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Re: Owner Review Dual Core pad - Ray Estrella

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  • pamwyant
    ... that ... Well, I can t disappoint you. Nope, funnest isn t a word. :0) Subject: Re: Owner Review Dual Core pad ... ... Ray, are these meals
    Message 1 of 20 , Jul 1, 2006
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      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "rayestrella1"
      <rayestrella@...> wrote:
      >
      > OK guys, my last OR of the month and maybe the summer. I think
      that
      > I can give presentations on writing ORs now. (Notice I did not say
      > how to properly write a good OR.) And they are getting more fun to
      > write. MealGear was my funnest. (Is that a word? I don't think so.
      > Pam or Roger will tell me.)

      Well, I can't disappoint you. Nope, funnest isn't a word. :0)


      Subject: Re: Owner Review Dual Core pad

      >
      > Natural High Foods
      >
      > Owner Review
      > June 30, 2006

      <snip>

      > The Product
      >
      > Manufacturer: Richmoor Corporation
      > Web site: www.richmoor.com
      > Product: Natural High Gourmet Camping Foods (Entrees)

      Ray, are these meals considered "Dual Core pads" because they both
      pad sharp objects on the interior of your pack and pad your belly
      when you eat them, or what?

      <grin>

      You might want to revise the title of your post.

      <bigger grin>

      It might just be that you've done one review too many this month!

      <very big grin>

      Pam
    • rayestrella1
      Whoops, see what happens when you get lazy and miss the suject line in the drop-down menu. Now it is right, the HTML is here; http://tinyurl.com/gf622 Natural
      Message 2 of 20 , Jul 2, 2006
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        Whoops, see what happens when you get lazy and miss the suject line
        in the drop-down menu. Now it is right, the HTML is here;

        http://tinyurl.com/gf622


        Natural High Foods

        Owner Review
        June 30, 2006

        Tester Information
        Name: Raymond Estrella
        Age: 45
        Gender: Male
        Height: 6' 3" (193 cm)
        Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
        Email address: rayestrella@...
        City: Huntington Beach
        State: California
        Country: USA

        Backpacking Background: I have been hiking for over 30 years, all
        over the state of California. I have also hiked in Washington,
        Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in
        the Sierra Nevada, and have put 148 miles (238 km) with a pack on my
        back so far this year. As I start my 4th decade of backpacking I am
        making the move to lightweight gear, and smaller packs.

        The Product

        Manufacturer: Richmoor Corporation
        Web site: www.richmoor.com
        Product: Natural High Gourmet Camping Foods (Entrees)
        Year manufactured: varies
        MSRP: $5.75 – $7.00 (US)
        Weight listed (Tequila Chicken): 5.25 oz (149 g) Actual weight incl.
        packaging: 6.7 oz (190 g)

        Product Description

        Natural High Gourmet Camping Foods are the premier line of camping
        and backpacking foods made by the Richmoor Corporation. They also
        produce the Richmoor Homestyle Camping Foods line.

        The meals come in a plasticized foil bag. On each side of the bag is
        a notch to facilitate tearing the top off to get to the contents. A
        half inch (1.2 cm) below the tear notch is a press-to-seal strip
        inside of the bag. On the top of the bag a "best when used by" date
        is stamped into the material. The bottom of the bag is pleated,
        which when spread open creates a stable base for the bag to stand
        on.

        The front of the package has the Natural High name and logo along
        with the name of the entrée itself. The weight is listed at the
        bottom. On the back is some marketing hype, cooking instructions,
        the ingredient list and nutritional information.

        When opened the bag reveals the main ingredients along with a small
        oxygen absorber packet. Many of the meals also contain small plastic
        pouches of secondary ingredients. These are opened and added to the
        main batch before adding the boiling water. Most of the ingredients
        are freeze-dried but some are dehydrated instead.

        All of their entrees are no-cook. They say to add the boiling water,
        stir and let sit for seven to ten minutes before eating. A
        recommendation is given to simmer in a pot for an additional three
        to four minutes when preparing at higher elevations.

        This is quoted from Richmoor's website. I will comment on it below.

        "Our Natural High brand is an all natural, gourmet brand for the
        upscale and discriminating customer. We use ingredients like
        asparagus, snow peas, and wild rice, and combine them with spicy
        seasonings and unique sauces. Natural High contains no artificial
        ingredients or preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial
        flavors - no artificial anything. Also, no MSG has been added, and
        no more added salt than is absolutely necessary for flavor."

        Field Conditions

        Over the past 15 years I have used these meals on hikes the entire
        length of California. The highest elevation they have been prepared
        at would be two times at 13,200' (4,023 m) near White Mountain. And
        since my favorite hiking spot is the Sierra Nevada range many have
        been made near that elevation in the past.

        They have been used in the desert at Joshua Tree National Monument
        (now Park) and Death Valley. I have eaten them in every month of the
        calendar and in every kind of weather. The coldest trip I ate them
        on saw a low of 10 F (-12 C) in 2003.

        Observations

        A little history is in order here. I started backpacking in 1974. As
        I lived in Twentynine Palms California at the time that meant a lot
        of desert hiking in JT and carrying plenty of water and a lot of
        canned foods. This made for heavy packs and a limited number of days
        I could stay out. In 1979 I moved to Idyllwild CA and became hooked
        on mountains. From there I branched out to the San Bernardino
        Mountains (Big Bear area) and then the Sierra Nevada to experience
        them even more. In a little backpacking store in Big Bear I saw my
        first dehydrated food. I loved the concept and adopted it whole
        heartedly. Unfortunately a lot of it was horrible. Plus quality
        control was not all that great. I got sick from what I am sure were
        bad meals on a couple of trips. When Mountain House started hitting
        our area things took a turn for the better.

        In 1978 I did an investigative report on food additives. After doing
        the research for the paper I was so disgusted by what I found (and
        wrote up) that I cut out as many additives as I could from my diet,
        stopped eating refined sugar and became an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I
        stayed one for the next ten years, then over the next six slowly
        added poultry and finally beef back in to my diet. With the
        backpacking foods meatless was not a problem as there a lot of pasta
        based stuff (spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, etc.) out there. But a
        lot of the better tasting brands were not the healthiest. And they
        were all so bland that I started carrying a lot of spices to perk
        them up.

        I think it was 1990 that I tried my first Natural High meal. It was
        a meatless entrée called Cheese Enchilada Ranchero. I loved it and
        it became my favorite evening meal. There were trips that I would
        have it two out of three nights. In 1991 I shared some with my
        brother-in-law who did not ever take freeze-dried food. He became a
        convert. (In fact that meal is still his favorite today.)

        The Natural High line has become my favorite foods because of the
        taste and the fact that they do not use any additives. The sodium
        content in them is half (or less) what is found in other brands.
        Here is the sodium contained in a single serving of the Tequila
        Chicken: 560 mg. Here it is for three similar chicken entrees I have
        in our gear room. Example 1: 1360 mg, example 2: 1080 mg, and
        example 3: 1480 mg. As can be seen they are way below the norm.

        (Note: there are other brands that are natural and contain no
        additives. I do use them. But they are not as flavorful, nor do they
        have the variety.)

        My new favorite flavor is the Tequila Chicken pictured above. I have
        about five of them in the gear room right now. Other stand outs are
        the Beef Enchilada, Three Cheese Lasagna, Honey Lime Chicken and
        Chicken Fajitas. I have had about 15 other entrees besides the ones
        mentioned. All have been very good. I won't try the shrimp entrees
        though.

        Preparation is a breeze. Even when I am at high altitude (most of
        the time) I never put it in a pot for extra simmering. Even in
        January the past two years in snow, here is what I do.

        I prep the meal as needed while I start the water boiling, opening
        any secondary pouches and pulling out the oxygen absorber. I spread
        open the pleat at the bottom of the bag and put it into my balaclava
        so as not to burn my hand. When the water is at a full rolling boil
        I pour it into the bag, give it a quick stir, then seal the bags
        with the zip-strip. I then place it, still in my balaclava on my -20
        F (-29 C) sleeping bag and fold the sleeping bag over the meal,
        creating the worlds biggest (and most expensive) cozy. I let it sit
        for about 15 minutes instead of the suggested 7 to 10. It turns out
        great and is still to hot to eat. I eat it right out of the pouch
        and when I am done the little secondary bags, oxygen absorber and
        the top strip of the main bag all go inside it. I press any trapped
        air out, zip it closed and my meal is all cleaned up.

        I eat the whole thing as a single serving. Sometimes in the warmer
        months it is a stretch to finish it, but in the winter it is no
        problem. In fact I even supplement them at times. I will take a
        package of freeze-dried chicken and add it to the water as I start
        it boiling. (Having increased its amount as necessary.) Then Dump it
        into a Three Cheese Lasagna and I have Chicken Alfredo, hiker style.
        I do the same thing by adding beef to the Three Bean Chili. I have
        found that the Chili needs to sit for at least 20 minutes in
        the "cozy" to properly hydrate the beans. Otherwise some will still
        be crunchy. Same thing goes for the Red Beans and Rice.

        I do not take their breakfast items hiking anymore but I used to a
        lot. They are very good but take more work and clean-up than I want
        to spend anymore. I do still use them when camping.

        I have been very pleased with this line of meals and will
        undoubtedly be eating them for some time to come. This picture was
        taken in May of this year. Look what Ray is going to eat tonight!
        (Right side of the door.)
      • rayestrella1
        ... Ha! I was rushing and thought I was clicking the right name on the drop-down menu from the auto-compleat function. Whoops. ... Yeah you are right. I had
        Message 3 of 20 , Jul 2, 2006
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          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "pamwyant" <pamwyant@...>
          wrote:

          > Ray, are these meals considered "Dual Core pads" because they both
          > pad sharp objects on the interior of your pack and pad your belly
          > when you eat them, or what?
          >
          > <grin>
          >
          > You might want to revise the title of your post.
          >
          > <bigger grin>

          Ha! I was rushing and thought I was clicking the right name on the
          drop-down menu from the auto-compleat function. Whoops.

          > It might just be that you've done one review too many this month!
          >
          > <very big grin>

          Yeah you are right. I had the most fun ever writing the spork OR,
          but have a tent OR that I have been slowly fleshing out and went to
          write more on it and just said, no, I have hit the wall. Time to
          focus on some other things.

          Ray
        • chcoa
          ... This has been added to the queue. I did not list your previous post because it did not have any bearing on your placement in the queue. Same spot either
          Message 4 of 20 , Jul 2, 2006
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            >
            > Natural High Foods
            >
            > Owner Review
            > June 30, 2006


            This has been added to the queue. I did not list your previous post
            because it did not have any bearing on your placement in the queue.
            Same spot either way,

            jamie d
          • rayestrella1
            ... Thanks Jamie, That s OK even if it got pushed off. You guys are welcome to get to mine whenever you would like if things get busy. I m easy. Ray
            Message 5 of 20 , Jul 3, 2006
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              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@...> wrote:
              > This has been added to the queue. I did not list your previous post
              > because it did not have any bearing on your placement in the queue.
              > Same spot either way,
              >
              > jamie d

              Thanks Jamie,

              That's OK even if it got pushed off. You guys are welcome to get to
              mine whenever you would like if things get busy. I'm easy.

              Ray
            • pamwyant
              EDIT: Natural High Foods Owner Review -Raymond Estrella Overall another great report Ray. Just a few nitpicky edits and suggestions. You know the drill –
              Message 6 of 20 , Jul 7, 2006
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                EDIT: Natural High Foods Owner Review -Raymond Estrella


                Overall another great report Ray. Just a few nitpicky edits and
                suggestions. You know the drill – EDIT = change required.
                SUGGESTION = change as you see fit.

                Once you've made the corrections, considering your experience level,
                you can go ahead and upload to the appropriate folder (Found under:
                Food/Packaged Meals/Richmoor Natural High Camping Foods). No need
                to repost here unless there is specifically something you change
                that you want me to look at again.

                Pam Wyant
                **************************

                Backpacking Background: I have been hiking for over 30 years, all
                over the state of California. I have also hiked in Washington,
                Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in
                the Sierra Nevada, and have put 148 miles (238 km) with a pack on my
                back so far this year. As I start my 4th decade of backpacking I am
                making the move to lightweight gear, and smaller packs.

                ###COMMENT: Just a suggestion, but you could put in a bit about
                what type of shelter you use, since you still have around 30 words
                to play with before hitting the 100 word limit.



                Weight listed (Tequila Chicken): 5.25 oz (149 g) Actual weight incl.
                packaging: 6.7 oz (190 g)

                ### SUGGESTION: If the manufacturer lists the weight as "net"
                weight, you might list as follows:

                Net weight listed (Tequila Chicken): 5.25 oz (149 g)
                Actual gross weight (incl. packaging): 6.7 oz (190 g)

                The weight is listed at the
                bottom.

                ### SUGGESTION: I think the weight listed at the bottom is net
                weight, so you might specify that. "The *net* weight is listed…"

                On the back is some marketing hype, cooking instructions,
                the ingredient list and nutritional information.

                ### SUGGESTION: You might consider listing the nutritional
                information and ingredients, since that sometimes is hard to obtain
                on the web, and something that those with food allergies or special
                diets are very interested in.


                Field Conditions

                Over the past 15 years I have used these meals on hikes the entire
                length of California. The highest elevation they have been prepared
                at would be two times at 13,200' (4,023 m) near White Mountain. And
                since my favorite hiking spot is the Sierra Nevada range many have
                been made near that elevation in the past.

                ### SUGGESTION: The wording here is a bit awkward. You might re-
                think it – perhaps "They have been prepared as high as 13,200'
                (4,023 m) twice, near White Mountain. And since my favorite hiking
                spot is the Sierra Nevada range, I have made many more at elevations
                nearly as high. Or however else you choose to re-word.

                They have been used in the desert at Joshua Tree National Monument
                (now Park) and Death Valley. I have eaten them in every month of the
                calendar and in every kind of weather. The coldest trip I ate them
                on saw a low of 10 F (-12 C) in 2003.

                ### SUGGESTION: Again a little awkward wording. Perhaps "The
                coldest trip I ate them on was in 2003, where lows were 10 F (-12 C).

                Observations

                A little history is in order here. I started backpacking in 1974. As
                I lived in Twentynine Palms California at the time that meant a lot
                of desert hiking in JT and carrying plenty of water and a lot of
                canned foods.

                ### EDIT: Casual or international readers may not know JT is Joshua
                Tree. You should probably either spell it out here or use the
                abbreviation following the name in the earlier paragraph – Joshua
                Tree (JT) National Monument (now Park).

                I loved the concept and adopted it whole heartedly.

                ### SUGGESTION: My spell checker suggests a hyphen in "whole-
                heartedly".

                I stayed one for the next ten years, then over the next six slowly
                added poultry and finally beef back in to my diet.

                ### EDIT: *into* as one word.

                With the backpacking foods meatless was not a problem as there a lot
                of pasta
                based stuff (spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, etc.) out there.

                ### EDIT: …not a problem as there *is* a lot of pasta based stuff…


                The Natural High line has become my favorite foods because of the
                taste and the fact that they do not use any additives.

                ### SUGGESTION: either make "foods" a singular *food* or eliminate
                it entirely.


                Here it is for three similar chicken entrees I have
                in our gear room. Example 1: 1360 mg, example 2: 1080 mg, and
                example 3: 1480 mg. As can be seen they are way below the norm.

                ### EDIT/SUGGESTION: You need a colon after gear room, which will
                make a lot of colons in that sentence, so I suggestion using dashes
                after the examples. Also, Example does not need capitalized as
                used. (Here it is for three similar chicken entrees I have in our
                gear room: example 1 – 1360 mg; example 2 – 1080 mg; and example
                3: 1480 mg.) Also, to make it clearer, I suggest, "As can be seen,
                Natural High is way below the norm."

                I have had about 15 other entrees besides the ones
                mentioned. All have been very good. I won't try the shrimp entrees
                though.

                ### SUGGESTION: The last sentence sort of stands out as an oddity.
                Perhaps you could work it in another way. Something like "I have
                had about 15 other entrees besides the ones mentioned, although I
                don't like shrimp and haven't tried any of those. All have been
                very good.
                OR: I have had about 15 other entrees besides the ones mentioned.
                All have been very good (Disclaimer: I have not tried any shrimp
                entrees due to personal preference.) Your call on this.

                .Even in January the past two years in snow, here is what I do.

                ### EDIT and SUGGESTION: You need a colon instead of a period at
                the end. I suggest re-wording a bit – "For the past two years, even
                in January in the snow, here is what I do:"

                I prep the meal as needed while I start the water boiling, opening
                any secondary pouches and pulling out the oxygen absorber. I spread
                open the pleat at the bottom of the bag and put it into my balaclava
                so as not to burn my hand. When the water is at a full rolling boil
                I pour it into the bag, give it a quick stir, then seal the bags
                with the zip-strip.

                ### EDIT: …quick stir, then seal the *bag* with the zip-strip


                I then place it, still in my balaclava on my -20
                F (-29 C) sleeping bag and fold the sleeping bag over the meal,
                creating the worlds biggest (and most expensive) cozy.

                ### EDIT: need comma after balaclava.
                COMMENT: Oooohhh… I hope it never leaks.

                I let it sit
                for about 15 minutes instead of the suggested 7 to 10. It turns out
                great and is still to hot to eat.

                ### EDIT: …still *too* hot to eat.


                Then Dump it into a Three Cheese Lasagna and I have Chicken Alfredo,
                hiker style.

                ### EDIT: Then *I dump* it…
              • rayestrella1
                ... Too funny, I was working on two multi-tool ORs today and noticed the same thing and added to my bio. I had chopped it down last month. ... I agree. But as
                Message 7 of 20 , Jul 7, 2006
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                  --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "pamwyant" <pamwyant@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > EDIT: Natural High Foods Owner Review -Raymond Estrella
                  > ###COMMENT: Just a suggestion, but you could put in a bit about
                  > what type of shelter you use, since you still have around 30 words
                  > to play with before hitting the 100 word limit.

                  Too funny,

                  I was working on two multi-tool ORs today and noticed the same thing
                  and added to my bio. I had chopped it down last month.

                  > ### SUGGESTION: You might consider listing the nutritional
                  > information and ingredients, since that sometimes is hard to
                  >obtain on the web, and something that those with food allergies or
                  >special diets are very interested in.

                  I agree. But as I am attempting to review an entire (as much as I
                  have experience with) product line I would like to add a link to the
                  excellent info file on the site. If you want I will pull it back out.

                  I have made all of your other edits and suggestions also. As always
                  you have an excellent eye for the things that are lacking in my
                  writing.

                  I am thinking about joining you guys as an editor and state that I
                  am not being sarcastic or facetious when I say that I admire and am
                  somewhat in awe of your editorial abilities.

                  So as always, thank you Pam, for making my scribbles a better review.

                  Ray
                • pamwyant
                  ... or ... the ... out. I think that link is perfectly appropriate, although Andrew or Jerry will be the final authority on that, since with a few exceptions
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jul 8, 2006
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                    --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "rayestrella1"
                    <rayestrella@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > > ### SUGGESTION: You might consider listing the nutritional
                    > > information and ingredients, since that sometimes is hard to
                    > >obtain on the web, and something that those with food allergies
                    or
                    > >special diets are very interested in.
                    >
                    > I agree. But as I am attempting to review an entire (as much as I
                    > have experience with) product line I would like to add a link to
                    the
                    > excellent info file on the site. If you want I will pull it back
                    out.

                    I think that link is perfectly appropriate, although Andrew or Jerry
                    will be the final authority on that, since with a few exceptions
                    only the manufacturer's main home page is allowed. My vote is for
                    this to be one of the few exceptions. We'll see if Andrew or Jerry
                    veto my vote. :^)

                    You do need to correct the sentence spacing in a couple of places in
                    the HTML version where you made changes (the section about sodium
                    and your preparation section about January in the snow).

                    Otherwise it looks great.

                    Thanks for the compliments. I'm glad to hear you are joining the
                    editor team. You certainly have the enthusiasm and energy for it.

                    Pam Wyant
                  • rayestrella1
                    ... Aaaah! See what happens when I stay up a few hours past my bedtime? I thought I checked it out. It is fixed now. Thanks Pam, Ray
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jul 8, 2006
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                      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "pamwyant" <pamwyant@...>
                      wrote:
                      > You do need to correct the sentence spacing in a couple of places in
                      > the HTML version where you made changes (the section about sodium
                      > and your preparation section about January in the snow).

                      Aaaah!

                      See what happens when I stay up a few hours past my bedtime? I thought
                      I checked it out. It is fixed now.

                      Thanks Pam,

                      Ray
                    • pamwyant
                      Hey Ray, the spacing is still off in your HTML version in the section giving the examples of sodium. Can you double check it? Thanks - Pam
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jul 8, 2006
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                        Hey Ray, the spacing is still off in your HTML version in the section
                        giving the examples of sodium. Can you double check it?

                        Thanks -

                        Pam
                      • rayestrella1
                        ... section ... I think I got it. (Where did we hear that before?) I am at my sister s on her computer for net access. I am shuffling stuff between my laptop
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jul 8, 2006
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                          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "pamwyant" <pamwyant@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Hey Ray, the spacing is still off in your HTML version in the
                          section
                          > giving the examples of sodium. Can you double check it?
                          >
                          > Thanks -
                          >
                          > Pam
                          >

                          I think I got it. (Where did we hear that before?)

                          I am at my sister's on her computer for net access. I am shuffling
                          stuff between my laptop and her PC with a thumb drive and it is
                          unwieldy. I need to find a CAT 5 cable and get on their network.
                          YThen I can use my own computer.

                          Ray
                        • Andrew Priest
                          ... G day Is the link to a page on the manufacturer s website? If yes, then the answer is no, but you could mention in the Owner Review that the manufacturer s
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jul 10, 2006
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                            At 12:56 AM 9/07/2006, you wrote:
                            > > I agree. But as I am attempting to review an entire (as much as I
                            > > have experience with) product line I would like to add a link to
                            >the
                            > > excellent info file on the site. If you want I will pull it back
                            >out.
                            >
                            >I think that link is perfectly appropriate, although Andrew or Jerry
                            >will be the final authority on that, since with a few exceptions
                            >only the manufacturer's main home page is allowed.

                            G'day

                            Is the link to a page on the manufacturer's website? If yes, then the
                            answer is no, but you could mention in the Owner Review that the
                            manufacturer's website has a useful information page, titled XYZ or
                            whatever. If the page you are referring to is on another website, can
                            you please provide a link for review.

                            Thanks
                            Sir Andrew
                          • rayestrella1
                            ... the ... This is what I have done. It is changed. Thanks, Ray
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jul 10, 2006
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                              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Priest <apriest@...>
                              wrote:
                              > Is the link to a page on the manufacturer's website? If yes, then
                              the
                              > answer is no, but you could mention in the Owner Review that the
                              > manufacturer's website has a useful information page, titled XYZ or
                              > whatever.

                              This is what I have done. It is changed.

                              Thanks,

                              Ray
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