In my Ask Me feature at The Big Outside, I share my response to a reader question. This page has links to all of my Ask Me posts about Gear. See my main Ask Me page for links to the pages for all the categories covered under Ask Me, including Family Adventures, National Parks, Backpacking, Hiking, Skills, Paddling, International, and Skiing/Snow. My main Ask Me page also explains how you can send me a question.

—Michael Lanza


Hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.


How Do We Begin Lightening Up Our Backpacking Gear?

An Essentials-Only Backpacking Gear Checklist

Tips on Gear For an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

Planning a 96-mile Appalachian Trail Hike in New Hampshire

What Gear Do You Suggest For Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail?

Tips For Backpacking the Teton Crest Trail

Should I Buy a Larger Backpack If It’s Not Much Heavier?

What “Luxury” Backpacking Gear Do You Carry?

What Do You Recommend For a Versatile, All-Purpose Backpack?

Which Big Backpack Do You Recommend?


Jeff Wilhelm backpacking the trail to Spider Gap, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Jeff Wilhelm backpacking the trail to Spider Gap, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

How Can a Small Woman Find a Backpack That Fits?

What’s the Best Thru-Hiking Backpack?

Can You Recommend a Good Winter Pack?

Advice on Buying a Lightweight Backpack

What Pack Do You Recommend For Hut Treks?

Looking For an All-Purpose Daypack For Hiking and Traveling

What Camera Equipment Do You Carry in the Backcountry?

What Boots Do You Recommend For Ankle Support and Breathability?

What Boots Do You Recommend For Treks in the Alps and Scottish Highlands?

My son, Nate, backpacking Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border.

My son, Nate, in Paria Canyon, Utah-Arizona.

Which Boots Cross Over Well From Dayhiking to Backpacking?

Seeking Breathable Boots For Carrying a Heavy Backpack

What Boots Do You Suggest For Wet, Off-Trail Hiking?

Time to Ditch the Old, Heavy Boots For Lighter Footwear?

How Do I Find Waterproof Boots That Won’t Leak on Rugged, Wet Hikes?

Advice on Low-Cut Trail Shoes

Which Boots Do You Recommend For Backpacking—Heavier or Lighter?

What Do You Suggest For Heavy-Duty Backpacking Boots?

Advice on Buying Lightweight Boots

What Are the Best Tents For Backpacking With Kids?

Got a Family Backpacking Tent Recommendation?

What’s a Good Tent For Cold, Wet Weather?

Can We Use a Non-Freestanding Tent in the Grand Canyon?

Which Tent is Better, Sierra Designs Flash 2 or Exped Mira II?

Tips For Hiking or Trail Running the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

What’s the Most Breathable, Three-Season Rain Jacket?

Expensive Waterproof-Breathable Jacket Vs. Inexpensive, Which Do You Recommend?

How Waterproof Are Waterproof-Breathable Apparel and Boots?


Tent Flap WIth a View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites.

Tent Flap WIth a View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites.

What Clothing Do You Recommend For August in the High Sierra?

How Can You Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is?

Can You Recommend a Jacket and Pants For Winter in the Mountains?

What Lightweight Sleeping Bag Do You Recommend For Desert Trips?


Buying Gear? Before you do, read my tips on how to find the right outdoor gear and apparel. (Click on this photo)

Buying Gear? Before you do, read my tips on how to find what you need. (Click on this photo)

How Do I Outfit a Growing Kid Affordably?

Tips on Sleeping Bags For Backpacking With a 4-Year-Old… and For Her Parents

Advice on Floating the Green River in Canyonlands National Park

Can You Suggest a Versatile Baby Carrier For Hiking?

What Gear Do We Need For Backpacking in New Zealand?

Advice on Avalanche Beacons and Safety


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today and others. I invite you to get email updates about new stories and gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box in the left sidebar, at the bottom of this post, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar. Thank you for your support.