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. New episodes every Tuesday.



      166: Armchair Backpacker

      Show Notes: Episode 166
      Today on the First 40 Miles, for whatever reason, maybe you’re not going to be able to get out hiking or backpacking for a while.  That’s ok!  We’ll help you immerse yourself in the experience without leaving home.  Then we’ll review a huge tarp that will give you all the coverage you need.  Then we’ll show you ”the place to go when you can’t go backpacking”.  And we’ll wrap up the show with some strong words from someone who always seemed to have time to get out...



      165: Reading Between the Lines

      Show Notes: Episode 165
      Today on the First 40 Miles, while looking for your next hike or backpacking trip, it’s easy to lose track of time reading colorful, inspiring trip reports.   We’ll help you decipher some uncommon words and phrases you may run across in your reading.  Then we’ll review some dreamy socks that are getting a cult following among thru hikers.  And we’ll give you access to the secret government code book to decipher trip reports.

      * Creative ...



      164: Zero Waste Backpacking

      Show Notes: Episode 164
      Today on the First 40 Miles,  we’re always up for a challenge—and that challenge was to have a zero waste backpacking trip—no wrappers, no garbage, no junk.  We’ll share what we did and how it worked out.  Then we’ll review an all-natural way to package and protect your food, that uses no plastic, foil or mylar.  And you’ll learn a backpack hack that will turn your used food packaging into tinder.

      * “Zero Waste” Backpacking Trip



      163: Is it a Good Match?

      Show Notes: Episode 163
      Today on the First 40 Miles, incredible trail reports peppered with phrases like stunning views, photographer’s dream, and crystal lake can almost make you ignore other phrases like aggressive ascent, grueling, or sheer rock.  How can you tell if your hike is a good match for your skill level?  Then, we’ll share a fun trip report from a listener in Australia where our winter is their summer.  Next, a recipe from our new book “Trail Grazing” that will keep your fu...



      162: Hunting the Cantharellus Formosus

      Show Notes: Episode 162
      Today on the First 40 Miles, our family did something that exercised our risk muscle and prepared us for some interesting side trails on autumn and spring backpacking trips.  We went mushroom hunting without someone holding our hand!  Then we’ll review a sturdy piece of outdoor gear that will give you a place to organize mushrooms, do a little outdoor sketching and maybe some meal prep.

      * Our toe dip into family mushroom hunting



      161: The Great Mushroom Hunt

      Show Notes: Episode 161
      Today on the First 40 Miles, we went on our first mushroom hunt and lived to tell the tale!  Today we’ll share the treasures we found in the forest and we’ll share what we learned.  Then, our trip guide from the Oregon Mycological Society, Leah, tells her story of how she entered the world of mushrooms.  And we have some fun audio from the mushroom identification session at the end of our hunt.

      * Mushroom hunting has been on our bucket ...



      160: HAM: The Amateur Radio Episode

      Show Notes: Episode 160
      Today on the First 40 Miles, how do you communicate from point A when your friends are at point B?  One of our listeners clued us in to how he stays connected with trail mates while backpacking.  Then we’ll review the communication device we’ve been using plus teach you a simple code you wished you would have known when you were passing notes in 4th grade.  And we’ll leave you with some trail wisdom that will help you fine tune your communication skills on and of...



      159: Should I Be Worried About Theft?

      Show Notes: Episode 159
      Today on the First 40 Miles, when you’re new to backpacking and hiking, you probably have good sized list of things to worry about.  We’ll help you add an item to your “do not worry” list—and give you some ways to be proactive.  Then we’ll review a simple 100% wool beanie that was so great, we bought it again.  Next, a hack that can help you add 24 hours onto your next trip—or can be a life-saving backup plan.

      * Leaving your stuff in ca...



      158: The Trip is in the Details

      Show Notes: Episode 158
      Today on the First 40 Miles, we’re at the time of year when hiking and backpacking have unique challenges—and we’re up to the challenge!  Listen in on our planning session, then find out which dayhike gets the top vote.  Next, a man, a plan, a can—a Canjo!  Believe it or not, we found another trail-worthy instrument that can help you while away the dark winter nights (and the dark winter days).  And we’ll share a backpackable recipe that will probably push you ov...



      157: Enjoying the Long Slow Adaptation Process

      Show Notes: Episode 157
      Today on the First 40 Miles, there is nothing wrong with taking the slow route.  Start now and you’ll be ready when everyone else is rushing and cramming last minute.  On today’s top 5 list, a common kitchen ingredient that will change the way you backpack.  Then, a review of a backpacking pant that stretches, breathes, and moves.  And we’ll share a hack that will keep you balanced.

      * You want to get out backpacking and hiking, but mayb...