135: Dreaming of Trail Time

Show Notes: Episode 135

Today on the First 40 Miles, if you’re planning your first backpacking trip, you may have some visions in your head about what it will be like.  We’ll help you prep for your dream trip.   On Today’s Top 5 List, you’ll learn the 5 things to keep in your car that will help you upon your return.  Then, on the Summit Gear Review, a battery that can charge your cell phone and your car!  Next, a listener shares a story of an unexpected incredible experience.


  • You’ve Got to Have a Dream… If you Don’t Have a Dream, How You Gonna Have a Dream Come True?
  • Maybe your dream is just to take that first step on the trail and let the wilderness be your guide…or maybe you have been out backpacking, and you want to experience specific things or reach certain goals.
  • How do you dream?
  • Figure it out, by getting out there and tweaking each trip as you go.
  • This applies to people who have never been out as well as people who have gone on lots of backpacking trips!
  • What do you want?
  • What do you want to see? Who do you want to be with? What activities would you like to include? What would you love to have happen?  What do you want to learn?
  • Are miles and accomplishment important, or is the aura of the forest more important to you?
  • Where do you imagine setting up your dream campsite? Near water?  Near a ridge?
  • Once you have a dream you can start working toward it
  • Not every trip will be a dream trip…and even dream trips have parts that weren’t part of your dream
  • If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to experience the things that you truly want to experience on your backpacking trip?

Top 5 Post-trip Things to Keep in Your Car

Extra water

  • This is something that you should always have in your car, whether you’re a backpacker or not. Water is essential.
  • Great for drinking or doing a quick rinse of your face and hands, shoes if they’re muddy

Instant food

  • Ready to eat food—no cooking required
  • Omeals: non-dehydrated food that comes with a heating pouch.
  • Monk Pack or other tubes of food (They don’t need heat, they’re healthy, and they don’t sit in your gut like a Taco Bell burrito)

Clean up towels

  • Something as simple as a pack of baby wipes to just get your hands and face clean
  • Or something like a compressed towel: Lightload Towels (5 oz fullsize) size of a donut, opens to a full sized towel

Large garbage bags

  • Garbage bags for muddy or dusty gear or wet gear of for spreading on your seat.
  • We also discovered a cool piece of multi-use gear from Crazy Creek called the Drop Sac. It is a huge waterproof circle, that has a cord laced around the outside,  So you can dump all you gear in the middle, grab the cord and it makes a big cinch sack that contains your pile of gear.  Can be used at home for gardening , picnics, toys, just anything where you have a big pile of stuff and you want to be able to gather it quickly.  Popular among rockclimbers, too.

Power Bank

  • If your car is dead or phone is dead, here’s an option that wasn’t really an option before. However we found a portable charger that can stay in your car if you need to jumpstart a dead battery, or you can take it with you to power your groups devices.

SUMMIT Gear Review: Weego Battery Charger 44


  • The Weego 44 Charger comes packaged in a lunchpail, and the contents inside also have a soft durable zippered pouch that is great for when you want to take the Weego on the trail.
  • IP65 certified for water, dust and dirt resistance
  • It includes a super-bright, tactical 500-lumen flashlight that lasts up to 14 hours in standard flashlight mode and up to 28 hours in SOS and strobe modes.
  • Wall and car chargers to charge the Weego are included


  • Can jumpstart cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, ATV/UTVs, & more with 7L gas and 3.5L diesel engines
  • Smarty Clamps guide user through safe and simple jumping procedure: 23″ Smarty Clamps cable
  • And charges your portable devices
  • USB charger automatically selects voltage to charge your portable devices
  • 19V port for PC based laptop charging
  • 12V port for powering accessories such as air compressors and fans
  • AC power adapter (attached 40″ DC cord)
  • 12V cigarette lighter power adapter (attached 58″ cord)
  • LED flashlights (On, fast blink, slow blink)
  • Weego Jump Starter 44 features Detect-o-Matic™ super-quick USB-device charging that automatically charges your device at the fastest speed possible.
  • Automatic safety protections & a series of lights and sounds walk you through a worry-free jump


  • Charger with all peripheral gear (cords, instruction sheet, Smarty Clamps, etc) weighs 3lbs 3 oz.
  • Charger (which is all you’d need on the trail—along with whatever cord you need to charge your device) weighs: 1 lb 2 oz


  • Keep it charged and ready to go
  • 1000 charging cycles and up to 3 years of standby power on a single charge (only loses 2% charge per month)
  • Comes with a steel lunchbox and a soft carry pouch


  • $150
  • 60-day money-back guarantee


  • Charging: Two options, wall charger and car charger, holds charge for up to 3 years
  • Batteries, even rechargeable ones do have a lifespan. this one is 1000 charges
  • This has indicator lights to guide you through each step of jumpstarting, and even if you’re not jumpstarting a dead car at the trailhead, it’s an easy to use charger.
  • Weight: Batteries are heavy, but if you want to pack reliable, versatile power–this is a good charger
  • Great preparedness device

Story: Jeff’s Twilight

Trail Wisdom

For the Lord, our God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys… –Deuteronomy 8:7