Category Archives: Skills

My professional tips on hiking, backpacking, gear, and outdoors skills, and taking children on wilderness adventures.

September 29, 2014

Ask Me: How Old Were Your Kids When You Started Taking Big Trips?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Hi Michael,

We have a newly turned six-year old, a three-and-a-half-year-old, and I’m expecting! How old were your kids when you started doing “big” trips with them? By big I mean hiking and camping for multiple nights, etc.

Sara
Huntsville, AL Continue reading →

June 11, 2014 Wanda Lake, John Muir Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.

12 Simple Tips For Taking Better Outdoor Photos

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Do you wonder how some people come back from national parks and other outdoor trips with fantastic photos? Would you like to take the kind of pictures that make people ooh and aah? It may not be as complicated as you think. Continue reading →

June 4, 2014 David's feet

7 Pro Tips for Avoiding Blisters

In Backpacking, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , ,   |   5 Comments

By Michael Lanza

I field test upwards of a dozen models of hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, and trail-running shoes and boots every year. I’m constantly wearing new footwear right out of the box on trips—usually without doing anything more than trying them on. And I very rarely get a blister. Here’s how I avoid them. Continue reading →

June 3, 2014 Backpacking in the rain on the Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park.

5 Tips for Staying Warm and Dry on the Trail

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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 20, 2014 High Divide Trail in fog, Olympic National Park.

How I Decide What Touches My Skin: 5 Features to Look For In a Hiking Base Layer

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By Michael Lanza

What’s your body type when you’re hiking, backpacking, or otherwise active outdoors? Do you run hot or cold—or both? Over many years of dayhiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, cycling, skiing in its various forms, and other activities, I’ve discovered this about myself: I run very warm when I’m moving, but I cool off in a flash when I stop. To some degree, many people are like that. And those that aren’t—who just plain run consistently hot or cold—still have to tackle the same question I do: How do you pick the best base layer top for you? Continue reading →

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