Help wanted: Guided trips, content, marketing

Requirement: You must be more productive than this guy.

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 Boulder, Colo. local who has all the requisite skills. But in reality, I’m expecting to hire multiple individuals — at least one in Boulder, but maybe remote for the others — who collectively get the job done. I prefer candidates who can make a multi-year commitment, so that the time invested in training them really pays off. Some of these roles could also grow, especially if you are a self-starter and entrepreneurial.

The work is part-time, seasonal, inconsistent, and generally entry-level. It’s best for someone who has (or does not need) a reliable source of income, and who wants to pick up a few extra hours, especially in an industry that’s both personally interesting and hard to break into.

Within some guidelines, the work can be completed from home and on your own time. My busy season is December through September, although demands on each position fluctuate.

Project 1: Guided trips

My program has steadily grown since it launched in 2011. This year I’m offering 20 sessions in four locations, and with space for 176 clients.

Role 1: Planning curriculum and follow-up

The Planning Curriculum is a 9-part program to prepare clients for their trip with us. Most modules (e.g. on gear and food) have already been developed, but the materials need to updated for 2019 trips and to be shared with clients on a specific schedule. Most modules will generate Q&A.

This year I also need help in developing new modules on training, GPS smartphone apps, and skills; and a pre-trip virtual meetup must be organized. You will be responsible for managing client access to Google Groups and Google Drive, and assisting clients with associated technical questions.

After each trip, I like to share photos and a route map, and to conduct a performance survey.

I could eventually see the Planning Curriculum as an online course.

This role requires reliability, attention to detail, writing skills, and a solid backpacking background.

Role 2: Gear shakedown-er

As part of the Planning Curriculum, clients must complete a gear list. We give them a template, they fill it out, and we review it by flagging problems and suggesting improvements.

This could be a standalone project. It warrants enough time on its own (and it’s all concentrated in a two-week period), and it requires a more specific skill set than the previous position. In addition to reviewing gear lists, you will have to engage directly with some clients who seem to need more help, like if their gear list is incomplete or not started.

To conduct a proper shakedown, you must have extensive knowledge of backpacking gear (i.e. including performance characteristics and optimal applications for specific products and general designs, materials, and fabrics) and you must be able to critique kits for hiking-intensive trips in West Virginia in May, Alaska in June, the High Sierra in July, and Colorado in September.

Role 3: Trip preparation and breakdown

This year I will prepare for the equivalent of an 816-day solo backpacking trip. Needless to say, this will entail an exceptional amount of manual work, and it must be done in Boulder, Colo.: purchasing food, gathering loaner/demo gear, updating settings on inReach units, assembling first aid and foot care kits, and printing forms, maps, menus, rosters, and other documents we need in the field.

After trips return, everything must be cleaned and put away.

Project 2 (Role 4): Content

First, my route guides need editing and updating.

Second, I’m interested in expanding the content on my blog with posts written by others. I will start by working directly with competent writers. If this initiative is successful, I would need an editor to manage writers, build relationships with brands, and prepare all posts for publishing.

For this position, I need to see excellent writing skills and an extensive backpacking history.

Project 3 (Role 5): Marketing

This individual will be tasked with increasing website traffic and guided trip applications, mostly by improving the regularity and quality of posts on social platforms, and by better utilizing my e-newsletter list. Some targeted paid advertising will also be considered.

Proven marketing savvy would be helpful here, but I’ve set a low bar in this area and most recreational users of Instagram and Facebook could do better.


Most roles will be paid hourly and as independent contractors. A per-post or per-word count model might be better for Role 4.

The compensation will be commensurate with skills and experience.

To apply

As of March 17, applications for these positions are no longer being accepted. Thanks for your interest.

Questions about these positions? Leave a comment.

Andrew Skurka Adventures LLC is an equal opportunity employer.

Posted in on February 20, 2019


  1. Hunter Hall on February 20, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    May God have mercy on your inbox. 🙂

    • Andrew Skurka on February 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Not even 12 hours in, the response has been, um, strong. A little surprised by how many working professionals are interested in the work, but not yet a single student from the CU outdoors club.

  2. Hunter Hall on February 20, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Just as I suspected… Working professionals take hobbies more seriously than whatever their line of work actually is.

    Hell, I emailed you too! LOL

  3. Christian D on February 21, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Other than maybe writing experience, but not backpacking, I have no experience and thought about emailing you! Was a dream of mine when I was much younger and growing up in NW Montana.

  4. Craig Conway on February 21, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    I think improving college kid (interns) capture rate all about time of year. Not going to get as many apps during midterms

  5. J. Reddish on March 17, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Oh How I wish I had more backpacking experience (and gear knowledge), I would have thrown my name right in the mix!
    Unfortunately, I live in South Georgia (flatlander) & I’m also a backpacking “newbie”— short overnight or weekend trips so far, no long trails (YET).
    I’m excited to read about other hikers & why they chose hiking/backpacking as, what I like to call “Soul Therapy”.
    All those different backpacking experiences just proves how incredibly powerful spending time outdoors can be.
    I’m excited to see where this takes you & good luck with finding the right people.
    Ever need anyone in Georgia—I’ll be here, hiking the Blue Ridge mountains.

  6. Eric B. on March 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    I would have loved to work with you on Role 2. Gear Shakedown. But I’m 76 and likely way too old.

    I’m very knowledgeable that field with lots of 4 season experience in the latest gear. As well I have accumulated a lot of knowledge from 1 years as a Nordic Partoller and 6 years as an Alpine Ski Patroller, decades as a backcountry skier and camper and decades as a backpacking hunter.

    If this role is mainly an online job I’d be glad to handle “overflow” work, at first voluntarily so you could judge my work and later as paid personnel.

    Professional Background: High school English, history, psychology and environmental studies instructor. Erie, PA.

  7. Eric B. on March 31, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Make that TEN years as Nordic Ski Patroller, including the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

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