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
Rafting through Echo Park in Whirlpool Canyon, Dinosaur National Monument.
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Why Conservation Matters

Rafting the Green River’s Gates of Lodore section gives a lesson in the value of preserving our best places in nature—one very relevant today.

Why Conservation Matters
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 26, 2017 Nate hiking near the Frying Pan Trail, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

Ask Me: Where Should We Take a Family Hiking Trip in Early Spring?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

Hi Michael,

Just wondering if you had any ideas for where we might take a family hiking trip for spring break in mid-March. Last year we did Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Yosemite. We lucked out with the weather at Yosemite. But weather in most places is very unpredictable at this time of year. Any suggestions?

Rod
Mounds View, MN Continue reading →

February 23, 2017 Bernia Ridge, Spain.

Are You Ready for That New Outdoors Adventure? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   9 Comments

By Michael Lanza

We heard the young girl crying from a distance, even through the howling wind and mid-July snowstorm on Besseggen Ridge, in Norway’s mountainous Jotunheimen National Park. As we caught up with the family of five, I saw that she was maybe eight or nine years old—about the age my daughter was then—crying inconsolably and repeating one word over and over: “Cold! Cold!” Continue reading →

Review: Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket

February 22, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket.

Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket.

Hybrid, Breathable Insulated Jacket
Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket
$199, 10 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XXS-XL
backcountry.com

Throughout four straight days of backcountry skiing in the mountains above Lake Tahoe in early February, winds gusting at 40 to 50 mph buffeted us—the pockets of protected terrain seemed rare—and snow fell for three of those days, heavily at times. A few days later, I was Nordic skate skiing and snowshoeing in Idaho’s Boise Mountains, on days ranging from overcast and windy to breezy with warm sunshine. On all of those days, temperatures were cold enough—from the low 20s to the mid-30s Fahrenheit—to quickly chill me if I either under-dressed for the wind or sweated from overdressing. And for hours at a time on those days of widely ranging conditions and exertion levels, I wore Patagonia’s new Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket. Continue reading →

February 21, 2017 Trekkers en route to the Thorung-La pass on the Annapurna Circuit, Nepal.

Ask Me: How Do We Flatlanders Train For High Altitudes?

In Ask Me, Hiking, International Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   4 Comments

Hi Michael,

I hope this finds you well! At the end of the year I am hoping to join my friends on an adventure to Argentina to climb Aconcagua. We are not taking the technical routes, so no ropes or glacier travel. My question is this: what is the best way to train for high altitude? I live at sea level in Portland, Maine, so access to high peaks is not really an option. Continue reading →

February 20, 2017 Rafting Lodore Canyon, Dinosaur National Monument.

Why Conservation Matters: Rafting the Green River’s Gates of Lodore

In Family Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

The momentarily sedate current of the Green River pulls our flotilla of five rafts and two kayaks toward what looks like a geological impossibility: a gigantic cleft at least a thousand feet deep, where the river appears to have chopped a path right through the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. Sheer, cracked cliffs of burgundy-brown rock frame the gap. Box elder, juniper, and a few cottonwoods grow on broad sand bars backed by tiered walls that seem to reach infinitely upward and backward, eclipsing broad swaths of blue sky. A great blue heron stalks fish by the riverbank. We notice movement on river left and glance over to see two bighorn sheep dash up a rocky canyon wall so steep that none of us can imagine even walking up it.

These are the Gates of Lodore, portal to a canyon as famous today for its scenery and wilderness character as it was infamous for the catastrophes suffered by its first explorers, who set out in wooden boats a century and a half ago to map the West’s greatest river system. Continue reading →

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