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.

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 →

August 5, 2016 Hiking the South Teton.

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.

I have read your “Ultimate Family Tour of Yellowstone” post and it is excellent. I have a question about Grand Teton National Park. Continue reading →

August 4, 2016 On the John Muir Trail at Sapphire Lake in Evolution Basin, Kings Canyon National Park.

Ask Me: How to Load a Bear Canister Into a Backpack

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Michael,

When carrying a bear canister, where and how would you place it in the pack? Toward the bottom above the sleeping bag? More toward the top of the pack just below the shoulderblades? Would you store it vertically and pack stuff around it, or just store horizontally across the pack? This is my first year going places that require a canister, and I can’t find an answer.

Rickard
[Originally submitted as a comment at my story “Video: How to Load a Backpack.”] Continue reading →

Ask Me: Looking For an All-Purpose Daypack for Hiking and Traveling

July 29, 2016  |  In Ask Me, Gear Reviews, Hiking, International Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Osprey Manta AG 20 daypack on Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park.

The Osprey Manta AG 20 daypack on Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park.

Mr. Lanza,

I have recently stumbled across your blog and become a big fan. Thank you for taking the time to put it together and keep it going. I would like to get your thoughts on what you think is the best waterproof daypack. Long story short, I’m looking for a waterproof daypack because my girlfriend and I are going to be traveling abroad visiting multiple countries. Some will be hot, some will be cool, and some will likely be rainy and others will definitely involve water activities and a lot of hiking or walking around. Continue reading →

July 26, 2016 Ouzel Lake, Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Ask Me: Should I Go Backpacking Solo?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

Hello Michael,

I’ve read through a lot of your blog, and it really has inspired me to get outside more and look for greater adventures than what I’ve already done. I have never been anywhere in the United States and so I have my sights set on Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado. I’m looking to do some backpacking, and with so many trails and options to choose from, I’m at a loss and honestly confused. I’m looking for something that will take me about four days. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find someone to tag along with me, and although I have quite a bit of camping and hiking experience, I haven’t done it by myself. What are your thoughts on backpacking solo? Continue reading →

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