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APPLICATION - Pacific Outdoor Equipment Kids Sleeping Mat

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  • gcmehojah
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2006
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      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
      Age: 34
      Gender: Male
      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

      Backpacking Background:

      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
      Age: 10
      Gender: male
      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

      Backpacking background:

      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.

      Test Plan:

      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
      hard ground?
      *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?

      Reviews Completed:

      Owner Reviews:

      I have completed three Owner Reviews:

      Marmot Eiger 36 Pack

      MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter

      Rayovac Sportsman 3-in-1 Hybrid Headlamp

      Completed Tests:


      Ongoing Tests:

      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.
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