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Eight podcasts about backpacking, running, climbing, and hunting

By Andrew Skurka / March 25, 2019 / 4 Comments

This winter I’ve been a guest on six podcasts, and will soon appear on two more. It wasn’t intentional — whether by coincidence or due to an increasing number of outdoor podcasts, I received an exceptional number of interview requests, and I always say yes. Most readers will probably be familiar enough with my own…

Backpacking Gear List Template + 3-season Checklist

By Andrew Skurka / March 13, 2019 / 49 Comments

Completing a gear list is one of the most important and most beneficial steps in preparing for a backpacking trip. A fully featured gear list can be used to: Pack virtually (and avoid a gear explosion in the guest room), Organize systems (e.g. clothing, shelter, kitchen), Calculate pack weight, Budget and track new purchases, Prepare…

Almost done (and now available): Yosemite High Route Guide

By Andrew Skurka / February 28, 2019 / 21 Comments

I had self-imposed a deadline of March 1 for publishing the Yosemite High Route Guide, knowing that backpackers are making their summertime plans (and in some cases have already made them). The Guide is not yet complete — it’s about 85 percent of the way there — but today I’m releasing it anyway so that…

Help wanted: Guided trips, content, marketing

By Andrew Skurka / February 20, 2019 / 8 Comments

My business has become sufficiently large and reliable that I’d like some assistance in running it, especially the guided trip program. In its current one-man configuration, I’m too stretched by the workload and — more consequentially — too distracted by critical but routine tasks that are preventing me from working on higher-value projects. Ideally, I’d like to find one…

Ron Bell of MLD to help guide Fundamentals courses in West Virginia

By Andrew Skurka / February 15, 2019 / 3 Comments

Ron Bell, the founder and owner of Mountain Laurel Designs, one of the most innovative and influential ultralight backpacking gear companies, will be joining Alan Dixon, Joe McConaughy, and me as a special guest on the Backpacking Fundamentals course in West Virginia, May 10-12, 2019. Ron last joined us in 2012, and I’m excited to…

Preview: Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 || Lighter & stickier than predecessor

By Andrew Skurka / February 6, 2019 / 3 Comments

The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 will be available soon, in April 2019. This third-generation model remains purpose-built for long trail races and training runs, and the iterative changes seem entirely likable. Like most Salomon models, the Ultra is a neutral shoe that is designed for narrow and low-volume feet. But it has more forefoot volume…

Last call: Open application period closes Sunday for guided trips

By Andrew Skurka / January 17, 2019 / 2 Comments

This Sunday the open application period for my 2019 guided trips will close. Applications received through Sunday, January 20, will be considered equally; thereafter, they will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis for the spots leftover. If you are interested in a 2019 guided trip, I strongly recommend that you apply now. With the applications received…

Reader Q: Where should I put my bear canister or Ursack at night?

By Andrew Skurka / January 15, 2019 / 19 Comments

In a comment to my recent post about the ineffectiveness of bear bags and recommended alternatives, reader Jim N. asked, I received a similar question via email from David N., so a standalone post on the issue seems warranted. But to give a more comprehensive answer, I’ll broaden the question to: Official recommendations Let’s first look…

Video: Adventure trip with Clelland & Magnanti in the Colorado Rockies

By Andrew Skurka / January 14, 2019 / 0 Comments

Last year Chris G. and his brother Phil joined one of our Adventure trips in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 5-day session was guided by Mike Clelland and Paul Magnanti, and included parts of the Pfiffner Traverse and the Continental Divide Trail Loop. For those interested in one of our 2019 trips, it will give you some…

Ineffective & outdated: Six reasons to not hang a bear bag

By Andrew Skurka / January 10, 2019 / 123 Comments

Bear bags are a stubborn fixture of the backpacking world. Hanging is recommended, taught, and practiced by influential organizations and individuals even though it is less effective, less foolproof, less reliable, less efficient, and less safe than other food protection techniques, notably hard-sided canisters and (to a lesser degree) soft-sided bear-resistant food sacks. I have not…