Horseshoe Mesa, Grand Canyon.
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Backpacking the Grand Canyon

How does the Grand Canyon look through the eyes of a 10-year-old? A rugged and gorgeous, father-daughter backpacking trip from the New Hance Trail to the South Kaibab offers perspective.

Backpacking the Grand Canyon
Ouzel Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.
Featured

Backpacking Rocky Mountain National Park

Sometimes a backpacking trip with kids starts all wrong—and ends all right. The 5 rules about getting kids outdoors that I broke in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Backpacking Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder Chain Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.
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A Long Walk Through Idaho’s White Clouds

What’s the meaning of wilderness today? Finding the answer to that question on a one-day, 28-mile hike through Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains.

A Long Walk Through Idaho’s White Clouds

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November 20, 2014 Wanda Lake, John Muir Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.

Photo Gallery: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

Are you planning to hike the John Muir Trail, aka “America’s Most Beautiful Trail?” There may be no more gorgeous long backpacking trip, step for step, than a thru-hike of the JMT through California’s High Sierra, from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. See why in this photo gallery, then read my story about it and see a video. Then start planning your hike. Continue reading →

November 19, 2014 Trekking in the Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

Gift Guide: My Top 25 Picks In New Outdoor Gear and Apparel

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

It’s that time of year again, when you’re shopping for the right something for a special someone… or you want to give a special someone the right suggestions for a gift for you. Either way, check out my annual list of top 25 favorite new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel, with links to my original reviews of these jackets, packs, boots, tents, and other gear. Continue reading →

Gear Giveaway: Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 Sleeping Bag

November 18, 2014  |  In Uncategorized   |   Tagged   |   Leave a comment
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 sleeping bag

Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 sleeping bag

On a chilly morning in the backcountry, what’s the last thing you want to do? Get out of your warm sleeping bag to step outside. With the Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800, you don’t have to—this sleeping bag converts to a long down jacket you can walk around in, as I did while camping at Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve, when temperatures dipped into the 30s Fahrenheit.

And now you can win this sleeping bag in my giveaway at The Big Outside. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Five Ten Camp Four Hiking Shoes

November 13, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Five Ten Camp Four

Five Ten Camp Four

Hiking/Scrambling Shoes
Five Ten Camp Four
$150, 1 lb. 13 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 4-13, women’s 5-11

Five Ten Camp Four Mid
$170, 2 lbs. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 4-13
fiveten.com

Whether on rugged, rocky trails or off-trail, some hikes demand more from footwear. On a 13.5-hour, roughly 18-mile, mostly off-trail dayhike with about 7,000 feet of vertical gain and loss in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains in July, I needed shoes with sticky soles for scrambling steep rock, but also good traction on every possible mountain surface from sand and scree to snow. Plus, I wanted solid protection for my feet and comfort for walking many hours. The Camp Four Mid delivered on all counts that day, as did the low-cut version on similar terrain when hiking to climbing routes in Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park. Continue reading →

November 12, 2014 South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Ask Me: How’s November For Hiking the Grand Canyon?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi Michael:

During the second week of November, a buddy and I are considering a rim or river to rim hike in the Grand Canyon. We are planning to descend South Kaibab Trail, walk along River Trail, and ascend via Bright Angel Trail. Plan would be to start early and complete the hike in the same day. We will carry survival gear. Neither of us has been to the GC. One of us is very experienced (and in excellent physical condition), and one of us has moderate experience (in very good physical condition).

We would appreciate your comments on hiking in November—weather, trail conditions, and anything else that may assist us. We both prefer not to hike in the wet, and neither of us wants anything to do with snow! Also, if November is the wrong month to do this, we would delay until next year. Continue reading →

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