Essential backpacking topo maps: types, sources & formats

By Andrew Skurka / April 7, 2015 / 50 Comments

When I mostly only followed established backpacking trails or routes, I relied heavily on existing resources — topographic map sets, route descriptions, databooks, and now digital trail apps — under the assumption that they were sufficient, which they normally were. But when my trips became more of the choose-your-own-adventure variety, I had to develop these…

My new Suunto Core, plus how I use my watch while backpacking

By Andrew Skurka / June 4, 2013 / 32 Comments

It was time to replace my Highgear Summit watch after many years of reliable service. Its face was scratched up; its buttons have become loose and its water-resistance has become questionable; and, aesthetically, I was looking for an improvement, maybe even worthy enough to wear on the altar in August. I settled on the Suunto…

Why backcountry GPS units are overrated

By Andrew Skurka / March 21, 2012 / 34 Comments

This is another post in a series of “how to” articles I’ve written recently. If you’d like me to address a particular subject in the next installment, leave a comment for me. If you’d like to read more content like this, then consider buying my book, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. I adore some GPS…