Posts

Categories

Encouraging sign: Rocky Mountain to reopen May 27

By Andrew Skurka / May 13, 2020 /

Rocky Mountain National Park announced yesterday that they will begin a phased reopening starting on May 27. The press release is here. Most relevant to this readership, backcountry camping will be permitted right away, and will continue through the fall as normal. Even though Rocky is a National Park, the release points out that under…

Tutorial: Plan a backpacking trip in these 7 steps

By Andrew Skurka / May 11, 2020 /

This year I will plan twenty-nine backpacking trips. They are scheduled June through October, run three to seven days, and are scattered throughout North America in the high desert, eastern woodlands, mountain West, and Alaska. In addition, I will also ready our 240+ clients, who are of mixed ages, genders, fitness, and experience. To pull…

Should I stay home or can I go? Navigating Covid-19 restrictions

By Andrew Skurka / May 8, 2020 /

Based on what we currently know about Covid-19 and on the best practices that you plan to follow, you may deem the risk of contracting or spreading Covid-19 acceptably low. And, therefore, you want to start your trip. I would generally concur with you: thoughtful behavior in a backcountry setting — which has constant air…

New normal: How can Covid-19 risk in the backcountry be minimized?

By Andrew Skurka / May 7, 2020 /

In 2020 I’m hopeful that my personal and guided backpacking trips will take place. But it won’t be business as usual — on both private and commercial outings, individual behaviors and program protocols must reflect the new risk of Covid-19. The preceding post is an objective assessment of this risk, and it serves as a…

Covid-19: What’s the objective risk to backcountry travelers?

By Andrew Skurka / May 5, 2020 /

To mitigate a risk, it’s essential to first understand it. For example, if I were planning to hike the John Muir Trail/PCT in the early-season, I’d want to know about hazardous creek crossings. And if I was planning to drink water from natural sources on that trip, I would want to be familiar with the…

Backcountry best practices in the coronavirus era

By Andrew Skurka / May 5, 2020 /

The novel coronavirus has upended life as we once knew it. With therapeutic treatments and vaccines, we’ll revert to our old normal eventually, but in the meantime we’ll have to learn to live with it — How can we still work and play without compromising our own safety or that of our family, friends and…

Face Your Fears: The real risk of wild animals & injuries for women

By Teresa Hagerty / May 5, 2020 /

As a female outdoor leader, guide, and mentor, I hear a wide range of worries that women have about being outdoors. Wild animals and injuries are two of the most common. I’m here to tell you that women are no more vulnerable than anyone else outdoors.  Real vs. Perceived Risks The first night I camped…

Virtual clinic: How to plan a backpacking trip

By Andrew Skurka / April 30, 2020 /

Next month I’m hosting a free virtual clinic in partnership with the Colorado Mountain Club. Originally we’d scheduled an in-person gear and skills clinic in Golden, which I do most years for them, but, well, you know what happened. Key event details: Topic: Seven steps to plan a backpacking trip Online tutorial via Zoom Thursday,…

Should women hike solo?

By Alexandra Lev / April 28, 2020 /

It’s always been natural for me to be alone, including on the trail. Sadly, society has conditioned us to think that it is unsafe for women to recreate outdoors solo. This attitude is wrong and perpetuates negative stereotypes about women– hiking, running, and camping alone can be both safe and rewarding. So it’s time to…

When will our National Parks re-open?

By Andrew Skurka / April 28, 2020 /

This morning I received a coronavirus update for Rocky Mountain National Park from the concessions manager. The italics are mine: In accordance with guidance from the White House, CDC, state and local public health authorities, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service are working to gradually resume operations and access to national…