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Must be doing something right

By Andrew Skurka / January 27, 2020 /

When I offered guided trips for the first time under my own company in 2011, it was a trial balloon of sorts — Will anyone even sign up? Thankfully, a few did — eighteen, to be exact. But that made me curious — What could this become? So for the next three seasons, I tried…

Review: Black Diamond Sprint 225 Headlamp || Upgraded Iota

By Andrew Skurka / January 17, 2020 /

On most backpacking trips last year, I carried the Black Diamond Iota Headlamp (my review). Its 150 lumens were plenty for 3-season conditions; it weighed only 1.9 ounces (56 grams) and packed away small; and I loved that it was rechargeable, so that I could keep AAA batteries out of the waste stream and so…

Review: SAXX Kinetic HD Boxer Briefs || For higher output activities than original

By Andrew Skurka / January 13, 2020 /

When I learned that SAXX had redesigned its Kinetic Boxer Briefs (my long-term review), I was frankly nervous. Over the past two backpacking seasons I’d worn them for over 100 days in Alaska, the High Sierra, Colorado Rockies, and Appalachians, and I’d yet to identify a flaw. So a redesign struck me as risky, with…

Open Application closes Sunday January 12, and it’s kind of your last chance

By Andrew Skurka / January 10, 2020 /

Open Application for 2020 guided trips started on December 15. It closed December 30 for the West Virginia and Utah locations, and it will be losing this Sunday, January 12, for Alaska, California, and the Rocky Mountains. If you’re interested in a 2020 trip, apply now for your best chance to get on your First…

Slideshow: Great Western Loop || 6,875 miles around the American West

By Andrew Skurka / January 9, 2020 /

In April 2007 I began my second mega long-distance hike, the Great Western Loop. Unlike the first one, during which I walked east to west across North America, this was predominately a wilderness experience: I linked five existing long-distance trails and a DIY route across the desert Southwest to create a 6,875-mile circumnavigation of the…

Preview: Showa 282-02 || Winter-ized + black

By Andrew Skurka / January 7, 2020 /

After reviewing the Showa 281 and 282 gloves two years ago (281 review, 282 review), I contacted Showa urging them to develop a more outdoor recreation-specific version. In particular, I wanted to see a rain mitt (not glove) in a subtler color and with a wrist cinch. I got no response and dropped it. Their…

Quickstart Guide: Walk Across Southern Utah (WASU)

By Thomas / January 2, 2020 /

On a fateful Sunday I found a reference to Jamal Green’s website, Across Utah!, and to his videos about his trek. Caution: Time sink! After studying this project for a year, I decided it would be my first post-retirement hike. So that I was ready to do the hike in the spring, conveniently it locked…

Will I encounter snow? New snow survey tool

By Andrew Skurka / December 27, 2019 /

In early-December an alumnus, Rud Platt, shared with me a project that he’d been working on, snowEvaluator. Its chief function is creating snow coverage maps, i.e. where there is snow, or where there was snow on specific dates in the past. If you’ve ever been uncertain about whether you’ll encounter snow on an upcoming backpacking…

PSA’s: Apply by Dec 28 for UT + WV; by Jan 11 for AK + CA

By Andrew Skurka / December 24, 2019 /

Seasons greetings. I hope you are having a great week. Three quick announcements related to my 2020 guided trips: 1. Apply by December 28 for Utah and West Virginia Open Application started December 15 for all locations, and it will close for Utah and West Virginia on December 28 (or, more specifically, when I sit…

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Alan Dixon

By Andrew Skurka / December 23, 2019 /

Alan is 59 years-old and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and adventuring partner, Alison. He has two children and two grandchildren. Four years ago he retired as an environmental engineer, and now focuses mostly on Adventure Alan, one of the oldest and most respected sources for ultralight backpacking. Since joining Andrew’s program in 2012,…