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‘Adventurer of the Year’ comes to Boone

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Article Published: May. 9, 2013 | Modified: May. 11, 2013
‘Adventurer of the Year’ comes to Boone

Andrew Skurka pauses for a photo at Yosemite National Park. The ultra long-distance backpacker and author will host a presentation May 10 at ASU.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Skurka

How long did it take Andrew Skurka to write his presentation?

Approximately 19,350 miles.

Mast General Store and Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs are hosting Skurka, the ultra long-distance backpacker and author, at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, at I.G. Greer Auditorium on the ASU campus.

Skurka is best known for his 4,700-mile, six-month Alaska-Yukon expedition, his 6,875-mile, seven-month Great Western Loop and his 7,775-mile, 11-month sea-to-sea route.

He has been named an “Adventurer of the Year” by the National Geographic Society and by Outside and “Person of the Year” by Backpacker.

He is the author of “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail,” which was released by National Geographic Books last February.

On May 10, Skurka will give an adventure-themed slideshow, “Circling Alaska and Yukon: A 4,700-mile, six-month journey by foot, skis and packraft through Big Wilderness.”

The presentation features stunning imagery, emotional videos and some of Skurka’s best stories.
While any adventure Skurka embarks on requires planning, scheduling, research, maps and a great deal of determination, what he discovered along this trek was not planned, but was profoundly influential and humbling, according to a spokesperson for the event.

The presentation lasts about 90 minutes, including an intermission and question-and-answer session. Skurka will be available before and after the presentations to sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase.

Admission to the event is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and ASU students with ID.

Proceeds will benefit KAMPN, Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature, a camp for children with autism and their families located in Deep Gap.

Tickets are available at the Mast General Store in Boone and Valle Crucis and at the Cornerstone Bookstore in Boone.

Skurka will also be signing “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail” at the Mast Store in Boone from 5 to 6 p.m. May 10.

For more information on the event, visit

About Andrew Skurka

Skurka is an adventure athlete, speaker, guide and writer. The 31-year-old is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, notably the 4,700-mile, six-month Alaska-Yukon expedition, the 6,875-mile, seven-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-plus miles through many of the world’s most prized backcountry and wilderness areas — the equivalent of traveling 1.2 times around Earth’s equator.

National Geographic described him as “a superman among trekkers” and “one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet.”

He has been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, National Public Radio and dozens of local media outlets.


KAMPN (Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature) is being developed in the High Country to provide opportunities for children with autism and their families to experience and reap the many benefits nature offers.

Hiking, camping and other nature-based activities will enable the child and family to explore and be involved together in the outdoors while providing university students, who are studying to become professionals in areas of human service, an opportunity to gain valuable experience.

KAMPN is a nonprofit organization and will seek funds to cover the costs of families participating.

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