Category Archives: Hiking

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

May 27, 2015 Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho.

Photo Gallery: Idaho’s Craters of the Moon

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By Michael Lanza

Few places bear a name as simultaneously hyperbolic and yet as descriptively true as Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in south-central Idaho. Over the past 15,000 years, eight distinct lava flows erupting from fissures in the earth have created the largest lava field of its kind in the continental United States, made up of about 60 flows and 25 cones and sprawling over more than 600 square miles. Explore the place with young kids and they just may believe you’ve transported them to the moon. 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 25, 2015 Above Stillwater Canyon, Canyonlands National Park.

5 Classic (Age-Appropriate) National Park Adventures for Families

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

By Michael Lanza

What national park adventure should we take with our kids? That’s a question I get frequently from parents. It’s a tough one to answer, given all the great choices. But my advice always focuses on the ages of kids, because that’s how I’ve always thought about picking the right trips for my kids. I ask myself: What’s the most fun, safe adventure we can take them on at their ages?

I’ve compiled below my top five recommendations for absolute, must-do national park trips for families (with links to my story about each for more info and photos), arranged in order from the easiest, for younger kids, to the most challenging, for older, more-experienced kids. Continue reading →

May 20, 2015 Backpacking in the rain on the Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park.

5 Tips for Staying Warm and Dry on the Trail

In Backpacking, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

There are only three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and getting rained on when dayhiking or backpacking. As we all know, wet clothing conducts heat away from your body, making you colder. And simply donning rain shells may make you so warm that you sweat a lot, thus getting wet from the inside rather than the outside. Staying as dry as possible while on the trail or in camp is key to staying warm in the backcountry when the weather turns wet—especially in temperatures below around 60° F and in wind, which swiftly chills your body. Follow these tips for a much more comfortable and pleasant backcountry adventure—even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Continue reading →

May 19, 2015 Hiker on "The Visor," Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California.

10 Tricks For Making Hiking and Backpacking Easier

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By Michael Lanza

When I first started hiking, in my early 20s, I was like a young baseball pitcher with an overpowering fastball: I simply hurled myself at every hike with all of my energy and cluelessness, not terribly concerned about whether I hit the metaphorical strike zone. I didn’t think much about how far I was hiking, how rugged the terrain was, how heavy a pack I was carrying—or, to be honest, how much my companions were ready or eager for whatever lunatic plan I was dragging them into. I was young and fit and didn’t really care how much my body ached afterward, so my haphazard strategy worked well enough.

Now, many miles and (too) many years later, I’m more like a veteran hurler who’s learned the benefits of honing a repertoire of off-speed pitches. Continue reading →

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