Michael Lanza of The Big Outside in the Monolith Valley, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Planning Your Next Trip? I Can Help You Do It Right

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Do you have a classic national park backpacking trip or other outdoor adventure in your sights for this year? The Teton Crest Trail? The John Muir Trail? Anywhere in Yosemite, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, Olympic, Mount Rainier, Zion, Sequoia, Canyonlands, North Cascades, or another park or wilderness area?

Now is the time to be planning it, and The Big Outside can show you exactly how to make your dream trip happen. Here’s how.

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 detailed itineraries and expert advice on how to pull off these trips yourself. Most feature stories are premium content that requires a paid subscription to read.


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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.

There are basically three methods and a variety of affordable price levels for accessing feature stories and other premium content to tap into my expertise at The Big Outside.


Michael Lanza of The Big Outside hiking the Observation Point Trail in Zion National Park.

Hiking the Observation Point Trail in Zion National Park.

No. 1: Buy a Paid Subscription

Purchasing a paid subscription to The Big Outside lets you read any story at my blog, including the numerous stories I’ve written about the best backpacking and other trips in the U.S. and around the world—stories that include my expert advice on planning and pulling off each trip. Those stories and many others are premium content and require a paid subscription to read.

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 to learn about subscribing.


You live for the outdoors. The Big Outside helps you get out there. Subscribe 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.

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 usually several options for daily hiking itineraries and campsites.


“Thank you for your wonderful blog! It is a wealth of information, and… I know it’ll be a terrific help while I’m planning my backcountry adventures.”

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


Backpacking the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park.

Backpacking the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park.

I currently offer e-guides to trips in Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, and Zion national parks, with more in the pipeline.

Click here to see them all.

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.

Learn about that here (or click the Subscribe button above).



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



No. 3: Just Ask Me

For trips where you feel you want more than the information offered in my feature stories and e-guides, you can get my personal help planning your trip.

My Ask Me 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.

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 Ask Me page)


The Best Deal: A Premium Subscription

How would you like a customized trip-planning consult, a free e-guide, and a one-year subscription? 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 Ask Me 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 michael@thebigoutside.com and I will refund you the value of one standard e-guide from the cost of the one-year subscription, or deduct the cost of your e-guide from my fee for the Ask Me trip-planning consult (if the consult and e-guide are for the same trip).

Michael Lanza of The Big Outside trekking Besseggen Ridge in Norway's Jotunheimen National Park.

Trekking Besseggen Ridge in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park.

Wondering where to begin? See my Trips page at The Big Outside, where sub-pages like All Trips Listed By State, All National Park Trips, Family Adventures, and All International Trips 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.


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2 Responses to Planning Your Next Trip? I Can Help You Do It Right

  1. Miranda Wells   |  January 22, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Hi Michael! I’d just like to ask, do you prefer boots than running shoes? and may i know the brand that you are using to be exact? thank you.

    • MichaelALanza   |  January 22, 2019 at 7:09 am

      Hi Miranda, that depends entirely on the type of hike I’m doing, although in general, I prefer lighter footwear. See my detailed advice on that in my “Pro Tips For Buying the Right Hiking Boots,” which includes advice on finding one all-purpose pair, too.

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