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The best trail journals for hikers fall into several useful categories:
Let's take a peek at least seven ways you can use a hiking journal on your next hike.
The first (and some say best) reason for carrying a trail journal in your backpack revolves around generating great ideas.
If you hike for several hours, and allow your mind to empty its usual chaos and clutter, you might find yourself coming up with some amazingly creative ideas.
And solutions to pressing problems.
But they might slip away, unless you record them as they occur.
Enter trail journals for hikers!
What sets them apart from other journals?
What's not to love?
Jot down your ideas in one of these little beauties:Rite In The Rain Trail Journals
Buying these in a three pack is the way to go!
I use a pencil for my great thoughts, but that means I also carry a small pencil sharpener.
That makes a pen is a great idea.
Try this version instead, to capture all of your doodles and sketches:Rite In The Rain Larger Trail Journal
If you backpack with kids, using a trail journal to keep them occupied while you get food ready and the tent set up makes the day more pleasant for all involved.
One of the classic signs of a newbie hiker is disorganization:
You know the story, right?
The best way out of hiking chaos is LISTS. That's the second great way to utilize trail journals.
If you can train yourself to make lists, and know where they are (hint, hint: journal), and then actually use them - wow! you're in an elite category of prepared, organized, bomb proof hikers.
Examples of lists you can draft and save in your trail journal:
Your trail journal can be Planning Central!
Access points to trail heads can be cut off within minutes, with a big wind storm blocking a road or unannounced road crews forcing you to find an alternate route to your favorite hiking spots.
When you learn of a trail head access problem, jot it down in your trail journal.
Another example of using a hiking journal for navigation: Sometimes a trail is re-routed for maintenance or animal activity.
Do you like to do off trail and/or back country navigation?
Making notes of the terrain to complement your photos and GPS way points is a guaranteed way to build up an archive of spectacular, personalized hiking destinations.
And taking the time to document map discrepancies, seasonal water supplies, or alternate routes will pay off if you revisit that spot later.
So we've covered three more ways to use a trail journal:
Let's see, we're up to five great ways to use trail journals for hikers.
Two more to go!
C'mon, we're burning daylight (or electrons).
Nobody wants to get into a survival situation.
Everyone wants to get out of one.
Carrying pen and paper guarantees you two things in a survival situation:
Some examples will clarify this for you.
You somehow took a wrong turn on the
trail, or missed a sign, or who knows what, but you got separated from
your hiking group or trail buddy.
Instead, dig out your trail journal and your map.
Your hiking partner face plants on the rocks, and there's a lot of blood along with a brief loss of consciousness.
After you deal with seeing all of that blood, dig out your trail journal.
A few other ways paper in your journal can help you out in a survival situation come to mind:
Who among us can predict when you'll need a piece of paper??
Be smart, be prepared.
Hiking journals and all weather pens make great gifts for hikers.
Here's a way to make your favorite hiker's eyes shine with delight: a journal, pen and waterproof zippered pouch to hold them!
This is absolutely the best way to transport and protect those precious notes, lists, sketches and great ideas.
If you're celebrating someone's birthday or other festive event on the trail, what an appropriate gift to give!
How have you used a trail journal?
Please do let me know!
Use this CONTACT link so I can share your trail wisdom right here.
Trail Journals For Hikers
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