katadyn BeFree has this new EZ-Clean Membrane, so instead of backflushing with a syringe, you just by simply shaking or swishing. No backflushing or tools necessary
  • Super easy to clean, just swish in a stream or shake the BeFree with water in it, and that should loosen the debris
  • Don’t let it freeze
  • When you get home, unscrew the filter and let the flask and the filter dry out, then store


  • $40
  • Replacement filter is $25
  • Guaranteed for 2 years


  • The size and weight are fantastic, however, for family adventures it makes sense to switch out the small flask that comes with the Katadyn BeFree for the Hydrapak Seeker. It would make filtration so much more convenient.
  • Hydrapak’s TPU is incredible durable and flexible
  • We tested the leak-proofness and found that when the cap and the filter were screwed on all the way (not over tightened) it was water tight. No leaks or drips.
  • The BeFree almost completely empties with each round of filtering. Only about 2 Tablespoons are left in the bottle when you’re finished filtering.
  • Lightweight, portable, durable, filter can be cleaned on the trail, easy to use.

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  A Sharpie Sharp Knife

This is an awesome hack you can do, regardless of what injury has sidelined you.  And guaranteed you’ll have the sharpest knife on the trail by the time you’re done with this hack.

Before you sharpen your knife, color it with a black sharpie on blade.  That way, when you sharpen it you can tell exactly where on the blade it’s been sharpened.

Trail Wisdom

“I think I am in this world to find beauty in lonely places.”
-Louis L’Amour