Hello and welcome to WALKABOUT TRAVEL GEAR.
Long ago, we became
dissatisfied with the norm of modern society, the 9 to 5 indentured
servants. Instead, we have explored the world. (On a strict budget
of course, as we are incapable of holding regular jobs.) Always collecting
useful stuff for the next journey, we found that other travelers wanted
to know where we bought everything. Problem was, our supplies were
not available in one place. Until now, of course. All items in our
catalog have been personally field tested, both for quality and usefulness.
Even if you're only traveling for a couple of weeks, our products
are good items to carry. Please explore our catalog and the world.
Walkabout Travel Gear does not release nor sell the names, addresses, email addresses, or any information whatsoever of its customers.
The History of Walkabout Travel Gear.
It all began on the tiny island country of Malta, during a six month Walkabout. Gia and I had once again quit our jobs. We knew we were getting a bit old for such behavior but did it anyway. We were staying at the Hibernia House hostel in Sliema when inspiration struck:
"Discussed possibility of starting a business; appears neither Gia or I am capable of working for others. No mail-order company has the resources for serious travelers ... An idea."
-- Brad's Journal, March 6, 1995.
Photo of the room where Walkabout Travel Gear was born.
We cut our Walkabout short, went home to Salt Lake City, Utah, and started up Walkabout Travel Gear with the $5,000 we had left.
Our print catalog came before a website. In fact, we were only vaguely aware of what the internet was. Very few websites existed in 1995, much less commercial ones. Click on the link for a PDF of our very first print catalog. It is pretty entertaining.
Walkabout Travel Gear Catalog Volume One
The Early Years: Walkabout Travel Gear in the media.
Our first publicity:
Deseret News. Walkabout Travel Gear is a Runaway Success.
OnVia.Com. (Our favorite article.)
My Business Magazine. (With photo!)
My Business Magazine Online Version.
ABC News. The Dot-Coms go Back to Basics.
Fortune Small Business Magazine. Anatomy of a Site. (PDF)
Late in 1995, a computer literate friend suggested we put up a website. After a fast learning curve, we put the website up in the Fall of 1995. For our first website, we did not even own the domain Walkabout Travel Gear yet. Our original domain was: http://www.xmission.com/~walkgear/walk.htm
Easy to remember, right? Soon we secured the domain WalkaboutTravelGear.com and business picked up right away. We never changed the basic feel of the website, something easily provable if you click on this version from 1996. (No older versions exist.)
WayBack Machine WalkaboutTravelGear.com December 23, 1996.
During 1996, Walkabout Travel Gear grew quickly and one day we realized we could run the business almost anywhere in the USA that had internet access and one day delivery for FedEX Express shipments. (Back then one day did not always mean one-day in rural areas.) We had always enjoyed the red-rock spendor of Moab, Utah. At the time, Moab was just recovering from deep depression and houses were inexpensive. Tourism, the primary industry of Moab today, was just beginning to emerge.
So we bought a house and Moab became the home of Walkabout Travel Gear for the next decade. The business quickly took over the entire basement.
Click here for a slideshow for a very full basement.
Bessie, the Motor Home.
Our intentions were to be self-employed so we could be free, but the exact opposite happened. We were successful, but not enough to hire employees. So our work week went from 9 to 5 to essentially 24/7. It was important to attend trade shows and internet conferences but how to do so when we had a business to run, phones to answer, and inventory to ship? Then one day the answer came: a motor home.
In 1999 we purchased an older but very large motor home and jammed it to the gills with inventory, shipping supplies, and other business necessities. There was no wi-fi internet in those days, so we needed to stay where we had access to a phone jack. We also had one of the first celluar internet set-ups, on an analog cell phone. The data rate was 4K! Still, to be able to get online from an RV was amazing even if at slow, slow speeds. The first journey was to Las Vegas for the Comdex computer/internet convention.
Click here for a slideshow of a very full RV.
We Get Our House Back.
After eleven years, the Walkabout Travel Gear distribution center was opened. We moved from the desert to the ocean, trading Moab, Utah for the Oregon Coast. Our Walkabout continues. See you on the Road!
Click here for a slideshow of our Fulfillment Center.
More Walkabout Travel Gear in the media.
Knoji Consumer Knowledge. The Top Travel Gear Companies. (Web review.)
The Back Door Guide to Short Term Job Adventures (book.)
MSNBC.com Great Gifts for Millennium Grads
The Best of Online Shopping (book.)
The Grown-Up's Guide to Running away from Home (book.)
WashingtonPost.com (Review of Walkabout Door Lock.)
Fortune Magazine's Technology Buyer's Guide (Website review.)
Book Marketing Newsletter (Short mention.)
The Packing Book (Short mention.)
Men's Health Magazine (Mention of eyeglass case.)
Travel Holiday Magazine (Mention of transformers.)
Computer Shopper Pocket Guide to Online Travel (Modem adapters.)
Cooking Light Magazine (Mention of Packmate Storage Bags.)
Bottom Line Newsletter (Mention of Door Lock.)
About.Com (Short Website Review.)
Lycos (Website Review.)
Travel and Leisure Hot Deals Newsletter (Travel Pillow Mention)
LATimes.com (Travel Gear Online.)
LATimes.com (10 Favorite Things to Pack.)
Walkabout Travel Gear Print Ads, etc.
Shoestring Traveler (Classified ad.)
Let's Go Europe (Display ad.)
Trip Magazine (Articles on Malta and Patara, Turkey in exchange for ad.)
Asian Trail Magazine (Article on Taiwan in exchange for ad.)
TravelHost Magazine (Ad for Walkabout Retail Outlet.)
Student World Traveler (Ad appeared in several issues.)
FamilyTravelShop.com (Internet ad.)
Press Release May 11, 1996: Announcement of new domain name WalkaboutTravelGear.com. Also mention of award for being one of the web's top 5% websites.
Press Release April 2, 1999: Walkabout Travel Gear has shipped to 50th Countries. Also, announcement of a partnership with Travelocity, who will use Walkabout's Travel Tips in the Travelocity Email Newsletter.
Walkabout Home Page