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Application: OR Bug Bucket - Nancy Griffith

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  • Nancy Griffith
    Please consider my application to test the OR Bug Bucket hat.  I have read the BackpackGearTest.org By-Laws (v. 0609) including Chapter 5 and I agree to
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2009
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      Please consider my application to test the OR Bug Bucket hat.  I have read the BackpackGearTest.org By-Laws (v. 0609) including Chapter 5 and I agree to abide by all rules and requirements. My signed Tester Agreement is on file. 

      Personal biographical information
      ·        Nancy Griffith
      ·        43
      ·        Female
      ·        5’6” (1.68 m)
      ·        130 lb (59 kg)
      ·        bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
      ·        Northern California, USA

      Backpacking background
      My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails.  The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds.  I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania, then for years in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and now mostly in the Sierra Nevada of California.  Most of my trips are section hikes or loops from a few days to a week.  I carry a mid-weight load, use a tent and hiking poles.

      Mosquito Background:
      If current conditions here in the Sierra Nevada foothills are any indication, this is going to be a banner year for mosquitos.  We haven't been able to work in the garden or sit outside in the evenings for the past two weeks without being tormented since the mosquitos are starting.  Upcountry though, the season won't start for another month and then will be heavy in late June through August.  We have backpacked in the Desolation Wilderness in mid-July to find the most voracious mosquitos ever in our experience.  It was miserable even with long pants, long sleeves, DEET, hats and bandanas over our faces.  They were just biting through our clothing and flying into our eyes, nose and mouth.  I generally avoid using bug sprays unless conditions are awful since I don't want to be exposed to the chemicals (the natural ones just don't work).  So, netting may be a good alternative.

      Hat Background:
      I wear a hat for all of my outdoor activity to avoid sun exposure.  In rain storms, I like to wear a hat/cap with my jacket hood pulled over.  In the past I have worn a cotton ball cap but need something lighter.  I also wear a wide brimmed cotton hat but it is just too hot in the summer.  A nylon hat that could be rinsed out/washed frequently would be very useful.  I own an Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero hat of size M that says it fits size 22-1/2 inch and it fits well, so the sizing should work for me. 

      Test plan or strategy:
      My test plan would evaluate the following:

          1) Performance 
              a.  Does the no-see-um netting keep mosquitos and gnats out? 
              b.  If the netting is lying next to my skin (i.e. neck) will I get bit through the netting like we do through our clothing?
              c.  Is the netting long enough and does the drawstring work to keep bugs from flying up under?
              d.  Is the brim large enough to keep the sun off of my face? 
              e.  Is it ventilated and breathable enough to keep my head cool on warm weather hikes?
              f.  How quickly does it dry?
              g.  Does the SPF rating work?...although I wouldn't expect for me to get sunburned through any hat.

          2) Fit/Comfort
              a.  How well does it fit?  
              b.  Does it provide adjustment?
              c.  Is the material comfortable?
              d.  Does it fit under the hood of my rain jacket?
              e.  Does it stuff easily into the crown pocket?
              f.  Is the netting comfortable or does it make me feel claustrophobic?
              g.  Do I prefer to only use the netting while in camp or is it comfortable (vision, heat, etc.) while hiking too?
              h.  How does it fit with the netting tucked up inside?
              
          3)  Durability
              a.  How well does it hold up overall?
              b.  Can it handle multiple machine washings? Well first, do they recommend machine washing?
              c.  Does it become mishapen after washing? 
              d.  Can I tear the netting accidentally?
              e.  Does it retain its shape after being stuffed into the crown pocket?
              
          4) Weight
              a.  Is it light weight?  2.7 oz sounds good to me!
                                 
      Field information
      I plan to test the OR Bug Bucket mainly in the Sierra Nevada (Northern California) with one trip planned to New England.  The terrain will be mountainous at elevations from 2,000' to 9,000' (610 to 2700m) with temperatures ranging from the 30's to 90's F (0 to 32 C) with mostly sunny conditions and some afternoon thunderstorms. 

      I hike and backpack on a regular basis hiking once per week and backpacking once per month in Spring through Fall.  Firm backpacking plans include a late June/early July 4-day trip on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Over the summer, we plan to do a couple 1-2 nighters in the Desolation Wilderness.  August plans are for a one week trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail.  September plans are for a 2-week New England trip to climb Mount Katahdin (Maine) and to do a 3-day backpacking trip in the White Mountains (New Hampshire).  We also manage to get in one or two boat camping trips in the summer where we boat in to a remote area for a long weekend of hiking and fishing.  Lakes = mosquitos

      As mentioned in the 'Bug Background' section above, the mosquitos will be heavy in the Sierra from late June through August.  I'm not sure what New England is like for mosquitos in September, but I would plan to take it on that trip too at least for sun protection.  I would also plan to use it in the evenings at home while I work in the garden.  There are also some trails with a lot of gnats or flies, so I would test those conditions too as they arise.

      I have written 11 OR's (1 awaiting edit) and have completed 10 test series.
      My reviews can be viewed at:  http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/ngriffith

      My current tests are:
      Amazing Grass Energy Bars (LTR due July)
      Patagonia Bly Hiking Shoes (FR due June)
      Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter (Awaiting shipment)

      Monitoring Kuru Chicane Hiking Shoes.

      Recently started as a Test Call Manager.

      I have no other applications pending.

      Thank you for considering my application. 

      Nancy




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