Hometown: Boulder, CO
Andrew Skurka is an accomplished adventure athlete, speaker, guide, and writer. The 33-year-old is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, notably the 4,700-mile 6-month Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the 6,875-mile 7-month Great Western Loop, and the 7,775-mile 11-month Sea-to-Sea Route. In total, he has backpacked, skied, and packrafted 30,000+ miles through many of the world’s most prized backcountry and wilderness areas—the equivalent of traveling 1.2 times around Earth’s equator! He is the author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail.
Skurka has been named “Adventurer of the Year” by both Outside and National Geographic Adventure, as well as “Person of the Year” by Backpacker. National Geographic described him as “a superman among trekkers” and “one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet.
Favorite Sawyer Product and Why:
MAXI-DEET 0.5-oz spray tube
I’ve found that peak mosquito season is manageable if I’m prepared for it; when I haven’t been, it’s been nightmarish. The 0.5-oz MAXI-DEET spray tube is a trusted part of my system — the treatment is effective and long-lasting, and the tube packs nicely into my waist belt pocket where I have easy access to it.
Favorite Outdoor Location:
I reside in Colorado, which works nicely for my day-to-day lifestyle and for business travel. But when I really want to get after it, I head to the High Sierra or Wind River Range.
One Piece of Advice or Something You've Learned Spending So Much Time Outdoors:
The things we carry on our back are important, but not as important as the thing between our ears — our brain. Informed preparation, good decision-making, accurate assessment of risk, understanding of personal and group limits — these things matter a lot more in your safety and comfort when outdoors.