Category Archives: Skiing

Stories and images from my cross-country and backcountry skiing adventures, from family- and beginner-friendly to expert-level trips.

September 23, 2015 Campsite, Dome Glacier, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades.

Ask Me: How Can You Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment


With sleeping bags, we have temperature ratings. But with down/insulated/puffy jackets, what is best way to determine if a jacket will be warm or warmer or hot? Is it the amount of fill? Some but not all jackets indicate the amount of fill.



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September 8, 2015 Michael Lanza on the summit of Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Like The Big Outside? Please Support My Work

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

By Michael Lanza

A little over five years ago, I started this blog and website with a simple goal: to offer stories, photos, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are great for families—based on my on-the-ground, first-hand knowledge from having done all of the trips myself. Since then, it has grown larger than I expected, into a popular online source for gear reviews and my tips on outdoor skills. Perhaps most gratifyingly for me, The Big Outside has inspired families and others to get outdoors.

Now I’m asking you to help support my work on this blog. Continue reading →

August 17, 2015 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

Photo Gallery: 20 Big Adventures In Pictures

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By Michael Lanza

Everyone loves a good picture—it’s worth a thousand words, right? At this blog, I’ve now posted hundreds of stories with photos about outdoor adventures I’ve taken, many of them with my family. What better way to begin exploring ideas for your next trip than by scrolling through 20 inspirational images from stories at this website? Continue reading →

August 12, 2015 Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite National Park.

Photo Gallery: 11 National Parks, One Year

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Backpacking in the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, North Cascades, and Olympic national parks. Hiking to Yosemite’s waterfalls (lead photo, above). Paddling the Everglades and sea kayaking Glacier Bay. Rock climbing in Joshua Tree, and cross-country skiing in Yellowstone. In one magical year, we took 11 national park adventures with our kids, sharing experiences that expanded their understanding of their world, times filled with joy and wonder. Continue reading →

July 15, 2015 Backpackers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Looking for an unforgettable adventure to take your family on? How about hiking a volcano, exploring slot canyons, or paddling mangrove tunnels? How about backpacking a wild coastline or deep into the glaciated mountains of Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness (lead photo, above), or taking a multi-day float trip on one of the West’s most spectacular (and gentle) rivers? How about diving into a place that awes people of any age—the Grand Canyon?

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