APPLICATION - Pacific Outdoor Equipment Kids Sleeping Mat
- I understand that my chances to be involved in this test are slim
(i.e. Newbie Limit). Primarily, I am submitting this application in
case there are not sufficient applications by parents for their kids
to test this product. At any rate, I understand should I be passed
over for this test series, but how cool is it to get my son into gear
Please accept my application (on behalf of my son) to test the Pacific
Outdoor Equipment Kids Sleeping Mat. I have read the requirements in
the BGT survival Guide, Ch 5 (v. 1202), and will comply with each and
every requirement detailed therein, including the four-month test
period. My signed Test Application Agreement is on file with
Stephanie. If my son is lucky enough to be involved in this test
series, I will ensure that he has ample opportunity to put this
sleeping mat to good use.
Biographical Information: (Dad)
Name: Greg Mehojah
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Waist: 40" (110 cm)
Shoulder Girth: 60" (152 cm)
Email: gmehojah3 at comcast dot net
City, State, Country: Albuquerque, New Mexico
I began backpacking last year to reintroduce myself to the outdoors,
and introduce my 10 year old son to backpacking. My trips have
typically been 1-2 nights with my son and 2-3 nights when I solo. My
first season has taken me through desert terrain and high-altitude
meadowlands throughout New Mexico, as well as day hikes of the
foothills and ridgeline trails of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque.
I tend to carry most of the gear when I hike with my son, so I am not
a lightweight hiker, but plan on moving that direction as my son gets
Biographical Information: (My son)
Name: Justin Mehojah
Height: 54 inches (1.37 m)
Weight: 60 lb (27.22 kg)
Email: My Dad won't let me have an email address yet.
City, State, Country: Albuquerque, New Mexico
I started backpacking with my Dad last year so that we could spend
more time together now that I have a little sister. He said it was
important for when I get older. I like camping, but don't like to
hike too far because my backpack gets heavy. I also like exploring
and roasting marshmallows over fires, but because we live in the
desert we don't always get to have campfires. We did toast bagels
over the camp stove last year in Bandelier though. My Dad burned his.
Field Information Relevant to this Test:
My experience with my son is that kids like having their own, "REAL"
camping gear. My son was adamant that he use gear that looks like
mine, operates like mine, and was generally "cool". Thankfully
marketing has reached the point where kids camping gear is easier to
find and generally meets my son's "cool" requirements. The Kids Mat
definitely also fits the bill!
The following details my trips during the test period when my son
would use the Pacific Outdoor Equipment Kids Sleeping Mat. While I
have multiple trips planned without my son, I have a lot of
backpacking overnights and car camping trips planned with him
throughout the season (into November).
Because my son is in the midst of little league baseball season, my
trips with him are limited until the end of May. However, we have
been known (with advanced notice) to miss a baseball game or two in
order to escape for a quick overnight trip into the woods. This year,
I hope to get my son into better hiking shape and get him accustomed
to carrying a pack for more than 4 miles each day. I was pretty easy
on him last year because I didn't want him to get frustrated and lose
interest too easily. However, he now has the backpacking/camping bug
and its time to get him used to longer hikes.
At the end of May I plan on taking my son to the Apache Kid Wilderness
so that he and I can hike to the Apache Kid gravesite. He and I are
going car camping there this weekend, but will just do a low mileage
day hike from our basecamp. The altitude gains are fairly high in
this region, but the weather is warmer than northern New Mexico
destinations right now. I hope to day hike with my son up to San
Mateo Peak, which is a seven mile round-trip hike with an elevation
gain of nearly 3,000 feet. We are going to get an early start on
Sunday morning and see how high he can make it. At any rate, I would
like him to get some experience on more strenuous hikes and this
appears to be a great start. The temperatures right now (according to
Weather.com) range from about 75 degrees during the day and near
freezing at night.
At the end of June, I hope to take my son to the Pecos wilderness to a
location called Mora Flats. This is a great easy hike into an alpine
meadow and is only 3 miles in. While the mileage is low, the scenery
is fantastic and will provide he and I an opportunity to try our hand
at catching some of the elusive Rio Grande Cutthroat trout that live
in the stream bisecting this meadow. We plan on hiking in with two
other adults and their 13 year old daughter for one or two nights.
In July, I would like to take my son to the San Pedro Parks (hopefully
its dried out from our last trip a few weeks ago), for a two night
trip to escape the Albuquerque heat. We would hike in about 6 miles,
make camp, and then day hike to an area known to have a beaver pond
and a sizeable elk herd. This trip would involve temperatures ranging
from between 65 and 85 during the day and between 45 and 50 during the
evenings (if not a bit cooler). The San Pedro Parks wilderness is
made up of high-altitude alpine meadows with generally flat trails
which makes the hiking easy and really enjoyable. This is one of my
son's favorite places so far.
Finally I would like to take my son car camping to the Jemez Mountains
to explore Holiday Mesa in either late July or early August prior to
school starting again. One day, while looking at my National
Geographic Topo maps for New Mexico, I saw a notation on Holiday Mesa
entitled "Giant Footprints Ruins". This appears to be a partially
excavated pueblo ruin site on the edge of a large mesa that is
accessible through very rough and unmaintained jeep roads. Last
season we car camped in October on Virgin Mesa, one mesa to the west
of Holiday Mesa, and hiked to another ancient Pueblo ruins site noted
on my Topo maps. My son really enjoyed looking at all the (thousands)
of pot sherds and the ruins. He even found a seven point elk antler
on our hike that is now prominintly hanging on the wall of his
bedroom. My plan is for a simple overnight to car camp near the ruins
site with a day hike the next morning to the site itself. The
temperatures in August will be in the 80's during the daytime and a
cool 40-45 degrees in the evenings. Last year I forgot the tent poles
and we ended up sleeping in the back of my new 4Runner. My son wasnt
ready to sleep outside under the stars yet :)
During each of these trips, my son would be using the Pacific Outdoor
Equipment Kids mat as his only sleeping pad (whether we sleep in Dad's
4Runner or not!). Additionally, I expect him to carry the sleeping
pad himself in his pack for each of our backpacking trips. He carries
his own sleeping pad and sleeping bag, but that is about all that fits
in his pack.
If my son and I are chosen for this test, I intend for he and I to
answer the following questions:
*How is the craftsmanship of Kids sleeping mat? Kids can be rough on
their gear and I would hate to have the mat spring a leak one day into
a two day backpacking trip. Guess who would end up sleeping on the
*How well does the valve mate to the sleeping pad itself? Does it
appear to be sturdy and able to withstand regular use and kid-abuse?
*Does the fabric appear to be able to withstand normal forest duff or
desert surfaces? My son likes to sit on his sleeping pad outside the
tent while eating dinner so this is a consideration.
*How sturdy is the bottom fabric (it is stated to be extra stout
*How permanent is the surface printing of the decorations and sizing
markings? Do they easily rub off after a couple nights sleeping?
*If the sleeping pad does spring a leak in the field, is it easily
repaired? Does the pad come with a useful repair kit?
*When manually inflated, does the valve operate easily and hold air
without allowing leakage?
*The most important aspect of my son's testing will focus on whether
he enjoys using the Kids Mat. Will he sleep soundly on it? Does it
keep him from getting chilled on cooler nights? Right now my son uses
a Max Lite air mattress without any insulation, so on colder nights I
need to bring a foam pad for extra insulation.
*How well does the pad fit my son? Does he easily slide off the pad?
Does the pad provide enough cushion for him to have a good nights sleep?
*Does my son think the Kids Mat is fun to use? It is clearly designed
to make the camping experience more fun. Does he like the designs on
the pad itself? Does he like having his own specialty-designed camp gear?
*My son is a cub scout and has to learn to identify paw prints and
their associated animals. Does he enjoy using the sleeping pad as a
reference while we are camping to identify paw prints we see on the
trail? Does he think the paw prints match up well with his Webelos book?
*My son has a Dueter Fox 30 kids pack that is taken up almost entirely
by his sleeping bag. How well does the Kids mat fit into his pack?
Does it fit on the inside or do I have to strap it to the outside
using the compression straps?
*Does the 15 ounces make his pack uncomfortable to carry (this is a
tough one to test, because all kids get fussy after walking more than
their comfortable distance!). Do I end up having to carry it? If I
do end up carrying it, how well does it fit into my backpack with all
the other gear I need to carry (both mine and my son's).
*How well does the Kids mat self-inflate? Do I need to inflate it
manually or does it do just fine on its own?
*How easily is it to deflate the mattress? Can my son do it fine by
himself or do I need to help him roll it up?
I have completed three Owner Reviews:
Marmot Eiger 36 Pack
MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter
Rayovac Sportsman 3-in-1 Hybrid Headlamp
Outdoor Research Prism Cap - IR Completed on March 13, 2006.
Princeton Tec Apex Headlamp - IR Completed on March 23, 2006.
Thank you for your consideration of my application (on behalf of my
son) to test the Outdoor Pacific Equipment Kids Sleeping Mat. I hope
it meets with your favorable approval.