Hiking Blahnukur Peak, above Landmannalaugar, in Iceland.
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My Top 10 Adventure Trips

What were your best adventures? From the Teton Crest Trail, John Muir Trail, Glacier National Park, and the Grand Canyon to Norway, Patagonia, Iceland (shown here), and others, here are my all-time Top 10 Adventures. Start dreaming now.

My Top 10 Adventure Trips
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25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

A great backcountry campsite can often define a trip, forging the most lasting memory. Here’s my top 25 all-time favorite backcountry campsites. Start planning your next adventure.

25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites
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Three Generations on Mount St. Helens

What happens when you try to hike three generations of one family, ranging in age from 10 to 76, all the way up Mount St. Helens? Find out in this story about one of America’s greatest dayhikes.

Three Generations on Mount St. Helens

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April 9, 2014 Death Canyon Shelf, Teton Crest Trail.

Photo Gallery: Backpacking Grand Teton National Park

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

By Michael Lanza

After at least 17 trips into the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park, I still can’t get enough of these sharply serrated peaks and deep, cliff-flanked canyons, the alpine lakes and icy creeks, campsites with jaw-dropping views, or the explosion of wildflowers in summer. I count two camping areas in the Tetons among my list of top 25 favorite backcountry campsites of all time; but really, other spots where I’ve pitched a tent in this park would make almost anyone’s list. I’ve hiked all or parts of the Teton Crest Trail—step for step, one of America’s most fabulous backpacking trips—multiple times, including with my kids. Continue reading →

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Puff-n-Stuff Jacket

April 7, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
L.L. Bean Puff-n-Stuff Jacket

L.L. Bean Puff-n-Stuff Jacket.

Kids Puffy Jacket
L.L. Bean Puff-n-Stuff Jacket
$59, 13.5 oz. (boys large/14-16)
Sizes: boys’ and girls’ S-XL (8-18), little boys’ and girls’ S-L (4-7)
llbean.com

From wearing it as a layering piece under a shell when skiing, to backpacking in late March in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park when the temperature dropped below freezing, to innumerable school days, my son has worn this hooded, insulated jacket so much it has hardly seen a hanger (partly because he doesn’t appear to know how to use a hanger). When buying outdoor apparel for kids, you sometimes have to choose between high quality and affordability. I’m a believer that, like adults, kids enjoy the outdoors more when they’re comfortable—but it’s hard pulling the trigger on an expensive item, given how few seasons a kid wears something before outgrowing it. At 59 bucks, the Puff-n-Stuff Jacket is a steal. Continue reading →

April 3, 2014 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   18 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.

I’ve been 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 25. Continue reading →

April 2, 2014 Above Crack-in-the-Wall, Coyote Gulch

Photo Gallery: Hiking and Backpacking Utah’s Wild Escalante

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Explore slot canyons so narrow you have to take off your daypack and turn sideways to squeeze through. Dayhike to a waterfall that pours 126 feet over a multi-colored cliff into a perfect swimming hole. Backpack one of southern Utah’s most achingly gorgeous and family-friendly canyons. That only encapsulates this weeklong adventure in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the photo gallery below offers a peek behind the curtain of this less-busy corner of the Southwest’s canyonlands. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Flash 3 Tent

April 1, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Sierra Designs Flash 3

Sierra Designs Flash 3

Three-Season Tent
Sierra Designs Flash 3
$400, 4 lbs. 15 oz. (tent and poles only)
sierradesigns.com

Backpacking with my kids amplifies a challenge any backpacker faces: finding a tent that provides good living space and stability without being a burdensome weight or filling your backpack. My kids are young enough that they carry just personal gear (bag, pad, clothes, snacks, water). So on a recent overnight trip with my kids in the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, without my wife or another adult to share the family food and gear load, I took the Flash 3 for a test drive and was blown away by the amount of space it has for a sub-five-pound, freestanding shelter. Continue reading →

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