Kids Bike Review: Prevelo

Our daughter rode a strider bike at one year old and a two wheeled bike before age two. On son was a bit older but only because of our own ignorance. We didn’t know that two or three year old kids can ride two wheeled bikes. Well, they can! It helps if you have the right kids bike.

Islabikes is our first love in kids specific bikes. I was lost when they discontinued their store in the United States but things tend to work out and it led me to an even greater kids bike love.

Prevelo Kids Bikes!

Prevelo

Here are my top 5 reasons that both you and your kids will love Prevelo bikes.

1. Prevelo Customer Service.

My son had barely outgrown his bike when my daughter was more than ready for a bigger bike. We went to every bike shop within a fifty mile radius. We read bike reviews, articles, and blogs. My son test rode every bike we could find.

His reach was just a bit too short for any of the bikes, including some of the kids specific brands. I had nearly lost hope when I found Prevelo online.

Jacob answered on the second or third ring when I called.

He is the owner, designer, and mastermind of the company. He was happy to provide custom measurements, answer questions, provide encouragement, and fill me in on company policies and perks. These include the following.

  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • $15 Shipping, refundable in the US

I was pretty much sold when Jacob answered the phone as if he was an old friend.

They don’t mess around with shipping!

2. Kids Bike Design

Once you see your kids on a bike designed just for them, you will be convinced. The difference between a bike that is small and a bike that is for kids is unbelievable!

Jacob could tell you all about it but here are some of the basics.

  • Low Geometry!
    • Riders are low to the ground
    • Low seat heights, low peddle brackets, and increased rider and parent confidence!
  • Short crank arms and narrow Q angle.
    • You may want to look these items up but, trust me, this is a good thing!
  • Robust designs
    • Improved kid specific durability
HB’s first two wheeled bike. A 14 inch Islabike.
HB learning to work on bikes. He asked for all of the accessories on his Islabike.
Grace learning bike maintenance.

3. Social and Environmental Responsibility

Check out Prevelo’s advocacy and giving page for a full list of organizations that they support. The list includes People for Bikes and 1% for the Planet.

For places like this!

4. Trade Up Club: Kids Bike

Its exactly what you think. Send back your bike when it is too small and put 40% of your original purchase price towards a new bike.

As the mother of a 7 year old and a 5 year old, the previous owner of 4 kids specific bikes, and the current owner of 2 kids bikes, I am especially interested in this program!

Out to lunch a few years ago. Kids bike.

Highlights of 5 Years of Family Bike Riding:

  1. Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, Michigan

2. Luton Park, Michigan

Prevelo Kids Bike

3. Commuting around town on kids bikes!

This is actually at Sleeping Bear but our local commute has a similar trail. Grace rode her bike to her first day of preschool and I didn’t even get a picture.

4. May Flower Gulch, Colorado

Kids bike.

5. McDonald Dunn Forest, Oregon

5. Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

10 Things To Pack For Hiking The PCT.

Are you considering a multi-day backpacking trip or a long thru hike, such as the Pacific Crest Trail? Do you wonder which things to pack for thru hiking the PCT?

You can benefit from our experiences thru hiking the PCT, the Vermont Long Trail, and the West Coast Trail. Here are a list of 10 things that we pack and love!

Hiking the PCT

Please note that this post includes affiliate marketing links. This means that we may benefit from a small amount of any purchase. This would be at no additional cost to you. We only endorse products that we use and love!

For Meals and Food:

  1. Ursack Allmitey Bear Bag. This works for rodents, as well as bears. CD used this for his thru hike in 2004 and we still use it today. You may consider sleeping with it under your pillow depending on how significant the rodent problem. It is durable, effective, and convenient. It is a must – have!

2. Titanium Spork. In the world of sporks, we vote for titanium. After breaking a couple of plastic sporks each, we decided to endorse something more durable. These have lasted us 5+ years and I anticipate that they will last at least another 5.

3. GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug. CD did not have this on the trail as he was given it last year. He tells me that he would have taken it if he knew it existed. Apparently, he may consider taking it in place of water bottle. That is saying a lot since he was never far from his Nalgene when we first met.

4. MSR Dromlite Water Bag: 6 L. Methods for carrying water on the trail are a matter of personal preference and comfort . This is CD’s choice. More than 16 years later, it still has not gotten a leak.

5. Evernew Titanium Pot, 1.3 L. It is years later and this pot is still good as new. It is just the right size to feed one or two thru hikers or three or four car campers.

To Stay Warm and Dry:

1. Gators. There are different lengths, colors, and styles for different purposes. Wet grass, snow, mud, rain, and bugs are a few examples. Ours get a lot of use!

2. Camp socks. Spare socks for your sleeping bag are a must! You will thank us later! I currently love “Darn Tough” socks but any socks will work. CD carries three pair of socks. Two for hiking and one only for camp. He continues to stand the principle of camps socks. Whether we are home, in the Sprinter, backpacking, or car camping, we wouldn’t consider getting near our sleeping bags with anything other than our camp socks!

3. Marmot Driclime. This is my favorite layer of all time! CD thru hiked with in 2004 and still wears today. It works for any temperature, packs small, weighs little, and stands up to the challenge. He gave me a Marmot Driclime for my birthday the first year that we met and I was quickly convinced.

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For Health and Safety:

1. Mosquito Head Net. When you need this, you will be glad it is packed. It is small, versatile, light, and effective. We recommend wearing it over a sun hat with a brim all the way around. This will keep the net from sticking to your skin or being irritating.

For more tips on handling mosquitos while on the PCT, check out this post: https://ramblingfootsteps.com/2020/05/07/pct-packing-list-throwback-travel-journal/

2. Black Diamond Head Lamp. CD uses this every day on the trail and at home. It is a way of life I guess.

For a look inside CD’s pack from Northern California onward, please check out the following post. https://ramblingfootsteps.com/2020/05/07/pct-packing-list-throwback-travel-journal/

If you are seeking a different perspective, you can check out the “what I didn’t need” gear list from REI. You may notice some healthy differences of opinion that are worth checking out!

https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/pacific-crest-trail-packing-brought-didnt-need?cm_mmc=sm_pin-_-always_on-_-brought_didnt_need-_-blog

I hope your thru hike gives you everything you need.

Enjoy and Hike Your Own Hike!

6 Reasons to Consider a Floor-less Tarp Tent.

  1. If your floor gets dirty or damaged, you just get a new one.

2. It doesn’t weigh much. It is quick and simple.

3. It is easy to dry.

Just hang one edge and let it dry while not worrying about the sides sticking together or it getting bunched up.

4. You sleep with less mosquitoes.

When camping in mosquito dense areas, follow this procedure:

  • Lay down your floor cloth
  • Arrange your pack and other belongings on the floor cloth
  • Lay your tent on top of your things
  • Pull up your tent
  • Climb in quickly
  • Enjoy listening to other backpackers zip and unzip their tents while swatting mosquitoes and swearing

5. When the stars are nice but you think it may rain, you can have it on standby and put it up without rearranging your things.

See mosquito control tent procedure above and follow steps three through five.

6. Rodents can go both out and in. – yes, this is a benefit, please see below.

After a few episodes of rodents running in but not finding a way out, CD learned to prop up the edge with a shoe in order for them to quickly get back out. If you are wondering why this would be a benefit, hikers with traditional tents also had problems with rodents. The difference was that in the case of a traditional tent, the rodents chewed their way in but there wasn’t an easy solution to getting back out.

#PCT
#PCT
#PCT. Drying his sleeping bag while hiking

If you are interested in keeping your food safe from rodents, here is CD’s preferred item. Have fun!

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Best Gift Idea for Friends in the Pacific Northwest.

It rains in the Pacific Northwest and it definitely rains in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. I am from the mid-west but this is not the same as rain in the mid-west. The weather here is devoid of sharp edges; rain comes in slowly and stays. What gift ideas do you have for friends or family that live in the Pacific Northwest?

The number one piece of equipment on which I depend during winter, spring, and fall in western Oregon is not really a piece of equipment at all. It is more of an accessory.

It was packed away in our things for the first year we were here. When CD found it and brought it out, it was as if everything was going to be okay again. At least everything would be less wet again.

It admit that it is a luxury but it is one that use gladly nearly everyday between November and June.

The DryGuy Boot Dryer

Seriously, this was a game changer! I received this as a gift when we lived in the Colorado high country. I never expected it to change my life! Try it. You won’t regret it!

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

Please follow our blog for Oregon adventures!

Child Carrier For Hiking: Our Recommendation

We have tried nearly every backpack child carrier on the market. Each one has pros and cons but mostly cons. My shoulders and back ache. Each one is bulky, awkward, and inconvenient to wear when the kids want to walk.

Then, one day we saw the

Standing Child Carrier

Check it out!

Pros:

1. Kids like the Piggyback Rider Standing Child Carrier!

They feel engaged. We can talk to each other easily. They can see things, answer questions, ask questions, and feel more like a kid than a baby.

2. The Piggyback Rider Child Carrier is relaxing.

All of us can relax! My back and neck feel great. When they are young, there is a safety strap that prevents falling and when they are older, then can just hold onto the straps.

3. It packs small.

The Piggyback Rider stores either on a peg board in our garage or in our car. The size is minimal. It is light to carry and even the kids will carry it when we are not using it.

Piggyback Rider

4. The Piggyback Rider Child Carrier is easy to use.

Take it out of the carrying case and put it on. It is that simple. The safety strap is also easy to attach. Our kids hop on and off often in a single hike; the transition is quick and painless. Nobody cries.

Cons:

1. Price.

While just over $100, the price is in line with other similar hiking products.

2. The Piggyback Rider packs small.

It packs small enough that we have occasionally forgotten where we put it. This is really the our fault more than that of the carrier. I assure you that this never happens with a backpack carrier.

3. I sometimes get mud from shoes on my jacket.

This happens with every carrier and it is just part of going outside with kids I guess!

4. It doesn’t have the storage of backpack kids carriers.

I will gladly pack light, carry a shoulder bag, or do just about anything to avoid carrying a heavy backpack carrier, so this doesn’t bother me!

The Piggyback Rider Standing Child Carrier saved our hike many times. I envy their view from up there!

don’t forget your child carrier!

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

Sprinter Van Shopping List For The Minimalist

I could write dozens of blogs about products we use and love in our Sprinter. Each time we change the layout of the van or try a new design, we end up with new products. Some last the test of time; others are quickly proven ineffective and re-purposed or passed on to the next person. The most important products are best discussed in detail with friends on a Friday afternoon. In any case, here is a minimalist’s Sprinter shopping list.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

Light My Fire Titanium Spork

Light My Fire Titanium Spork: We stand by the titanium model but please beware that if you pair stainless steel plates with a titanium spork, you may have to tolerate the metal on metal scraping noise.

For those of you that are not quite ready to commit to titanium, there is a plastic model as well.

3 mm Accessory Cord

3 mm accessory cord: CD’s exact words are: “3 mm cord is handy“. It may be because CD knows every knot and when exactly to use every knot but I actually am starting to believe that string is an important travel accessory. Regarding everyday use, we have a piece approximately 6 inches off the floor of the van, extending from one end of the kids seat to the other. This cord keeps the storage boxes under each seat from sliding across the floor and it is quite effective!

Plastic Soap Dish

Plastic Soap Dish: When CD recommended this, I laughed. It reminded me of going to the community pool in 1985. That led me to consider going to garage sales looking for one. I don’t really like shopping, however.

I soon admitted that the best option was to just spend a few dollars, sacrifice a little plastic, and buy a soap dish. Wow, what a game changer. Our Sprinter has a hand washing station and now our bar of soap stays nicely in its soap dish.

No Mess! Clean hands! This was a win!

National Park Passport Books

National Parks Passport Book: Pick up at any National Park. Warning: May be habit forming.

CD has commented that he is glad we didn’t have one of these before we had kids or else we may have doubled the length of all of our trips by just driving around to get our stamps.

Hydroflask

Hydroflask: We live in Oregon. This is standard equipment. It really keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. It doesn’t leak. Try it!

Dustpan and Brush

Dustpan and Brush: This is another one that I thought I would never use. CD had this in his Honda Civic when we met. I never used it and was actually against using it. I just thought it was crazy and the car would be sandy anyway.

My opinion has since changed. Last summer CD caught me brushing out the van floor, step, and seats. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. I keep this next to the sliding door, secured by 3 mm climbing cord, of course.

A quick brush of sand or dirt off the step or floor is super satisfying. It may be the mom in me speaking but I just can’t see traveling without it!

All The World by Liz Garton Scanlon

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon.

We travel with the smallest version of this book. We love it. It inspires us. The full size edition is great for a baby shower, grandparents gifts, or just anyone that appreciates a pick me up.

“Hope and Peace and Love and Trust, All the World is All of US”.

Headlamp

Head Lamp: The kids and CD love their headlamps. I prefer to use my “night vision”. Ha! I am sure we couldn’t travel without these!

Notebook

  • Notebook: An old fashioned lined notebook . There is just something great about it!

Portable Charger

Portable Charger: We charge this each day using our portable solar panel. Then we charge our cell phones or whatever else. It has saved us tons of times. We have the Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh

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Portable Solar Panel

Portable Solar Panel: We have the Biolite Solar Panel 5 and we like it. It even works on cloudy days.

Small Wooden Cutting Board

When you eat cheese and crackers everyday you need a good cutting board!

Have fun out there!

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Hiking Pack List: PCT Northern California.
Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter 144. Sprinter DIY camping conversion.