APPLICATION TO TEST OBOZ YELLOWSTONE FOOTWEAR - Jo Ann Moffi
- APPLICATION TO TEST OBOZ YELLOWSTONE FOOTWEAR
Date: March 3, 2008
Closing Date: March 4, 2008
I have read and understand the requirements for testing as outlined in
The BackpackerGear.org Bylaws v 0609, including Chapters 4 & 5. I
agree to comply with the testing and report requirements. I have
signed and submitted my tester agreement to the address indicated on
Name: Jo Ann Moffi
Height: 168 cm (5 ft, 6 in)
Weight: 84 kg (185 lbs)
Email address: jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, and Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my
husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking,
and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We
live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both
countries for our outdoor excursions. When making a decision on gear,
I like to go lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around
extraneous bits and pieces.
Proposed Gear Testing Locations: Northern Ontario and Michigan
Description of Locations:
Lake Superior Provincial Park: Lake Superior Provincial Park (LSPP) is
a 1600 sq km (618 sq mi) park located in the transition zone between
the Great Lakes Deciduous and Boreal forests. Its vegetation is
comprised of sugar maple and yellow birch in the hardwood areas, white
spruce and white birch in the uplands and white cedar, black spruce
and tamarack in the lowland areas. The harsh climate and topography
has a significant effect of the climate and conditions in the area,
especially along the shore of Lake Superior, where wind, waves, and
spray create a challenging growing environment for vegetation and a
strenuous hiking experience for humans. The highest point is just
northwest of Old Woman Lake at 594 m (1950 ft).
LSPP Coastal Trail: As the name implies, the Coastal Trail is a 48.5
(30 mi) km trail that follows Lake Superior's eastern shoreline from
its southern end beginning at Agawa Bay to its most northern point at
Warp Bay and Devil's Chair. This is a breathtakingly beautiful area,
although it can be a tricky hike as much of the trail along the
coastline of Lake Superior is craggy outcroppings, sheer rock faces
that drop down into the lake, as well as long stretches of sandy and
rocky beaches. The rocks are lichen covered and can be very slippery,
especially when wet with dew or rain. Some sections require squeezing
through canyon walls littered with fallen rocks and logs. Often the
wind coming off of the lake has blown trees over that obstruct the
trail. There is inevitably a period every afternoon where the wind
picks up considerably. Most evenings are calmer, and some nights can
get pretty breezy as well.
The Hiawatha Highlands is a 3000-acre/12 sq km (4 sq mi) wooded area.
There are 50 km (31 mi) of maintained trails as well as many more
unmaintained trails requiring navigational skills to wind through.
This area contains a range of forest types including red and white
pine old-growth forests and dense boreal stands of jack pine and
spruce linked by a network of rivers, lakes, and wetlands.
Voyager Hiking Trail:
The Voyager Hiking Trail is an over 500 km (311 mi) discontinuous
trail that extends from the Nipigon River Recreation Trail beginning
just north of Red Rock, Ontario and ending at South Baymouth on
Manitoulin Island in Ontario. Each area has its own local club that
maintain and add to the trail every year with the goal of a
continuous, non-motorized trail extending across Ontario.
Mackinac State Forest:
I will be exploring a portion of the Mackinac State Forest near Rainy
River Flooding in Michigan's Northern Lower Peninsula with a group of
other backpackers. This area will most likely be a combination of
light to heavy bush cover, boggy areas, skirting wetlands, and hiking
along some old logging roads or game trails.
Thus far, my only firm(ish) plan for backpacking is 4-days (3-nights)
of bushwhacking in the Mackinac State Forest with the Michigan Bush
Rats. This is a planned trip with a group that regularly backpacks in
Michigan and Northern Ontario. However, the group for this particular
outing is currently at 10 people in size and has 2 more slots open for
others to join. That's a lot of people traipsing through the bush
together. If the size of the group still bothers me as that trip draws
closer, I may just have to go somewhere else instead. I have those
days booked off at work, so I will definitely be going somewhere, it
just may not be with that group of people. I will try to keep it in
the Lower Peninsula of Michigan though as they will have less residual
Otherwise, I will be going out on other extended weekend trips as the
weather warms up. I would anticipate getting out every 4-6 weeks for
about 2 nights a trip. Some may be just an overnighter, others may be
3 nights; all depending on how many days I can get off in a row. (I
have a terrible boss… she forces me to work too much… wait a minute…
I'M the boss! Gotta do something about that!)
Other outings will include day hikes and possibly snowshoeing if there
is still snow on the ground when the boots arrive. I will be mountain
biking and trail running too, but I doubt I'd be wearing them on the
bike or running. My week usually includes one day of hiking with the
dogs somewhere in the Hiawatha Highlands, Voyageur Trail, or Lake
Superior Provincial Park. I may also venture into the Upper Peninsula
of Michigan if it suits me. The past couple of years I have been
hiking and backpacking on my own for the most part as the hubby has
been in Alaska, but now he's home, so I will have to let him have some
We are in the midst of winter here in Northern Ontario. We will have
snow on the ground until mid April. We won't consistently see
temperatures above 0 C (32 F) until late April. We get an average of
10 days a month of rain from March to May. Late spring in Northern
Ontario can still bring some cold nights. We frequently have below 0 C
(32 F) nights until as late as May. In April, the wind direction
changes, coming from the Northwest and averages 13 km/h (8.07 mi/h).
The summer months bring warmer temperatures, July and August being our
hottest months with temperatures averaging 20-25 C (68-77 F), with
usually a couple of weeks in late July/early August of hotter weather,
around 30-35 C (86-95 F). July is our sunniest month with about 300
hours for the month.
Climate normals for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and area during the test period:
MONTH: AVG MIN TEMP; AVG MAX TEMP
March: -9 C (15.8 F); 1 C (33.8 F)
April: -1 C (30.2 F); 9 C (48.2 F)
May: 3 C (37.4 F); 16 C (61 F)
June: 8 C (46.4 F); 21 C (70 F)
July: 11 C (52 F); 24 C (75 F)
August: 11 C (52 F); 23 C (73 F)
MONTH: RAIN; SNOW
March: 29 mm (1.14 in); 34 cm (13.39 in)
April: 49 mm (1.93 in); 15 cm (5.91 in)
May: 69 mm (2.72 in); 1 cm (0.39 in)
June: 83 mm (3.27 in); 0
July: 66 mm (2.6 in); 0
August: 85 mm (3.35 in); 0
Wind Speed: AVG KM/H; DIRECTION; MAX HOURLY SPEED
March: 14.1 km/h (8.8 mi/h); W; 74 km/h (46 mi/h)
April: 14.5 km/h (9.0 mi/h); W; 74 km/h (46 mi/h)
May: 13.4 km/h (8.3 mi/h); W; 65 km/h (40.3 mi/h)
June: 12 km/h (7.5 mi/h); W; 64 km/h (69.8 mi/h)
July: 11 km/h (6.8 mi/h); W; 63 km/h (39.1 mi/h)
August: 10.7 km/h (6.7 mi/h); W; 74 km/h (46 mi/h)
I'm being brave and applying to test footwear. I have somewhat picky
feet and have been hesitant in the past to order footwear online as I
worry about them fitting properly. I ordered two pairs of footwear in
the past year online with great success, so I'm going to try it out
here too. I do not anticipate being able to try on these or other Oboz
footwear prior to the test. I will go with the Jason's experience and
ask for a size above my usual one.
Comfort and Fit:
Some aspects and questions I will consider if chosen to test the Oboz
The Oboz website advertises the Yellowstone as a 'Light Hiker for All
Seasons and All Conditions'. If the boots arrive before the end of
April, I will be able to test them in virtually all seasons and
conditions possible in my area. There will be snow on the ground in
some area within my usual haunts that I can wear them boots in. Rain
and wet conditions are a certainty in the spring and since the test
will be 4 months long, it will take me into the middle of summer. Heat
and humidity is a given into July and August. I will be able to give
the boots a well rounded test.
Fit and Comfort:
Oboz has Gender Specific Fit for their lasts and heel counters. Will I
notice a difference? Will I find this comfortable?
Doe the boots provide enough ankle support? I have twisted my ankle a
few times over the years, but I do not consider myself to have weak
Do I find the boots to have adequate cushioning?
Will I find the included B-fit insole comfortable? I have replaced
them in other footwear because I found them too uncomfortable to wear.
How is the length of the laces? Too long or too short? Do they stay
tied up or do the knots slip?
What variety of socks can I wear? Do I have to wear ones that go up
onto my calves or can I wear ones that rise just to the top of the
Are there spots that rub on my feet? Do I develop hot spots or blisters?
How long is the break in period?
Waterproofing and Breathability:
How well ventilated are the boots? I don't normally have particularly
sweaty feet, just in really hot weather.
Do the boots start to smell funny after extended time with my feet in them?
Do I find water seeping into the boots if I am hiking in damp grass or in rain?
Do the boots breathe well in hot weather?
Does my selection of gaiters fit over the boots?
How well do the Z-grip high friction outsoles perform on different
terrain? I will be walking on anything from a dirt trail, smooth
rocks, loose rocks, sandy beaches, to slippery leaves and other debris
on the trail.
Do the boots grip well going up hill? Are my toes going to bang into
the front of the boot when walking down hill?
How much will I notice the boots on my feet? Do they feel heavy? How
much do they weigh?
Does the B-Dry membrane keep my feet dry?
Oboz Propulsion Foam Midsole is supposed to provide cushion with
minimal compression over time. Does this hold true?
How well does the tread hold up to many kilometres of hiking?
How well does the material of the boot uppers hold up?
Are the fabric loops for the lacing adequate or do they start to fray
How well does the boot repel dirt? Are they easy to wipe off?
If the boots do get wet, how quickly do they dry?
Previously Written Reports & BGT Activities:
I have written nine owner reviews since joining the BGT, my most
recent being in response to the August 2007 Owner Review Call for
Hydration Systems. I am a monitor, a mentor, and a test manager. I
also helped out with the 2007 BGT spring-cleaning.
Reviews Written by Jo Ann Moffi:
Tester Detail Tracking Page:
Gear I'm Currently Testing and It's Progress:
Outdoor Research W PL400 Gloves (LTR due March 11th)
Larabar Jocolat Bars (Consumable FR due mid April)
Osprey Talon 33 Pack (LTR due April 20th)
Luna Sport Items (Consumable FRs due mid May)
SmartWool NTS Zip-T (IR posted, awaiting edits)
Integral Designs Penguin Bivy
UCO Original Candle Lantern plus LED
I have sufficient time to test and report on the Oboz Yellowstone
Footwear, as outlined above. Thank you to BackpackGearTest for
considering my application to test the Oboz Yellowstone Footwear.