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I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season backpacker and year round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
The Hoo-Rag arrived neatly folded inside a cellophane wrapper. The label on the wrapper has the company logo, contact information, care instructions and images of ways to wear the Hoo-Rag. The company slogan, "The Better Bandana" is also on found on the label. As someone who always carries a bandana on every hike and uses it almost every time, I find the motto lofty. I cannot image anything doing all the things my trusty bandana does, nonetheless better. But that's what field testing is for, guess I will have to wait and see.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The only instructions the Hoo-Rag came with are for proper washing. The company website has illustrations showing the Hoo-Rag worn in eight different styles. The illustrations are the same as ones seen on the packaging label in the photo above. There is also a video demonstrating how to achieve most of styles.
TRYING IT OUT
After playing around with the Hoo-Rag for about ten minutes I could wear it in almost all styles. However the "beanie" or "skull cap" style proved elusive. After watching the video it was easily accomplished. Other styles used to tie or hold hair back remain difficult. The major challenge being my almost total lack of hair.
The Hoo-Rag is neat product. I like that a rather simple piece of fabric can be worn so many ways. The pattern is interesting and fun. I look forward to seeing how many ways I can put the Hoo-Rag to use in the field.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Storrs Pond Recreation Area, New Hampshire - 8 mi (13 km) to 400 ft (122 m), 83 F (28 C) clear and calm
Moose Mountain (South Peak), New Hampshire - 10 mi (16 km) to 2300 ft (701 m), 32 F warming to 36 F (0 to 2.2 C) with mixed precipitation changing to all rain
Mt. Ascutney, Vermont - 6 mi (9.5 km) to 3144 ft (958 m), 30 F (-1 C) very sunny and windy where exposed
Pine Park / Girl Brook, New Hampshire - 6 mi (9.5 km) 600 to 400 ft (180 to 120 m), 25 F (-4 C) with a dusting of snow and windy
Farnum Hill, New Hampshire - 8 mi (13 km) to 1336 ft (407 m), 30 F (-1 C) periods of light snow
Moose Mountain (Ridge Trail), New Hampshire - 12 mi (19 km) to 1800 ft (550 m), 28 F warming to 35 F (-2.2 to 1.7 F) snow turning to rain with gusting winds
Pine Park / Girl Brook, New Hampshire - 10 mi (16 km) 600 to 400 ft (180 to 120 m), 30 F (-1 C) and snowing
Pine Park / Girl Brook, New Hampshire - 5 mi (8 km) 600 to 400 ft (180 to 120 m), 18 F (-8 C) with gusty winds and sunshine
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
On days with a temperature was 80 F (27 C) or above I was too hot wearing the Hoo-Rag. I found it wicks moisture away and does not allow much air in or out. This greatly reduced any sensation of cooling. I discovered this when removing the Hoo-Rag after feeling too hot. The first time was after wearing it as a beanie. Worn this way the Hoo-Rag is double layered. So I switched the Hoo-Rag to a single layer and loose in the back. This allowed some heat to vent, but still I felt the Hoo-Rag retained heat.
The weather and conditions can be the determining factor for choosing many gear items. I find this to hold true for the Hoo-Rag. I found it very helpful in lower temperatures. Throw some wind in and the Hoo-Rag is great. However when the heat is on I had to take the Hoo-Rag off. I prefer a more breathable fabric when the weather is hot and humid.
While not a huge fan of the Hoo-Rags warm weather performance I did like using it when it was cold. Being so packable and light the Hoo-Rag will make it into my "cold weather kit".
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