173: Backpacking Conversations

Show Notes: Episode 173

Today on the First 40 Miles, we talk about our latest project, a children’s book designed to help get kids outside.  An on-the-fly top 5 list emerges as Josh and Heather plan ahead for future episodes.  Then we each share one of our favorite “must-have” backpacking items.  Next, a super-healthy, super-crunchy trail snack that can be ready in minutes.  And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a couple of nutty backpacking podcasters.


  • Backpacking ABCs children’s book
  • Future children’s chapter book series about backpacking
  • Kids have the power to inspire adults

Top 5 Things We Want to Include in Future Episodes

Wilderness First Aid Episode

  • It’s important to know first aid
  • It’s also good to have a first aid refresher if it’s been a while since your last class

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Report

  • Hope to find great backpacking gear to share on the show

Foraging while Backpacking

  • Almost gave up on foraging…
  • We’re recommitted to finding interesting “trail food” on the trail while backpacking this summer

Steve’s Oregon Section of the PCT (and our section of that hike with him)

  • Our friend is taking a long walk on the Oregon section of the PCT
  • We’ll join him for part of it

Beginner Questions

  • Is there something we need to revisit? Something we haven’t fully explained?
  • What’s it like for beginner backpackers? What are things you would like to know?
  • Weather issues, things to expect on your first trip…

SUMMIT Gear Review: Justin’s Nut Butters and Ozark Trail 9-led Mini Flashlights

  • For today’s SUMMIT Gear Review, Heather issued a challenge to share something (anything) that comes on every backpacking trip.
  • JOSH: Justin’s Nut Butter packets. They’re convenient.  Calorie dense.  Easy to pack.  No mess.  Lots of different flavors.
  • HEATHER: The cheap $1 flashlights from Walmart. She gives them to her kids.  They come with batteries, they have 9 super-bright LEDs, they’re easy to use, grippy material on outside.

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  Veggie Crackers Recipe from Trail Grazing

  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash)
  • less than 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and wait 5 minutes until water is fully absorbed.  Take dough ball and roll between two sheets of 8×8-inch parchment paper until dough is a 7-inch circle.  Remove top piece of parchment paper.  Score dough using a knife or pizza cutter.

Place parchment with the uncooked dough on a microwave-safe plate.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Remove plate from microwave and break crackers along score lines.

Return to microwave for another 30 seconds.

Crackers will crisp as they cool.  If they are not crisp, return to microwave and cook for an additional 15 seconds until crisp.  Be careful not to burn.

This recipe is from our book, Trail Grazing: 40 High Energy Snacks to Fuel Your Adventures.

Trail Wisdom

Josh:  Keep hiking while you’re getting older and you’ll be able to hike when you’re older

Heather: Life is better outside than inside