Category Archives: Hiking

Stories and pictures from my many dayhiking adventures, from family- and beginner-friendly trails to serious ultra-hiking.

May 4, 2015 Chesler Park Trail, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

10 Tips For Getting Outside More

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

By Michael Lanza

Do you get outside, either locally or on longer trips away from home, as much as you’d like? Who does? I do—almost. Sure, family and other responsibilities (like kids’ soccer games) prevent me from getting out as much as I’d like, but I do pretty well. Exhibit A: Last summer, I did not spend a full weekend at home throughout June, July, and August; in fact, I spent only three weekend days at home during that entire period, and more days away from home than at home. I may be slightly manic. Continue reading →

May 3, 2015 Backpacking The Narrows, Zion National Park.

Buying Gear? Read This First

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Are you in the market for a new pack or boots for hiking or backpacking, or a new tent or sleeping bag? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the myriad choices that are out there. Here’s what I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing gear and helping people find gear they love. Continue reading →

April 29, 2015 Hike it Baby

Hike It Baby Gets Families Hiking, One City at a Time

In Family Adventures, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Shanti and Mark Hodges took their son, Mason, on his first hike when he was nine days old, walking a flat, quarter-mile trail at Oswald State Park on the Oregon coast. That was in July 2013. Then Mark, 35, an avid hiker, started carrying Mason on regular walks in the woods—just the two of them. Shanti worried about that. Continue reading →

April 24, 2015 Scrambling the Catwalk, Bailey Range, Olympic National Park.

Ask Me: What Boots Do You Suggest For Wet, Off-Trail Hiking?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   6 Comments

Hi Michael,

I’ve been reading your site for quite a while and appreciate your perspective. I’ve simultaneously been on an unsuccessful quest for the perfect backcountry shoes and finally thought to ask you for advice. I work as a backcountry botanist in wet, mountainous areas including Hawaii and the National Parks of Washington state (mostly North Cascades). This means that I spend much of my time both on and off-trail in rough and varied terrain. Generally, I don’t actually climb rock faces. While on trail, I usually also carry a heavy (50 lbs.+) backpack. Obviously, these demands seem to suggest a heavy, leather boot, period. But, over the past five years, those heavy-duty shoes just haven’t worked for me. Continue reading →

April 23, 2015 Hannegan Pass Trail, North Cascades National Park.

Photo Gallery: Hiking and Backpacking North Cascades National Park

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

By Michael Lanza

On my first trip to North Cascades National Park, I was sure I’d found heaven. The hard-earned views of a sea of jagged spires and snow- and ice-covered peaks stretching as far as you could see instantly cemented the place as one of my favorite mountain ranges and parks. I’ve returned many times, backpacking, climbing, ski-mountaineering, and with my kids (the photo above shows my daughter, Alex, then seven, hiking to Hannegan Pass). But not many hikers and backpackers have visited or know much about the North Cascades. So to celebrate National Parks Week at The Big Outside, I offer this gallery of photos to persuade you to put this park high on your list. Continue reading →

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