193: The First Step

Show Notes: Episode 193

Today on the First 40 Miles, we love getting audio recordings from our listeners—and today we have one from a new backpacker who figured out his own way of doing things.  Then, on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a titanium tool inspired by a Japanese gardening knife.  Next, a hammock hack that will turn any blanket or sleeping bag into an underquilt.  And we’ll wrap it up with a little trail wisdom from the third best-selling poet of all time—right behind Shakespeare and Laozi.


  • We love getting audio from our First 40 Milers!
  • Inspiring, unique, relevant, beautiful and authentic.
  • If you want to share your story, go to TheFirst40Miles.com/story
  • I want to share Libi’s story because I believe there are some interesting takeaways from it.

Top 5 Takeaways From Our Libi’s Story

Start with what you have

The first step…

Learn from mistakes

Don’t give up

Share your story with others

SUMMIT Gear Review™: Vargo Dig Dig Tool


  • Serrated edges cut through ground and roots
  • Made from strong, lightweight titanium


  • Dual use trowel and tent stake
  • Ergonomic design for digging ease and efficiency
  • Comfortable rolled handle


  • Weight: 1.25 ounces (36 g)
  • Length: 8.1 inches (20.5 cm)
  • Width: 1.7 inches (4.4 cm)


  • Has a hole at the top end so you can attach some cordage or a small carabiner


  • $25


  • Love the rolled-edge handles, nice feel, doesn’t dig into your hand when you use it
  • The serrated edges—inspired by the hori hori Japanese gardening knife. Gets the roots.

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  DIY Hammock Underquilt Hack

  • If you want to sleep comfortable and warm in a hammock, you need either a nice big sleeping pad like the Klymit hammock pad, or you need an underquilt that goes on the outside of the hammock that keeps you insulated.
  • We’ve always just brought regular sleeping pads because we don’t have an underquilt—but one of our boys decided to try something different
  • He used a Rumpl Down Comforter and some twisty tie things from NiteIze to attach the quilt onto the underside of his hammock
  • You can get the same results with a sleeping bag or other quilt. Just find a way to attach the quilt or bag under you.  Hair ties, rope, small bungee cords—whatever.  Just make sure it’s secure under your hammock.

Trail Wisdom

“Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches. Yet it sends out living roots deeper into the living heart of the living earth. Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him. Nature reaches out to us with welcome arms, and bids us enjoy her beauty; but we dread her silence, and rush into the crowded cities, there to huddle like sheep fleeing from a ferocious wolf.”
—Kahlil Gibran

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