Rank #1: 124: Anatomy of an Overnight Backpacking Trip
Today on the First 40 Miles, If you’re planning your first overnight backpacking trip, we’ll talk about a few things that might surprise you. Next on our SUMMIT Gear Review an all-American pair of socks from a company who set out to create the best sock ever. Then, this week’s hack will get you outside, then inside, then back outside again! And we’ll wrap up with a little trail wisdom from Mr. Frost.
Rank #2: 069: The Ten Essentials
Today on the First 40 Miles, we get to dump out our ten essentials and spill what’s really inside. Then on today’s Top 5 list, we’ll take our First 40 Milers with us to the Salmon River. On the SUMMIT Gear Review, see what Lifestraw did to keep your knees clean. Next, we’ll show you how to make a primitive chair out of stuff from the hardware store. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, Charles de Lint.
Rank #3: 003: Shave the Ounces and the Pounds Will Follow
Get ready to lose some excess pack weight--and then add it back a few grams at a time. We'll also review a budget sleeping pad and find out how it actually worked on a recent camp out. If you're planning on making your next backpacking trip a creative retreat, then stay tuned to learn how to make an ultralight DIY Plein Air Watercolor Kit to toss into your pack for when creativity strikes on the trail!
Rank #4: 090: HANG: The Hammock Camping Episode
Today on the First 40 Miles, HANG: The Hammock Camping Episode! We’ve always schlepped a tent while backpacking, but recently our eyes were opened to the other options on the trail. And today, we’re all about the possibilities that hammock camping opens up to backpackers. Next, the SUMMIT Gear Review turns into the SUMMIT Gear Dump, as we unload the box of gear that was loaned to us for our first hammock trip. Next, on the Backpack Hack of the Week, a quick way to find the perfect distance between two trees.
Rank #5: 086: BUDGET: The Spending Episode
Today on the First 40 Miles, BUDGET: The Spending Episode. Does a budget truly limit us, or does it save us from stupid purchases we would make if we had unlimited resources? Today you’ll hear how Josh and Heather work through budgeting decisions when it comes to backpacking gear. For today’s SUMMIT Gear Review, if you want easy access to 7 liters of M&Ms, we’ve got the perfect pack for you. Then on today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, seventeen cents doesn’t go very far in today’s world, but on the trail it gets you through another day. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, Horace Kephart.
Rank #6: 004: How to Close the Backpack Gap
When was your last hiking or backpacking adventure? We'll talk about how to close the gap between your last adventure and your next one. Next, learn the secrets to avoid losing your backpacking gear on the trail. We'll review a low cost, lightweight piece of truly breathable rain gear. And you'll learn how to make a high calorie Mediterranean favorite on the trail that will go perfectly with that smashed pita bread in your pack.
Rank #7: 177: BEGINNERS: One Step at a Time
Today on the First 40 Miles, if you’re a beginner backpacker, you are on the threshold of one of the most thrilling adventures of your life. We’ll help you navigate this new adventure with confidence. For today’s SUMMIT Gear Review, a monthly subscription service that will keep you excited about backpacking all year long. Today’s hack will help you repurpose a Pringles can. And we’ll leave you with some Trail Wisdom from our favorite mountain goat.
Rank #8: 147: DRIED: The Dehydrated Food Episode
Today on the First 40 Miles, the surest way to lighten your food load is to extract the water from it. We’ll share our dehydrating successes, some graceful fails and some tips to help you dehydrate your own food. Then, for the SUMMIT Gear Review, we’ll show you a fun tool to make jerky—and we’ll give you a recipe that will help you pack your favorite Chinese takeout flavor on the trail.
Rank #9: 047: WILD: The Bear Episode
Today on The First 40 Miles, what do a diminutive military leader and a thousand pound grizzly bear have in common? Today’s Top 5 List may have the answer. Then in today’s SUMMIT Gear Review, a simple knot along with bullet proof fabric that can protect your food. Then on today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, if you’ve seen bear scat with bells in it, then we have the zero gram solution for you. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, Craig Childs.
Rank #10: 154: Planning for Adventure
Today on the First 40 Miles, if you’ve ever had a plan go awry, this episode is for you. We’ll talk about trip planning, and why it’s such a critical part of backpacking. For today’s SUMMIT Gear Review, we’ll share a valuable book for beginners along with a hack straight from page 104. And we’ll wrap up today’s show with a little trail wisdom from someone who understood the power of planning.
Rank #11: 088: Setting Reasonable Expectations
Today on the First 40 Miles, we’ll talk about setting reasonable expectations—and why it will make your trip even better! Then, our Top 5 List will give you some great ideas for how to say happy birthday on the trail—without the mess of confetti or balloons. Next on the SUMMIT Gear Review, an upgrade for your Nalgene water bottle that will save you the embarrassment of spilled water in your lap. For today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, learn the trick for getting closer to one more birthday.
Rank #12: 079: Electronics on the Trail
Today on the First 40 Miles, many of us go hiking and backpacking so we can unplug, but what if you can’t? When it comes to electronics—we’re literally surrounded. Then on today’s Top 5 List, you’ll learn to look for the signs that mean it’s time to get outside. Then, on the SUMMIT Gear Review, a pillow that will perfectly cradle your cranium. On today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, what three words are the best response when you hear an SOS call? And, we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend Woody Hesselbarth.
Rank #13: 037: Questions for Newbies
Today on The First 40 Miles, the Top 5 Questions Every New Backpacker Should Ask. On the SUMMIT Gear Review, you’ll find a nice budget option for keeping your ten essentials in perfect order. Then, on the Backpack Hack of the Week, tenemos un pastel que es muy delicioso y es perfecto para mochileros! And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from the most quoted man in the woods.
Rank #14: 180: Do You Know What You Signed Up For?
Today on the First 40 Miles, are you sure you want to go backpacking? Do you know what you’re signing up for? We’ll wisen you up a little. On today’s Top 5 List, learn what not to do on your first backpacking trip. And if you’re looking for a way to compress your gear, here's a stashable water bottle option. For the Backpack Hack of the Week, learn where to borrow backpacking gear before you buy.
Rank #15: 017: How to Find Awesome Trails
Today we celebrate International Day of Awesomeness! We talk about finding awesome "backpackable" trails. Next, Heather shares her current bucket list of hikes. Then, learn about an ultralight food prep bag, and get a recipe to go with it. Fictitious listener, Dale in Oklahoma sends in a question about water filtering.
Rank #16: 084: Nature is the Birthplace of Creativity
Today on the First 40 Miles, if necessity is the mother of invention, then nature is the maternity ward. Then on today’s top 5 list, we’ll share the 5 types of YouTubers that you should check out before your next trip. On the SUMMIT Gear Review, one of the ten essentials just became a little more compact. Next on the Backpack Hack of the Week, a zero gram trail game that will keep everyone entertained around the campfire. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a guy who looks and talks exactly like Henry David Thoreau. No wait, no, that is Henry David Thoreau.
Rank #17: 171: Survival Essentials
Today on the First 40 Miles, we’re most of the way through winter—and we’ve survived! And for today’s top 5 list, we’ll share some survival essentials—known to the bushcrafters as "the five Cs". Then we’ll share one of the best subscription boxes we’ve found, that will help you hone your survival skills into a craft. Next, a backpack hack that’ll prepare you for surviving laundry.
Rank #18: 136: Move to Backpack, Backpack to Move
Today on the First 40 Miles, a hiker, a backpacker and a biomechanist all walk up to a bar. What they do next might just surprise you. On today’s Top 5 List, we’ll talk about how another podcaster we listen to has changed---nay---revolutionized the way we move. Then we’ll review some stretchy pants that allow freedom of movement along with the power of wool. For today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, a movement hack provided by Katy herself.
Rank #19: 080: Managing Your Risk
Today on the First 40 Miles, staying inside has its benefits. No risk, but, no reward. On today’s Top 5 List we’ll help you put together your risk management plan. For today’s SUMMIT Gear Review, a lightweight, stuffable daypack that’s the perfect stowaway for your next backpacking trip. Next, on today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, it's time to get organized. And we’ll leave you with a little trail wisdom that may help you to slow down a little.
Rank #20: 005: Pick Any Two
Buying backpacking gear can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be! Learn the one trick that will help you buy great gear. Next, find out why you need to pack a one ounce bottle of alcohol your next trip (Hint: It's not what you think). We'll review a piece of clothing that would make your grandma jealous. And the Backpack Hack of the Week™ features a must-have item that pairs perfectly with your tube of sunscreen.