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Gear List || Backpacking First Aid Kit for soloists & groups

By Andrew Skurka / September 6, 2016 /

What I carry in my backpack is not a substitute for what’s between my ears. This is especially true with my first aid kit when hiking and backpacking in the wilderness: rather than thinking of this collection of items as a get-out-of-jail-free card, I’m much better served by having researched beforehand the environmental and route conditions I will likely encounter,…

My guyline system for tents, tarps, and hammocks

By Andrew Skurka / August 22, 2016 /

The guyline and tensioning systems normally found on backpacking shelters (including tents, tarps, and hammocks) share two flaws: Insufficient cordage is provided. This limits stake-out locations, which is especially problematic in rocky or hard-packed ground. Natural anchors like trees, downed logs, exposed roots, and large rocks cannot be used, nor can deadman anchors in the winter. These anchors…

Dinner Recipe: Peanut Sauce & Noodles

By Andrew Skurka / June 9, 2015 /

This Thai Peanut Noodle recipe competes with my Beans & Rice for the crowd favorite. It goes on nearly every single guided trip, and on most personal trips, especially if I have a prepared batch of sauce already in the fridge. The sauce is worthy of at-home use. Amanda and I have a container of it in the…

Minimizing the effects and aftermath of wet feet

By Andrew Skurka / April 3, 2012 /

“These are waterproof, right?” asked the customer to the Campmor sales clerk, as he walked around the footwear area testing out a pair of backpacking boots. Out of intrigue, I stopped to watch how the conversation would unfold, despite needing to get back to the area where my gear and skills clinic would be starting…

Vapor Barrier Liners: Theory & Application

By Andrew Skurka / December 29, 2011 /

Occasionally during the FAQ portion of my slideshows, and frequently at the start of every winter, I receive questions about vapor barrier liners (VBL’s). The content and tone of these questions suggest a general misunderstanding of and slight mystery about them, so in this article I’ll attempt to offer a comprehensive review of VBL’s based…

Make your own: Fancy Feast Alcohol Backpacking Stove

By Andrew Skurka / December 10, 2011 /

I received my first Fancy Feast stove from Ryan Bozis (aka Major Slacker), who attended one of my presentations in Virginia in Spring 2006. I of course thanked him for it, but given how simple the stove was, I could not imagine that it was better than the stove that I had used for most…