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APPLICATION - Red Feather Conquest Snowshoes - Mike Wilkie

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  • Mike Wilkie
    APPLICATION - Red Feather Conquest Snowshoes   Mike Wilkie   Hi Kathryn, I hope its not to late to add this app to the list.   Thank you   Best Regards,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 14, 2008
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      APPLICATION - Red Feather Conquest Snowshoes

      Mike Wilkie

      Hi Kathryn,
      I hope its not to late to add this app to the list.

      Thank you

      Best Regards,
      Mike Wilkie




      Please consider my application to test the Red Feather Conquest Snowshoes.

      I have read and will comply with all requirements for being a tester in chapter 5 and will follow all procedures in completing reports. I have read and am familiar with all of the latest bylaws v.0609 and the complete Survival Guide.

      Name: Mike Wilkie
      Age: 31
      Gender: M
      Height: 5�8� (1.73 m)
      Weight: 148 lb (67 kg)
      Email: foreverwild1885@ yahoo.com
      Location: Davenport, NY

      Other personal details

      Shoe: 8.5 US (41.5 EU)
      Waist: 32 (42 EU)
      Chest: 38 in (97 cm)
      Torso: 18 in (45.72 cm)

      Venturing out into the backcountry started when I was young as I was always an avid camper with my family.� As a Scout I was introduced to weekend backpacking and week long tent camping trips.� And with the Scouts I learned and became passionate for wilderness survival.

      Today living in the Catskill Mountain Region of Upstate New York and having the Adirondack Mountains just around the corner backpacking has become more serious for me.� Both the Catskill and Adirondack Parks supply me with the resources needed to live out all my wilderness adventures.

      Being an aspirant of the Catskill 3500 Club and the Adirondack 46ers, peak bagging is currently my main outdoor activity.� Canoe camping was recently added to my list of backcountry hobbies, but logging miles on multiday backpacks will always remain my favorite.� My long term goal is to complete some long distance thru hikes.

      Other backcountry adventures for me consist of snowshoeing, base camping, kayaking, snowboarding and mountain biking.� I truly enjoy spending as much time in the wilderness as life permits.

      The following information is the average conditions for the regions in which gear testing will occur.


      Catskill Region

      Average Temperature �F���� �������������������������������� Years on Record: 30�
      YEAR Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      40.6� 17� � 18.3� 27.4� 38.7� 50.2� 57.7� 62.2� 60.8� 53.8� 44��� 33.8� 21.9

      Average Number of Days Below 32F/0C������������������������
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      179�� 29��� 26��� 28��� 20��� 6.6�� 0.3�� ---�� 0.1�� 2.1�� 14��� 23��� 30

      Average Number of Days Below 0F/-17C
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec��
      20��� 8.1�� 6.9�� 1.8�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� 3.5��

      Average Precipitation in Inches
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec��
      60.3� 4.5�� 4.3�� 5.1�� 5.3�� 5.8�� 5.1�� 4.7�� 4.9�� 4.7�� 4.8�� 6.1�� 5.1

      Average Snowfall in Inches���
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      101.6 23.5� 21.3� 18.9� 5.9�� 1.7�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� 0.6�� 9.7�� 21.1�������

      Adirondack Region

      Average Temperature �F������������������������������������� Years on Record: 30
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      40.4� 14��� 16.1� 26.7� 38.8� 50.9� 59.5� 64.1� 61.8� 54.6� 44.2� 32.9� 19.5�

      Average Number of Days Above 90F/32C�����
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      1.1�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� 0.2�� 0.4�� 0.4�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---��

      Average Number of Days Below 32F/0C
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      184�� 29��� 26��� 28��� 20��� 9���� 1.1�� ---�� 0.1�� 4.3�� 14��� 23��� 29���

      Average Number of Days Below 0F/-17C�����
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      37��� 12��� 11��� 4.4�� 0.2�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� 0.7�� 8.4

      Average Precipitation in Inches����
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      37.6� 2.1�� 2���� 2.4�� 2.8�� 3.3�� 3.6�� 3.8�� 4.5�� 3.8�� 3.2�� 3.3�� 2.7��

      Average Snowfall in Inches���
      YEAR� Jan�� Feb�� Mar�� Apr�� May�� Jun�� Jul�� Aug�� Sep�� Oct�� Nov�� Dec
      122.3 24��� 22.2� 17.7� 8.8�� 0.9�� ---�� ---�� ---�� ---�� 1.5�� 14.2� 27.4�

      Catskill High Peak elevations range from 3500 ft � 4200 ft (1067 � 1280 M)
      Adirondack High Peak elevations range up to 5300 ft (1615 m)

      As I am currently learning and practicing safe lightweight backpacking techniques, my daily mileage has increased and comfort in the wilderness has much improved.� However during the fall my pack weight increases as I add on warm layers and start carrying winter gear.� Winter treks and mountain climbing require me to use or carry snowshoes, crampons, trekking poles, ice axe and occasionally 100 ft (30 m) of rope for a possible emergency rappel or a steep icy scramble that may lie ahead.

      Field information
      ��
      Any gear I am chosen to test and review will endure consistent use over the test period. All gear being tested will be used on and during all day hikes and multi-day backcountry adventures for the entire testing period.� This gear will be thoroughly tested during all and any weather conditions Mother Nature has in store for me during my outings.� Under these conditions, I will assess any gear being tested for its quality and report on all of my experiences. All of my personal evaluations, findings and test experiences with the gear will be recorded and incorporated into my reviews.

      The fall and winter months are big backpacking months for me as they offer me much time to spend in the wilderness. The fall foliage encourages me to get out to the mountains and take in the array of earthy colors and the views from atop winter summits are most rewarding.� I have many trips and adventures planned for these fall and winter months. Long overnighters and peak bagging trips through the Catskills will allow me to properly evaluate the quality and functionality of any gear being tested.

      During the testing period for the Red Feather Conquest Snowshoes I will be backpacking or day hiking to mountain summits all above 3500 ft (1067 m). I can expect extreme and adverse weather conditions in these mountainous areas.� Severe weather is always a concern here in the New York State Mountains.


      Test Plan

      My plan is to thoroughly test the Red Feather snowshoes for their durability, functionality, usefulness, ease of use, comfort and fit. I will also make assessments of any special or unique features the snowshoes may possess or contain.

      My flexible schedule allows me to venture into the backcountry just about every weekend.� Most of my day hikes are usually planned only a day or two in advance, however, below are some of my definite trip plans.

      I will be climbing the Catskill High Peaks to put towards my requirements to become a Catskill 3500er. This club requires each member to summit all 35 high peaks in the Catskills all over 3500 ft (1067 m) in elevation. Four of them are to be completed a second time during the winter months. Since I have completed my four winter summits the following mountains may be climbed on multiday backpacks, day hikes or snowshoe treks during the test period for the Conquest Snowshoes.

      West Kill Mountain � 3880 ft (1183 m)
      Graham Mountain � 3868 ft (1179 m)
      Doubletop Mountain � 3860 ft (1177 m)
      Southwest Hunter Mountain � 3740 ft (1140 m)
      Balsam Lake Mountain � 3723 ft (1135 m)
      Rusk Mountain � 3680 ft (1122 m)
      Panther Mountain � 3720 ft (1134 m)
      North Dome Mountain � 3610 ft (1100 m)
      Kaaterskill High Peak - 3655 ft (1114 m)
      Fir Mountain � 3620 ft (1103 m)
      Bearpen Mountain - 3600 ft (1097 m)
      Sherrill Mountain � 3540 ft (1079 m)
      Halcott Mountain - 3537 ft (1078 m)
      Vly Mountain � 3529 ft (1076 m)
      Windham High Peak � 3524 ft (1074 m)

      I plan to snowshoe hike the entire Catskill Scenic Trail.� This 19 mile (30.59 km) trail is a moderately easy hike with only 400 ft (122 m) change in elevation.� I will hike this in two section hikes, one half on each trip.� The trail starts in Bloomville, NY and runs through South Kortright, Hobart, Stamford and ends in Grand Gorge, NY.

      Also in planning is a multi-day snowshoe trek along a segment of the Finger Lake Trail.� This portion of the trail also includes a segment of the North Country Scenic Trail in New York State.� I will backpack 58.5 miles (94 km) traversing hilly to mountainous terrain.� My adventure will begin in the Catskills taking me west through Ulster and Delaware Counties.� Nights will be spent under tarp tent or in the occasional lean-to.� I hope to wear snowshoes for the whole length; however, the snow conditions will have to determine that.� Crampons, ice axe and trekking poles will definitely occupy space in or on my pack. I plan on spending four nights out during this trip.

      This winter I will be snowboarding often at Belleayre Mountain as I am a season pass holder.� I also travel to other local ski resorts and sometimes I hit the slopes in Vermont and Northern New York State.

      At least once a week I take a short trek in the forest behind my house.� If the conditions permit I will don snowshoes as many times possible for this short hike.� The 2 mile (3.22 km) trek is mostly on an uphill/downhill, rocky terrain and is a moderate ascend to an elevation of 2000 ft (610 m).� If I am chosen to test, this weekly hike can really increase the consistency of use that the snowshoes will receive throughout this test series.

      Recently added to my trip plans is an overnight backpack/mountain climb.� I will summit the West Kill and Southwest Hunter Mountains during this backpack taking me to elevations above 3500 ft (1067 m).� West Kill has a summit elevation of 3880 ft (1183 m) and SW Hunter is at 3740 ft (1140 m).� Total round trip distance for this trek will be about 16.9 miles (27.21 km).� On day one I plan to summit West Kill Mountain and camp out on my return at an elevation of about 2500 ft (762 m).� Depending on availability I�ll spend the night in a lean-to, otherwise under tarp-tent.� On day two I plan to summit SW Hunter which will be some light bushwhacking involved.� Hopefully conditions will allow me to don snowshoes for this trip.

      My wife just informed m that she wants to rent a cabin for a week up in the Adirondack Mountains for Christmas.� She also said if I behave I can go along with her.� This means a whole week of snowshoeing adventures.� Yippee!!!� I don�t have any other info as of now but I can say plenty of snow and plenty of time to spend hitting the trails.

      With all the testing and consistent use that the snowshoes will endure during this test period, I will report on any wear and tear that the snowshoes exhibit. I will report on the condition of the shoes during various stages throughout the test period.� I will also include the pros and cons that I discover as a result of testing this Red Feather snowshoes.


      Assessments to be made of the Red Feather Conquest Snowshoes:

      Bindings
      Will the binding offer a secure fit?
      Will I find the bindings easy to?
      Will strapping in be an easy task with or without donning gloves?
      Will the bindings offer a hassle free boot entry and exit?
      Will the bindings accommodate larger boots?
      Will the bindings accommodate smaller XCR trail shoes?
      Will the strapping offer secure attachment to the snowshoe?
      Will the straps remain easy to use in all conditions?

      Traction/Crampons
      What kind of system will be offered on these snowshoes for traction?
      Will there be crampons or molded brakes to offer good grip?
      Will the snowshoes offer a 360 degree grip?
      Will I find any slipping of the snowshoes in any direction?
      What kind of traction will be offered on steep terrain?
      Will the snowshoes offer toe and heel crampons?

      Floatation/Walking/Balance
      Will the snowshoes offer adequate flotation?
      Will the snowshoes offer adequate flotation while carrying heavier loads?
      Will the snowshoes have any unique feature like a tapered tip or tail to allow for a natural gait?
      Will the snowshoes perform as needed during various snow conditions?
      Will the snowshoes offer a lightweight design to help reduce fatigue?
      If being chased by a killer snowshoe rabbit will I be able to run naturally while donning the snowshoes?
      Will I be able to maintain good balance while donning the Conquests?
      Will they allow my toes to tip-up naturally for easy walking and running?

      Durability
      Will the frame prove to be durable?
      What material will the frame be constructed of to make them more durable?
      Will the decking prove to be abrasion resistant?
      Will the binding prove to be tear resistant?
      Will all material prove to be water resistant to help eliminate freezing of the snowshoes components?

      I will also like to see if the snowshoes collect snow in unwanted areas affecting their performance.� Will there be any balling of snow under the foot or heel?

      If I am chosen to test the Conquest Snowshoes, it will undergo ample testing, for I commit to use them on each and every trip I take where conditions permit during the entire test period.� I will be sure to perform any test possible under conditions in which they are designed for to explain their quality, durability, ease of use and comfort.

      I know I have been recently selected to test several items of gear over these past weeks and I understand all the work that will be involved to properly evaluate and report on all gear being tested.� One of my tests in progress (listed below) will be ending over the next week.� As stated above, the fall and winter months are big backpacking, snowboarding and snowshoeing months for me. �These months allow me to have more time to spend doing what I am truly passionate about.

      Previously written reports:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/foreverwild

      Completed Owner Reviews � 3
      Bushnell ImageView Binocular-Camera
      The North Face Adrenaline Gore-Tex Mids
      CamelBak UnBottle

      Completed Test Reports � 8
      Darn Tough Vermont Socks
      Kershaw Spec Bump Knife
      La Sportiva Halite Boots
      Kombi Cyclone II Gloves
      Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks
      Hydrapack Streamline
      Terra Nova Laser Competition Tent
      Big Agnes Elbert 35 Sleeping Bag

      Tests in progress � 6
      Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad � LTR Testing (Due 11/18/08)
      Gerber Omnivore Flashlight � Field Testing
      Kombi Shifty Gloves � Field Testing
      Dakine Outtabounds Pack � Initial Reporting
      OR Highpoint Cap � Initial Reporting
      Red Ledge Parable Jacket � Awaiting arrival

      Pending Applications � 0

      Thank you for considering me for this test series.



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