Since 2014 I’ve asked our clients to complete a post-trip survey to gather feedback about our guides, locations, meals, and curriculum, plus their overall satisfaction. Reviewing the results is a multi-day project but entirely worthwhile: they confirm what we’re doing right, and they give me a checklist of improvements for the following year.
Among our 2020 client pool, which was impacted by Covid and then later by wildfires, 152 clients (or 88 percent) took the survey, so I have high statistical confidence in the results.
The first question in the survey is the most important: “Overall, how satisfied are you with your experience?”
I’ve asked this exact question since the beginning, and on a 5-star scale the results have been:
- 2020: 4.88
- 2019: 4.92
- 2018: 4.81
- 2017: 4.88
- 2016: no trips
- 2015: 4.90
- 2014: 4.85
We’ve always run a high-quality program, and we maintained this in 2020 despite Covid-related uncertainties and procedural changes, significant growth (4x since 2017), and me guiding a shrinking percentage of the total trips. This tells me that my team rocks!
Testimonials from 2020 trips
Towards the end of the survey, I ask clients to provide a testimonial. Seventy-six did (for an additional 110, read the 2019 testimonials). I will share them all here, to thank our clients for being so flattering and to leave no doubt with prospective clients that our program is truly extraordinary.
“The 3 day Yosemite Fundamentals trip was my second backpacking trip ever. Through the curriculum beforehand and the knowledge obtained in the field, I now feel totally confident to start planning solo trips!” -Krystle C.
“I cannot thank Andrew and his team enough for a truly memorable learning experience. With the beauty of the Yosemite Wilderness as a classroom, and truly experienced guides genuinely committed to your learning and safety, I have come away with better skills and confidence to undertake a similar journey on my own or with family. Thank you, Andrew and team!” -Ovidio C.
“New or returning to backpacking? The ultralight backpacking course with Andrew Skurka will save you countless hours. Gear selection, navigation, weather predictions, how to go off-trail. It’s all here! I feel that learning from the accumulated wisdom of the guides has made me more confident and comfortable heading back out into the wilderness. They also make it a fun and memorable experience on top of all they taught me. I loved it so much I plan on taking the next level trip with them as soon as possible.” -John H.
“Andrew Skurka, and all of his guides, are so incredibly knowledgeable as to all aspects of backpacking. The well thought out planning curriculum prepared me not just for the guided trip, but gave me the ability to plan my own backpacking trips going forward! I would highly recommend the fundamentals trip for anyone with a desire to learn how to properly prepare for, and complete, a successful backpacking trip!” -Nick M.
“As a first-time backpacker I think that this was the best hands-on learning environment I could have asked for. I was nervous and intimidated at first but once I got out there I saw how prepared I was for this trip (gear, fitness, etc) through the pre-trip lessons and group chats. I have a great base of knowledge now for going on short trips of my own.” -C.D.
“I had a great trip. We had world class guides with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The guide team had to deal with a pandemic and wildfires, yet they still provided a great experience. I would like to join a future trip and recommend the fundamentals trip to anyone that want to improve their backpacking skills.” -Phil M.
“You can get a guided backpacking experience from many providers. However, you won’t build your skills and advance very much. The up-front classroom training and expert advice from legendary long-distance backpackers will help you gain skills. You will learn and have a great experience at the same time.” -Chuck T.
“Such an amazing trip! Our guide’s knowledge and the experience was very impressive. At first, I was slightly disappointed Andrew would not be guiding my trip, but I am thrilled to have the experience provide by our guides. I would love to go on one of the longer trips after doing the 3-day trip!” -Patrick K.
“Andrew’s whole team did an amazing job at creating a smooth and delightful trip! From the planning course to leaving Yosemite after a wonderful trip, their hard work made the trip great and was so nice to leave behind the craziness of the world right now. Our group jumped in nearly every lake we came upon, went over a “smart pass” and overall had a blast! Thank you for all that you do and I hope our paths cross again soon.” -Jade T.
“My backpacking trip with Andrew Skurka was amazing, there was so much to learn and discuss, we spent a good amount of time doing various activities and they let us hike at our own pace and gave all the warnings ahead but let us choose the risks, which I liked a lot. I couldn’t believe we were hiking with the legends of the backpacking world, this was a dream come true.” -Prasad S.
“As an authority on the topic of backpacking, Andrew has all the credentials and accolades to back it up, giving the student the utmost confidence in his lessons but also being lead out into the wilds. His hands-on instruction of all the fundamentals: planning, packing, navigation, nutrition, hydration, and sanitation have given me the confidence to explore on my own, but also wanting more. I will definitely be taking another, more advanced class, from Andrew next year.” -Stuart M.
“Andrew Skurka Adventures is an entirely unique experience and is operated very differently from other outdoor guide groups. Andrew’s attention to detail, all the way from matching experience and fitness levels of the groups, to route planning, navigational aids and equipment checks provided a confidence inspiring foundation for our trip. Our guides, Dave and Jessica, were knowledgeable, highly experienced and fun. The route we followed took us to crazy beautiful areas that few ever get to see. Although I felt constantly challenged by the terrain, I never felt afraid or concerned about the danger level and our guides took the time to teach us the techniques we needed for safe travel. I have an entirely new confidence level in back country and off-trail travel having journeyed with Andrew’s group. I had one of the most enjoyable backpacking trips I’ve ever been on and am already figuring out which Skurka trip to go on next year.” -Jay K.
“Fantastic trip! I loved being out in the Yosemite backcountry, off-trail, in amazing scenery and views. Gave me a chance to stretch myself in terms of hiking distances and scrambling up high passes. Great guides and fellow hikers. Learned a bunch from the pre-trip exercises. And, great refresher on how to navigate in the wilds. Looking forward to another trip next year or sooner.” -Nabeel A.
“A Skurka Adventure is everything you’d expect it to be. Great venues. Challenging routes. Top guide teams. Like-minded clients, who quickly become friends. Daily teaching moments that increase your knowledge and confidence. Not to be missed!” -Sam D.
“Andrew’s trips have a well developed and thoughtful training component. His guides are world-class, and nice as well. The destinations are spectacular. Your companions are likely to be engaging folks committed to outdoor pursuits. A great value for the money.” -Neil R.
“The 5-day adventure trip on the Yosemite High Route was definitely the best backpacking trip that I have been on. Each day was full of hiking and learning and worthy challenges. The way that Andrew Skurka runs his guided trips is that he empowers the client to take charge of as much as they can. The amount of prep work that Andrew’s team puts in, and the prep work that they provide for the client, is an indication of how committed this operation is to ensuring that the client gets the most out of their experience. The guides are exceptional. They are experts. Our guides, Brian and Christy, have a lifetime of experience in high mountains and have undertaken numerous of the most challenging adventures. They are so knowledgeable and encouraging and they know just when to press (and let off) the accelerator, getting the most out of the group. We were lead through the pristine areas of Yosemite that most people only see on a map. However we could only see these beautiful remote areas by putting in the hard miles to get there. And it was worth every step. I was tired every night and eager every morning. I’ll certainly be applying for future trips.” -Ruben Z.
“The first thing I noticed about Andrew is his attention to detail on his website, be it gear reviews, articles about backpacking skills or his book. He brings the same level of detail to his guided trips. Everything is very well thought out, from pre-trip planning and gear shakedowns to food and dietary restrictions. On top of it, this year, he came up with good and sustainable ways to keep clients feeling safe w.r.t. Covid-19. The trips themselves are conducted along spectacular routes in spectacular locations. The guides all have stellar reputations as backpackers (Andrew Skurka, Alan Dixon, Dan Durston, Brian Robinson, Paul Magnanti, Joe McConaughy etc. – the list reads like the who’s who of the backpacking world) and have immense and intimate knowledge of their field. If you are new to backpacking and want to learn more or are experienced but have a hole in your skill set that you are hoping to fill and do it in some of the best locations that the Great American Outdoors has to offer, I can’t think of a better set of people to help you out.” -Nirmal V.
“My trip with Skurka Adventures was one for the books. You are given tools before you even set foot on trail that set you up for success. And once you are out in the backcountry, you feel safe, secure and strong thanks to the like-minded humans you are intentionally grouped with. We even had the chance to hike with Andrew one afternoon, definitely a cool experience. From a world-class route in Yosemite to the best guides, I can’t say enough about this adventure!” -Brit K.
“Five stars for Andrew Skurka’s guided backpacking trips. Andrew’s program combines in-depth classroom learning with practical field application and provides access to expert guides who pass on their experience every step of the way. Oh, and don’t forget an amazing adventure – plenty of epic scenery and challenge! As someone with limited prior backpacking experience, I greatly benefited from learning Andrew’s philosophy for how to approach any situation with the correct gear, supplies, and skills. During the trip I was able to apply my skills and further build knowledge through real-world application and the insight of our expert guide team. I now feel empowered to take my personal backpacking to the next level!” -Sarah M.
Rocky Mountains: Adventure
“Andrew’s 1-week Colorado Adventure was the perfect tool to accelerate my learning of “The Right Way to Backpack” – and we also had an amazing time in the most beautiful backcountry I have ever visited. Highly recommended.” -Balazs M.
“Andrew – My hike on the 2020 Colorado trip was great. Your pre-trip planning process was by far the best I have seen in many years of using guiding companies. During my trip, Jess and Brian presented opportunities to challenge myself and overcome obstacles (be it weather, elevation, off-route planning) that will serve me well on future hikes. I learned a tremendous amount of skills on this hike and look forward to going out on my own and using them successfully.” -Jonathan K.
“This was my first Skurka trip and it lived up to my expectations. The San Juan’s were beautiful, our guides were kind and knowledgeable and the group was well-formed. I would not have been comfortable pulling a trip like this together on my own prior to this but now I feel equipped to do so.” -Josh A.
“This was a trip of a lifetime, a true week long intensive adventure in the Colorado wilderness. Along with the high elevation hikes and peak summits, we learned about the wildlife, side hilling and finding natural Elk trails. We also went off trail for an entire day leaning to navigate with compass and topo maps across entire landscapes. The meals and group dynamics were excellent. Andrew spends a lot of times assessing people and backgrounds to create group and trip dynamics that gel together.” -Winston W.
“As someone who has learned a lot from Andrew’s website but hasn’t ever backpacked with people more experienced than myself, I thought this trip was a huge step forward in my backcountry skills and comfort. Would highly recommend.” -Billy F.
“This was a really nice trip. The route was remote, beautiful, and challenging. The guides did a great job. They were friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and supportive of everyone in the group. There were many opportunities for hands-on learning, including how to use maps for instance. I would definitely recommend a hike with Andrew and his crew to upgrade your backcountry skills.” -Gregory T.
“The trip to the San Juans was a home run! Southern Colorado is easily accessible to me and that was a key for travel in 2020. Andrew and Dave are world-class guides! It’s easy to stress their athletic strength but they bring so much more to the trip – personal care for their clients and sharing their passion for an incredible wilderness experience. Our guides were also ready to share their skills and experience any time we asked for their input and thoughts. And Andrew has developed a great ability to match each of us to the right challenge. I’m also amazed at the incredible people that I got to share the trip with! I greatly enjoyed their energy, experience, passion, and humor. This was my fifth adventure with Andrew. And I can’t wait to head for Alaska!!” -Phil B.
“There is no better way to be a great backpacker than to attend a Skurka Adventure trip. I have absolutely no worries about completing any thru-hike now.” -Paul W.
“If you are willing to put in the work, this trip is for you. You will come out a much more capable backpacker along with a newfound community of friends who see the inherent value of the outdoors!” -Rahul S.
“This was an amazing trip complete with challenges, learning new skills, enjoying new experiences, making new friendships, and was everything I had hoped for. I feel enriched by the people I came to know. I gained more confidence in the skills I learned and practiced. I am very thankful to those who put this together and guided the trip. A totally awesome experience.” -Greg E.
“The San Juans were majestic. An inspiring, invigorating place to be with a tremendous group of folks learning how to enjoy this creation to its fullest. I’d hit the trail with Dave or Andrew anytime and anywhere. Truly a privilege.” -Matthew M.
“I have taken several trips with Andrew. I keep coming back because of the outstanding teaching, venues and fellow clients. He seems to attract the nicest, most interesting people. They all have varied backgrounds and skill sets that I lack. I learn from them in addition to the guides. If you want to build your backcountry confidence and skill set, I can’t think of any better organization to do this.” -Kevin J.
“Andrew Skurka’s adventure and team are in a class by themselves. There is no better venue to explore the wilderness in a relatively safe yet challenging way than with his team. From start to finish, both on paper and put to test in the field, it’s an educational, efficient and hands-on experience to your own lightweight essential backpacking journey. It’s an exhilarating week of exploration, where anything can happen and something everyone should try at least once. I look forward to returning and making more memories.” -Michelle C.
“The experience with Andrew Skurka’s guided trips is incredibly unique! I learned more about backpacking in 7 days than I had in the preceding 7 years of trips that my husband and I had been taking on our own. The opportunity to go with guides of this caliber and experience level is unmatched. It’s like having Michael Jordan show you how to shoot a free throw. Andrew is so thoughtful about the organization of the trip and the way that he matches clients on a trip and it paid off in the field when we had the BEST group anyone could ask for. This eclectic group of people laughed our way through all 7 days, even when we were hailed on or had a mishap! It wasn’t 4 days after we returned home that several group members were calling to already plan our next trip together a month later. We finally found backpacking buddies who are at our same level and will definitely be keeping in touch and having more adventures together in the future. This was a truly unique opportuity that I will never forget. The amount of gear that I have to buy now based on all of the cool stuff that I saw (mostly lower tech gear than I previously thought I needed) will keep me busy shopping for the next 6 months.” -Alana Shah
Grand Staircase Escalante: Adventure
“If you are interested in improving your backcountry backpacking and navigational skills, I highly recommend embarking on one of Andrew Skurka’s guided trips. The guides are all world-class adventurers and will help to elevate your respective experience in the wilderness. The trip schedule has multiple location options from which to select. You won’t be disappointed if you decide to join one of Andrew’s adventures!” -Robert A.
“This trip was very engaging, interesting, fun, physical, and worth it! I was encouraged to lead and try new things. I was comfortable if I struggled–the instructors helped build confidence and stuck with me when I was unsure. I had a lot of “firsts” on this trip and the guides and other participants made sure we had the knowledge and skills (and gear!) to do them right. Very impressive.” -Stephanie A.
“I had an amazing experience backpacking for 5 days in Escalante. While the trip location was a last-minute change due to the wildfires closing Yosemite, Andrew and his team executed this change smoothly, with clear, consistent communication. The planning curriculum leading up to the trip is detailed and thorough. I felt fully prepared prior to arriving at the trail head. David and Christy were awesome guides. They imparted invaluable knowledge on backpacking skills and gear. They were both genuinely fun to be with. The trip included hands-on learning of map and compass skills and a chance for each of us to test these skills in the field. The desert environment was new for me and I found the terrain beautiful and challenging. Because of this experience I have increased my knowledge and skill set significantly while enjoying 5 days on (and off) trail in an amazing place. The in-depth planning curriculum and hands-on learning that occurs with Andrew’s trips makes them far superior to the experiences I have had with other guided excursions.” -Anonymous
“It’s a strange feeling when you drive away from people you hiked and lived with for a week. You think you may miss them but you also know you only really met them a week ago. Then you realize you might meet them on the next trip you go on with Andrew. Then it’s not good-bye, rather, it’s I would love them to join the next great adventure.” -Brian S.
“This is the best and quickest way to learn practical skills for navigating the outdoors efficiently and effectively with only the gear you need and nothing you don’t. It builds your confidence to plan your own trips and literally get off the beaten path.” -Mark B.
“If you want to take your backpacking experience to a new level and have a great adventure and not just a tour then Skurka Adventures delivers. From the planning curriculum, resources, pre-trip introductions, travel arrangements, gear recommendations, gear demo opportunities, and overall care for clients Andrew and his team are the best. Once on the trail the guides were knowledgeable, willing and able to communicate their expertise, very supportive and encouraging, and challenged us to practice what we were taught. It was a challenging and fun adventure with a great group of people that Andrew had matched up. We are already signed up for another trip.” -Dave & Michelle H.
“Due to unavoidable smoke and park closures, the original trip was rescheduled at the last minute to Utah. It was a little bit chaotic, but we got it figured out. Once we were at the trailhead, Andrew gave a great short introduction and set the tone for the trip “out here, life is simple”. From there, Andrew and Joe took our group through some amazing terrain and within a few minutes of starting, the group was already bonding and laughing together. It only got better from there. I was honestly terrified of going on a long hike with a bunch of strangers in an unknown location, but with the prep that went into it and the expert guidance from Andrew and Joe, it turned out to be one of the best 5-day stretches of my life.” -Matt B.
“This was my third Skurka adventure and once again Andrew exceeded my expectations. The overall organization, classroom experience, and client mix was spot on. Unlike other guide services who focus on getting you from point A to point B, a Skurka adventure immerses you in the environment and teaches you wilderness principles that you can and should apply anywhere and everywhere you go in the outdoors.” -Michael L.
“This is an outstanding way to learn light and ultralight techniques for backpacking in a variety of terrains (particularly off trail) with fantastic guides committed to your well-being and education. I defy anyone to find a better way to get this education in a fun and safe environment. Ultralight and off-trail techniques will enhance your enjoyment of the backcountry. Go for it!” -Erik V.
“The experience and instruction were more than worth the money and time involved. A wonderful outdoor experience that gave me confidence to get back out there and backpack and camp and enjoy nature. The Skurka team were there to assist in all aspects of the adventure; planning/gear selection, fitness, how much food to pack, how to use technology and maps to stay found, everything! And at the end, you are left with the Online Tutorials and Andrew’s National Geographic Gear Guide for references. Oh and wonderful memories, of course.” Carrie B.
“Our trip to Utah was our second with Andrew Skurka’s company. It exceeded our expectations on many levels. The guides are top notch, and really allowed the group to use the information we learned to create our own experience. Dave and Scott were a joy to be around, the group of fellow clients were prepared, and everybody worked well together. Would highly recommend to anyone who wants to improve their off-trail skills. It made me very comfortable in the desert, an environment that I’ve never backpacked in before.” -Ginny
“This trip exceeded my expectations! The guides are world-class. I would recommend a Skurka trip to anyone!” -Jason K.
“I learned so much during my guided trip in Utah with Andrew’s team and through the curriculum leading up to the trip. I was looking to take the next step in my skills as a backpacker, and this trip really hit the mark. Taking the curriculum to the field, I felt much more confident in navigating off-trail travel and learned so many skills along the way. I learned tons from Dave and Christy who were phenomenal guides and even better people and were a true pleasure to spend 5 days within the backcountry. I will absolutely do another trip with Skurka Adventures!!!” -Wade E.
“Alyssa & I had a fantastic time exploring southern Utah with Dave and Christy. It was our first route in the desert with significant adventurous off-trail portions. Both guides were personable and amazing people to chat with, and always attentive to the group dynamics and needs of each group member.” -James J.
“This trip was amazing! Alan and Scott were the perfect balance of knowledge, enthusiasm, and humor to guide us along the journey. Our group came together well, with each person bringing something different to the table. The educational component was excellent, the route was challenging but not overwhelming, and the support was fantastic. Exceeded my expectations in every possible way. I’ll be back for more!” -Jo R.
“I am an aging (48 y/o) career 1st responder with the desire to maintain if not improve my level of physical fitness and do fun and exciting things. I’m a country boy at heart trapped in a big city for career reasons. When my girlfriend told me about her Andrew Skurka trip I expressed an interest (which floated her up HARD). I was intrigued by the Utah venue and premise of a 5 day “off-trail” hike. I haven’t been to that neck of the U.S. since I was a kid. Amazing and so totally worthwhile. Sleeping out in the open on the mesa slick rock, under the stars, with no tent after a day of hard work in the form of hiking diverse and challenging terrains, navigating with map and compass instruction was beyond the scope of my expectations. All this occurred while getting to know, over the course of the 5 days, what turned out to be a fun, interesting, funny, and down right charming collection of like minded individuals. We had a lot of fun! Hard work mixed with comic hijinx and sometimes gut busting laughter. The guides, Alan and Scott, developed a magical synergy that complimented our group well and provided instruction, information, and help when necessary or desired. I look forward to the next trip.” -Kurt A.
“I cannot say enough good words about the guide team. Not only did they make us feel safe and teach us new skills, but they also encouraged us and cheered us on. I also have to give a big thumbs up to my group. Everyone was a great team member and looked out for each other. I think in the future when I look back on 2020, I might remember it as a good year because I was able to do one of my bucket list trips. If you are looking for an experience that improve your backpacking skill, challenge your fitness and have fun all the while, take a guided trip with Skurka adventures. You will not regret it.” -Chris
“The scenery was jaw-dropping and the food was incredible. Our route took us over slickrock passes and in and out of massive canyons, and the day spent getting our feet wet as we hiked down Death Hollow was unforgettable. Never experienced anything like it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” Michael M.
“This was my second Skurka Adventures trip, and both were outstanding in every way. Not only have I learned skills that would have taken years of trial and error on my own, but the locations, guides, and other clients were all five-star+. Andrew’s trips are a great value, and I can’t wait for my next one with Skurka Adventures.” -Aubrey B.
“If you’re interested in gaining skills in the backcountry with awesome people and stellar guides then run don’t walk and sign up for a 2021 trip with Andrew Skurka. My vacation time and my money go to Andrew and his exceptional guiding team, which includes awesome women with mad skills.” -Kim R.
“My goal for taking a trip with Andrew was to learn how to navigate using a compass and map. Well after a five-day backcountry trip in Southern Utah I now feel more than comfortable navigating without GPS and look forward to developing my new skills further. Oh, and I had a blast too!” -Anonymous
“Skurka Adventures never disappoints! Great location, great guides, great training. Looking forward to attending more trips in the future.” -Paul W.
“The location and route planning were perfect. We saw almost no other people for all five days. The off-trail navigation and travel knowledge learned on this trip is going to be very valuable. As a thru-hiker, I was used to staying on-trail, but this trip made me very comfortable traveling off-trail and using just a map and compass to travel to interesting and remote locations.” -James C.
West Virginia Fundamentals
“The pre-trip coursework prepared me well to head into the backcountry. I learned the appropriate gear to bring and basic navigation skills using GPS, a topographic map and a compass. Going out into the field and having further instruction has now given me the confidence to go out on my own trips for longer. Best of all, I enjoyed the people and the mountains of West Virginia. The group was well matched and that allowed us to be able to enjoy the backcountry. The trip was professionally run and a good mix of learning, hiking and camping.” -Larry G.
“You will definitely gain knowledge and confidence regarding backpacking trips. From how to lighten your pack, how to pack your pack, what clothes to bring and how to picking a campsite. All done with knowledgeable and friendly guides who genuinely have your best interest at the forefront of their teaching.” -Steve H.
“A fantastic introduction for those interested in gaining & improving their hiking & camping skillset. Done in a group, participatory style with a focus on learning in the field.” -Veronica T.
“I feel so much more confident in my skills to take on longer solo trips after taking the Fundamentals course and I really enjoyed hiking with Andrew, Matt, and my group.” -Danielle P.
“Great way to get the skills and gain confidence for backpacking.” -Anyonymous
“Choosing Andrew Skurka’s guided fundamentals trip in West Virginia was one of the best decisions I made this year. I was wanting to gain confidence and learn new skills as a beginning female backpacker and I came away with way more than I ever could have imagined. The expert guides were humble, respectful, kind, extremely knowledgeable, and created a fun, relaxed, and safe learning environment for everyone in our group. World-class, top notch guides, extremely organized curriculum, beautiful and challenging routes, and perfect group placement made this a priceless, unparalleled adventure. Thank you so much!” -Amy G.
“I joined this trip because I was struggling to make the jump from day hiking to solo backpacking trips. I was hoping to gain some knowledge and confidence to push myself further in the outdoors. Well I can honestly say that my goal was met and exceeded. Within a day of getting home I’m already poring over maps planning for my own trip. And what’s great is that I can study a map and understand what I’m looking at while before I would struggle to grasp the information in front of me. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and experienced but also just as important, they were easy going, humorous individuals and spending several days with them was a blast.” -William M.
“I really liked the trip and the experience I got from it. I will use the knowledge I learned for future backpacking trips.” -Anonymous
“The fundamentals course exceeded my already high expectations! It’s not every day that you get access to this level of experience and knowledge. I would very highly recommend this to anyone interested in picking up the basics of light backpacking.” -Wesley T.
“If you want to quickly amp up your hiking skills, knowledge, and gear, there is no better way than learning from those that have hiked thousands of collective miles. Professional, friendly, and sharing – the entire team rocks!” -Mark F.
“I joined a guided Fundamentals trip hoping to gain the confidence to take more trips on my own, and am now excitedly planning a couple of long weekend trips without fear! While everyone will have their own risks to consider this year, I was really impressed with the way the guide team openly discussed and handled COVID precautions. I left feeling grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time in nature and meet a group of interesting and like-minded people in a safe environment during such a challenging year.” -Lauren W.
West Virginia Adventure
“I was moved by the each of the guides’ obvious respect and reverence of the outdoors and by their willingness to share their hard earned wisdom. I loved the variety of disciplines that were covered by the curriculum and the guides; from navigation, to biology, to local history, to geology, from ultralight, to ultra practical, there was something for everyone.” -Colin S.
“If you are looking to develop your confidence and skillset for backpacking both on and off trail this unique service from Skurka Adventures will give you a solid primer and true backcountry experience in some amazing locations! I have done and loved Yosemite and southern Utah. I feel confident in my skill to go it alone now. But, I am excited to do another trip just to share another great location with them and their upbeat guides and local knowledge of the locations they guide in.” -Anonymous
“I started backpacking late in life and pretty much all I know about trip planning and backpacking has come from my trips with Andrew Skurka. My goal was to be able to plan and do trips on my own. This year I’ve done three mutiple day trips on my own thanks to what I’ve learned on his trips. If you have the same goal as I had I would recommend doing one of his trips.” -Anonymous
“This is a MUST DO! Learn from the best! In addition to reducing my base weight by more than 15 pounds, I improved my knowledge in all aspects of backpacking, from trip planning to bushwacking.” -Tim S.
“Skurka Adventures did a stellar job throughout my West Virginia Dolly Sods trip. I gained immense knowledge about off trail navigation, ultra light backpacking and group dynamics. My guides – Alan, Joe and Matt – enthusiasm for the outdoors permeated my entire experience. It helped me realize that it truly can be spectacular no matter where you are in the world. I would recommend Shurka Adventures to any backpacker seeking some adventure.” -Anonymous
“I have traveled the world for the last 13yrs, I have visited 10 different countries, one of them including Santorini Greece. Never before have I experienced something so memorable as my guided backpacking trip to Dolly Sods, West Virginia. Allow me to elaborate, there have been many adventures in my life that were risky and intense but never made me feel queasy. This guided backpacking trip was my first ever trip away from my family, surrounded by strangers and in the wilderness. Upon first arriving, I was sick to my stomach with fear and anxiety, but soon after meeting my guides and the group of strangers I’d be spending the next five days with I was immediately put to ease. The week I spent in Dolly Sods has become my number one favorite adventure ever taken. The guides are patient and quick to help you learn, the people I hiked with grew to be my trail family. It’s been 5 days since my trip ended and I miss all of it already.” -Kayla C.
“If you are looking to transition from a beginner backpacker to being confident in your abilities in more remote/ tough areas, this is the trip for you. I am significantly more prepared to tackle longer trips on my own, and had a hell of a good time learning these new skills. I’ll be back next year.” -Sam Y.
“My trip opened up a new world for me to explore. I feel prepared to challenge myself and push my limits ever upwards and onwards.” Jason L.
“Do you want to take your backcountry confidence to the next level? Andrew’s curriculum and guided trip with him and his top-notch guides, Matt Bright and Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy will do it. The 5-day WV adventure was simply awesome and I cannot wait to put what I learned into practice!” -Jeff D.
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