Get Custom Backpacking Trip Planning from an Expert

By Michael Lanza

You’re trying to plan a backpacking trip to a classic national park like Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, or some other park or wilderness area—but you’re not quite sure how to do it. Or the permit process and planning feel overwhelming. Or you want to ensure it’s the best trip possible. Or you just don’t have time to do all that planning and would rather have an expert do it for you.

Well, you have just landed on your solution.

For three decades, including 10 years that I spent as the Northwest Editor for Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog, I have had the good fortune of hiking and backpacking all over America and the world. I’ve made a living identifying, planning, and writing about great trips.

Ready to get my custom trip planning? Click here now.

Right now, you can tap into my deep experience through my personalized custom trip planning—saving your valuable time and avoiding problems.

“I wanted to find an expert on wilderness backpacking with kids and I couldn’t have been more fortunate to find Michael! My 15-year old daughter and I are headed on our first backpacking adventure to Grand Teton National Park. Michael’s expertise in backpacking, planning, outfitting, permits, itinerary, conditioning, and team building has been invaluable. We refer to him as ‘coach Michael’ and we highly recommend him to any family considering a backpacking adventure.”

—John and Elora (comment posted at my Custom Trip Planning page)

Michael Lanza of The Big Outside on North Dome above Yosemite Valley.
Me on North Dome above Yosemite Valley.

Expert Custom Trip Planning

Through my custom trip planning, you receive an in-depth trip plan from me—shaped by our back-and-forth communication to create the best trip for you—that covers all necessary planning, gear tips, permits, a daily hiking itinerary with recommended campsites and more.

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 questions you didn’t think to ask.

Get the same positive experience that scores of other backpackers have enjoyed. See my Custom Trip Planning page for details and comments from people like you whom I’ve helped plan a very successful adventure.

Just back from an amazing five-day trip in the Sawtooth Mountains. Michael really took the time to understand my priorities, goals, and comfort level and crafted a route that was clearly tailored uniquely to me. Most important, Michael’s itinerary was significantly different from—and better than—anything I would have come up with on my own. After this experience, I am unlikely to ever go on a backpacking trip without securing Michael’s planning help.

—Ezra (comment posted at my Custom Trip Planning page)

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

Get the Best Deal: A Premium Subscription

With a premium subscription, you get the best deal available at The Big Outside: a one-year subscription at 30% off the regular price, your choice of any e-guide for free, PLUS one custom trip plan from me.

Or step up to my premier service level, a Talk to Michael subscription, which includes a comprehensive phone consultation and unlimited emails with me to brainstorm trip ideas, discuss any trip you have in mind, and talk gear or any questions you have, plus one full, written custom trip plan and other benefits.

Wondering whether I can help you? Email me at

Get Custom Backpacking Trip Planning from an Expert