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Considerations when flying to a backpacking destination

By Brandon Chase / February 26, 2021 /

If you need to travel long distances, perhaps over several days, to reach a backpacking destination, how you can assure that you’ll have all the necessary gear when you finally get there? I suggest two measures: Choose the most appropriate method of travel, and Plan around known restrictions. The easiest & fastest option: Fly and…

Recommended listening: Roman Dial and The Backpacking Podcast

By Andrew Skurka / February 26, 2021 /

Two podcasts from the past week that may be worth your time: Buzz Burrell interviews Roman Dial For this week’s installment of the FKT Podcast, Buzz interviewed Roman, which makes for a lot of legend in one episode. Roman is probably the best storyteller that I know, due to both storytelling skills and Alaska-themed content.…

High routes and the rare Sierra Nevada red fox

By Andrew Skurka / February 25, 2021 /

The Sierra Nevada red fox (SNRF) is a subspecies of red fox that has become genetically isolated since the retreat of the last ice age and is one of the rarest mammalian carnivores in North America. High routes in the High Sierra — notably the Sierra High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route, and Yosemite…

Trip planning research: My go-to resources

By Andrew Skurka / February 22, 2021 /

A six-week hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, starting at the US-Mexico border on June 6, 2006, sounded hot and dry to me. But fifteen years ago I had no experience with southern California or deserts generally, so I didn’t know how to properly prepare my gear, supplies and skills. What clothing, sleeping bag, and…

Last call for planning course starting Feb 22

By Andrew Skurka / February 17, 2021 /

On Friday we will be shutting down registration for Session 1 of our 9-week online planning course, which starts Monday, February 22. If you miss this opportunity, consider Session 2 or Session 3, which start March 15 and April 12, respectively. If the timing of these latter sessions works better for you, you can still…

Trip Planner Template: Stay organized & track details

By Andrew Skurka / February 11, 2021 /

In preparing for a backpacking trip, especially outings that are beyond the normal weekend getaway in a familiar place, I rely on a handful of tools that collectively help me to be more efficient and thorough in my planning efforts. Previously I’ve posted about two of the most important: Backpacking gear list, and Environmental and…

Online course: Learn to (better) plan a backpacking trip

By Andrew Skurka / February 3, 2021 /

Eleven months ago the world was turned upside-down by Covid. For years I’d wanted to offer an online course, and last spring was an ideal opportunity — the expansive stay-at-home orders kept most people inside and also put a freeze on my guided trip program. Over a few weeks, Joe McConaughy (who was freshly unemployed)…

Tutorial: Plan a backpacking trip in these 7 steps

By Andrew Skurka / February 3, 2021 /

Preparations for my earliest backpacking trips were clumsy, and I made every mistake possible. I recall carrying way too much stuff for an overnight in Yosemite, shivering all night in a too-light sleeping bag in Tennessee, stomaching an unpalatable couscous dinner in the Adirondacks, struggling to find topographic maps of eastern Montana, quitting a trip…

74 testimonials about our online trip planning course

By Hunter Hall / January 30, 2021 /

Since 2014 I’ve asked our guided trip 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. Naturally, we…

Podcasts: FKT, Live Free or Die, Long Way Radio

By Andrew Skurka / January 18, 2021 /

Last week I was interviewed for two different podcasts, and they’re both now available. Fastest Known Time Legend and host Buzz Burrell invited Mary Cochenour and me on to answer listener questions about how to recharge GPS devices mid-trip, when to (not) use trekking poles, and how to best protect yourself from the sun. Fastest…