Notepad or journal for tripping

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I’m curious what other folks use as a notepad or tripping journal.

For years I used Steno pads with the flip ring at the top, but lately I’ve been using a particular side ring binder – Mead Five Star College-ruled notebooks (100 sheets, 2 pockets). The internal pocket sleeves are handy for loose material and I can usually get several trips from one notebook, especially if I don’t burn too many blank pages as lazy man fire starter.

The only issue I have with steno pads or the like is that they are not quite a stiff enough platform to write on while propped on a knee without bending awkwardly. I use 3m 77 spray to glue stiffener cardboard rectangles inside the covers. The triangular FedEx “tube” boxes are great for that, and for other purposes since one side is plastic coated.

That journal stays in the Books, Maps & Papers dry bag, and isn’t easily accessible while paddling, so I also carry slender 6x4 memo book and another pen in a Zip-lock for notes afloat.

What do other folks carry for journals or trip notes?
 
Joined
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Hey Mike,

I don't journal in the sense of sitting down every evening and writing a long 'diary-like' entry... Kinda wish sometimes that I was wired that way, but I'm not. I carry a small "Rite in the Rain" notebook. It's spiral bound on top, about 3"x5", and has 1/4" graph paper pages. I use it mostly for notes about the day, and I generally fill it out every evening... but it's more stuff like weather, animals seen, fish caught, where I camped (site #), maybe hi/lo temps, and how my gear is faring. I don't do a lot of "personal thoughts" type stuff, so it's kinda dry reading. But it does enable me to make adjustments to my gear for future trips. here's the link: http://www.riteintherain.com/inventoryD.asp?item_no=135&CatId={1E67A925-857C-4B13-97D3-115AFFF54596}

The other notebook I use is another Rite in the Rain one, but this is bigger, about 5x7. It's bound on the left, and has similar 1/4" graph paper inside. This one doesn't go out so much on overnighters as I use it to store things in... some of that is important notes about things that were worth writing down, but mostly it's home-made maps. When I'm in a new area, especially here locally (new deer lease, exploring a new section of national forest, etc), I am in the habit of plotting every major feature and trail intersection with my GPS. I then bring it home and transfer those points into that notebook, both as a page full of written grid coordinates and as points plotted on the graph paper (1/4" = 100meters). This transfers the data into my own memory as well, and in just a couple trips, I will have established a fairly good mental map. I don't do this for places I vacation in, for example the St Regis Canoe Wilderness or the Bog River/Low's Lake, because I have good maps of those areas already, and I seldom stray far from shoreline when canoeing. Hope all that makes sense. Here's a link to this second kind of book. http://www.riteintherain.com/inventoryD.asp?item_no=980&CatId={A2742037-E788-41A5-B239-898C86A1165D}

edit: it does not appear that my links work... not sure why, I just copied them directly from the address window. Both are on the Rite in the Rain website.
 
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Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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Warren, Manitoba
I use a book type thing, ringed on the one edge. The past 5 years of trips are in it, including maps I've sketched for portages, depths and fish locations, etc. Time for a new one this year. Every night I sit down and write down the day, including portage lengths, and any other pertinent data. I can usually remember an entire day each evening and I write the trip report within days of getting home from that journal.
 
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Appleton, Maine
I don't use one, I pretty much remember enough to tell a story in a TR. I have written on maps but not enough to call it a journal, just years I did this route and with who.

I have a coffee can full of old hunting and fishing licenses, and I kept notes on them. I have one from NY, 1982, first canoe camping trip with my twin 7 year old boys to Garnet Lake in the southern ADKs. in large letters I wrote "VERY NERVOUS"...we had a great time:)
 
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I have a coffee can full of old hunting and fishing licenses, and I kept notes on them. I have one from NY, 1982, first canoe camping trip with my twin 7 year old boys to Garnet Lake in the southern ADKs. in large letters I wrote "VERY NERVOUS"...we had a great time:)

I have steno pad journals from every trip beginning in 1976. I’m not sure why I’ve kept them since my handwriting is so poor that I can barely read them myself.

The most interesting thing in those old notepads is the “To do” notes. I have always written notes on gear I needed to repair or retrofit or DIY ideas on the inside covers and it is entertaining to look at what I was working on 20 or 30 years ago.
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
I don't use one either. Pictures seem to give me a sense of the day. But I do admire those who journal. This spring, on a rainy night in a cabin on the Suwanee, one of the trip participants pulled out a notebook and went down memory lane to Alqonquin in 2007. He had everything to the minute, including menus for meals, portage start times, end times and any other notations of the day..The notes were so detailed that we all got a big kick out of them and were rolling on the floor, especially when he mentioned "I don't remember that"
 
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Dec 7, 2011
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Maryland, USA
Like Seeker, I use the bound Rite in the Rain waterproof journal. I do not keep a journal per se, but on longer trips I record emergency #s I might need, lat/long of camps, distance travelled, availability of potable water, names of people met, weather conditions, etc. I am used to keeping a log aboard ship and I guess this is my canoe log.
Dave
 
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Jul 31, 2011
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North Iowa
I'm another Rite in the Rain waterproof journal and a space pen. Normally just quick notes about the day so that I can write it out better when I get home. Works for me
 
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