Tag Archives: REI

November 16, 2017 Northern Bailey Range, Olympic Mountains, Olympic National Park.

5 Tips For Spending Less on Hiking and Backpacking Gear

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   14 Comments

By Michael Lanza

My first two-person tent set me back only about 75 bucks. It weighed several pounds and was bulky for backpacking. I called it the Wind Sock for its propensity to snap loudly in the slightest breeze, and because its poles bowed disturbingly in strong gusts. (I learned to choose protected campsites.) When it rained hard, I’d wake up to a puddle covering the floor.

But I used it for six summers of car camping and backpacking. At a time when I could not afford good gear, that tent was good enough. It sheltered me for probably close to 150 nights and got me through many wonderful experiences. For its swan song, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I spent three months hiking, backpacking, and climbing throughout the West—and slept a total of one night indoors. I used the Wind Sock until it all but disintegrated in the last campsite it ever saw. My cost for that tent worked out to about 50 cents a night. Continue reading →

November 9, 2017

Ask Me: How Do I Outfit a Growing Kid Affordably?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

Hey buddy,

Been a longtime reader of your blog. I am a father of a six-year-old daughter. When I was younger, my parents encouraged us to be active outdoors, and it is something that has stuck with me for my entire life. I am a huge fan of the way you have been able to encourage your kids to join you, and have been making a lot of progress getting my daughter excited about outdoor activities. We do a lot of geocaching, rock climbing, backpacking, and camping. The problem I am running into is the cost needed to properly outfit and gear my daughter. Continue reading →

November 1, 2015 Trail 47 below Castle Peak, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Why REI’s #OptOutside on Black Friday Matters (and John Muir, Ed Abbey, and Jesus Would Agree)

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

REI exploded a supernova in the retail universe when it announced last week that it’s closing all 143 stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and won’t process any online purchases until the following day. Employees will get a paid day off and be encouraged to get outside—and many undoubtedly will.

This is very cool if you work for REI, of course. But why should the rest of us care? I believe we should, for reasons that reach beyond REI’s walls, and because it’s good for our kids in ways not immediately obvious. And I think John Muir, Ed Abbey, and Jesus would agree. But more about those guys in a bit. Continue reading →

December 2, 2013 North of Mount Heyburn, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: Can You Recommend a Jacket and Pants for Winter in the Mountains?

In Ask Me, Gear Reviews, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi Michael,

Hope all is well with you. I’ve contacted you in the past, and you have given me great information. I ended up buying things that you recommended (Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR boots and the Gregory Targhee 45L winter backpack).

I have a couple of different questions for you. First, I was hoping you could recommend a good pair of goggles for winter hiking and climbing (mostly for above treeline in New Hampshire’s White Mountains). I know you are very familiar how hairy it can get up there, so they would have to have great ventilation so they would not fog.

My next question is could you recommend a good, lightweight but warm, breathable fleece to go over a base layer, also for winter hiking? I also saw your review of the Marmot Alpha Jacket—would this take the place of a soft shell/fleece? Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker