The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide (Second Edition), by Andrew Skurka
Table of ContentsFor each product category, I describe the most important buying considerations.Versus charts, in which the performance attributes of various options are comparedSkurka's Picks, in which I specify the exact items that I use or recommendTried & True spreads teach critical backpacking skills.Page for page, the gear lists and templates at the back of the book are the most helpful and instructive.

The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide (Second Edition): Tools & Techniques to Hit the Trail


Pre-order only until March 7, 2017

Use coupon FREE-SHIPPING to save $3.

All copies will be personally signed.

An authoritative and comprehensive guide to backpacking gear, supplies, and skills that will save you time and money by helping you determine what you need, both on your back and between your ears.

Download a 20-page preview to better understand the book’s philosophy, writing style, content, and layout.

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Product Description


The Second Edition of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide will officially release on March 7. Until this date, it is only available for pre-order. You will be charged upon checkout; sorry, my system does not hold orders.

Your book will be signed and shipped on March 7, although it might sneak out in late-February (hint, hint).

I still have a few copies of the First Edition available, and normally fill orders within one business day. If you need information now, the First Edition is still relevant and will pay for itself many times over. If you can wait until March, the Second Edition is even better.

Free shipping

Use coupon FREE-SHIPPING at checkout to save $3.

Digital version

To read The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide on your Kindle, buy it directly from Amazon.

Amazon normally undercuts me on the price of the paperback version, too. However, I don’t care to operate on the same razor-thin margins; your business is more meaningful to me than to it; and all copies are personally signed.

Where to buy outside the US

If you live outside the US and wish to place an order for multiple copies (and ask nicely), I can probably help you out. Otherwise, I ask that you obtain the book locally or from a retailer that can better manage international orders.

For the convenience of international readers, I have a list of retailers outside the US that I try to keep updated.

About The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide

Renowned hiker Andrew Skurka shares his hard-earned knowledge in this completely updated guide to backpacking gear, supplies, and skills. First-time backpackers, weekend warriors, and seasoned backcountry travelers will learn exactly what to carry — on their backs and between their ears — for all locations and seasons.

A show-and-tell of clothing, footwear, backpacks, sleeping bags, shelters, and cooking systems, plus recipes, sample gear lists, trip planning checklists, expert tips, and much more, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide covers the essential tools and techniques needed to hit the trail.

Differences between the First and Second Editions

If you already own the original book, should you purchase the Second Edition? For a lengthy answer to this question, read this: “Points of difference: The First vs Second Editions of the Gear Guide.”

The short answer will not surprise you: Unequivocally, yes. The First Edition is outdated, in terms of both its information and my point of view. Since I wrote the original manuscript, backpacking changed and so did I — new products and brands, and new personal experiences and insights.

The Second Edition is updated through September 2016, and it reflects all of my current thinking about backpacking gear, supplies, and skills.

20-page preview

If you would like to get a better feel for the content, writing style, and layout of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, preview 20 pages by downloading this PDF.

Testimonials & reviews

Nick Gatel, PopUpBackpacker

“The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide is really not about the gear per se, but how to choose gear and how to use it so you can accomplish The Goal and enjoy the walking part too. The book is well laid out, presents a ton of solid and useful information, is easy to read and understand.”

David Chenault, Bedrock & Paradox

“The ideal audience for lengthy how-to tracts is the among the groups least likely to read them, they’re too busy out learning by doing.  With this in mind one must weigh detail and a fair balance of the inherently subjective with paragraphs and pages that don’t strain the readers attention span too far.  Skurka’s book is rife with bullet points, sidebars (unfortunately titled “How 2…”), and short paragraphs largely bereft of compound sentences.  It also features terse but detailed discussions of vapor barrier liners, the limitations of WPB laminates, minimizing drafts in quilts, fighting condensation in single wall shelters, layering in cool wet weather, and many other topics that are difficult to discuss both clearly and well.  The way in which Skurka deals with complex subjects quickly, but without being reductive, is the books second greatest strength.”


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