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Leave No Trace Best Practices

By Katie Gerber / March 15, 2022 /

Leave No Trace principles are a framework of best practices that are critical knowledge for anyone who spends time in nature. They were developed to minimize the impact of backcountry travelers on sensitive ecosystems. Especially with the increasing number of people recreating outdoors, acting in accordance with these principles is essential if we wish to…

58 recommended snacks and lunches for backpacking

By Katie Gerber / March 7, 2022 /

Hikers love to talk about food almost as much as they like to talk about gear and bowel movements. When it comes to trail food, there’s often a lot of uncertainty about how much and what types of food to take. In this post, we’ll address each of those topics as well as share 58…

Extend Your Learning!

By Hunter Hall / February 28, 2022 /

This is meant to be a final ‘send-off’ post for our Plan Like a Pro course and guided trips with links, books, and other resources meant to further your education if you like, on your own terms. It starts with some of our favorite books, classes, apps, online communities and podcasts; and then it goes…

Video tutorial: Finding historical temp & precip date from NCEI

By Andrew Skurka / February 26, 2022 /

Last year the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) updated its website and launched two new tools for researching historical temperature and precipitation data. The good news is that the website is now more user-friendly; the bad news is that my older tutorial, posted in March 2021, is obsolete, so it’s time for a new…

Last call: Apply for a scholarship

By Andrew Skurka / February 16, 2022 /

The deadline to apply for our scholarship program is coming up — 8 AM MST on Monday, February 21. These needs-based awards are eligible for up to 10 spots on our intro-level Backpacking Fundamentals course and up to 16 spots in our Plan Like A Pro online course.

I’m hiring: Backpacking Guides and Operations Assistant

By Andrew Skurka / February 12, 2022 /

My guiding program continues to grow, and I must make several new hires this season to keep up. I am now accepting applications for three roles: Operations Assistant (one) Lead Backpacking Guide (at least two) Junior Backpacking Guide (one to three) Applicants can apply for just the Operations Assistant position, just the Backpacking Guide positions,…

Garmin inReach Mini 2: Incrementally improved, still fundamentally flawed

By Andrew Skurka / February 2, 2022 /

Today Garmin released the second generation of its smallest and lightest satellite messenger. The inReach Mini 2 offers incremental improvements over the original inReach Mini, while maintaining the same size, weight, and form factor. Upgrades include: Longer lasting battery in tracking mode; Quicker GPS acquisition by using four satellite networks; An automatic track-back feature, helping…

Apply now: Needs-based scholarships

By Andrew Skurka / February 1, 2022 /

Today I’m excited to launch a new needs-based scholarship program. In 2022 recipients will be eligible for up to ten spots on intro-level Backpacking Fundamentals courses in Colorado, California, and West Virginia, as well as up to sixteen spots on the online Plan Like A Pro course. We are accepting applications through Friday, February 21.

Satellite messengers: What happens when I hit SOS?

By Brandon Chase / January 31, 2022 /

Backcountry risks can be greatly mitigated with proper trip planning, but not entirely eliminated. For those “just in case” scenarios, satellite messenger like the Zoleo (my pick), Somewear Global Hotspot, and Garmin inReach Mini are worth having. Functionality includes two-way text messaging, location sharing, weather forecasts, and, most importantly, an “SOS” feature to use in…

Season launch || “Plan Like a Pro” course

By Joe 'Stringbean' McConaughy / January 24, 2022 /

Next week we start our first 2022 session of Plan Like A Pro, an online course in which students are guided through a holistic trip planning curriculum that’s applicable for every location, season, experience level, and age and gender. The course is interactive, not one-way — students receive individualized feedback for most assignments. Over 400…