Pacific Shaving Company All-Natural Shaving Oil

Since I use an electric shaver because it is easier when traveling, this Pacific Shaving Company All-Natural Shaving Oil has become a handy accessory. It comes in a small, travel-size bottle and fits into a TSA ziplock bag easily although frankly, even if you keep it in a suitcase pocket, they rarely pull it out!

I appreciate how well the lid seals closed so as not to prevent any oily spills in the bag. It’s recommended to apply a few drops of this to your face before shaving, but I find that it needs a bit more than a few to cover your whole face. Still, a small bottle lasts (shockingly) for as many as a year’s worth of shaves.

The snap-top lids are secure and tight, which prevent spillage when they are tucked into your briefcase’s toiletry kit.

Pacific Shaving also has nick sticks to heal any cuts or scrapes, but I rarely need it after using this oil first. It helps the razor to glide more smoothly across your face while making hairs stand up easier (that’s tough when you have pillow face following a jet-lagged night of sleep!). It also leaves your skin moisturized and well-conditioned.

There was no scent to the oil, and following my shave, there is no leftover residue. Pacific Shaving Company has numerous shaving products that are fairly priced and keep your skin softer while providing smoother shaves. They retail on Pacific Shaving’s website and on Amazon. The lack of redness after using these products keeps me interested in using them both on the road and at home.

Light up your campsite with BioLite BaseLantern XL and SiteLights

BioLite BaseLantern XL

Do you have fond memories of camping with the lantern flickering late at night, while you solved the problems of the world with your family and friends? But maybe you didn’t exactly love refilling the oil in the lantern, when it would slosh across your hands and clothes when you weren’t being especially careful?

The lantern has been re-imagined, and it’s the BioLite BaseLantern XL.

The flat lantern (good for packing) weighs in at 1.43 pounds, and measures 5.08 inches by 5.0 inches by 1.73 inches. But it packs a lot into that size. The 500 Lumen edge-lit lantern has a unique textured pattern on the lens that reflects the LEDs on a steep angle, which creates soft, even light along the entire panel without requiring a huge space typical of most lanterns. Its stainless steel folding legs let you raise the lantern off the table or ground, and angle for task lighting, or even hang it from a branch.

The lantern’s 12000 mAh rechargeable internal battery gives you the power you need to not only light your campsite for the weekend, but also charge your gear. A custom Low Energy Bluetooth app connects with the lantern and has a suite of features like sleep timers, proximity activation, and real-time battery feedback so you get the most from your off-grid energy. Party people can also pick color and warmth control to pep up their evenings.

Once you have the BaseLantern XL, you can create extended lighting with SightLights. SightLight Mini is a string of four lights on 10 feet of cord (150 lumens total), SightLight is two 150-lumen lights on 10 feet of cord, and SiteLight XL is a collapsible fabric lantern with 300 lumens of dimmable, ambient light on a 15-foot cord.

Before you know it, everyone will want to hang out at your campsite.

The BioLite BaseLantern XL lists for $129.95 on the BioLite site. All the SiteLights (SiteLight Mini, SiteLight, and SiteLight XL) come together in a variety pack for $69.95, or buy them individually for $19.95, $29.95, and $29.95, respectively.

GlocalMe WiFi hotspot for international travel


We’re a family of five and all of us have phones or other devices that use data, so when we travel internationally, data and roaming fees can really add up. During our most recent trip, which took us through Iceland for ten days, we tried something new: a GlocalMe WiFi hotspot. For an initial investment of about $150-260, depending on the device you choose, you get the hotspot, which you can then load with varying amounts for different destinations. Or, you can rent the device from Roaming Man, which is how we tried it out.


I spent $20 for 3 GB of data in Iceland, which would ‘turn on’ (for lack of a better word) when I got to the country, and expire after 22 days. The hot spot can connect up to five devices (hey, perfect for us!) and you can add data at any time, either by ‘topping it off’ or buying a second package.

As I noted above, we use WiFi sparingly when we travel, preferring to enjoy the freedom from screen time (for the most part). We turned on our hot spot for about 30 minutes each day to check email, upload photos to Facebook and Instagram, and text, plus a few extra times to navigate when we needed directions, and our package of 3 GB easily lasted us 10 days. So instead of $50 per day for unlimited use we didn’t want, we paid $20 total for all of us to have a little bit of WiFi per day.

The hotspot worked really well the whole trip, with no lag connecting to the internet and super fast loading of all pages we accessed. It works best for simple uses like checking and responding to emails or editing webpages…in other words, work stuff. While we used it for directions and mapping, we did so sparingly. The hotspot is not intended for streaming video or downloading TV (it will, or at least will try, but it uses tons of data quickly). I actually was glad of this, as it kept us all honest: we used the hot spot to get necessary tasks done, and little more. This is a perfect solution for us, and we plan to use the GlocalMe hot spot on many more trips.

How to load the hot spot with data:

Once you have a hotspot, go online to GlocalMe and register. It will ask you for your device’s registration number. Once you’re registered, you can add money by scanning the list of countries (I didn’t see any missing that were within the realm of visiting) and choosing a package or pay-as-you-go option. You can monitor your usage and add money with the free app or with the website. The device itself shows your data usage so you can monitor it there, too. The hot spot recharges with a standard USB cable (included) but during our 10 days, we never ran out of battery life.

How to buy:

The actual GlocalMe device is a one-time purchase of about $130-250, depending on where you buy. We recommend Amazon for the best deal.



Ponte Leather Camera Lift Strap

For real photographers, when you ask them about their camera gear they are quite serious. But, for the novices among us, we never know much about our gear. That’s why I was especially intrigued to try out this Ponte Leather Camera Lift strap. I do not carry my own fancy camera, but I do want to protect what I have, and this was just the perfect thing.

What makes it so ideal is that it relieves the pressure and weight of heavy cameras. So your giant lens feels like nothing when you’re wearing it with this strap.

This black leather strap allows you to transfer some of the weight to your backpack or camera bag instead of your shoulders. This is welcome news to someone that already suffers from neck and shoulder pain. Anything that helps me relieve the strain from my back is a welcome perk. It can connect to backpacks, messenger bags, or even a briefcase strap, which is more likely something that I would be using.

The relief this can provide on our neck and back is important and notable, which is something that road warriors often take for granted. What’s cool about each strap is that the material is top grain leather and looks quite attractive.

In case you’re wondering, the strap will work with any kind of camera. And in my case, I had it strapped to part of my iPhone, which I was using on a safari for both videos and photos. Each strap comes with two kinds of attachments that hang quite easily from your neck without getting in the way of your arm movement.

It retails for $59 on Ponte’s website or on Amazon and comes in various strap colors and designs.