Backcountry skiing in Idaho's Boise National Forest.
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Why I Endanger My Kids in the Wilderness

We may discover what happens if we raise a generation of children as if they were indoor cats. Here’s why I get mine out in the wilderness.

Why I Endanger My Kids in the Wilderness
Gnarl Ridge, Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.
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My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips

Here’s a top 10 list to keep you busy… and very happy… for quite a while. Compare it to yours and start planning now.

My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips
Precipice Lake, Sequoia National Park, California.
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20 Big Adventures in Pictures

If a picture tells a thousand words, how about 20 pictures? Click here for inspiration for your next adventure… or next 20.

20 Big Adventures in Pictures

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February 19, 2017 Wanda Lake, John Muir Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.

Photo Gallery: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

By Michael Lanza

The John Muir Trail is frequently referred to as “America’s Most Beautiful Trail,” and there may be no long backpacking trip that’s more spectacular, step for step, than a thru-hike of the JMT through California’s High Sierra. From Yosemite Valley to the summit of 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park, you walk 211 miles past jagged peaks of clean, golden granite, through a constellation of sparkling mountain lakes and more waterfalls than anyone could name, and over numerous passes from 11,000 to over 13,000 feet.
Continue reading →

February 16, 2017 Boise Mountains, Idaho.

Review: The Best Gloves For Winter

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

I love getting outdoors in winter, especially skiing in all of its varieties—climbing up and sliding down mountains in the backcountry, skate skiing, resort skiing with my family, and touring on gentler terrain in the forest. Problem is, I have the worst fingers for being outside in sub-freezing temperatures: My Raynaud’s disease is so bad that my fingers turn white and numb even when I’m chopping vegetables that are still cold from the fridge. That’s made me picky about gloves. I’ve tested many over the years, and I use different models depending on the activity and temperature. Here are the best gloves I’ve found for winter. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon

February 15, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Pieps DSP Sport

Pieps DSP Sport

Avalanche Beacon
Pieps DSP Sport
$320, 8 oz. (with three AAA batteries, included, not including harness weight)
backcountry.com

I have more than a few friends—all of them experienced backcountry skiers, trained in avalanche awareness, and none of them reckless—who’ve been caught in avalanches. In each case, fortunately, it was minor and they emerged uninjured. But each of them realized it could have gone very badly. While an avalanche beacon represents yet another pricey piece of gear in an already expensive pastime, for backcountry riders traveling in mountainous, avalanche-prone terrain in winter and spring, it’s as indispensable as a shovel and climbing skins. So I decided to check out the more-affordable Pieps DSP Sport during several days of backcountry skiing in the mountains around Lake Tahoe and in Idaho’s Boise Mountains. Continue reading →

February 14, 2017 The view from Baldy Knoll, Teton Range.

Photo Gallery: Backcountry Skiing the Tetons

In National Park Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

After upwards of 20 trips in Grand Teton National Park—backpacking, dayhiking, climbing, canoeing, backcountry skiing—I’ve yet to lose the sense of awe I get every time I look at these sharply angled peaks, which resemble the archetypal pictures of mountains shaped like upside-down V’s that we drew as children. But there’s definitely something unique and special about getting out here in winter, when the high country wears a thick mantle of white. And there’s something very special about traveling through these mountains on skis. Continue reading →

February 13, 2017 Liberty Cap, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Gallery: 20 Big Adventures In Pictures

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

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 →

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