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Types of backpacking shelters: pros & cons || SD LIVE (Feb 19, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / March 2, 2015 /

In last month’s SD LIVE event, I discussed the pros and cons of common backpacking shelters — specifically double-wall tents, single-wall tents, tarp systems, bivy sacks, and hammocks. My presentation was a relatively unbiased assessment of the available options, and also intentionally brand- and product-neutral. While I definitely prefer some shelter types over others (refer to my…

Backpacking in the rain: helpful gear and skills|| SD LIVE (March 31, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / April 7, 2015 /

In last month’s SD LIVE event, I discussed multiple ways to help maintain a relative level of comfort and safety when backpacking in the rain. Some methods are simply a matter of packing differently or packing more: sleeping clothes, camp shoes, breathable footwear, group tarp, down insulation, and a pack liner. Other methods are techniques:…

Tips for quality sleep in the backcountry || SD LIVE (May 12, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / June 4, 2015 /

SD Live: Sleeping Comfortably in the Backcountry from Sierra Designs on Vimeo. In our May episode of SD LIVE, Sierra Designs Brand Manager Michael Glavin and I shared our tips for getting quality sleep in the backcountry. This topic should be of great interest — I know many backpackers, especially first-timers and beginners, struggle to…

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…

Footwear & Footcare: Would you suck on these toes? || SD LIVE (July 22, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / July 21, 2015 /

Live recording Footwear and Foot-care from Sierra Designs on Vimeo. Pre-episode teaser During the next SD LIVE event, I will discuss Footwear and Footcare. Tune in tomorrow: Wednesday, July 22, 11:30am PDT. The program will run 30-45 minutes. Topics will include but are not limited to: Shoes Socks Gaiters Maceration Blisters Calluses This is intentionally a live…

Backcountry First Aid & Emergencies || SD LIVE (August 20, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / August 16, 2015 /

Live recording SD Live: First Aid and Emergencies from Sierra Designs on Vimeo. Pre-episode teaser The next SD LIVE will broadcast on Thursday, August 20, at 5:30 PM PDT. Register here to join. In this 45-minute live show, I will discuss Backcountry First Aid and Emergencies, specifically: Preparedness Wilderness medical training Items in my solo and…

Backpacking food: amounts, types, nutrition & storage || SD LIVE (June 10, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / October 21, 2015 /

Live recording SD Live: Eating Right in the Backcountry from Sierra Designs on Vimeo. Table of contents Disclosure Not a dietitian Recommendations based on what has worked for me and what I see with and hear from clients Food is really personal. Hopefully you learn a few things, but you’re encouraged to experiment. Challenges No…

Insulation geekiness: specs, pros & cons, optimal uses || SD LIVE (September 8, 2015)

By Andrew Skurka / October 21, 2015 /

Live recording SD Live: All Things Insulation from Sierra Designs on Vimeo. Episode overview In the September edition of SD LIVE, we focused on the insulation materials most commonly used in outdoor apparel and sleeping bags, specifically fleece, down, and synthetic fills. Frank Kvietok, who manages the Advanced Development Center at Exxel Outdoors and who was the…

Map & Compass: Adjust for declination & orient the map

By Andrew Skurka / July 16, 2016 /

Backcountry navigation is an art. The basics can be learned quickly, like dead reckoning, reading a map, and using an altimeter watch. But extensive practice is necessary to seamlessly and flawlessly apply these skills in the field, especially when under duress or in challenging situations, like off-trail in a heavily forested area with rolling hills.…

Map & Compass: Find & transfer bearings in the field & on a map

By Andrew Skurka / August 11, 2016 /

This is the second of a 7-video instructional series from Sierra Designs. This one, as well as the first, are dedicated to map and compass, which is a subcategory of navigation. If you haven’t already, learn to adjust for declination and to orient a map. Got it? Good, let’s move on to a more advanced…