Remembering The Trip- Keeping A Camping Journal

Tips for finding and using a camping journal to help keep the memories alive

A journal dedicated to your camping trip is an ideal way to log all the memorable happenings of your vacation. One dedicated specifically to a camping trip though should start with a few basic differences from a typical journal.

1- It should be compact

2- It should be water proof or at the least water resistant

Start by purchasing a journal that has these two main features. The first feature is somewhat elusive but you will know what I mean when you find it. The journal itself should be both compact, yet large enough to both write in and have room to tuck actual souvenirs such as leaves and flowers, and/or provide enough white space to sketch any details that you feel need to be included to complement and reinforce your journaling itself. If you will be doing a lot of hiking on your camping trip, several good pocket sized journals exist. Secondly, the journal should be sturdy. A flimsy, thin-paged journal just will not do. The paper should be heavy weight, able to withstand a moderate amount of moisture from dew, etc. A few good selections that I have personally come across are the Write it Down! Camping Journal or the companion sized Mini Camping Journal, perfect for carrying on your person. Another excellent choice is the REI Weatherproof Journal. The paper is made in a way that whether you write in it with pen or pencil, the writings in it will not bleed if they get wet. Ideal for that camping trip where it rains from day one all the way through, or for those times you are on the trail during rain and really feel the need to take a moment out and journal something before you forget or your memory of it is altered. This particular journal also comes with a bright yellow cover so you can spot it in that overcrowded backpack or even the tent that you have been hiding in from the rain.

Besides the journal itself, you should include a heavy-duty zip style bag that is large enough to hold the journal along with several pens or pencils. Zip-Loc freezer style bags work well. They zip closed tightly and the plastic is heavy enough to withstand repeated handling. With your journal safely tucked away in one of these between uses, and if you are doing any hiking while carrying the journal and happen to take an unexpected dunk in a lake or river, you may come out wet, but your journal will survive intact for you to relate the story too.

What you keep in the journal is as important if not more so than the journal itself. Besides personal thoughts and ideas about your travels, a camping journal is a good place to log important information on campsites and grounds, trails, rest cabins, and more. Also, make note of your personal information such as name, address, phone numbers, and emergency contact information. If hiking a set of trails, you can keep track of miles covered and points of interest reached. Novice botanists and bird watchers can take note of plant finds and birds seen including all pertinent information such as where each discovery occurred. Sketches of these items could also be included for any detailed research later.

Whatever journal you choose, or whatever you choose to journal within its pages, you will be happy that you took the time to find and use one, when after your trip is over you have a concrete reminder of your days camping and on the trail.

© High Speed Ventures 2011