Category Archives: Ask Me

I answer reader questions about hiking, backpacking, gear, or any topic or trip I write about at The Big Outside. Send me your questions to mlanza@thebigoutside.com. I receive many; it can take a few weeks to respond.

September 25, 2016 Atop Zeacliff, overlooking the Pemigewasset Wilderness, White Mountains, N.H.

Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite New England Hikes?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

Hello Michael,

I am a college student at Franklin Pierce University, and I have a couple questions I’d like to ask you. I have been enjoying your articles and website and your latest book, Before They’re Gone, and really appreciate the work and writing that you create! I am also an enthusiastic adventurer and love doing much smaller excursions, but I am looking to tackle longer, more rigorous hikes. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for backpacking trips and dayhikes in New England. Continue reading →

September 6, 2016 West Rim Trail, Zion National Park.

Ask Me: What’s Your Favorite Backpacking Trip in Zion National Park?

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

Michael,

Say you have one last trip to Zion: a 3- to 4-night backpacking trip with a group of men in average condition anywhere in the park.

What trails do you have to see one more time? (Insert any insider details here.)

What month do you go?

You’ve sparked something in myself and a friend to see that place. I know permits are crucial, we’re already planning. I’ve read your articles that mostly include all members of the family (which I respect). Does the itinerary change when it’s just guys?

Thanks so much,

Steven
Longview, Texas Continue reading →

August 30, 2016 Skyline Trail, Paradise, at Mount Rainier N.P.

Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Hikes at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks?

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Michael,

I just discovered your site, really enjoying it. Great book, I bought it from a small bookshop in Lincoln, N.H., called the Mountain Wanderer. We are on are way out to the Pacific NW for a week. We are looking for some ideas on dayhikes and one-night backpacks in the North Cascades and some dayhikes in Mount Rainier National Park.

Look forward to your stories in Backpacker. Thanks in advance for your help.

Fred and Linda
Tewksbury, MA Continue reading →

August 28, 2016 Jason Kauffman at Lamarck Col, John Muir Wilderness, High Sierra, CA.

Ask Me: 7 Great, Uncrowded Places to Hike

In Ask Me, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

Hi Michael,

I enjoy your photos and stories tremendously. My wife and I travel the last two weeks of August every summer, and, unfortunately, so do a lot of other people. We like long dayhikes, viewing wildlife and, most of all, quietly enjoying amazing natural surroundings. We often find the national parks way too crowded. It’s pretty easy to lose most of the crowds by hitting the trail, but as soon as you’re done hiking you are often faced with crowds, lines, and traffic.

Last year we spent our summer vacation in the Sawtooth Mountains and loved it. So many great hikes in a ridiculously beautiful, but not crowded area (by the way, Goat Lake was our favorite hike of the trip). Can you recommend any areas similar to Stanley, Idaho, and the Sawtooth Mountains—a quiet area with all the natural beauty of a national park? I know you speak fondly of the Wind River Range. Is there a centrally located small town that would make a good base for a vacation in the area? Anywhere else you can recommend?

Thanks, man.

Miles
Brooklyn, NY Continue reading →

August 9, 2016 Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

Ask Me: What Backpacking Trip Do You Suggest in the Wind River Range?

In Ask Me, Backpacking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

Hello Michael!

I read your dayhike story on the Wind River Range, and wow! Thank you for sharing it. I’ve been doing research on the range for several months now for a trip a few friends and I are taking there this summer. We will have 6 to 7 days of backpacking available on our trip. But I am having the hardest time trying to decide where in the Winds to hike. None of us have ever been to the Winds before and I want to hit as many beautiful and peaceful areas as I can, but still get some highlights from the Winds we see in many photos.

In your story, you hinted about climbing in the Winds in the past, so I’m assuming you have some familiarity with them. Could you please recommend one or two weeklong routes that will not have as many people but also give us a great view of the Winds that we will never forget and can tell our friends and family about? Continue reading →

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