The First 40 Miles: Hiking and Backpacking Podcast

If you're 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’ll talk about the essentials, how to lighten your load, and how to make the most of your time on the trail.


207: Scary Stuff

Show Notes: Episode 207:  Scary Stuff
Today on The First 40 Miles, we’ve dredged up as many scary things as we can for this Halloween episode.  Cougar attacks, mysterious items in hiker boxes, dead cats and the scariest thing of all—hiker stink.  Then we’ll wrap up today’s episode with a quote from a zombie.  Actually it’s just a quote from someone’s posthumously published journal.  They’re dead, but they’re alive!  (But they’re dead.)

* How frequent are cougar attacks? How frequent are fatal cougar attacks?
* Woman hiker in Oregon + cyclist in Washington
* 2018 has been a rough year with cougar attacks and fatalities in North America
* Biker’s death near Seattle is Washington’s first cougar fatality in 94 years.
* The death in Oregon is the first ever reported cougar fatality in Oregon.
* List of fatal cougar attacks in North America:
* “At least 20 people in North America were killed by cougars between 1890 and 2011, including seven in California. More than two-thirds of the Canadian fatalities occurred on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Fatal cougar attacks are extremely rare and occur much less frequently than fatal snake bites, fatal lightning strikes, or fatal bee stings. Children are particularly vulnerable”
* “As with many predators, a cougar may attack if cornered, if a fleeing human stimulates their instinct to chase, or if a person “plays dead.” Standing still however may cause the cougar to consider a person easy prey. Exaggerating the threat to the animal through intense eye contact, loud shouting, and any other action to appear larger and more menacing, may make the animal retreat. Fighting back with sticks and rocks, or even bare hands, is often effective in persuading an attacking cougar to disengage.”
* What’s the risk? What to do?

Top 5 Scary Things in Hiker Boxes
Mysterious unlabeled bags of white powder

* Could be instant mashed potatoes, powdered milk, soup mix
* Label your baggies!


* Worn for many miles, then donated to hiker boxes
* If someone needs a pair of shoes or if their laces are busted, then an old pair of shoes is helpful


* Maybe ibuprofen, maybe not.
* Could be Benadryl, aspirin, etc.

Large containers of ______

* Could be peanut butter, fuel canister, etc.
* Large canisters of anything take up space—even when 99% of the product is used up. The large container still fills up your pack—which is why hiker boxes are where large containers go to die.

Hygiene overload

* …bar of soap, package of baby wipes, shampoo,

SUMMIT Gear Review: Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Duo 20

* Shell Fabric: 20d polyester ripstop
* Liner Fabric: 20d polyester taffeta
* Insulation: 700FP PFC-Free DriDown


* Specified for sleeping conditions down to 20 Degrees
* Zipperless design allows for more comfort
* Insulated hand/arm pockets help to seal out drafts
* Foot vent for fast ventilation
* Stretch cord keeps out drafts
* Sleeping pad sleeve holds one double or two single pads


* Weight: 4 lbs 10 oz
* Shoulder Circumference: 107″ / 272 cm
* Fits Up To: 6′ 4″ / 193 cm


* Wash and dry at a laundromat


* $449


* Josh used Klymit inflatable pad, Heather used a folding closed cell foam pad.


 2018-10-30  29m