Supreme long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka shares his hard-earned knowledge in this essential guide to backpacking gear and skills. Described by National Geographic as “one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet,” and named “Adventurer of the Year” by Outside and “Person of the Year” by Backpacker, Skurka recounts what he’s learned from more than 30,000 miles of long-distance adventures, most recently a 4,700-mile 6-month loop around Alaska and Canada’s Yukon.
Whether you’re a first-time backpacker, an occasional weekend warrior or a seasoned long-distance trekker, you’ll love this guide. Learn exactly what you need to carry – both on your back and between your ears – for all seasons and circumstances through a show-and-tell of clothing, footwear, backpacks, shelter and sleep systems, and more, as well as through detailed articles on foot care, campsite selection and hiking efficiency. Skurka’s practical and priceless recommendations give you all the tools and techniques you’ll need to hit the trail.
- Publisher: National Geographic
- Release date: February, 21 2012
- ISBN-13: 978-1426209208
- 224 pages
- Full color
- About 75 images
Each chapter has a strong narrative and consistent flow. For example, in the chapter on trekking poles I discuss their pros and cons, materials, adjustability/collapsibility, grips & straps, and baskets. To avoid making this text feel textbook-y, however, I broke it up with many ordered and unordered lists. Further, we added many stand-alone components, including:
“Versus” charts, where I summarize the similarities and differences between key materials and product types, e.g. down versus synthetic insulation, and water-resistant versus waterproof-breathable shells.
“How2” boxes, which provide step-by-step directions, e.g. how to make my four favorite dinners.
“Tips,” a short but helpful bit of advice that is related to but not covered in the text.
“Tried & true” techniques, which I think provide some of the most insightful text of the entire book, e.g. how to choose a campsite, care for your feet, and pack your backpack.
“Skurka’s Picks,” where I offer my exact recommendations, focusing on product types and also listing specific products that I prefer.
Personal anecdotes, where I give the text some color, character and historical context.