By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orcas – 9/20/19

Photo by @hanna.c.johnsson

This edition of Three Cool Things is about games. The kind of games you should bring with you on the road.

If you have ever spent time traveling you know that there will inevitably be some down time where you need to kill a few hours. Weather you are waiting on a delayed flight, killing time at a boarder crossing, or just looking to spice up the scene around the campsite having something fun to do can make all the difference.

Simply packing a few small travel games in your kit can be the perfect antidote.

Here are three of my favorite options.

Hoyle Waterproof Playing Cards – $6 – Lets begin with a classic; The deck of cards. A deck of cards can be used in so many ways that it really shouldn’t qualify as one game. That’s sort of the reason I listed it first. By packing a deck of cards in your panniers or glove box, you’ll have access to literally dozens of games at your disposal for both the individual or the group and they hardly take up any room at all. They are the are the perfect travel companion. Offering everything for the solo traveler from Solitaire to simply tossing cards into a hat across your tent. Of course there is a nearly unending plethora of group oriented card games can easily be played as well. Everything from poker and hearts, to games of war with the kids. I like this particular deck for expedition travel and adventure riding because they are waterproof. You don’t need to be concerned with their disintegration if you leave them next to wet pair of cloths or fall over in a stream crossing.


Jenga – $6 – Jenga is a a terrific camping game. I leave a set in our kit because it is a great game for people of all ages. Simply put it out on the picnic table or set it up inside when the weather is bad and just wait for people to start playing. I have also found that when travelling abroad, Jenga is a game that requires hardly any instructions. An easy way help you make friends at the campground. It has very few rules and needs very little explanation. So language barriers need not apply. Truthfully, this is more of a kid oriented game for car camping or expedition travel than it would be for adventure riding, but it is still a classic and worthy of the list, because of it’s universal applications.


Magnetic Chess Board – $14 – Has their ever been a better game invented than chess? It takes only a few minutes to learn and it’s basically impossible to master. Having a chess board around will encourage mental development and easily roll the hours past as you see fit. This magnetic travel kit makes playing on even the most uneven surfaces easy. It’s small enough that you can bring it basically anywhere. Challenge your spouse at the airport or teach your children while overlooking a raging river from the campsite. This is one game that you will never get sick of. The downside of course is that it’s not the best group game.



Ultimate Trivial Pursuit Question and Answer Book – $12 – I keep one of these books tucked away in my 4Runner center console. It is a perfect addition for long road trips. For those moments when the Pandora signal is lost and the IPad’s are dead. You don’t need the entire board game to enjoy. Simply having one member of the car read a question aloud and the other members can shout out the answers. Trivia is a great way to learn and have a friendly competition as you travel.


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