Category Archives: International Adventures

Stories and photos from classic international adventure trips, from Patagonia to New Zealand, Iceland to Norway, and more.

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 →

April 27, 2015 Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   20 Comments

By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you—it does for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than two decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled the list of my favorite spots down to these 25. Continue reading →

April 9, 2015 Summit of Mount Luxmore on the Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

One Photo, One Story: Trekking New Zealand’s Kepler Track

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By Michael Lanza

After my friend Jeff Wilhelm and I reached the Luxmore Hut, where we planned to spend the first night of our three-day trek on the Kepler Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, we quickly decided there was no way we were just hanging out there for the rest of the afternoon. The sun was shining—which, in Fiordland, is rare enough that a smart trekker takes advantage of it: This corner of the world receives a mind-boggling volume of rain, up to about 400 inches a year, about 10 times as much rainfall as Seattle gets annually. So instead of resting, Jeff and I went for a hike. Continue reading →

March 23, 2015 Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Adventures… Ever

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By Michael Lanza

I often get asked, “What’s your favorite trip?” And I can never come up with an answer. I’ve had the good fortune to have taken many amazing adventures over the years. But I have assembled a list of my 10 all-time favorites (so far). Check out this photo gallery of selected images from several of those trips, then dive into my story listing all 10 (plus a bonus list of trips that nearly made that top 10), with links to the stories about each one for more photos and tips on planning them yourself. Continue reading →

March 17, 2015 Dusky Track, Pleasant Range, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

One Photo, One Story: Trekking New Zealand’s Dusky Track

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By Michael Lanza

An hour after my friend Jeff Wilhelm and I were dropped off by helicopter at the Lake Roe hut on the Dusky Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, I captured this image of him hiking across a gorgeous lakes basin in the park’s aptly named Pleasant Range. Just last week, we started that four-day, hut-to-hut trek on a morning of misty clouds and rain showers, but good views nonetheless of deep valleys carved eons ago by glaciers and kept vibrantly green by several meters of rain annually. Notoriously rugged, wet, and insanely muddy (even, we can attest, at the tail end of a relatively “dry” summer in Fiordland), the Dusky was one of the hardest multi-day hikes I have ever taken—and I loved it. Continue reading →

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