148: Skip the Trip

Show Notes: Episode 148

Today on the First 40 Miles, is it OK to skip a planned backpacking trip, without also taking yourself on a scenic guilt trip?  Yep.  And we’ll share some reasons why skipping a trip is OK.  Then we’ll share a new twist on the classic carabiner.  And, if you had a chance to experience the total solar eclipse in August, we’ll hook you up with even more heavenly wonders.


  • Update on the September trip to Wallowa Mountains
  • No September trip for Heather… hard decision

Top 5 Reasons It’s OK to Skip the Trip

You need recovery time

  • Heather will be getting some dental work done this month that’s going to require some healing time…
  • Recovery time is smart…

There’s a bigger “Yes”

  • Many people have a hard time saying “no”, but a good rule of thumb is that you can say “no” when there is a deeper “yes” burning inside
  • Or maybe you have another trip you’re saving up for.
  • If it’s a first trip, then it’s not only a significant financial investment, but you may also using your precious vacation days

You need to recharge in small and simple ways

  • And that’s ok! That’s one of the reasons this is a hiking AND backpacking podcast.  We don’t all have time all the time to live a John Muir mirror life.
  • Sometimes, life is so full that we can’t take advantage of all the opportunities presented to us. And that’s a good problem!  Slow down, plan a walk or a hike… recharge in simple ways.


  • I know how much I can handle in one summer
  • I know a backpacking trip would be lovely, but my gut says this trip is a no go for Heather.

Trail Reports with Warnings

  • Wild fires in the area
  • Sometime when you skip the trip, it just means you change your plans. Skipping the trip doesn’t always mean not going.  Sometimes you just skip the trip that you have planned and try a different spot.



  • Solid aluminum carabiner that has a swivel-out hook so you can attach and hang your gear.
  • The HEROCLIP was invented by a woman in the PNW who is an avid hiker, who wanted a way to keep her gear off the muddy, wet forest floor.


  • Can hold 50 lbs of static weight
  • Hook can swivel 360 degrees
  • Rubber tip on the end of the hook


  • Weighs 2 ounces
  • 1/2 thick by about 3 1/2 inches tall x 3 inches wide
  • Fully extends to about 7 1/2 inches tall


  • No dynamic loads—only static loads
  • 50 lb. limit, which means it can easily hold your pack
  • If you are going to hang it from a tree, I suggest grabbing a bandana or some forest floor stuff to put between the HEROCLIP and the branch so it doesn’t dig into the tree and cause marks.


  • $20


  • We like that the hook swivels 360 degrees on the horizontal plane, it’s not just a static hook at the end of a carabiner and it also swivels up and down 180 degrees on the vertical plane
  • You can hook the HEROCLIP to your pack and hang the hook on a tree branch
  • You can also hook the HEROCLIP to your hammock and hang your pack
  • Of course if you’re just using it to hang your pack off of your hammock carabiner attachment points, that’s a great use that won’t leave any trace.
  • This is one of those great pieces of backpacking gear that you’ll most likely find a bunch of other uses for around the home, school, or while travelling.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events

  • See what’s in the sky for the coming year

Trail Wisdom

“There is more to life than increasing its speed. “

–Mahatma Gandhi