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SKURKA’S EXPEDITIONS


1 Alaska-Yukon Expedition MARCH-SEPTEMBER 2010 4,680-mile ski, trek, and pack- raft trip around Alaska and the Yukon


2 Alaska Four-Range JUNE-JULY 2009


Kenai Mountains, Kenai Fjords, western Chugach, and Talkeetnas


Alaska Mountain


Wilderness Classic race JULY 2009


180 miles across the Alaska Range in less than four days; first place


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get addicted to it. I was a little kid fascinated by a swamp in my neigh- borhood—it doesn’t take much. Kids don’t need to go to the Grand Canyon or Alaska to be wowed.


SCOUTING: What are the step- ping stones to jumping from car camping to wilderness camping or backpacking?


AS: Not many stepping stones; just jump in. Really, backpacking has two components: camping and hiking. If you can turn a kid onto one of these, you’re halfway there. Take them car camping and they will like that part of it. Then take them hiking one day. Then later combine the two. Just make sure not to try walking with all of your camping gear—forcing a kid to carry a refrigerator-size load will not turn him on to backpacking.


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3 Great Western Loop APRIL-NOVEMBER 2007


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12 National Parks, more than 75 wilderness areas, 6,875 miles hiked


‘Ultralight in the


Nation’s Icebox’ JANUARY 2007 385 miles from Duluth to Ely, Minn., in the heart of winter


Pacific Crest Trail 2 Hayduke Trail


And Grand Canyon Traverse FEBRUARY-MARCH 2009 800-mile trek from Arches National Park to the Grand Canyon


Iceland Traverse JULY-AUGUST 2008


550-mile traverse


Sierra High Route JULY 2008 Rugged 195-mile route with 100 miles of off-trail hiking


(California segment) JUNE-JULY 2006 Average progress of 38.2 miles per day (for 45 days)


‘Sea-to-Sea Route’ AUGUST 2004–JULY 2005


“Post-college graduation, transcontinental, 7,778-mile, coming-of-age hike”


4 Colorado Trail JUNE 2004


462-mile “warm-up” for Sea- to-Sea Route


Appalachian Trail SUMMER 2002


First long-distance experience


STEPHEN REGENOLD writes about the outdoors and gear at GearJunkie.com.


30 S COUTING ¿ March•aP r IL 2012


SCOUTING: Advice for guaranteeing a successful trip?


AS: Ideally, parents and troop leaders should do their homework before they take the kids out and know the route is good and feasible for the Scouts. They should know the condi- tions and the expected weather. Will there be bugs? Prepare for it. Get the right maps. Very important: Do not overload the kids on their first trip. As I said, too much weight is a common turnoff to backpacking. I have heard Scouting horror stories of little kids with 50-pound packs. It’s hard to enjoy a trip when you have blisters on your feet and your shoulders are sore.


SCOUTING: Final question. How can you encourage kids to push themselves and go that extra mile on the trail?


AS: Stay enthusiastic yourself. It carries over to the kids. If you are stoked on being outside and hiking, then they will be stoked as well. ¿


COURTESY OF ANDREW SKURKA (4)


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