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APPLICATION TO TEST - Probar Energy Bars - Greg Mehojah

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  • gcmehojah
    Please accept my application to test the Probars Energy Bars. I have read the requirements in the BGT survival Guide, Ch 5 (v. 1202), and will comply with each
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2006
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      Please accept my application to test the Probars Energy Bars. 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 two report test period. My signed Test Application
      Agreement is on file with Stephanie. If I am lucky enough to be
      involved in this test series, I will ensure that the Probars are
      consumed during a wide variety of activities.

      Biographical Information:

      Name: Greg Mehojah
      Age: 34
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
      Weight: 205 lb (95 kg) (woohoo...lost five whole pounds!!!)
      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
      older.

      -----------------------------------------
      Field Information Relevant to This Test:
      -----------------------------------------

      During the test period I have a lot of outdoor plans. Not all of them
      include camping or backpacking, but the plans I have include a wider
      variety of activities. I am an avid dayhiker (easier on the schedule
      until my son's baseball season ends), and a fanatical mountain biker.
      I also commute to work twice a week 20 miles round trip now that the
      weather has warmed up. My standard food assortment for dayhikes
      always include at least two Cliff bars, and my Camelbak always has two
      Cliff bars (and some energy gels) for my mountain bike trail rides.
      Additionally, when commuting to work, I eat a Cliff bar before I head
      down the path to work and one when I arrive.

      Dayhikes:

      Living in Albuquerque, New Mexico provides me with a great testing
      ground for the Probars. The Sandia Mountain Range is 10 minutes from
      my front door and provides a great deal of hiking opportunities for
      me. My dayhikes are generally on the east side of the Sandia
      Mountains, beginning in the foothills access points, leading into the
      various canyons and ridgeline trails at higher altitudes. Many of my
      hikes are very strenuous, and guidebooks strongly suggest that they
      not be done alone. Just in case something unforeseen happens, I
      always take an extra ration of food (including energy bars) should I
      be in the mountains longer than anticipated. I am not a fastpacker,
      though I like to get to my intended destination, and I gladly give up
      time walking the trail to find a nice spot to sit and have a snack to
      enjoy the scenery before moving along. I do at least one dayhike per
      week in the Sandias, either alone, with a friend, or with my wife.
      The elevations range from 6,500 ft above sea level at the trailheads
      to just over 10,000 feet at the highest point on Sandia Peak.
      Temperatures range from 50-80 F during the day at the base to 25-65 at
      the crest. Wind is also prevalant during the proposed test period as
      is precipitation (though rain has been lean this year).

      Mountain Biking:

      I LOVE mountain biking. In fact, I JUST bought a new full-suspension
      mountain bike this past weekend and have four rides on it this week
      alone (my wife finally gave in). This is one of those activities that
      allows me to explore deep into large areas in a reasonable amount of
      time while working on my fitness and technical skills. During the
      week, I get in two to three mountain bike rides along the foothills
      trails of the Sandias as well as at least one night per week in the
      Tijeras canyon area. The foothills trails are a great way to stay in
      shape, but do not offer a great deal of technical challenges, while
      the Tijeras trails provide gut busting climbs along talus slopes, and
      extremely technical downhill single-track trails. The views of both
      trails are stunning, and rewarding to complete. Each of my rides
      varies in distance from between 8.5 and 20 miles depending on the
      amount of time I have available. Generally the longer rides are on
      the weekends, but I also end my longer weeknight rides in the dark
      using my technical mountain bike light. I generally consume one
      energy bar prior to a ride (generally while driving to the trail head)
      and on longer rides I consume another bar during the mid-way point.

      Bike Commuting to Work:

      Now that the weather has warmed up I commute to work twice per week.
      This is a great way to get in two thirty minute workouts and have some
      time to myself to think while getting into the office. My commuting
      trail is a nearly flat (no inclines) paved bike path that meanders
      along the Rio Grande. The bosque (which means riparian forest) is an
      extremely beautiful area to bike along in the mornings. I have to be
      careful not to veer off the path while watching cranes and other water
      foul swooping overhead to land on the shores of the Rio Grande. I
      often also get to pass near a coyote den where I have seen multiple
      coyotes lounging on the edge of the path watching me as I pedal by.
      Luckily, my commute only requires me to be in city traffic for about
      1.5 miles so that I get to enjoy peace and quiet during my trips. I
      really enjoy clearing my head at the end of the day on bike commutes.
      Plus, it saves on outrageous gas prices!! When I commute to work I
      generally consume one energy bar on the way to the trail parking lot
      and another when I get in to work. I generally do not eat another
      energy bar prior to leaving the office at the end of the day. I like
      to push myself during these commutes to keep fit for mountain biking
      and hiking.

      Backpacking/car camping:

      I plan on taking my son on multiple overnights during this test
      period, and have already warned his baseball coach that he is going to
      have to miss some games (fire restrictions are getting tougher). I
      also have some other plans in place that may have to shift depending
      on schedules, but the following provides a general intent for my
      overnight hiking activities.

      At the end of May I plan on taking my son back to the Apache Kid
      Wilderness so that he and I can hike to the Apache Kid gravesite. he
      and I went car camping there this past weekend, and did some low
      mileage hikes from camp. 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. The temperatures right now (according to
      Weather.com) range from about 75 degrees during the day and near
      freezing at night.

      At the beginning of June, I plan on hiking into somewhere with my
      brother from Kansas who will be visiting for his first backpacking
      trip. We vacillate between heading into the Pecos wilderness or (now)
      whether to head up towards Durango or somewhere in Flagstaff.
      Regardless, we are heading to one of those locations for two nights to
      explore an area neither of us has ever been to, and of course, eat
      lots of good food along the way! I plan to keep the mileage low
      because he is not that active and I don't want him to have a bad
      memory of our hiking trip together.

      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.

      As previously stated, my plans are shifting a bit, but wherever I go,
      I will have a great opportunity to test these Probars. I am not sure
      whether there are enough of the Probars to last for the entire length
      of my planned backpacking/car camping trips, but I thought I would be
      more thorough, than less, in my description of how I would intend to
      use them.

      -----------
      Test Plan:
      -----------

      Taste:

      *Most importantly, how do the Probars taste? Do they have too strong
      of a flavor? Is there a substantial aftertaste? Do I find them to be
      generally appealing to eat while on the trail or on the way to the
      trail? Are they tasty enough to substitute for my normal trail lunch?
      I generally try to eat something "real" for lunch on backpacking
      trips, but would try to use the Probars for lunch during this test period.
      *What does the banana flavor really taste like? Is the banana taste
      appealing?
      *What is the consistency of the Probars? Do they taste too dry? Are
      they easy to bite off and chew? Do I need to consume large amounts of
      water while eating them or afterwards?
      *How do the Probars smell? Is the smell overwhelming? I do not like
      trying to eat foods with a strong odor or flavor while engaging in
      strenuous activity. For some reason the harder I exercise, the less
      powerful I like my food to smell and taste.
      *How well do the Probars digest in my stomach? Do they feel like a
      rock or are they easily processed by my body?
      *Do I get a good amount of energy from them? What kinds of energy do
      I get (i.e. instant sugar rush or long-term energy)?
      *What is their nutritional value and is it enough to keep me from
      bonking on longer mountain bike trail rides or while commuting to
      work? I find that I can generally head off running out of energy
      while hiking, but when I am biking hard, energy loss seems to come
      much quicker and is more difficult to avoid. Are there enough
      calories in each bar to fend off bonking or hunger?
      *How well do the bars hold up in my pack? Can they withstand being
      bounced around and rubbed against other things while on long trail
      rides? Do the wrappers develop pinholes or other tears while riding
      in my backpack during dayhikes or long backpacking trips? How fresh
      do the wrappers seem to keep the bars?
      *Can the Probars hold up to heat without melting into an inedible goo?
      I have had Cliff bars start to come apart like gooey cookies after
      being left in the heat for too long. Do the Probars resist this type
      of failure?
      *How heavy are the Probars? Do I feel like they are worth carrying
      with me into the woods or along a mountain bike trail?

      Reviews Completed:
      -------------------

      Owner Reviews:

      I have completed three Owner Reviews:

      Marmot Eiger 36 Pack
      http://tinyurl.com/kr6lq

      MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter
      http://tinyurl.com/h26du

      Rayovac Sportsman 3-in-1 Hybrid Headlamp
      http://tinyurl.com/mnz4f

      Completed Tests:

      none

      Ongoing Tests:

      Outdoor Research Prism Cap - IR Completed on March 13, 2006.
      http://tinyurl.com/kdha8

      Princeton Tec Apex Headlamp - IR Completed on March 23, 2006.
      http://tinyurl.com/rnl7m


      Thank you for your consideration of my application to test the Probar
      Energy Bars. I hope it meets with your favorable approval.
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