Please accept my application to test the Blueberry Crisp Clif Bars or
the Clif Cran-Razz Shot Bloks. I'd prefer the Clif Bars but would be
pleased to test either product.
I have read the BackpackGearTest.org Bylaws v. 0609, the Appendices, and
the BGT Survival Guide., and I shall follow all requirements. This
test will not conflict with any of my other current tests (listed below)
nor impose too heavy a report-writing burden. I've always submitted my
test reports on time and I shall do so with this test. I have a signed
Tester Agreement on file.
Male, 60 years old
6' 4" (1.9 m) tall, 200 lb (91 kg)
Dallas, Texas, USA
rlyon AT gibsondunn DOT com
Personal Information and Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking
for 45 years on and off, and regularly in the Rockies since 1986. I do
a weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips. I'm
usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 13000 ft (1500 -
4000 m). I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips
from camp, but I do my share of forced marches too. Though always
looking for ways to reduce weight, I'm not yet a lightweight hiker, and
I usually choose an extra pound or two over foregoing camp conveniences
I've come to expect.
Background Applicable to This Test: My backpack, daypack, ski jacket,
or trouser pockets usually contain one or more Clif Bars or a pack of
Shot Bloks, and often both. I like the energy kick from a Clif Bar and
the sugar shot from a Shot Blok, and I much prefer both these Clif
products to the other energy bars or snack food I have sampled. Organic
or nutritional content are minor considerations; I favor them because
they taste much better and because both pack easily. I'm eager to try
any new flavor for either one unless it has bananas in it, and I am
partial to any berry-flavored snack food (or other kind of food).
Testing Locations. I shall do at least one backpack in the Texas Hill
Country or in Oklahoma in the next two months, and I am planning my
annual first aid certification course (required for the summer volunteer
trips that I lead) in May in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming. I shall try to
add an overnight or weekend backpack at the conclusion of the course, as
I did last year. I have a long weekend trip with a volunteer
organization scheduled for Oregon in late May. I have planned trips to
Montana in June and July, and the four-month test period should include
my week-long service backpacking trip in the first week in August. I
expect temperatures from near freezing to 90+F (32+ C) on these jaunts.
Day hikes, baseball games, and gym sessions provide other testing
opportunities. I'm confident that I'll run out of supplies long before
four months pass.
Test Plan. I shall look for the following:
For any snack food my principal testing standard is taste, and that goes
for both these products. Taste is of course a very personal thing so
I'll disclose some preferences. I have what might be called an
anti-sweet tooth and generally select snacks that aren't too sweet. For
this reason I generally don't buy Clif Bars with chocolate and prefer
those with more grain-like flavors and (oatmeal and poppyseed, for
example). The same goes even for pure treats; I'll take dried fruit
over candy any day. So sweetness to the taste the less the better
- will color my judgment.
How filling is either product, particularly the Clif Bar? Will either
give me a feeling of being overstuffed (as occasionally happens after a
cookie or candy bar), or cause a gagging feeling in my throat if I
undertake hard hiking immediately after lunch or my snack break?
My favorite Shot Blok flavors are Black Cherry and Orange, not
coincidentally because both have caffeine. CranRazz does not. Will I
miss the caffeine kick?
Do the Shot Bloks have any use other than as a snack? Might I use them
as dessert or, if they're not too sweet, as part of a backcountry salad?
Can the Clif Bars be a no-cooking breakfast, and if so how many are
needed per person?
I've never had a problem with Clif Bars or Shot Bloks melting even in
100 f (38 C) heat, or disfiguring or crumbling even when scrunched into
a carelessly packed or overloaded pack, but I'll test both products with
an eye on this. Can I take the Bloks out of their plastic packaging and
store them in other food containers without risk of sticking or
I've never noticed an odor from a Clif Bar or Shot Blok, but I'll
address this specifically for either product at different temperatures
and when stored half-eaten (Clif Bar) or less than a full package eaten
Tests Completed: Tamarack Habilitation ENGO Blister Prevention Patches;
Kamik Chase Trail Shoes, Industrial Revolution Play & Freeze Ice Cream
Maker, Ibex Men's Qu-T; Atsko Sno-Seal; Atsko WaterGuard and Sport-Wash;
Thorlo Level 1 Wool Blend Hiking Socks.
Test in Progress: Patagonia Down Jacket (Field report phase of Test
Selected to Test: Gramicci Flash Henley and Long Johns (probably
canceled); Primus AB ETA Stove (awaiting shipment)
Owner Reviews: 2007: Hilleberg Unna tent (January 30); Nuun Hydration
Tablets (February 26). 2006: Alan & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book
(December 26); The Works @ Mystery Ranch Day Pack (November 19);
Backcountry Access Tour System Shovel (October 26); Nunatak Gear Back
Country Blanket (October 15); Nunatak Gear Skaha Plus Down Sweater
(August 20); Black Diamond Skylight tent (August 14); BullFrog Quik Gel
Sunblock (July 17); Outdoor Research Nimbus Sombrero (March 26); Ibex
Outback Long-Sleeve Shirt (February 27); Jetboil Pot Support and
Stabilizer (February 1). 2005: Kifaru Field Chair (November 4); Bibler
Bombshelter Mountaineering Tent (September 25); Just Tomatoes, etc!
Products (September 12); Filson Heavyweight Merino Wool Socks (August
26); Jetboil Personal Cooking System (July 27); Mystery Ranch BDSB
Backpack (June 30); Bibler Ahwahnee 2 Tent (May 31).
All my reviews are collected here
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