Downloadable, Expert E-Guides to America’s Best Backpacking Trips

Downloadable E-Guides That Tell You All You Need to Know to Prepare for a Trip


Michael Lanza on the summit of Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Me on the summit of Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Dear Fellow Backpacker,

Does it seem like most hiking and backpacking guidebooks tell you all the basic information about a hike—how long it is, where to start and finish, when to turn left or right, and the names of flowers and trees along the way—but still leave you with many questions about how to plan and pull off that trip? Are you left wondering where to begin and what to expect?

I know. My bookshelves are full of those guidebooks. (I’ve written some.)


Ready to plan your next adventure? Click here to see all of my downloadable e-guides!


A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail, Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park.

A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park.

Three decades of countless hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures—working as an outdoor writer and photographer, previously as Backpacker magazine’s Northwest Editor, and now running this blog—have taught me a lot, including this truth:

Most of what I know about these trips I learned only through doing them, from planning to executing them—not from any resource I found before the trip.

In other words, traditional guidebooks didn’t really tell me everything I needed to know beforehand—from real insider tips on how to navigate the permit process and the how and why of planning a daily hiking itinerary, to which sections are harder and which easier and what specific challenges I could expect to encounter (which is critical to assessing a trip’s difficulty for your party).


Download this free, sample, partial e-guide to the Teton Crest Trail now!


Backpackers on Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park.

Backpackers on Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park.

The questions I get from many readers of my blog who are planning a trip have only reinforced my belief that there’s a better way to help people like you understand what a trip is like and how to pull it off enjoyably and safely, without hassles, missteps, or confusion.


Experience has made me a big believer that much of the success of any outdoor adventure is determined before you leave home.


Ready to see for yourself? Click here now for a menu of my downloadable e-guides!


I like to plan thoroughly and know in advance what to expect in terms of hazards and challenges (and being a parent has only made me more meticulous about that).

I scrutinize how a particular park or public land manages its permit process in order to maximize my chances of getting a popular permit.

A backpacker above the Belly River Valley in Glacier National Park.

A backpacker above the Belly River Valley in Glacier National Park.

I focus on details like the best time of year to do a hike, the smartest time of day for certain sections, the best strategy for avoiding crowds on popular hikes, and planning an itinerary that hits the highlights, lands the best campsites, and is appropriate for everyone involved. Those details make a hike more enjoyable.

My affordable, downloadable, single-trip e-guides do all of that for you.

Other guides tell you the basic “what” about a hike. Mine go a step further to tell you the “how.”

My unique and very thorough trip-planning advice is what most distinguishes my e-guides from other guides.


Get a free e-guide by subscribing to The Big Outside now!


What you get in my downloadable e-guides:

• The basic details on a trip’s total distance, elevation gain and loss, and difficulty.
• A concise description of each trip’s character, highlights (no purple prose), and challenges, and the degree of solitude you can expect to find along it during the peak season—and when possible, how to avoid any crowds.
• Numerous, professional-quality photos illustrating the trip’s scenic qualities and showing you what many sections look like.
• Abundant information on how to plan the trip, including tips about seasons, getting a permit, travel logistics, local services, gear, links to necessary resources, my expert insider insights on specific planning or route details, and what you need to know regarding safety and other issues specific to that trip.
• My expert guidance on how to execute that trip, including primary and alternative hiking itineraries, and any suggested side hikes.
• A link to the full feature story I’ve written about that trip at The Big Outside, which includes many photos and usually video.
• Links to other stories and gear reviews at The Big Outside that can help you make your adventure a success.

A hiker standing on The Visor on the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite.

The summit of Half Dome is reached on “The Best First Backpacking Trip in Yosemite.” Click photo to see it.

The menu and purchasing page describes all of my e-guides, featuring five-star hikes in Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Zion national parks. It also has this free, sample, partial e-guide to the Teton Crest Trail, to give you an idea of what’s inside my e-guides.


As I create more e-guides, you will see the menu of offerings here expand to include other trips and instructional e-guides.

Have you read about a trip at The Big Outside that you’d like to see an e-guide to? Any other suggestions for me? Write to me at michael@thebigoutside.com.


Click here now to see all of my downloadable digital e-guides!


Make sure you don’t miss out on any of my new stories and announcements about new e-guides at The Big Outside: Sign up for my FREE email newsletter.

CLICK HERE NOW to learn how to get full access to ALL of my blog’s stories and a FREE E-GUIDE.

CLICK HERE to find out how you can get my expert help planning your next trip.

And definitely follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

Thanks for following The Big Outside.

Michael LanzaHave fun and be safe out there,
Michael Lanza



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