Outdoorsaholic and aspiring gearhead
My name is Frank.
I was born in New York, spent most of my formative years in a suburb north of Baltimore, went to school at the University of Maryland College Park, moved to Philadelphia for a job, moved to Brooklyn for a job, moved back to Philadelphia for a job, and then ultimately landed in the San Francisco Bay Area for… you guessed it, a job. I currently work in tech, but at the start of my career I actually worked in an industrial setting — working on manufacturing process improvements, supply chain and logistics, etc.
I’ve always gravitated towards the outdoors. Between my junior and senior years of college, I actually bicycled across a large swath of Europe with a friend carrying all of our belongings in either my pannier bags or his trailer. We pitched tents and slept by the side of the road, in fields, in friendly peoples backyards, etc. It was a great taste of adventure. But, I dutifully came back, finished college, got a job, and moved forward with “adult life.”
In 2013, Marilia and I were planning to move to Stockholm, Sweden for a job opportunity. We got all of our friends together for an epic camping trip as a send-off and from that point on Marilia was sold on camping as a great activity. (Oh, yeah, it was her first time!) Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time hiking and camping.
Given both of our love for the outdoors, our love for camping, our interest in learning about new cultures, and my American roots and her Brazilian roots, we decided we wanted to drive the Pan-American highway.
Please follow along as we work on our truck, go on weekend and week long adventures, and ultimately drive the Pan-American!
A Little More About Frank
Languages spoken: English (native), Portuguese (beginner)
Highest mountain climbed: Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park, CA. 14,505 ft (4,421 m)
Fondest traveling memory: Bicycling from London Heathrow up through England, taking a Ferry to IJmuiden (Netherlands), and continuing on the bike through to Germany. Then jumping between bike and train to visit some more countries in Eastern Europe.
Favorite camp fire drink: A good bourbon barrel aged stout, closely followed by whiskey.
Countries traveled: 15.
Favorite food: Brazilian food and I blame Marilia. Between the sweet and savory, I gain weight every time I visit!
Favorite quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― Mark Twain
Disclosure: Overlanding Taco invests hours of testing and writing to help you plan your trips, find gear, and other things to help you live a better life outdoors. We sometimes link out to products on Amazon and other sites. We get paid a commission if you make a purchase, but that does not influence our recommendations.
Favorite Items from Our Gear List
- [Buy] REI Igneo 17 Mens – I tend to run pretty warm so when in combination with this sleeping bag I’ve brought it on trips at about 10 degrees and felt toasty warm.
- [Buy] Sea to Summit Aero Pillows – I used to just sleep directly on the sleeping pad or ball up some clothes to lay my head on, but this pillow packs down small and provides a night of sleep worthy of 5-star accommodations.
- [Buy] Fiskars 28″ chopping axe – I am a camp fire hound and love clearing dead wood, and this axe is just awesome at that.
- [Buy] Crescent 170-pc mechanics tool set – As an admittedly lackluster mechanical-type person, having an affordable tool kit that covers most of the basics for tools you’ll need while attempting your own repairs is critical.
- [Buy] BF Goodrich 275/70R16 KO2s – These D load range all-terrain tires are a pretty good mix of toughness for off-roading and ride pleasurability (in terms of noise and roughness).