Category Archives: Ask Me

I answer reader questions about hiking, backpacking, gear, or any topic or trip I write about at The Big Outside. Send me your questions to mlanza@thebigoutside.com. I receive many; it can take a few weeks to respond.

January 18, 2015 Trekking in Norway's Jotunheimen National Park.

Ask Me: Advice for Four Days Trekking in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park

In Ask Me, Family Adventures, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Michael,

Tremendous trip with your family (in this story)! My wife and I have four days in Jotunheimen National Park. May I request a recommendation for an area to concentrate? We are very experienced, fit hikers who live not too far from Leominster, in Longmeadow. Thank you for your time and insight.

All best,
Bob
Longmeadow, MA Continue reading →

January 11, 2015 Skiing above Bench Lakes, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: Where Should We Go Backcountry Skiing Around Sun Valley and Idaho’s Sawtooths?

In Ask Me, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hey Michael,

Nice Blog! Just spent a bit of time checking it out. So I have a question. My husband and I are heading north (we’re from Colorado) to do some backcountry skiing and mountain biking. Usually we end up in the Tetons. The couple times we have gone to Ketchum/Stanley, Idaho, zone we’ve been shut out though—once with bad weather and also lack of snow. I heard that the Sawtooths got a lot of snow, so once again we want to explore. Continue reading →

January 4, 2015 On the Pacific Crest Trail at Glen Aulin, Yosemite National Park.

Ask Me: What’s the Best Thru-Hiking Backpack?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Hi Michael,

I was just getting ready to get the Osprey Atmos 65 backpack for my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Osprey and REI say a large is 3 lbs. 10 oz. Your review of the 2015 Atmos 65 said a medium would be 4 lbs. 6 oz. Really? Why the significant extra weight?

Thanks.

Bruce Continue reading →

January 2, 2015 Skiing south of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

Ask Me: Advice on a Multi-Day Backcountry Ski Tour in Yellowstone

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

Hi Michael,

I very much enjoy the stories posted on your website. My friend and I are planning a winter ski trip to Yellowstone in early March and your advice would be much appreciated. We’re looking for something in the 4-day, 3-night range that would be self-guided. We’re moderately experienced winter campers and have completed an 8-day backcountry ski trip in Denali together. Having read your post about the Bechler Canyon route, it reminded me of a similar storm experience in Denali and I can’t say I’m looking to repeat the experience of slogging through waste deep snow at less than 1/2 a mile per hour :-). It’s also a longer trip than our time allows.

Do you have any suggestions for a 4-day winter trip in Yellowstone? Continue reading →

December 26, 2014 Campsite, Dome Glacier, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades.

Ask Me: How Can You Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Michael,

With sleeping bags we have temperature ratings. But with down/insulated/puffy jackets, what is best way to determine if a jacket will be warm or warmer or hot? Is it the amount of fill? Some but not all jackets indicate the amount of fill.

Thanks.

Bruce
Virginia

Continue reading →

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