Please accept my application to test the Granite Gear Ruff Rider Dog
I have read the test requirements stated in the BGT Survival Guide v.
1202 and I promise to comply with them or send the item back to the
manufacture at my own expense.
Name: Jamie J. DeBenedetto
Age: 30 years
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 160 lbs. (73 kg)
State/Country: The Grand Canyon State Arizona, USA
Date: March 30th, 2003
Name: Dottie (also goes by Hey, Little Lady, and
Age: 8 yrs.
Breed: Lab mix (the mix is probably some type
sighthound or goat, which is more likely given her propensity to eat
Weight: 35lbs. (16 kg)
Height at shoulders: 18 in. (46 cm)
I've spent much of my thirty years hiking, camping, fishing,
backpacking, rafting, and more recently kayaking, all over my home
state of AZ. I've also done a small amount of hiking in the
neighboring states of Colorado and California. In January of 1999 I
founded a local outdoor club called the Canine Hiking Club of
Arizona. I lead two to three single or multi-day hikes per month
with my club in various locations around the state. I also day hike
with my son in local recreation areas near my home a couple of times
a week and my family and I sneak away for camping trips whenever
possible. Most of my treks take place in the beautiful Sonoran
Desert, but since Arizona is so diverse, I often encounter many other
terrain, elevation, and climate types. I still haven't been able to
give up my tent, so I wouldn't consider myself to be an ultralight
packer, but I'm learning. I guess if I had to rate myself in terms
of skill level, I'd say I'm a novice.
Dottie has been a traildog since she was about three months old.
She's logged hundreds of packing miles in that time. She's been as
high as 10,000 ft (3,000 m), and has dealt with all kinds of terrain
and weather conditions. From sandy beaches to snow covered mountains,
Dottie as followed her momma all over Arizona and to a few places in
Mexico. Sticking with an ultralight philosophy, Dottie rarely ever
carries more than 6 or 7 pounds (2 to 3 kg). Added weight to her pack
is usually in the form of a poop bag, her own of course!
Test Area Information: Our testing areas will be trails of varied
terrain types and elevations in Arizona. Until the end of May
elevations will likely range from a few hundred feet/meters to around
3,000 ft (900 m) and be primarily lower and upper desert. From May
until early Sept. elevations will be strictly above 6,000 ft (1,800
m) and be primarily pine forest and or riparian areas. Since this
test series falls mostly within the summer months, it is unlikely we
will get a chance to see how the gear performs in snowy conditions,
but rain is pretty much guaranteed. Best guess on temperature ranges
is about 40 degrees F (4.5 C) for the lows to about 100 degrees F (38
C) for the highs.
Test Strategy: I plan to use the Ruff Wear pack while day hiking and
on at least one planned three day trip in June. Features I intend to
test during field outings are: 1. Proper fit, ease of adjustability,
rub spots, and weight distribution. Dottie is a mix and therefore not
totally in proportion. Her comfort is my first priority so while
testing I will try different loads and varied lengths of wear time.
2. Extra features. Other than reflective strips, the webpage doesn't
say much about additional "bells and whistles". Will have to wait
and see on this one I guess. 3. Water drainage and durability
(fabric, zippers, and straps), and breathability. I'm especially
interested in how the Rex Twill fabric will hold up to sharp rocks
and cacti. How well it will drain after being submerged in water and
if it provides enough ventilation. As for durability, I've had
problems with straps wearing down with use and breaking in other dog
packs I've owned. I will definitely put the straps and the seams of
the pack through some rugged terrain to see how they hold up.
Previously written reports:
Owner Review - Motorola FR50 2-way radio
Owner Review - Ultimate Direction - Rampage
Owner Review Platypus Big Zip 3
Tests in progress:
Yakima Grasshopper Child Carrier
Thank you for considering my application.
Jamie in AZ