Michael Lanza of The Big Outside on the Teton Crest Trail, Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

Welcome to The Big Outside

Hello, my name is Michael Lanza. After many years as the Northwest Editor and primary gear reviewer at Backpacker magazine, I created The Big Outside with a simple mission: to offer stories, images, and expert trip-planning and gear advice on America’s and the world’s best hiking, backpacking and other outdoor adventures.

A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park.

Expert Trip Planning

I’ve made a living identifying, planning, and writing about great backpacking and hiking trips. Tap into my expertise and save yourself valuable time, hassle, and worry. 

Join The Big Outside and get exclusive gear discounts!


My downloadable e-Books to America’s best backpacking trips are written from first-hand experience and tell you all you need to know to plan each one yourself.

My Book

Read my award-winning book, Before They’re Gone—A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks.

Join The Big Outside

By joining The Big Outside, you’ll get unlimited access to all stories, including expert tips on how to plan and take these trips.