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The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide by Andrew Skurka

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  • Written by an expert hiker
  • Ove 30,000 miles of experience
  • Over 150 photos
  • Invaluable advice
  • Covers, food, shelter, clothes, flashlights, stoves, water filters and more
48 new from $9.55 38 used from $9.55

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Frequently Bought Together

The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail + The Backpacker's Field Manual, Revised and Updated: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills + Ultralight Backpackin' Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips For Extremely Lightweight Camping
Price for all three: $34.31

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Product Description

The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide by Andrew Skurka is already a classic backpacking book comparable to Colin Fletcher's Complete Walker or Ray Jardine's Trail Life. Supreme long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka shares his hard-earned knowledge in this essential guide to backpacking gear and skills. Described by National Geographic as "one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet," and named "Adventurer of the Year" by Outside and "Person of the Year" by Backpacker, Skurka recounts what he's learned from more than 30,000 miles of long-distance adventures, most recently a 4,700-mile 6-month loop around Alaska and Canada's Yukon. Whether you're a first-time backpacker, an occasional weekend warrior or a seasoned long-distance trekker, you'll love this guide. Learn exactly what you need to carry-both on your back and between your ears-for all seasons and circumstances through a show-and-tell of clothing, footwear, backpacks, shelter and sleep systems, and more, as well as through detailed articles on foot care, campsite selection and hiking efficiency. Skurka's practical and priceless recommendations give you all the tools and techniques you'll need to hit the trail.Great for beginners and experienced backpackers.Learn to reduce weight and hike smarter.About the Author - A graduate of Duke University, Andrew Skurka is a sponsored long-distance backpacker, paid speaker, and writer. He has hiked 25,000-plus miles since 2002, most recently on a 4,700-mile loop around Alaska and the Yukon. Named "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure (describing him as "a Gen Y version of Thoreau") and "Person of the Year" by Backpacker Magazine, he was also featured in Outside and Men's Journal. Skurka has appeared in numerous newspapers and television broadcasts..Author - Andrew Skurka.Binding - Paper.Pages - 224.Publisher - National Geographic.Year - 2012.ISBN - 9781426209208.

Product Details

Color: Paperback
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches ; 12 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Origin: USA
  • ASIN: 1426209207
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This book is clear,concise, packed with information and a very enjoyable read.
William D. G. Poett
This book is filled with information on getting pack and gear weight down for hiking of any distance.
stephen cherry
I am reading some other hiking books, but I keep coming back to this one over and over.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Clarke Green on March 28, 2012
Color Name: Paperback
My first backpacking trip was a hike to a trail shelter in Shenandoah National Park in the early seventies. My brother and I carried frame-less canvas backpacks with webbing shoulder straps that my dad padded with upholstery foam. I don't recall the sleeping bags or much else about the gear we used because my brother and I were much more interested in the creek near the shelter.

Dad poured over Colin Fletcher's new book The Complete Walker and so did I. We studied his techniques and emulated them. We wrote away for catalogs and made a few pilgrimages to Vienna Virginia from our home in Fall's Church to a backpacking and camping gear shop (what was the name of that place?) to buy what we could afford and that wasn't much.

Forty years later we are inundated with a torrential stream of gear and advice making the `right' choice of either nearly impossible. Colin Fletcher's simple gospel has fractured into dogmatic schisms, each with their holy book, magazine or website. Now there are backpackers, lightweight backpackers, ultralight backpackers and many flavors in between. I've read many backpacking books, tons of articles and blog posts and have grown tired of their often circular logic, rehashed advice and wondered if advertising dollars skewed their opinions.

Andrew Skurka's new book The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide will change the way how we sling a pack on our backs and hoof it into the wild just as Fletcher's Complete Walker once did. Fletcher's first books recorded his monumental treks (The Thousand Mile Summer and The Man Who Walked Through Time) and these expeditions resulted in The Complete Walker. Skurka's stunning 30,000 miles of trekking over the past decade have resulted in The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brochstein on May 23, 2012
Color Name: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had my doubts when I first bought this book. My background is that I am an experienced hiker / hike leader (but not backpacker), long time avid reader of Backpacker magazine (and other relevant material), WFA graduate etc etc. I figured that the parts of this book that covered topics relevant to hiking would simply be review for me. I was wrong. While I was familiar with a fair amount of what is covered in the book, there was more than enough that I learned to make reading it worthwhile (and it is a fast reading book).

This book should not be thought of as a complete guide to hiking, the only book you'll ever need. It concentrates on gear and clothing (hence its name). It will not teach you how to read/use a trail or topographical map or a compass, GPS, Wilderness First Aid, physical conditioning, and plenty of other types of knowledge that could be worthwhile to know when one is hiking or backpacking.

One other reviewer thought that a lot of the text was like reading "techno babble" and yes, a fair amount of the text discusses the technical and practical attributes of various gear and clothing options. This is, after all, as the title says, a book about gear. Likewise, Consumer Reports doesn't simply say that item X is better than item Y, it also explains the issues that led to their ratings. I think that most people interested in learning about the various gear and clothing options for hiking/backpacking will find the level of "techno babble" to be both reasonable and worthwhile (but your mileage may vary). Overall I think the author is very very good at explaining in plain english the relevant technical aspects of the gear/clothing discussed. If you're making the gear/clothing decisions then the material in this book is quite relevant.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on March 6, 2012
Color Name: Paperback
I read, last year on Andrew Skurka's webpage, that he was attempting to write an update to Colin Fletcher's "The Complete Walker". I was surprised at the audaciousness of his goal, but now I have read his new book and I feel that he has succeeded in setting a new benchmark for the first time since Fletcher. Whether a beginner or an experienced hiker, Skurka's new book should be the next hiking-related purchase that anyone makes. It can save you years of trial-and-error and thousands of dollars in less-than-optimum gear purchase decisions.

"The Ultimate Hiker's Gearguide" succinctly relates the current state-of-the-art in hiking gear and skills. Although he is not bound by it, Skurka is definitely a student of the "ultralight" school of hiking. Started 25-30 years ago by Ray Jardine (who is still active and still sells kits to make his excellent equipment designs; [link deleted by Amazon]), the history and current state of this movement is well documented in a recent series of seven essays by Ron Moak ([link deleted by Amazon-- see the website for Six Moons Designs]). For those who wish to continue the "old school" (I am about half and half, myself), Fletcher and others are still available, and the outdoor industry is still selling heavy boots, double-walled tents, and zippered sleeping bags.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Emil on February 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First off it is a fantastic book for those just getting into backpacking. It is packed (pun intended) with information. In fact, I now know more about goose down vs synthetic fill than I may have ever wanted to.

Overall, reading this book cover to cover is tedious. Andrew's first hand accounts are few and far between, but when they do occur are like a breath of fresh air. His "Skurka's Picks" are the highlight of the book. Everything else just reads like techno babble for the uninitiated. I was really hoping for more of his insight not indepth fabric specs that most of those with atleast some gear experience are already aware of.

Also, it is very short for an "ultimate" guide, less than 300 pages. If it was more entertaining I would have finished it in a few hours. I purchased the Kindle Fire version and I wonder if the book was even looked at by an editor. There are many errors in the text and the format doesn't seem very professionally done.

For ten bucks I would still make the purchase again, there is a lot to learn here depending on your skill level. My expectations were just too high.
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