179: Spring Break at the Metolius River

Show Notes: Episode 179  4/17/2018

Today on the First 40 Miles, we report on our spring break adventure to the Metolius River.  Then, we’ll review an ultralight headlamp from UCO.  Today’s Backpack Hack of the Week will give you a good reason to knock marshmallows off your packing list.  And we’ll wrap up the show with some wisdom from a man who was no dummy.


Our Spring Break trip to the Metolius River

Top 5 Things We Loved About This Trip

SUMMIT Gear Review: UCO Air Lithium Ion Rechargeable Headlamp


  • Rechargeable headlamp: 170 mAh Li-Ion Battery
  • Standard Micro-USB (not included)
  • Soft, adjustable strap with hook & loop adjustment


  • Beam Projection: 154′ on High
  • LUMENS: Up to 150, plus it has a red night vision mode if you turn the dial backward


  • Weighs: 1.6 oz. (45 g)


  • 48 mins on High/1.5 hours on Medium/5 hours on Low
  • Rechargeable! 170 mAh Li-Ion Battery
  • IP Rating: IPX4


  • $35


  • Plenty of power
  • Liked that it has a dial that starts on lowest setting, adjustable light.
  • Using dimmest setting first has two benefits—it preserves your battery and it preserves your night vision.
  • Breathable mesh over the neoprene, so you don’t get sweaty under your headlamp.
  • The headlamp strap is not elastic-no give at all—which means it has to be adjusted every time your head size changes—when you put on a hat, a hood, or put your hair in a pony tail, you’ll need to readjust the fit.
  • One of the benefits of the Uco Air having a neoprene strap is that it doesn’t tighten around your head like elastic does and it won’t stretch out or become tired like elastic does.
  • Light tilts down so you can direct it toward a map and adjust it so it won’t blind others.
  • The headlanp strap is looped through a plastic buckle pretty tightly—but there’s an easy hack for that–if you want an easier time adjusting the size of the strap, remove it from the buckle and just loop it once through the buckle instead of twice.
  • Lightweight, rechargeable, bright and comfortable.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Roasted Starbursts

Unwrap Starburst candy, place on end of a stick.  Rotate over coals or fire until it begins to bubble.  Remove from fire and let cool slightly.  A perfectly roasted Starburst will have a thin crunchy candy shell and a gooey, warm inside.

Trail Wisdom

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”

– Isaac Newton