Backpacking

Off the Beaten Track in New Zealand: Trekking the Rees-Dart in Mount Aspiring National Park

By Michael Lanza

We’ve hiked just thirty minutes from the trailhead when we hit the kind of view that frequently makes you stop and take a deep breath when trekking in New Zealand. The Rees River Valley sprawls out before us, golden grasslands dissected by a braided, meandering, emerald-green river. In the middle distance, a fat and foaming Lennox Falls plunges over a cliff. Farther off and thousands of feet above us, glaciers pour off a row of sharp peaks in the Forbes Range angling into the sky.

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Young kids hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

Jagged Peaks and Wild Goats: Backpacking Glacier’s Gunsight Pass Trail

By Michael Lanza We’re just seconds beyond the sign at the start of the Gunsight Pass Trail that reads “Entering Grizzly Country” when Nate, who’s a month shy of his tenth birthday, begins aggressively making the case for why he should be armed. “Why can’t I carry a pepper spray?” he asks me—again and again. It’s an idyllic, late-summer afternoon …

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A backpacker on the very remote Dientes Circuit at the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia.

Unknown Patagonia: Backpacking The Dientes Circuit

By Michael Lanza As our 20-seat, twin-engine Otter DHC-6 prop plane drops through the ever-present Patagonian cloud cover, the Beagle Channel comes into view. On both sides, green hills rise to craggy, treeless mountains. To the north, the jagged Fuegian Andes of Argentina push into the sky. To the south looms our destination: the sharply pointed spires of the Dientes …

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Video: How to Pitch a Tent Using Stones

On a rocky beach during a five-day sea kayaking trip in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, I demonstrate how to stake out a tent using stones when the ground won’t accept stakes.

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