167: Prepping for a Winter Backpacking Trip

Show Notes: Episode 167

Today on the First 40 Miles, Friday night is always date night, and for this week’s date night, we’re packing and prepping for a quick winter backpacking trip—and we’ll tell you why.  Then, we’ll review a sleeping pad with a 4.4 R-value that is a win for budget minded backpackers.  And we’ve got the perfect hack that will make your sleeping pad stay in place.


  • Audio of packing for winter trip
  • May be some rain–prepare for that
  • Things we’re going to bring

Top 5 Reasons We Decided to Prepare for a Short Winter Backpacking Trip

Tension Headaches

  • A few weeks ago Josh said his tension headaches were increasing…so  we looked for ways to reduce tension.  Getting out in nature is a great place to start.

Heather wanted to share the load of trip planning

  • Usually I leave the trip planning to Josh…in fact this is sometimes to my detriment because I’m not as prepared as I could have been. For this trip that we took, it didn’t  require much planning…

To kick Date Night up a notch

  • Friday…and the question is “What should we do for date night?”
  • Movies, eating out, entertainment, shopping—so many date night options are expensive and leave you feeling heavy, slow, fat, poor and tired.
  • Getting outside leaves you feeling, refreshed, “good” tired, relaxed, connected and happy.

To prove to myself that winter is rich and wonderful

  • …I just need to learn to appreciate it

The calendar says we’re too busy

  • And if we were to look at the calendar for a convenient time to get out on a trip, it would never happen
  • Sticking it to the calendar…

SUMMIT Gear Review™:  Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL Sleeping Pad


    • Fabric 20D Durable Polyester
    • Chambers filled with lofted synthetic insulation
  • Nozzle that locks in place (pull to open, push to close, twist to lock)


  • Inflation: 10-15 Breaths
  • R-Value: 4.4
  • Rolls up easily


  • Weights 15.9oz / 450g
  • 72″ x 20″ x 2.5″
  • Packed size 4.5″ x 7″
  • Pad tapers at end, not only to match your body shape, but to save weight


  • Comes with a patch kit
  • Can be repaired in the field


  • $119.95
  • Klymit Lifetime Warranty


  • Great value for high R-value pad
  • Easy to inflate
  • Great customer service when we had to send a pad back
  • V-chamber design traps heat without adding weight or insulation

Backpack Hack of the Week™:   How to Stay on Your Sleeping Pad

  • Do you spend a lot of the night trying to keep your sleeping bag on your sleeping pad? Is it a constant struggle to keep from sliding off?
  • Solution: Slide your sleeping pad inside your sleeping bag.
  • This works with any pad in any sleeping bag. And the bonus benefit is that you get to use the insulative properties of your pad as it curves up around you in your sleeping bag.   When you use the sleeping pad underneath your sleeping bag, that insulative square footage goes to waste–but when it’s in your bag, it adds to the insulation around your shoulders and legs.
  • Only use this hack if you know it will be a dry night—because your pad is not only air tight, but water tight as well and protects you from moisture.

Trail Wisdom

“I believe the best lessons can be learned by failing and flailing, and I believe those are the lessons that settle in deepest, right in the spot where it matters.  There is wisdom in just going for it, and so much beauty in the path, no matter how winding and unworthy it feels.” —Erin from Design for Mankind, a blog