124: Anatomy of an Overnight Backpacking Trip

Show Notes: Episode 124

Today on the First 40 Miles, If you’re planning your first overnight backpacking trip, we’ll talk about a few things that might surprise you.  Next on our SUMMIT Gear Review an all-American pair of socks from a company who set out to create the best sock ever.  Then, this week’s hack will get you outside, then inside, then back outside again!  And we’ll wrap up with a little trail wisdom from Mr. Frost.


  • What happens on an overnighter:
  • Pick a backpacking trail close by…about 90 minutes or less from home
  • Choose a short trip: 2-3 miles
  • Fresh food (not as much emphasis on food weight)
  • Don’t’ get sloppy with your 10 essentials—always bring what you will need if things go south
  • Note: Things will take longer, things will go awry, be prepared to be flexible

Top 5 Things That Might Surprise You About Your First Overnight Backpacking Trip

Nature’s noises

  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Dropping leaves
  • Wind
  • You’ll notice these all a lot more at night

The amount of trash you produce

  • Because you’re holding on to every piece of trash, it starts to accumulate faster than you imagined

How long a mile is

  • And you may wonder why you carried something all the way into the woods that you never used

How rejuvitating/thrilling/peaceful/cleansing/it all is

  • It’s like hitting the reset button on life. And it’s so different from car camping…

How long it takes to recover afterward

  • And by recover, I mean unpack, clean up, put away, sleep…
  • Also the physical…you might be a little bit sore.
  • Backpacking is interesting because you drain and recharge at the same time

SUMMIT Gear Review: Fits Socks Light Hiker (Crew)


  • 65% Merino Wool
  • 27% Nylon
  • 6% Polyester
  • 2% Lycra
  • The blend helps preserve the shape and durability of the sock
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Extra cushioning in the heel, toe and the arch.
  • Reinforced in the heel and toe


  • The patented Full Contact Fit perfectly molds to the shape of your foot
  • The Fits Light Hiker Crew socks have flat seams, no itch wool, they’re flame resistant, breathable, moisture wicking and quick drying,
  • They’re also odor resistant + antimicrobial
  • Unisex socks (they do have some women’s patterns, but the sizing in unisex) Small to XXL


  • Weighs: 10.1 ounces
  • Crew height rises just below the calf
  • Sizing: unisex


  • Washable wool


  • $21
  • Because it’s wool, think of it as three socks in one. Three days of wear before washing–really


  • This sock is their most popular hiking sock style
  • The Light Hiker, is cushioned under foot to take the pounding of an all day hike while managing all the moisture you can throw at it.
  • Reinforced, so more durable in the places you need it to be durable
  • Stays snug even when it has been worn for several days, maintains it’s shape
  • Stink-free merino wool
  • Fits around your foot: This is probably the closest thing you can get to a custom sock.

Backpack Hack of the Week: Backpacker Magazine Get out More Tour

  • http://www.backpacker.com/news-and-events/get-out-more-tour-2017-retail-tour-schedule
  • 75-minute seminar full of trail tested tips, regional trip advice and outdoor gear.
  • Randy Propster travels across the country, presents at 45 outdoor retailers, hosts 5 on-the-trail adventures and attends 5 outdoor festivals April through October!
  • Looks like it’s kicking off in Austin, TX, then headed to Arizona, California, back to Arizona, then Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington State and on!
  • They will be in Rhode Island on July 19th
  • They will not be in Delaware or Oregon…

Trail Wisdom

“Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint.”

–Robert Frost