Category Archives: Ask Me

Send me your questions about hiking, backpacking, gear, or any topic or trip I write about at The Big Outside, to mlanza@thebigoutside.com.

August 20, 2017 Campsite on Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

Ask Me: How Do We Make a Big Backpacking Trip (on the Teton Crest Trail) As Enjoyable As Possible?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

Michael,

We are hiking the Teton Crest Trail for the first time this summer. You made mention in your story about the TCT that the first day was a hard one and that the toughest part of the trip was the Paintbrush Divide. What made the first day the hardest and why is Paintbrush the toughest? We are trying to make sure we plan this trip “correctly.” Three years ago, we flew to Colorado and hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park and had a terrible experience. My two sons and I thought we knew what we were doing. Going from hiking in the Great Smokies to hiking in the Rockies is like day and night. We flew in one afternoon and started hiking the very next morning with full, heavy packs. The weather was hot and we had no time to acclimate. Our hike began at about 5,500 feet and was uphill most of the way, and we camped at 10,200 feet. The night was miserable—we could not sleep at all. We learned valuable lessons that trip. I am 60 and my sons are both around 30, and it was the worse trip because of our lack of knowledge and preparation. Continue reading →

August 13, 2017 Blacktail Deer Creek Trail, Yellowstone National Park.

Ask Me: The Best Multi-Day Wilderness Trips in Yellowstone

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hey Michael,

I am planning a grand adventure this summer that will include Yellowstone National Park. My buddy and I are hoping to spend three to four nights backpacking. Yellowstone is massive, however, so we are having a hard time trying to decide which part of the park we should explore. Do you have any suggestions? Do you have any favorite hikes to take in Yellowstone? Continue reading →

August 1, 2017 Hiker on the Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: What Hikes Do You Suggest For Three Days in Glacier National Park?

In Ask Me, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   9 Comments

Michael,

Thank you for providing a wonderful blog filled with amazing photos and inspiring trips. I enjoy your family adventures section, as I love taking my kids with me to enjoy the outdoors. I live in Utah so the options are endless.

I am heading to Glacier National Park with my husband for our 20th anniversary and am wondering what your hike suggestions would be. Continue reading →

July 26, 2017 Backpackers, Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness.

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

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Michael,

I stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading your advice. I am currently deciding between the Gregory Baltoro 75 and 65. I have always had a 65L pack and was looking to upgrade to a new pack this year. When I compared the two packs I found that there was only four ounces difference in weight from the 65L to the 75L. So I am thinking about going to the 75 even though my gear fits in a 65L pack fine. Is there any reason not to go to the larger pack?

Thanks,
Michael
Idaho Falls, ID Continue reading →

July 24, 2017 Hiking to Garnet Canyon, Grand Teton National Park.

Ask Me: 8 Great Big Dayhikes in the Tetons

In Ask Me, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   11 Comments

Hi Michael,

I love your blog, very inspiring. I am taking a family trip out to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks with my family at the end of June/early July (about 10 days in the parks). I understand it is the most crowded time of year, but as a teacher and coach and with a wife in education administration, our time off is around the summer busy times. I have two girls age 8 and 10 and we will not be going as BIG as you normally do. We will be staying in various hotels/cabins in and near the parks, but we do intend on trying to get in many dayhikes and see both the popular spots and some off-the-beaten-path spots.

While in Grand Teton, I am hoping to get one day to do a solo, big dayhike. I am looking for something in the 8-12 hour range. I have done the Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains twice, so something similar or maybe a bit less than that. Any suggestions? While in Grand Teton, we will be staying at Colter Bay. Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker