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A backpack coach: Is there actually a market for this?

By Andrew Skurka / December 20, 2016 /

This year I have quietly coached a handful of individuals who sought my help for their upcoming backpacking trips. Jessica completed the Colorado Trail in July. Ambitious teens Hannibal and James flew over from the UK for an adventure in the High Sierra. John, Bill, and Stephen & Diane are preparing for thru-hikes next year…

Win a SD Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack: Tonight at 6:30pm MST

By Andrew Skurka / December 7, 2016 /

Tune in tonight (Wednesday, Dec 7) at 6:30 pm MST for my holiday gift guide for hikers and backpackers, broadcast via Facebook Live. If you ask a question during the program, you’ll be entered to win a new Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack. To watch, visit Sierra Designs’ Facebook page. Starting on Thursday I will begin…

Thought it impossible: Wildfires close 140 miles of the Appalachian Trail

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2016 /

Along the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails, closures and fire bans are considered normal, especially after dry winters or late in the summer. Ditto for other long trails through arid or semi-arid environments like the Arizona Trail or Colorado Trail. But I considered such trail closures impossible on the Appalachian Trail, which is nicknamed “The Green Tunnel”…

Civic discomfort zone: Amanda and I attended a Donald Trump rally

By Andrew Skurka / October 19, 2016 /

Yesterday Amanda and I attended the Donald Trump rally in Colorado Springs. Since announcing his presidential bid in June 2015 we’d heard much about his candidacy, as all other non-cave dwellers probably have. But we wanted to hear him, unfiltered. And we wanted to better understand his supporters, which in a few weeks will constitute…

A deal at $240: High Route Tent, 20% off through Labor Day

By Andrew Skurka / August 26, 2016 /

Sierra Designs is having a 20% sitewide sale through Labor Day. And orders of $49+ qualify for free shipping. Valid only at www.SierraDesigns.com Use coupon NOFOMO at checkout Most notably, the High Route Tent 1FL is now $240. For what you get, I thought its $300 MSRP was competitive. It’s a lot of tent at $240, and…

Fun in 2016: What I have planned

By Andrew Skurka / March 26, 2016 /

It’s almost April, yet just recently has my 2016 play calendar taken shape. Normally my schedule is dialed by now, but I have more flexibility this year since I’m not guiding trips or actively speaking. The extra time was useful — it gave me an opportunity to reflect on 2015, and to ponder my long-term commitment to 2017 projects that necessitate action…

WANTED: Video producer for 12-video project

By Andrew Skurka / March 16, 2016 /

Update, March 26 || We have narrowed our search to several vendors. If a similar need arises again, I will post something here and elsewhere. This summer Sierra Designs will release a backpack and tent that we’ve co-developed over the past year. As part of the product launch, and as part of SD’s continuing efforts to engage its customers, we would like…

My most popular & favorite posts of 2015

By Andrew Skurka / December 31, 2015 /

To close out 2015, I’d like to share my most popular posts. My method in creating the list was only partially scientific — I started with total page views for 2015 in Google Analytics, and then I loosely accounted for publishing dates, since posts released earlier in the year have had more time to be viewed than those released…

Getting after it again: 2015 Year in Review

By Andrew Skurka / December 28, 2015 /

Fifteen months ago, my bitterness reached its peak. The cause was obvious: for four consecutive years, starting with 2011, I had worked too much and adventured too little. Essentially, I had stopped being me. During the first two years, I wasn’t bothered. My work — mostly guiding, speaking, and writing — was novel and challenging,…

More worthy “Adventurer of the Year”: Jurek or Anish?

By Andrew Skurka / November 13, 2015 /

Earlier today National Geographic announced its Adventurers of the Year for 2016. Of most interest to the backpacking community will be the decision to recognize Scott Jurek — who in July set a new supported speed record for the Appalachian Trail, in 46+ days — but not Heather (“Anish”) Anderson, the other obvious choice this year. If you’re asking,…