122: Giving Up on Foraging?

Show Notes: Episode 122

Today on the First 40 Miles, is it possible to go out into the wilderness with a crusty loaf and a canteen of water—and then derive everything else you need from the land?  We’ll share our experiences with foraging.  Then on today’s Top 5 List, we’ll share the top 5 things that Heather does on every single trip.  Next, we’re skipping the SUMMIT Gear Review and having a little story time instead.  Today’s Backpack Hack of the Week is a little creepy, but super useful.


  • “I feel so independent now. I can get anywhere I want to. I have the few essentials I need, and the few other things I need or want I can derive from the land.” –David Cooper
  • Calorie needs
  • Correct plant identification
  • Success we’ve had with some foraging:
  • Chives…
  • Berries…
  • Some greens…
  • Fish…kind of…but not really
  • Mushrooms…no.

Top 5 Things I Do On Every Single Trip

I take notes

  • I like to improve…
  • Rite in the Rain paper or notebook
  • Food for next time (what worked and what didn’t)
  • Personal thoughts
  • TFFM hacks, ideas, some related to BP some not
  • Lists
  • Lyrics and creative projects

I get “alone time”

  • Trail is a great place to get alone time
  • Hiking between the pack—like they taught you in drivers ed
  • Tent

I get over it

  • Because there’s always something unexpected and at times unpleasant, so I just have to get over it
  • Typing phrase that I learned from my daughter: “Gary got mad and had to go home and get over it”
  • Be super flexible

I consistently underestimate how long a mile is

  • Why is it so hard to estimate distances
  • Maybe the more you hike, the better you get at it
  • Does it really matter?
  • Maybe better to gauge distance by time

I say “wow”

  • …express immense gratitude to my family and to God…it’s just so incredible that we get to go outside and that it’s different, rich fulfilling, challenging, enriching from being inside.
  • Today’s trail wisdom is a great reminder of what being outside does for us as individuals and communities.

Stories (In place of SUMMIT Gear Review)

  • Tom Hennessy in New Zealand
  • Tom Hennesy and the Hamnado (Tornado + Hammock)

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  SnakeBite 911 App (for iOS and Android)

  • Emergency Support for snakebites
  • Quick Dial 911
  • Checklist of Actions to Avoid
  • Time-stamped Venom Tracker tool
  • Hospital Locator
  • North American Pit Viper Species Information
  • How to Stay Snake Safe
  • Snake Sightings Map to show and add snake sightings in your area

Trail Wisdom

“Trails not only connect us with each other, they connect us with ourselves.  Communities with no place to daydream are communities without imagination.”

-David Burwell, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2001