The Hosts

If you are new to backpacking, or if you’re hopelessly in love with someone who wants you to love backpacking, then this podcast is for you. We talk about the essentials, how to lighten your load, and how to make the most of your time on the trail. We are your hosts, Heather Legler and Josh Legler.


Podcasts are usually done by people who are experts in their field. The know a lot, and they have a lot to say. This is a backpacking podcast. However, I’m not an expert. I’m a beginner backpacker. I haven’t solo hiked the Pacific Crest Trail or sawed off a frost-bitten limb with a  credit card. I have never eaten raw squirrel meat or slept under a blanket of pine needles and steaming bear dung. I haven’t been stranded for weeks in the woods with only a knife—and a camera crew.

But, I have discovered a simple love of hiking and backpacking. And it all happened in the first 40 miles. So, I want to approach this podcast with creativity, because there are few things that require as much creative thinking, imagination, inventiveness, improvisation, insight, and intuition as the act of strapping 30 pounds to your pack and disappearing into the thick woods.


It happened for me in the first 40 miles, too. I grew up in the North Cascades, and I still remember my first week-long backpacking trip as a 12-year-old Boy Scout. It was awesome—and I was hooked. I’ve been backpacking a lot longer than Heather has. But, after I grew up, family and career got in the way, and my backpacking gear spent more time in the storage closet and less time on my back. So, when I starting prepping for my first long trip in a long while, I realized that I had to purchase a lot of new stuff—and I had to learn a lot, too.

But here’s the cool thing about backpacking: a lot of sports are pretty intimidating for beginners, but backpacking isn’t. Even the experts are still learning. And when you’re on the trail, nobody’s going to try to figure out if a you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro. That’s just how backpackers are: everybody’s friends with everybody.

Thank you for listening to The First 40 Miles! If you like this podcast, then like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and rate us on iTunes. We’ll see you on the trail!

Listen to the podcast→


Photo: Garth Walker
Photo: Garth Walker