Hiking the Hermit Trail in the Grand Canyon.
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10 Tips For Getting Outside More

Tip no. 1: Plan weeks or months in advance. See my nine other tricks for satisfying my insatiable appetite for getting outdoors.

10 Tips For Getting Outside More
Backpacking the Narrows, Zion National Park.
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Backpacking Zion’s Narrows

The Southwest harbors many really good canyon hikes. But none compare with the mystery and majesty of backpacking the Narrows of Zion National Park.

Backpacking Zion’s Narrows
Ramona Falls, Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.
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5 Great Adventures You Can Still Pull Off This Year

No permit for Yosemite, Glacier, or the Tetons? Here are five backpacking trips you can still plan for 2017. Click here to make your year complete.

5 Great Adventures You Can Still Pull Off This Year

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May 29, 2017 Hiking over Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

My 25 Most Scenic Days of Hiking Ever

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

By Michael Lanza

You’ve had days like this. Maybe it was a dayhike, or a single, exceptional day on a backpacking trip or hut trek—one so gorgeous and inspirational that it forges a lasting memory as one of the best experiences you’ve ever had in the backcountry. From iconic national parks like Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Glacier to some of the world’s great treks, like the Alta Via 2 in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park, and Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail, here’s a list of the 25 hands-down prettiest days I’ve ever spent walking dirt and rock footpaths. I think many of these places would make your top list, too. Continue reading →

May 27, 2017 Royal Arch Loop, Grand Canyon National Park.

Review: 19 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories

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

By Michael Lanza

Sure, your backpack, boots, tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, and other backpacking gear matter a lot, and you should put serious thought into your choices when buying any of them. But little things matter, too. Various necessary accessories, convenience items, and small comforts accompany me on backcountry trips. Many years of field-testing gear have refined my sense of what I like on certain types of trips and what I will not do without anytime.

Here’s my list of essential backpacking accessories, ranging from basics like my favorite stuff sacks and water filters, to great values in a headlamp and knife, and what I lay my head down on every night I sleep on the ground. You’ll find many of them available at sale prices right now. Continue reading →

May 26, 2017 A hiker at Goat Lake below Thompson Peak, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

A Good Time to Buy Backpacking Gear? Right Now

In Gear Reviews   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

If you’ve been thinking you need (or want) a new backpack, tent, boots, or other piece of hiking or backpacking gear, right now is one of the two or three best times of year to grab good deals. Most brick-and-mortar and online retailers are holding major sales, offering steeply discounted prices on new and recently new gear. Read on for my recommendations for favorite models of packs, tents, rain shells, and other gear, and links to sales taking place right now, and save yourself serious cash. Continue reading →

May 25, 2017

7 Pro Tips For Avoiding Blisters When Hiking

In Backpacking, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   15 Comments

By Michael Lanza

I deserve to be plagued by blisters. I field test upwards of a dozen models of hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, and trail-running shoes and boots every year. I’m constantly wearing new footwear right out of the box, often hiking 15 to 30 miles a day—usually without doing anything more than trying them on, almost never allowing for any break-in time. And I almost never get a blister. Here’s how I avoid them. Continue reading →

Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2 Backpacking Stove

May 24, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
MSR Pocketrocket 2 backpacking stove.

MSR Pocketrocket 2 backpacking stove.

Backpacking Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2 stove
$45, 3 oz. (4 oz. with plastic case, included)
backcountry.com

On three-season backpacking trips of two days to a week, with one or two companions—especially when you’re oriented toward cooking simple, one-pot meals—a single-burner canister stove offers efficiency and versatility in a very lightweight, compact, affordable, and durable package. On various trips, including an 80-mile, five-day backpacking trip with a friend in the North Cascades National Park Complex, and a three-day, 40-mile hike in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness, the MSR Pocketrocket 2 demonstrated to me why it’s a leading choice in this category of ultralight stoves, on top of representing an improvement over its predecessor. Continue reading →

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