Tag Archives: Children

BOB Strollers – Hiking

Background – Hiking at Brekenridge

One summer we were in Breckenridge hiking, we had everyone there, including the 6 year old and the 3 year old and the 1 year old niece. We arrived and put our things up and immediately hit the trails. Quickly it became apparent that we needed equipment to hike in Colorado with children who were not used to the elevation. This resulted in the rental on tough equipment. Including a hiking backpack and a BOB Sport Utility Single Stroller.

Hiking in Colorado
One of the trails going up the ski slope to a peak above the treeline.

The Problem – Young Children are Hard on the Trail

Young children are hard to handle on the trail. They get worn out at mile three and need to be carried along. This can be exhausting work even for a young healthy man.

The Solution – BOB Stroller

our BOB stroller
BOB Stroller Suspension

As mentioned above we rented a BOB stroller. Now I know you’re thinking -A stroller hiking?- let me assure you the BOB is up to the task. In fact we purchased one online for delivery to our home before we left Brekenridge! This stroller is beast it is made from thick metal to create a sturdy frame. It has oversized wheels that roll over small obstacles with ease and can (with careful maneuvering) even handle some larger obstacles. The tires are reminiscent of mountain bike tires with thick rubber tread that grips the trail like superglue. It has a handbrake to assist with slowing the stroller down on the down hill portions. A nylon rope to attach to your body to prevent the stroller from getting away should you slip. An all weather accessory called the Bob Weather Shield can be purchased separately to protect the little ones from the rain and does the job well. There is even a BOB Sun Shield to keep the sun off (we didn’t buy the sun shield but giving the quality of other BOB products I imagine this accessory does its job superbly. There is even a 2-Child BOB ready for the trail.

 

BOB stroller tire
The tread,tire and valve stem. Its just like a mountain bike only different, sorry it’s a bit dirty from our gravel driveway.

Conclusion – If you don’t have a BOB get one.

The are awesome, they go anywhere. The accessories we bought worked simple. The seat has a 5 point harness and can recline for child comfort. The 3 year old fell asleep on the trail. The only downside is the price. My recommendation is if you can afford one and you want to hike enough that the cost is worthwhile then a BOB is the best stroller money can buy. We have owned it 2.5 years and its still great. Our newest child (14 months) loves it too. It will last (we store ours indoors) and serve you well.

Camelbak Water Bottles – The Best Bottle for Kids

Background – Hiking in Colorado

We were in Breckenridge a few years ago at one of the condos for some summer hiking. My wife bought a Camelbak Backpack to keep hydrated. I bought a Camelbak Water Bottle. We went hiking and rented a BOB Stroller to push one child one the trails and a Backpack to carry the other child. Very quickly is became apparent that the Camelbak water equipment and the BOB stroller were amazing! Today’s article focuses on the water equipment and the next article will be about the stroller. Oh, hiking in Colorado is amazing but so is hiking in the Appalachian mountains where I live.

Camelbak kids water bottles, replace!wnt straws and replacement mouthpieces
Some replacement mouthpieces, new bottles (with mouthpieces and straws) and a replacement straw and mouthpiece + straw replacements.

The Problem – Kids need to be Hydrated

Well this article isn’t exactly about hiking hydration but it is how we discovered Camelbak gear (they didn’t hike much since I was pushing one and carrying the other…lucky wife). Kids need waterbottles to take to school (and preschool), soccer, baseball, football, playground, backyard, and even in the house. Many water bottles spill, get stepped on and broken, weigh a lot, contain less than desierable chemicals and have numerous other problems. Some previous water bottles include generic sports bottles, aluminum bottles, steel bottles, flasks, canteens and ordinary 20 oz disposable water bottles.

The Solution – Camelbak Water Bottles

Camelbak Kid’s Water Bottle, this product is the king of all water solutions for kids of all ages (even 31 year old husbands). While hiking the first day after getting the Camelbak backpack and the adult water bottles we just had to buy one for each kid. Two years and another child later we now have a dozen of these (and the adult bottles). They have been sent to preschool, elementary school, college, graduate school, work, sports, boating, hiking, biking and everywhere else the five of us go. The youngest (14 months old) started using the bottles by stealing them from his brothers and went straight from a bottle to these (this is not an endorsement of the bottle for a baby, ask your doctor if this is OK, it is only a description of what we did).

This was a few months ago and I am not sure exactly how old he was but this was immediately after a bottle (sippy cup stage). His powerful jaws were able to squeeze the comfortable silicone aparature to allow the wate out. Inside you can set the bottle up two different ways. The first way is with a straw that connects at the underside of the apeaperture of the cup and allows you to suck water from the bottom. The second way is without a straw which allows the cup to be tilted up and drank from like a sports bottle. The baby is able to drink from it using both techniques.

When the lid of the bottles are unscrewed there is a wide mouth opening which allows for easy addition of ice, and easy cleaning. The straw easily slides out of the slot for easy cleaning or replacement and the silicone mouthpiece can also be removed from the lid for cleaning or replacement. The bottles have proven to be very durable (we haven’t tried freezing water in them in the freezer but everything else they seem to endure, including repetitively falling from the top bunk to the hardwood floor. The bottles come in many colors and the kid versions have beautifully fun decorative prints.

The only downside we have found is that the soft silicon mouthpieces are not extremely durable to the knawing of young children. When our middle child was three we had to replace a few mouthpieces because of this and our one year old has destroyed two of them. Fortunately there are cheap replacement mouthpieces and straws that can be purchased. It is always nice to have a few handy for when they become needed.

Camelbak Lid
Inside the Camelbak lid the mouthpiece can be pulled out or a straw can be inserted into the hole.

A word of caution, only use water inside these bottles. If a child loses one (and they will) when it turns up again it will be extremely gross if anything but water was inside.

Conclusion – Camelbak Water Bottles are Awesome!

After using many different water bottles over many years for multiple purposes the best product my family has found are the Camelbak bottles. The backpack is great, the kids bottles are great and the adult bottles are great.

Dr. Who Tweed Jacket

Background – Dr. Who Tweed Jacket, Halloween

My sons love Halloween, I mean it might be in their top three holidays. About five months ago we started planning for the holiday. It started with a simple “What would you all like to be for Halloween this year?”. The answer from both boys was Dr. Who. Normally it might be odd for two children to be the same character, imagine two of Elvis, it just creates problems. Dr. Who avoids all of these problems because he can travel in time and space (which can allow him to be at the same time/location twice (at a different point in his own timeline). What about them having a slightly different physical appearance? Again Dr. Who has this solved as well, he periodically dies and returns in a different physical form, in fact one time he thought he came back as a girl. The life of a time lord is surely interesting.

The Problem – Costume Problems

We spent the next few months searching for clothing for a five year old and an eight year old. The button down shirts, pants, shoes, and even bow ties were easy to find. However, the tweed jackets posed an unexpected problem. We finally found one for the five year old in the end it took three months of searching and cost about $10. The eight year old was a different story we searched and searched in the end after 4 months of searching the best we could source was a $400 Ralph Lauren tweed jacket.

The Solution – International Search

As time began running out we began expanding our search and eventually located a tweed jacket in the U.K. (thank you, my British friends for making reasonably priced children’s tweed jackets) on eBay for 9 pounds ($15). So we ordered it immediately and contacted the seller. The seller refused to ship it internationally. We eventually made contact with a friendly citizen of the U.K. who was kind enough to give us her office address and receive the package inside the country. Following this we filled out the import/export papers, paid the appropriate fees and $98.00 later the jacket was enroute to us via international courier. Total Cost: $113.00, Next best $400 at Ralph Lauren.

Dr. Who Tweed Jacket
The Dr. Who Tweed Jacket just out of the packaging.

Conclusion

International shipping is a small pain and quite expensive but if you are selling something and your customer requests that you ship internationally and is willing to pay the expenses. Then there is no reason to not assist. Finally for those in the united states if your business can figure out how to get tweed jackets in the USA for under Ralph Laurens price then you might be able to sell them.