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Tee Shirts

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For some time now, I have been asked by many of my customers for some form of logo. I have been flattered by these requests. I now have a Tee shirt available with the Wiggy logo.

The tee shirt is the Hanes-brand Beefy model. It is preshrunk 100 percent cotton. They are available in all sizes, from small to triple extra large. Colors available are black, royal blue, purple, and forest green. Cost: $15.00 each.

BEING COPIED

Can anything be more satisfying to a manufacturer than to have one or more companies copy your product or utilize your trademark? Well, that is beginning to happen.

A mail order company that sells poor quality or army surplus products got a deal on sleeping bags made by a contract sewing company. These bags are insulated with polyester. The mail order company advertised that these bags were insulated with Lamilite. When I found out, I called the company, and spoke to the buyer. I did not tell him who I was. I inquired as to how many he had sold. He said he sold 300. He added that he could have sold 1,000, if they were available.

Several of the people who bought them thought they were buying Wiggy's. After receiving them they called me, questioning the Isratex name as the manufacturer. That's how I became aware of the misuse of the Lamilite name. All of the callers who bought them, have returned them. The company is The Sportsman's Guide.

Another company that manufactures children's bags is copying the basic construction of Wiggy's bags. Unfortunately for the consumers who purchase these bags, they are not getting a quality product. The material that is used for insulation is Primaloft. In previous newsletters I have explained that Primaloft is unacceptable for use as an insulation for sleeping bags. When used for a kid's bag, it is tragic.

It is important to remember, heat in the human body comes from muscle mass, and that children simply have very little muscle mass. Therefore, they need greater insulation in their bags than do adults. Primaloft has been proven not to perform for adults; so putting the stuff in a child's bag is immoral.

The company I am referring to is Tough Traveler Ltd.

And still one more company has chosen to copy one of my products. The product is the Hypothermia bag. The company is very clear in its literature to point out that the insulation is not quilted or laminated. The insulation used is Polarguard HV. In addition to the construction being the same-minus the lamination-they have the same intravenous and catheter openings and use the same fabrics. There are other similarities as well. The company in this case is Eagle Enterprises, Inc. They are located in Anchorage, Alaska. They charge $399.00 versus the Wiggy Hypothermia bag which is $275.00, and significantly superior.

It is obvious that all of my developments are being recognized by these and other companies as worthwhile; if not, why would they be copying me? All these companies will have been served legal papers to cease and desist their illegal activities by the time this newsletter is published.

IT'S A FACT

The Backpacker Gear Guide issue, March 1998 has tidbits of information-each titled "It's A Fact"--- in the border of several pages.

On page 156 the following appears: " Wearing wicking long underwear, socks, and a hat when inside your bag will add 7 degrees F of warmth to the temperature rating, according to tests by Cascade Designs using Mort." Mort is the mannequin they use to test their bags.

To the best of my knowledge they have been using this contraption for about four years. This machine has shown how valuable it is with respect to its ability to guide Cascade in their decision to use insulation in their sleeping bags. First they used Polarguard, then the machine demonstrated that they should use Lite Loft. Both of these fibers when used for insulation have failed. Now Cascade is using Polarguard 3-D. The 3-D product is showing that it performs equally as poorly as its predecessors at Cascade. I ask, can you believe a mannequin? Based on past history from all mannequin testing, or any laboratory testing the answer is no.

As for the use of wicking clothing worn in a sleeping bag, it is categorically dangerous. In order for a fabric to wick moisture it must have absorbing capability. If it absorbs moisture from your body, the moisture will only move from the side against your skin to the opposite side when there is more moisture to replace it. Since you are in a sleeping bag, the moisture will not get out of the bag. The moisture will then actively absorb heat from your body. Ultimately you will lose massive amounts of heat and may very well, depending upon the situation, become hypothermic.

On page 135 the following fact appears: "A vapor barrier liner bag (VBL) can add up to 20 degrees F of warmth when used inside your existing bag." This "fact" is not attributed to a person or laboratory test.

I believe this "fact" is equally as bad as the previous one. If you get into a VBL all of the moisture your body is generating stays in the VBL with you. If you are sleeping nude the moisture coats your skin and you experience being clammy. In addition, if the bag is not adequate for the temperature you will become chilled. If you wear any form of clothing it will retain the moisture. In both cases when you exit your bag, you will get a chill.

Page 145 has this "fact": "The insulating power of down drops 50 percent when wet." How about 100 percent.

When down gets wet, the down clusters clump together. Some areas will have nothing while other areas will have lumps. The water will absorb your heat very quickly. Therefore, you will not only lose 100 percent of the down's insulating ability, but you will also be giving up heat to the water. A net loss of 150 percent. The 150 percent is a guess, but it is irrelevant what the number is, you are still in trouble.

Turn to page 165 for the following "fact": "You lose more than 30 percent of body heat from the top of your head, so wear a hat on cold nights to sleep warmer." This fact must have come from a hat manufacturer.

If you examine a chart that displays blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body, you will see that the bulk of the blood does not go to the head. I am only guessing, but it appears that about 20 percent of the blood goes to the head. Therefore, if what is lost through the head is 30 percent of the 20 percent total, heat loss is minimal. If your sleeping bag has good insulation in the hood, and if it is designed well, you will never have the need for a hat.

The point of presenting each of these examples is to show that the Backpacker magazine does not have any regard for you-the consumer who reads the publication-who have viewed them as a source of information in the field of camping. The editor had nothing less than a wonderful comment about Wiggy bags, but why should people believe him when you realize they publish a preponderance of information in the magazine that is not factual. You spend your money for the publication expecting to get reasonably accurate information to help you make reasonable decisions about what to buy, wear, and use. You do not expect to be misled.


KNOWLEDGE: "Knowledge" is a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation.
Ayn Rand, "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" (1979)

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