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Skurka Shares How to Make a Living as an Adventurer

Andrew Skurka in the Grand Canyon
Andrew Skurka in the Grand Canyon. (Andrew Skurka)

Alicia's recent article "Andrew Skurka's "Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide," not only described a new guidebook by professional adventurer Skurka, it got community members thinking about how one makes a living as a professional adventurer.

"How does Skurka do it?" members wanted to know.

The Trailspace community's comments and conversation stuck a chord with Skurka, who promptly drafted a direct response, "How I Make a Living as an Adventurer."

Skurka's well-written article is unique because it's so guileless and simple, and answers the question on revenue streams so directly. He also credits his success to "hard work, good planning, intense focus, and some audacity" and describes himself as "someone who likes to completely and regularly check out."

But, like many elegant and simple answers, Skurka's is harder for most to implement than it may seem at first blush. His burning commitment to his lifestyle is obvious by the way he casually mentions moving every few months, and making sacrifices while casting off responsibilities that many cherish as encumbrances. 

Skurka's closing line — "Because I don’t need much to be comfortable and happy, I don’t need to earn much either" — is a welcome truth to most of us that find fellowship in the wilderness. And it's even more welcome now that we see what it takes to make a living out of such a lifestyle.

Read "How I Make a Living as an Adventurer" by Andrew Skurka

Share your thoughts on how to make an adventurous life below.


Cant wait to read the book!

I think it's pretty cool that he wrote a direct response to answer our members' questions.

It definetly is pretty cool Alicia! When I saw Seth's title to this article I chalked it up to an odd coincidence as many of the comments were directed towards this query. The fact that he is reading, and responding, to the members here is.......well, you said it best, COOL!

The fact that there is an Office Space photo makes it even better!

Wow, this definitely sends my respect for him up even higher. That he took the time to thoughtfully respond to our member's inquiries is awesome.

I am really impressed that he currently does not have or need monetary sponsorship.

It is rare to see someone so down to earth and honest about how they do what they do, especially when they do it so well! 

I dropped a thank you over on his blog, too :)

I believe "successful" people (like Skurka) measure it with the path they're on, rather than a destination they wish to reach. He's got my thumbs!

PS. Both thumbs are left. : )

This is a way cool thing Andrew Skurka did. The first article I read he wrote was for the appalachian trail. I herd countless postive comments about him. Looking forward to his publication release date.

Andrew is quite a character.  We had lunch after he met with the former Interior Secretary and I noticed he had stuffed his suit jacket in a golite pack.  Ultralight backpacking is impressive, but ultralight business travel is more impressive!

One can be an adventurer WITHOUT giving up resposiibilities and possesions.

Writing and publishing does provide income. Not always ample, but sometimes can be lucrative. ... Adequate to support this life-style.

~ r2 ~

great office

Well, I guess the real point here is to get out there and do it, whatever your inspiration.  The 1968 Complete Walker was mine and in '76 I raised money for a "hike-a-thon" and did 1,000 miles on the AT. It was a fund raiser for Project Concern International, which is still doing good works, and donors helped fund my trek and got to read about it via letters and newspaper articles.  (Bogs but no blogs.)  My Svea stove was a new thing on the trail then (camp fires were the norm), Camptrails was my backpack, REI was my sleeping bag, and Synergy Works was a parka maker with a new product called Gore Tex.  I didn't turn it into a career, although there were opportunities like that available (a test hiker for Kelty and a newspaper writer doing articles as he hiked).  But as many of you know, as the world gets crazier, spending a week or a month hiking in mountains and woods is zen sanity.  Thank you Andrew Skurka, and Rosie Swale-Pope, and Alicia, and all.  Keep the faith.

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