145: Are You a Fair Weather Backpacker?

Show Notes: Episode 145

Today on the First 40 Miles, Are you a fair weather backpacker?  This was a question Heather asked herself on our last trip.   Then, we’ll share the Top 5 features we wish our gear had…nothing too crazy this time.  Then you’ll learn the simple steps to make your own whole grain flatbread for your next backpacking trip.


  • Are you a fair weather backpacker? Do you get frustrated when things don’t go perfectly?
  • Story of one trip this summer
  • The good, the bad and the ugly
  • “If I hadn’t gone, none of this would have happened.”


Top 5 Features We Wish ALL Our Gear Had


  • How can you not love tabs!
  • Great for hanging gear, connecting gear to other things, using your gear in new and innovative ways.
  • Everything from hammocks to jackets to packs to water storage should have tabs

Reflective accents

  • Some gear like guy lines, hiking shoes, or jackets are embedded with reflective material
  • Makes it easy to find things in the dark
  • Why can’t it be a part of all gear?
  • Packs, clothing, water bottles, hammocks, shelters, stoves

Windows or translucence

  • If you’ve ever brought an opaque water bottle on a backpacking trip, you know that it’s hard to gauge your water consumption when you can’t see your water.
  • Well, it can be just as tricky with your other gear, too.
  • Pack is opaque, stuff sacks are opaque—and wouldn’t it be great if you could see through them a little
  • Great stuff sacks from Hyperlite Mountain Gear that are translucent
  • I can see thru them enough to tell, “Oh, this is my toiletries” “This one is my stove and fuel.”
  • It would help you find things faster

Reinforcement accents

  • The whole pack doesn’t need to be made of bulletproof fabric—but how about just the bottom?
  • Dyneema Composite Fabric


  • Specifically in clothing, but it’s handy to have pockets in tent, sleeping bag, and hammocks
  • Pockets add weight, so it’s another tradeoff between functionality and weight.
  • Stuff sack with pockets/dividers like the one we talked about in an episode.

Story from Listener

  • 30 seconds to explain why he loves backpacking

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oil
3/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients.   Let dough rest for 10 minutes.  Divide into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece out to 6-8 inches in diameter.  Cook on medium heat, both sides until speckled and cooked.  Cover cooked tortillas with a kitchen towel to keep them warm and pliable (so they won’t dry out).

Trail Wisdom

On an unknown path every foot is slow. –Old Proverb