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.

May 28, 2015 John Muir Trail, Ansel Adams Wilderness, California.

Ask Me: How Early in the Season Can I Hike the John Muir Trail?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

Hi Michael,

I hope you’re doing great. I had a quick question for you regarding the JMT. I’ve read in Backpacker Magazine that you recommend late August/early September as the best time of the year to hike the trail. What’s the earliest in the season one could do the trail? Continue reading →

May 26, 2015 Trekkers outside a teahouse on Nepal's Annapurna Circuit.

Ask Me: What Pack Do You Recommend for Hut Treks?

In Ask Me, Gear Reviews, Hiking, International Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi Michael,

Hope all is well. I’m looking for your opinion on a 30-liter pack. I am going to Nepal in October on a 15-day trek. I think this would be the perfect size for me, because also I like a little bigger daypack for my hikes in the White Mountains. I have an older Gregory Z30, and I just tried on the new one and like the new details, plus I sweat really badly on hikes. As always thank you in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Mike
Everett, MA Continue reading →

May 14, 2015 Grand Prismatic Geyser, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park.

New at The Big Outside: Ask Me Menu Page

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Gear Reviews, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Ever since I launched this blog almost five years ago, readers have emailed me with their questions about trips they’re planning, gear, taking kids on outdoor adventures, or some kind of outdoor skill. I always respond, and because my readers ask good questions, I share most of them, and my responses, in the feature I call Ask Me. I’ve now amassed enough Ask Me blog posts that it seemed to make sense to organize them onto a page, listed in several categories. Now, if you have a question for me, or are researching gear or a national park or any topic I write about at The Big Outside, go to my Ask Me page for a complete menu of all existing blog posts in which I’ve answered questions from other readers. Continue reading →

May 12, 2015 Wildcat Mountain, White Mountains, N.H.

Ask Me: How Do You Protect Your Kids and Yourself Against Tick-Borne Diseases?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hello Michael,

I just stumbled on your amazing blog and ordered your book—I can’t wait to read it! I am completely inspired by your blog. I have one question: I am from the Northeast originally and a cousin of mine had very serious, chronic Lyme disease, which has instilled a huge fear in me of that and other tick-borne diseases. How do you protect your children from these things? Do you spray them down with insect repellent?  (I try to avoid chemicals as much as possible.) Thank you so much for your help and your wonderful blog!

Sincerely,
Sarah
Encinitas, CA Continue reading →

May 7, 2015 Above the Great Gulf Wilderness, Presidential Range, N.H.

Ask Me: Tips On Gear For an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

Hi Mike,

I am 63 and retired. I have done multiple bicycle tours up to 600 miles around Lake Ontario. Now this boy in and old man’s body wants to hike the Appalachian Trail in the spring of 2016, at 64. Your articles on light backpacking have been valuable in making smart equipment choices. I can use some of my bike gear but the MSR Hubba Hubba tent and MSR WhisperLite stove have to go. I have some questions for you about gear. Continue reading →

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