Ask Me

A backpacker at Sapphire Lake on the John Muir Trail in Evolution Basin, Kings Canyon National Park.

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

High Sierra Trail above Middle Fork Kaweah River, Sequoia National Park.

Ask Me: Backpacking in Sequoia National Park

Hello Michael.

While researching for a summer backpacking trip with my wife, I came across your excellent website for the first time. Thank you for setting such a high bar in quality images and narrative. My daughter is a writer and would appreciate your style. Two questions about your article on the 6-day, 38-mile Sequoia National Park loop: If you were hiking that loop without your children, would you have still been content with the daily mileage, or would you have done something different? (We are physically fit and 60, so we do have limitations.) Secondly, you mention the mosquito population. Our trip would have to be in that mid-to-late July timeframe. Do you know if most hikers experience such a thickness of mosquitos that the experience is negatively affected to a great extent?

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The Osprey Aura AG 65 in Kootenay National Park.

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

Hello Michael,

I saw your gear reviews on your blog and I want to ask which backpack you’d recommend for long trails for a man: Osprey Xenith 75 (or 88) or Gregory Baltoro 75? Normally I take from 15 to 25 kg (30 to 50 lbs.). And I need this backpack for trips up to approximately 12 days—from short weekend trips with tent to 14-day trips. It would be nice if the backpack has a lot of pockets. For speed and technical routes I have a 35-liter Deuter Guide without any extra pockets, but for long treks I need more space for my wallet, phone, headlight, etc.

Best regards,
Emil
Lodz, Poland

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Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho.

Ask Me: Can You Recommend Rafting Outfitters and Trips?

Hi Michael,

I just found your blog today after starting my research for a summer guided rafting tour for families. In my next life I’d like to come back as one of your offspring! My husband would like to take our eager son on a guided, overnight rafting trip this summer to celebrate his 10th birthday: father-son trip, but someone else does the heavy lifting so dad and son can focus on enjoyment of the river, campfires and overall one-on-one time. We live in the Bay Area but our son is keen to travel for this trip—Idaho, Utah, Oregon, or Colorado, to name a few suggestions. Can you point us toward some well-regarded guiding companies and provide any insight to consider when we comparison shop?

Kind regards,
Catherine
Lafayette, CA

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