What Does A Traveling Dad Look Like?

July 8, 2011 in Africa, Inspiration, Travelogue, Tunisia

We’re posting this as part of a group writing project with other traveling families. Drew Gilbert, traveling Dad extraordinaire, suggested it!

What does a traveling Dad look like? I’m sure there are as many answers to that question as there are Dads who travel. But here’s what our Dad looks like:

Two things to know about our Dad:

  1. He’s a gear junkie, which means he loves researching (and acquiring) the newest, best, tiniest, most versatile travel gear he can find.
  2. When we’re outside, he cooks. When we’re inside, Mom cooks!


This picture captures him in his element: cooking for eight (Grammy & Gramps had joined us) in the cold dark of a Sahara desert night!


  1. Our MSR Alpine 2 pans: Stainless steel, not aluminum, light weight, very durable. They’ve served us well.
  2. Optimus Nova Plus stoves: We can’t say enough about how fabulous these fold-up, fist sized stoves are. They burn absolutely anything flammable. They’re self cleaning with a built in “thingy.” They’re adjustable flame, allowing you to boil fast or simmer long and slow. They’re not cheap, but we wouldn’t trade them. Because there are six of us, we have two.
  3. Orikaso dinnerware: These plates, cups & bowls are amazing! They fold flat and are assembled origami style and they hold up shockingly well. We used ours daily for a year while cycling and they’re still going strong! We carried service for eight and it folded flat into a thin stack about one inch deep. Highly recommended for traveling light!
  4. LLBean dual layer rain jacket: The layers separate for maximum temperature and weather flexibility. The perfect all in one jacket for everything but serious winter. They don’t seem to make the exact same one, but there are a range of possibilities on their website:
  5. North Face Convertible Pants: Dad and the boys all wear light weight, convertible pants in quick dry fabric. These have held up super well. We’re just replacing them this fall after three and a half years of continuous use.
  6. Dromlite Water Bladders: A must for any serious expedition where you might be “off the grid,” like in the Sahara! We strapped these babies onto the back of our bikes and have used them on three continents!
  7. Local gear: Everywhere we go, we try to pick up something local as a memory of that place and as a way of connecting with the locals. Wintering in Tunisia during the Israeli bombing of Palestine, these scarves opened several doors for conversations in which we could identify our sympathies with the Palestinian cause instead of being assumed to be “American Zionists.” Plus, they keep his… how shall we say it… BALD, head warm!
  8. Keens: Our shoe of choice, for the whole family. We’ve yet to find anything that is more versatile, holds up better or is more cost efficient over the long haul. Now, if only we could find a way to keep them from stinking so badly!!


What’s missing? The kids!! They’re big enough now that they’re often off having their own adventures, but they always turn up in time for dinner!

Wondering what he was cooking? In the big pot, a primavera pasta with local veggies. In the small pot, tea for the Mama, who was freezing!

Would you like to see what some other traveling parents look like? Check these folks out:

Family On Bikes

Drew Gilbert

Livin’ On The Road

Travels With A Nine Year Old

Our Travel Lifestyle

Wander Mom

Snaps & Blabs

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