209: Hidden Messages in Your Gear

Show Notes: Episode 209

Today on the First 40 Miles, have you ever given much thought to the names that companies give gear?  The name of your pack or your tent isn’t just some random name they pulled out of a hat.   Next, today’s top 5 list is a whole pile of hacks I picked up on my recent backpacking trip.  Then, a little SteriPEN that is a backpackers dream!  And a quick hack that has been on every single one of our backpacking trips.


What goes into naming a piece of gear?  Let’s look at some pack names and what they mean…

Osprey Kestrel

  • A small falcon that hovers with rapidly beating wings while searching for prey on the ground.

Kelty Sanitas

  • Kids pack
  • Sanitas (latin word) means health, soundness of body

Osprey Tarn

  • A tarn (or corrie loch) is a mountain lake or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. A moraine may form a natural dam below a tarn.

Granite Gear Lutsen

  • Lutsen Mountains is a ski area in the north central United States; an Alpine skiing area located on the North Shore region of Cook County in northeastern Minnesota.

Gregory Baltoro

  • The Baltoro Glacier is one of the longest glaciers outside the polar regions. It is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. It runs through part of the Karakoram mountain range.

Arcteryx Bora

  • A bora is a violent, dry, cold wind blowing from the north or northeast.

The North Face Prophet

  • Prophets from the Old Testament frequently went to mountain tops

Top 5 Hacks I Used on my Most Recent Backpacking Trip

3×5 card pee shield (for women)

  • Pee splatters, no matter what
  • A small piece of paper can stop the pee splatter

Small container of Vicks Vaporub

  • So many great the uses for it!
  • Antifungal, smoothes cracked skin, masks foul odors, chapped lips, dry eyes (put under eyes)
  • Bug repellant? Possibly!

Yoga pants instead of hiking pants

  • Soft, stretchy, breathable and allow movement

Old Time Radio shows on your MP3

  • http://otrrlibrary.org/
  • Free to download, thousands of shows
  • Makes the time on the trail go by
  • My Friend Irma (comedy)
  • I Was Communist for the FBI (drama/crime)
  • Jack Benny (variety show)

Removing a shoulder strap to shift load off a while

  • Helps reduce load for a little while

SUMMIT Gear Review:  SteriPEN Ultralight


  • UV light
  • Makes water safe to drink by disabling the bacteria, protazoa


  • 1 liter at a time
  • Put SteriPEN in water and stir
  • Nodes need to be submerged


  • ~3 ounces


  • Rechargeable
  • 20 liters per charge
  • Prefilter water if you don’t want floaties


  • $90


  • Love!  Easy to use, simple
  • Was branded as the Red Cross SteriPEN
  • Will be available soon!

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  Perma Kleenex

Tie your bandana to a strap or tuck it into the webbing strap on your shoulder strap.

Great for cold weather hikes when your nose gets drippy.

Trail Wisdom

“Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.”
—Antoinette Brown Blackwell

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