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APPLICATION TO TEST OBOZ YELLOWSTONE FOOTWEAR - Jo Ann Moffi

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  • 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2008
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      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
      the agreement.

      Name: Jo Ann Moffi
      Age: 34
      Gender: Female
      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

      Backpacking Background:

      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.

      Field Information:

      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.

      Hiawatha Highlands:
      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.

      Planned Trips:
      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
      snow.

      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
      input too. 

      Weather Conditions:

      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)

      Test Plan:

      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
      Yellowstone Footwear:

      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
      ankles.
      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
      boot?
      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?

      Field Performance:
      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?

      Durability:
      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
      or stretch?

      Care:
      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:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/jomoffi

      Tester Detail Tracking Page:
      http://teststatus.backpackgeartest.org/T1610.htm

      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)

      Monitoring Duties:
      Integral Designs Penguin Bivy
      Hydrapak Streamline

      Applications Pending:
      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.
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