191: Micro Improvements

Show Notes: Episode 191

Today on the First 40 Miles, how would you do things differently next time?  Today we’re talking micro improvements.  Then on our Top 5 List, we’ll share why we prioritize backpacking.  If you’re looking for a way to bring a game and lighten your load, we have a fun option for you.  And, a hack that will make you rethink toilet paper.


  • Micro Improvements
  • Every trip… “How can I improve?”
  • Benefits of frequent, shorter trips
  • Pencil and paper on trips
  • What would you do differently next time? Why?

Top 5 Reasons Why We Prioritize Backpacking

It’s not a “once in a lifetime” vacation

  • It’s affordable fun
  • Budget friendly
  • Have you ever come home from an expensive vacation feeling fleeced?

It connects us by disconnecting us

Simple fun

  • Simple fun, with trees, sticks, rocks
  • It’s hard to explain how things that are so simple can be so fun!

Once you have the basic gear, the trails are waiting for you!

  • It’s like discovering a new band and binging on one album, then finding out they have, like 30 other albums that you’ve never heard before.
  • You can start with one trail, then branch out to discover all the trails

All ages

  • No matter your age, experience level, your physical condition, the trail can teach.
  • We’ve seen what it’s done for our family
  • All ages are welcome on the trail

SUMMIT Gear Review™:   Pack O Games by Perplext


  • Microgames, the size of a pack of gum—literally
  • Each game has only 30 cards
  • 2+ players


  • Pure fun


  • Weighs .9 ounces (25 grams)


  • Keep in a zip top plastic bag


  • $7-9 per game


  • Heather loved LIE (probably because she won it the first time she played it with Josh…)
  • If you learn games by watching instead of reading rules, go to their website and watch how to play. They have a video for each game that teaches you to play in 3 minutes or less
  • SHH (2-4 players)
  • SPY (2-4 players)
  • RUM (2-4 players)
  • LIE (2-6 players)
  • Lightweight, small, easy to learn, fun to play, perfectly backpackable, 25 grams of legal, family friendly entertainment, worth the weight.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Counterintuitive Toilet Paper

  • Common sense says soft toilet paper.
  • But use a smooth rock instead for the first couple of wipes, then go in for the clean with TP. Got this idea from Andrew Skurka.  Love the smooth rock idea.  Pinecones and leaves always leave a trace behind if you know what I mean…

Trail Wisdom

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
―Vincent van Gogh