Upper Yosemite Falls plunges a sheer 1,430 feet, ripping through air with a sound like fighter jets. Dayhike to it and other world-famous Yosemite Valley waterfalls, getting showered by their mist, on a classic adventure.Dayhiking Yosemite Valley Waterfalls
The parks between Zion and Moab—the Escalante area, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef—harbor some of southern Utah’s best dayhikes, backpacking trips, and slot canyons. Read about a family trip exploring this magical area.Southern Utah’s Escalante, Bryce, and Capitol Reef
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Granite Gear Leopard A.C. 58
$250, 3 lbs. 12 oz. (men’s regular)
Sizes: men’s and women’s short (fits torsos 14-18 inches) and regular (fits torsos 18-22 inches). Unisex shoulder straps S-L, men’s and women’s hipbelts S-XL.
Granite Gear Leopard V.C. 46 with Klymit AirBeam Frame
$230, 2 lbs. 6 oz. (men’s regular with AirBeam pack frame)
Sizes: men’s regular (fits torsos 18-21 inches) and long (fits torsos 21-24 inches), four sizes of hipbelts for both men and women.
How light do you want to go? With the Leopard A.C. 58 and the Leopard V.C. 46, Granite Gear offers nearly identical backpacks that both deliver a lot of performance for their weight and price. The main difference, besides capacity? One is a lightweight load-hauler with a traditional internal frame, the other a pack designed for ounce-counting ultralighters, with an optional upgrade to an inflatable frame. I wanted to compare the conventional plastic framesheet in the A.C. 58 against the air frame in the V.C. 46 with the AirBeam upgrade, which is one-third lighter. Continue reading →
An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spent 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 enough to have enjoyed many, many great backcountry campsites over the past couple 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 →
Want to score one of the best lightweight rain jackets on the market? I’m giving away a new, 10-oz. Arc’teryx Tecto FL Jacket, a $369 value. It’s easy to enter below: post a comment at this blog, like The Big Outside on Facebook, follow me @MichaelALanza on Twitter, and/or tweet about this giveaway or my blog. If you already like The Big Outside on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, be sure to check the boxes for those below. Read my review of the Tecto FL Jacket.
My husband and I live in Missoula with our two boys, ages three and five. We are spending three nights in Yellowstone over Mother’s Day weekend, and it will be our kids’ first visit. Two questions: Any particular Y’stone books you recommend for kids? Also, this is a bit of a silly question, but are there any sites or activities that were unexpectedly or just especially fun? Continue reading →
Easton Carbon 5 Trekking Pole
$149, 1 lb. (pair)
One size adjustable 100 to 120 cm
On a three-day, mostly off-trail traverse of the canyons of Capitol Reef National Park’s Waterpocket Fold formation, frequently scrambling up and down very steep talus or slickrock, I needed poles that assemble and collapse easily while remaining flawlessly secure when assembled; and are widely adjustable, to help me ascending and descending in such vertiginous terrain with consistently poor footing. These poles delivered on all counts, as well as collapsing to less than 16 inches in length, short enough to easily stow even on a small daypack or hydration pack. Continue reading →