158: The Trip is in the Details

Show Notes: Episode 158

Today on the First 40 Miles, we’re at the time of year when hiking and backpacking have unique challenges—and we’re up to the challenge!  Listen in on our planning session, then find out which dayhike gets the top vote.  Next, a man, a plan, a can—a Canjo!  Believe it or not, we found another trail-worthy instrument that can help you while away the dark winter nights (and the dark winter days).  And we’ll share a backpackable recipe that will probably push you over your Pumpkin Pie Spice threshold.


  • Josh and Heather propose a handful of solid ideas for a winter day hike with the family
  • Planning a trip…and enjoying the process
  • What do we want, who is going, how far, length, unique features, days, purpose?

Top 5 Ideas for Our Family’s Winter Day Hike

  • Legler Kids give their input along with some interesting facts about caves…

SUMMIT Gear Review™:  Canjo One-Stringed Musical Instrument


  • Canjo necks are made from Hard Maple lumber, with real guitar frets and tuners. The finished neck is then sprayed with at least two coats of instrument grade lacquer finish.
  • Canjos can be ordered in aluminum can or tin can or Spam can. We chose the aluminum soda can, specifically a Sprite can, which gives the instrument a bright, effervescent timbre—as opposed to a SPAM can, which has more of a meaty, smoky sound.


  • Anyone can play—there’s only one string, so you’re just picking out little tunes
  • Each kit includes the Canjo along with a song sheet (that has 9 simple songs) and a pick.
  • Above each fret there’s a number that has been burned into the wood—so you can play along with the song sheet.


  • Weighs 10.1 ounces (287 grams)
  • About 27” tall


  • Play often
  • Tuning doesn’t matter on this instrument unless you’re playing with another Canjo. Since there’s only one string, no matter how high or low it is, it’s always right on.



  • Songbook can be rolled up and stored in the soda can
  • Super easy to play! A fun instrument!

Backpack Hack of the Week™:   Pumpkin Pie Spice Fruit Leather

If you love fall, then by default you love pumpkin pie, right?  This fruit leather gives you all the flavors of fall, along with a pungent kick of citrus.  The whole orange in this recipe (including the peel) adds a comfortable amount of bitter which is quickly mellowed out by the drizzle of honey and tart lime juice.

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
3 bananas
1 whole orange
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (add more if desired)
2 Tbs honey
juice of 1 lime

Puree all ingredients together in a food processor or blender.  Add water if needed to aid in blending.

When mixture is smooth and lump-free, spread mixture on parchment lined dehydrator tray.  Should be about 2-3mm in thickness.  Dehydrate until dried completely, but still pliable.

Trail Wisdom

“Hiking’s popularity has increased considerably, up 93% since 1984. Over the same periods, the number of backpackers increased by 73%— from 9 to 15 million and interest in primitive area only camping increased 58%— from 17 to 28 million.”

-Emerging Markets for Outdoor Recreation, 1997