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In my pack: Six items for rain & ticks in West Virginia

By Andrew Skurka / April 28, 2019 /

Next month I am guiding two 3-day overnight backpacking trips in West Virginia, which has all the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains but a fraction of the backcountry traffic versus the range’s more eastern destinations like Shenandoah National Park. I’m being joined by Alan Dixon, Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”), Ron Bell, and Matt Bright. This week…

Long-term review: Black Diamond Rhythm Tee with NuYarn, innovative nylon/merino blend

By Andrew Skurka / April 24, 2019 /

At the end of a Black Diamond media lunch at Outdoor Retailer last November, I was given a t-shirt that we’d been quickly briefed about but that seemed like vastly inferior product seeding relative to the new powder skis and airbag packs that’d really wow’d us. I’m notoriously particular about my athletic clothing, and I expected this…

Long-term review: Saxx Kinetic Boxer Briefs || Pricey perfection

By Andrew Skurka / April 17, 2019 /

After my first trip last spring, I cut out the boxer brief liner of my favorite hiking shorts, which were designed for running and which I’d scored at Marshalls for $15(!) a few years earlier. The elasticized liner had lost its rebound, resulting in an imperfect fit and insufficient support. The shell was still in…

Book review: Thirst, by Anish || Honest & accurate depiction of PCT FKT

By Andrew Skurka / April 14, 2019 /

“Better her than me,” I said multiple times during Thirst: 2600 miles to home, by Heather Anderson (“Anish”) about her record-setting thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013, which she completed in 60+ days at an astounding pace of over 43 miles per day. This glorified diary is an honest and accurate depiction of…

Book review: The Sun is a Compass || Bellingham to Kotzebue, Alaska

By Andrew Skurka / April 8, 2019 /

Nine years ago I randomly met Caroline Van Hemert on a gravely beach along Alaska’s Lynn Canal, between Juneau and Haines. She approached as I was cooking dinner and soaking in a splendid sunny evening. It was kind of dreamy, I won’t lie — I was halfway into my Alaska-Yukon Expedition, and she was the…

For sale: My childhood home

By Andrew Skurka / April 3, 2019 /

Thirty-three years ago my parents moved to 51 Donald Lewis Drive in Seekonk, Mass. — along with their three kids, ages 7, 5, and 2 — and on Monday put this classic Colonial on the market. With this post I’m not trying to help their sale, but simply mark a milestone as I occasionally do…

Snowpocalypse 2019: Expected “summer” conditions in the High Sierra & southern Rockies

By Andrew Skurka / March 28, 2019 /

California, Oregon, Nevada, and the Four Corners states have been drenched this winter, with snowpacks now about 150 percent of their normals. If you have scheduled backpacking trips in the High Sierra or southern Rockies in June or July, and to a lesser degree August, here is some reading for you: 1. Today on my…

Eight podcasts about backpacking, running, climbing, and hunting

By Andrew Skurka / March 25, 2019 /

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 /

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 /

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…