About The Big Outside
Welcome to the number one resource for backpackers and hikers.
Welcome to the best resource for backpacking, hiking, and other outdoors adventures—The Big Outside.
Readers like you return to The Big Outside again and again for…
- Expert reviews of the best backpacking, hiking, and other gear and apparel.
- Compelling stories and images from America’s best backpacking, hiking, and other adventures with tips on planning those trips.
- Expert skills tips to make your adventures more enjoyable and safer.
- Three decades of experience, including 10 years as a field editor and lead gear reviewer for Backpacker magazine.
Here are the many ways you can get full value from The Big Outside:
- Sign up now to my FREE email newsletter for updates about new stories AND receive a free e-guide download.
- Visit my All Trips Page for a menu of stories at The Big Outside.
- Join now for unlimited access to The Big Outside, including many stories about trips that feature expert tips on planning them yourself, and get a free e-guide (with a one-year subscription).
- Download expert e-guides to America’s greatest multi-day treks.
- Get personalized, comprehensive, custom trip planning for your next adventure.
what members are saying
I’m an avid outdoorsman and have read just about every adventure blog on the Internet. The Big Outside is the best blog out there. Michael is an excellent storyteller. He has accomplished many of the world’s greatest routes. Thanks for all you have done with this site, Michael. You and your family are truly inspirational.Slade
Your blog has given me inspiration for so many of my family’s backpacking trips. Thanks for all you do—it certainly makes a difference in our lives, and it’s reassuring knowing that we have such a knowledgeable resource to turn to when we plan our trips into the backcountry with our kids.Nancy
The Big Outside is the BEST place for backpacking and hiking information! Everything from the trip reports, e-guides, and gear reviews are really top notch. I enjoy the site tremendously and am constantly expanding my bucket list after visiting this site.Jason
Hello, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside.
For three decades, I have worked as a professional backpacker and adventurer.
After 10 years as the Northwest Editor and primary gear reviewer at Backpacker magazine, I launched The Big Outside with a simple mission: to offer stories, images, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are ideal for families—and expert reviews of the best gear.
Most importantly, these stories are based on my on-the-ground, first-hand knowledge from having done all the trips myself.
For many years, I’ve made a living identifying, planning, and writing about great trips. I think you’ll find The Big Outside is uniquely authoritative for that reason.
While some stories and all gear reviews are free for anyone to view, a paid subscription gives you access to all stories at The Big Outside, including the many stories about trips I’ve taken. See my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how I can help you plan all the details of a trip and my downloadable e-guides to some of America’s very best backpacking trips.
I was able to create the life I dreamed about. The main reason I created The Big Outside was to help other people—no matter what their experience level, aspirations, or fears—to live their dreams, too.
I hope you enjoy my stories and pictures at The Big Outside and find them inspirational and helpful in planning your own adventures. Write to me at the email address below if I can answer any questions for you.
Thank you for reading my blog. Have fun and be safe out there.