Upper Yosemite Falls plunges a sheer 1,430 feet, ripping through air with a sound like fighter jets. Dayhike to it and other world-famous Yosemite Valley waterfalls, getting showered by their mist, on a classic adventure.Dayhiking Yosemite Valley Waterfalls
The parks between Zion and Moab—the Escalante area, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef—harbor some of southern Utah’s best dayhikes, backpacking trips, and slot canyons. Read about a family trip exploring this magical area.Southern Utah’s Escalante, Bryce, and Capitol Reef
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$7, 8-oz. plastic jar; $5 4.5-oz. resealable tube
Flavors: Ozark Original, Expedition Espresso, Mountain Maple
Given the inherent limitations on what you can eat in the backcountry, finding foods that are portable, non-perishable, don’t crumble or get crushed after a couple days in a backpack, and that everyone loves—adults and kids—is challenging, to say the least. Backpacking for three days in Utah’s Coyote Gulch with my family and another family—including four kids age nine to 12 with very different tastes—the tube of Trail Butter I brought became an instant hit with everyone and it disappeared quickly. Continue reading →
Is it time you replaced that old backpack with something lighter and more comfortable? Do you need a rain jacket that weighs less than one of your low-cut hiking shoes, a wind shell that’s impressively breathable for trail runs or rides, or a sweet down jacket for yourself or your kid? How about putting your feet in some new hiking shoes or backpacking boots? Would you like to stop throwing away used batteries with a rechargeable headlamp that’s both ultralight and powerful?
Save yourself a lot of time researching the myriad options out there. Check out my reviews of the best new outdoor gear and apparel I’ve found and field-tested this year—so far. Continue reading →
Need a new backpack? I’m giving away one of the best mid-size packs I’ve tested, a Deuter ACT Zero 50+15, a $185 value. It’s easy to enter below: subscribe to this blog, like The Big Outside and/or DeuterUSA on Facebook, follow me @MichaelALanza and/or @DeuterUSA on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway or my blog. If you already like The Big Outside or DeuterUSA on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, be sure to check the boxes for those below.
Read my review of the Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 backpack.
The Owyhee River carves narrow canyons of sheer rhyolite and basalt walls hundreds of feet deep into the sagebrush and grassland high desert sprawling over southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon. An area four times the size of Yellowstone, it’s the loneliest corner of the Lower 48. It’s hard just to get there because of the few, bad roads. Check out the canyons of the Owyhee in this slideshow. Then read my story about our eight-day, 82-mile kayaking descent of the upper Owyhee River, where we saw just one other kayaker, on our last night, a couple miles before the takeout.
Ultralight Wind Shell
Westcomb Crest Hoody
$140, 5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-L
With the plethora of very similar, five-ounce-or-lighter, nylon wind shells out there to wear on a trail run, ride, or dayhike, it’s hard to choose. But the Crest Hoody stands out in this pack for one reason: the wicking ability of its Pertex Equilibrium fabric. On spring trail and street runs and mountain bike rides, from the Boise Foothills to New England, I was surprised at how well the jacket wicked moisture off my sweaty base layer, even when I had this hoody zipped up to my neck. Continue reading →