Category Archives: Paddling

Stories, photos, and videos from my kayaking, canoeing, and rafting adventures in the U.S. and around the world.

April 23, 2014 Backpackers on Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Photo Gallery: Celebrating National Parks Week

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

By Michael Lanza

Are you planning to visit a national park this week or this year? National Parks Week reminds me of writer Wallace Stegner’s famous quote: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” Continue reading →

March 6, 2014 Vogelsang Lake, Yosemite National Park.

One Photo, One Story: 10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

In Backpacking, Climbing, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

As we neared Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park, on the middle day of a three-day family backpacking trip, a man and woman in their fifties stopped to talk with us. They sized up our kids and smiled; Nate was nine and Alex was seven. “We’re impressed!” they told us. “We never had any luck trying to get our kids to backpack when they were young.” We chatted a bit and then headed off in opposite directions on the trail.

After they were out of earshot, Alex turned to me, wanting to clarify a point: “You didn’t get us to do this,” she told me. “We wanted to do it.” Her words, of course, warmed my heart. But her comment also spotlighted the biggest lesson for parents hoping to raise their kids to love the outdoors: Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. Continue reading →

February 25, 2014 Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Adventures… Ever

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By Michael Lanza

When I get asked, “What’s your favorite trip?”, 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 five of those trips, then dive into my story listing all 10 (plus a bonus 11th trip), with links to the stories about each one for more photos and tips on planning them yourself. Continue reading →

February 14, 2014 The Green River in Stillwater Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: What Do You Do For Drinking Water When Floating the Green River?

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Michael,

I was reading through your paddling adventure in Stillwater Canyon on the Green River. I first heard of it about a year ago and fell in love with the idea. My family (adult siblings and my mom) is committed to experiencing all of our national parks. In preparation for our trip planned for early July 2014 I’ve read that the fine silt of the desert rivers can be very hard on water filters.

Most of our trips to date have been eastern parks with fresh mountain streams or clear lakes. We’ve used an MSR Hyperflow with great results. However, I’m sure a hollow-fiber filter is awful for the Green River. I’ve had it partially clog once and it requires a lot of work. I’m considering a ceramic filter such as the Katadyn Pocket, but I’m unsure if it is up to the task, either. Can you comment on any experience you’ve had? Have you tried using any flocculants and/or know of a good source for them? Continue reading →

January 8, 2014 Iceland, Blahnukur, Landmannalaugar, Laugavegur Trail

New Year Inspiration: My Top 10 Adventure Trips

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, Hut Treks, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   5 Comments

By Michael Lanza

I often get asked, “What’s your favorite trip?” And I can’t answer that one. To pick just one from all the amazing adventures I’ve had the good fortune to take feels like an impossible task. So instead, I’ve assembled the following list of my 10 all-time favorites (so far).

So as you’re thinking about what great adventures to take this year, consider that these admittedly subjective, personal picks are chosen from scores of backpacking, dayhiking, paddling, trekking, and other trips I’ve taken, domestically and internationally, over more than two decades as a writer for Backpacker magazine and other publications. See also my Top 10 family adventures post from a couple of weeks ago; some of these trips could have made either list.

Make it a very happy new year.

Continue reading →

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