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.

April 14, 2015 Teton Crest Trail, Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

Ask Me: How Should I Train to Get in Shape For Backpacking?

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Hi Mike,

I came across your blog while I was researching information for a trip I’m planning for this summer, backpacking in Grand Teton National Park from Granite Canyon to Paintbrush Canyon: 53 miles over five days. Have you done this hike? I was looking for some advice on preparatory training and wondered if you had any thoughts. I walk every day and plan to do Old Rag and other hikes in the Shenandoah Mountains carrying some weight in my pack. Do you think this is enough? Continue reading →

April 8, 2015 Near the Frying Pan Trail, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: Where Should We Backpack in Capitol Reef National Park?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

Hi Michael,

I am taking a trip in April to Capitol Reef National Park and I’m looking for a cool, three-day, two-night backpacking trip to explore some of that country. My wife and I are very experienced, accomplished backpackers and expert at navigation. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Ed
Bozeman, MT Continue reading →

April 2, 2015 John Muir Trail view overlooking the Cathedral Range, Yosemite National Park.

Ask Me: Tips On Backpacking Glacier National Park and the John Muir Trail

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[Note: I recently received these similar questions from two different readers]

Michael,

I wrote you last year about the Teton Crest Trail and my buddies and I completed it back in July. It was amazing. We are starting to plan our next backcountry trip and were thinking about Glacier National Park. What do you recommend for a 5- to 6-day, 35- to 50-mile trip in GNP? What about on the John Muir Trail? We are considering both. Thanks for the info, always helpful.

Justin Continue reading →

March 31, 2015 Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park, Washington.

Ask Me: How Do I Stop Getting Battered Toes When Hiking?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , ,   |   6 Comments

Mike,

I know this is a really random question, but when descending mountain trails my big toes suffer immensely. Besides tying the laces up really tight, is there a trick to protecting them without losing a toenail or having them feel beat up?

Geoff
Rexburg, ID Continue reading →

March 26, 2015 Grand Ronde River, Oregon.

Ask Me: Can You Recommend Rafting Outfitters and Trips?

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

Hi Michael,

I just found your blog today after starting my research for a summer guided rafting tour for families. In my next life I’d like to come back as one of your offspring! My husband would like to take our eager son on a guided, overnight rafting trip this summer to celebrate his 10th birthday: father-son trip, but someone else does the heavy lifting so dad and son can focus on enjoyment of the river, campfires and overall one-on-one time. We live in the Bay Area but our son is keen to travel for this trip—Idaho, Utah, Oregon, or Colorado, to name a few suggestions. Can you point us toward some well-regarded guiding companies and provide any insight to consider when we comparison shop?

Kind regards,
Catherine
Lafayette, CA

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