Posts

Categories

Blowdowns & wildfires: Pfiffner Traverse conditions update

By Andrew Skurka / July 12, 2021 /

Several sections of the Pfiffner Traverse were significantly impacted by wildfires and storms in fall 2021, including both on- and off-trail portions, and both the Primary Route and Section Hikes. These events caused an official area closure by the National Park Service and de facto closures on NPS and US Forest Service lands because of…

Toilet paper-less: My evolution in butt cleaning

By Andrew Skurka / July 7, 2021 /

When I began backpacking nearly twenty years ago, I used toilet paper exclusively for cleaning my butt after pooping, just like I did at home. I’ve pooped outside thousands of times since then, and now prefer to do the exact opposite: I use no toilet paper at all. Instead, I rely on natural materials, a…

Bear spray: Three proper carrying methods

By Andrew Skurka / June 8, 2021 /

Our Brooks Range trips start next week, so both clients and guides are in the final stages of their preparations. One question that hit my inbox this morning was: What is your recommended method of carrying bear spray? This is a great question to ask before a trip, because your options may be limited or…

A 7,000-mile hike || The Earth Beneath My Feet

By / June 7, 2021 /

Like millions of people – like you perhaps? – I grew up in the sprawling suburbs of a city. I spent my childhood with carpet and concrete underfoot, not the wild earth. But from the second I saw my first mountain at the age of fifteen the city faded into insignificance.  Trouble was, the city…

Review: Somewear Global Hotspot || 4.0 oz with seamless messaging

By Andrew Skurka / May 28, 2021 /

For years Garmin has dominated the satellite messaging category with its family of inReach devices. But competitors have emerged, thankfully, and it’s helping to keep prices down, drive product innovation, and perhaps improve customer service. For nearly three weeks this spring I used the Somewear Global Hotspot ($280, 4 oz/113 grams), one of these newer…

Wanted: Permanent home for Esme, 7 year-old foster cat

By Andrew Skurka / May 18, 2021 /

Esmerelda (“Esme”), our 7-year-old foster cat, really likes it here, and we really like her, too. But it’s time to find her a more permanent home — we achieved our goal in getting her out of a high-stress setting with a toddler and dog, but we’re not ready yet for a “foster fail” after losing…

Livestream with Stringbean, April 9: New Arizona Trail FKT

By Andrew Skurka / April 7, 2021 /

On Friday, April 9, 2021 at 6pm MDT, I will be hosting a livestream with Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”), who earlier this week set a new supported Arizona Trail FKT in 13+ days, averaging 60-70 miles per day. If you were following his journey on Instagram, Strava, or YouTube, it already probably struck you as pretty…

Tutorial: How to store, clean, and repair backpacking gear

By Hunter Hall / March 22, 2021 /

Once you find the right gear for you (based on your objectives) and spend your hard-earned money on it, you’ll want to make sure it serves you for as long as possible. You can help by Storing it properly Keeping it clean, and Knowing how to repair it when something inevitably happens to it. At…

Tips: How to buy backpacking gear

By Hunter Hall / March 14, 2021 /

Consider this a handy introductory guide to buying backpacking gear, with the emphasis on how to buy instead of what to buy. I’ll discuss the ethos of buying gear and the kind of mindset you should try to get into before purchasing anything, as well as the kind of traps you should avoid.  My personal…

Video tutorial: Research historical temperature & precipitation data

By Andrew Skurka / March 12, 2021 /

In a recent post on my favorite resources for researching the conditions that I will likely encounter on a backpacking trip, I plugged the Environmental Centers for Environmental Information, which tracks temperature and precipitation data for thousands of locations throughout the United States. It’s an extremely helpful website, but it can be difficult to navigate…