By Michael Lanza

Do you have a backpacking trip or other outdoor adventure on your calendar and questions about how to pull it off? Or do you want to take a big trip but have no plans yet? Whether it’s Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Teton (the photo above shows me above the South Fork Cascade Canyon while backpacking the Teton Crest Trail in August), or another park, or someplace like Idaho’s Sawtooths, the Wind River Range, the Southwest, or many other destinations, I can show you exactly how to make your dream trip happen—saving you a lot of time and ensuring it goes well.

And for many big trips, the time to start is now.

There are basically three ways to tap into my expertise at The Big Outside. (Spoiler alert: Scroll down to number three to learn how I can give you a personal, customized trip-planning consult—or just click here for that.)

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Michael Lanza of The Big Outside on the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon.
Me backpacking the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon in May.

No. 1: Join The Big Outside

At The Big Outside, you’ll find hundreds of feature stories about the best hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures in America and around the world. In them, you can read about my trips and view dozens of photos and (usually) a video, and use my expert advice on how to pull off these trips yourself. Most feature stories require a paid subscription to read, and that lets you read any story at my blog.

That advice saves you many hours of research and hundreds or thousands of dollars in guide or outfitter fees, and gives you the benefit of my decades of experience backpacking, hiking, and taking other adventures.

“The Big Outside is the BEST place for backpacking and hiking information! Everything from the trip reports, e-guides, and gear reviews are really top notch. I am constantly expanding my bucket list after visiting.”

—Jason (comment posted at The Big Outside’s About page)

A subscription costs as little as $5 for one month or just a few pennies over $4 per month for a year; plus, you get a free or deeply discounted e-guide with a one-year subscription.

Click here now to learn about joining The Big Outside.

You live for the outdoors. The Big Outside helps you get out there. Join now and a get free e-guide!


No. 2: Buy an E-Guide

See my menu of downloadable, digital e-guides to numerous backpacking and hiking trips in flagship national parks and hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc.

For $8.95 to $14.95 per e-guide, you get much more detailed advice and expert guidance on planning each trip than is found in my feature stories, from step-by-step advance-planning direction on matters like acquiring a backcountry permit, to often several options for daily hiking itineraries and campsites.

Michael Lanza of The Big Outside backpacking the Redgap Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.
Me backpacking the Redgap Pass Trail in Glacier National Park last September.

I currently offer e-guides to trips in Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Zion national parks, as well as hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc in the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland, and some of my expert hiking and backpacking tips.

Click here to see them all.

Watch for more e-guides to be published in coming weeks.

While you can purchase an e-guide without having a paid subscription, by buying a one-year subscription, you get one free or deeply discounted e-guide.

Click here now to learn more about joining The Big Outside with a paid subscription.


Plan your next great backpacking trip in Yosemite, Grand Teton, or other parks using my expert e-guides.


No. 3: Get My Customized Trip Planning

When you feel you want more than the information offered in my feature stories and e-guides—or you simply don’t have the time or expertise to plan a trip yourself—get my personal help planning your trip.

My Custom Trip Planning page explains how I will give you an in-depth, fully customized and complete trip-planning consult, covering all necessary pre-trip planning, from any required permit to questions about season and weather, logistics, itinerary, campsites, difficulty, and basic gear questions.

Plus, I will tell you how to execute your trip on the ground in the safest and most enjoyable way, answering all of your questions—and probably many questions you didn’t think to ask.

“To anyone considering a backpacking trip, we’d highly recommend consulting with Michael. You will not regret it.”

—Tim (comment posted at The Big Outside’s Custom Trip Planning page)

Note: Please try to contact me some time in advance of your trip. I get numerous requests, and I’m sometimes out in the backcountry myself (I hope!).

The Best Deal: A Premium Subscription

How would you like a customized trip-planning consult, a one-year subscription, and a free e-guide? That’s exactly what you get with a premium subscription: a one-year subscription to The Big Outside, your choice of any e-guide for free, PLUS one customized trip-planning consult—a $215 value for $184.95, saving you 30% off a one-year subscription (which is the biggest subscription discount that I offer).

By the way, if you purchase an e-guide and subsequently decide you want to buy a one-year subscription and/or get a trip-planning consult from me, write to me at and I will refund you the value of one standard e-guide from the cost of the one-year subscription, or deduct the full cost of your e-guide from my fee for the trip-planning consult (if the consult and e-guide are for the same trip).

Michael Lanza of The Big Outside trekking Besseggen Ridge, above Lake Gjende, in Norways Jotunheimen National Park.
Me trekking Besseggen Ridge, above Lake Gjende, in Norways Jotunheimen National Park.

Wondering where to begin? See my All Trips By State, All National Park Trips, Family Adventures, and International Trips pages at The Big Outside, which feature menus of all the adventures you can find stories about at my blog.

Looking for an international adventure of a lifetime? I recommend you read my stories about three personal favorites: trekking the Alta Via 2 through Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, the Tour du Mont Blanc, and hut-to-hut through Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park.

Among many other popular blog posts of mine that you definitely should peruse—and which I update regularly—are my “10 Tips for Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit,” my stories “Tent Flap With a View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites” and “America’s Top 10 Best Backpacking Trips,” and my ever-popular “10 Tips for Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids.”

And of course, see my Gear Reviews page for categorized menus of all gear reviews at The Big Outside, as well as links to best-in-category reviews and expert buying tips. Whenever you purchase gear through a link at The Big Outside to an online retailer, you help support my work on this blog. Thanks for that.

Thanks also for reading and following The Big Outside.