November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Pens and notebook - which one?
Display Avatars Sort By:
David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Pens and notebook - which one? on 07/03/2008 13:37:01 MDT Print View

How many of you have experience with the Rite in the Rain notebooks, and which pen do you recommend with these?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Pens and notebook - which one? on 07/03/2008 14:22:36 MDT Print View

I can't remember ever needing to write in the rain...

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 07/03/2008 14:31:22 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/12/2015 15:39:39 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Pens and notebook - which one? on 07/03/2008 15:00:45 MDT Print View

I have an Inka pen on my key chain. My key chain is part of my gear list as well.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Pens and notebook - which one? on 07/03/2008 16:15:28 MDT Print View

Rite in rain notebook and a mini sharpy.

Ben, it's not so much about writing in the rain, but rather that you writing doesn't get lost when it rains.

Scott S
(burger) - F
Pen on 07/05/2008 18:59:58 MDT Print View

If I recall correctly, the only pens that are guaranteed to work when wet on Rite in the Rain paper are their own brand of waterproof pens, but any pencil should also work fine as well. I use a mechanical pencil with extra leads in it (ensuring I'll never run out).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Pens and notebook - which one? on 07/05/2008 21:22:19 MDT Print View

Some of their products have been reviewed here already:

Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
Re: Pens and notebook - which one? on 07/06/2008 11:57:06 MDT Print View

I have used them for years when I am in uniform (Army Reserve). They not only resist water, but are extremely durable as well. During a year's deployment I carried the same notebook in the cargo pocket of my pants every day. It got thoroughly soaked a couple times, but I never lost a single page. I did have a nylon cover on it, which I think helped. I never have written on it in the rain, preferring to first get out of the rain, then do the writing!
As far as writing instrument goes, just about any pen will write on it well. I have found that medium point is better than fine point, and I usually use cheapo Papermate pens that work great. I have found spots on certain pages that a pen just won't write on without a lot of effort(maybe they got an extra dose of waterproofing?), but these are few and far between. I remember a comparison test in Popular Mechanics magazine a year or two ago that tested a regular pen, a pen touted for writing under water, and a Fisher space pen. The only thing the cheap ballpoint wouldn't do that the space pen did was write upside down.
To test that, I just took a piece of the RIR paper, put in a dish of water and wrote on it with my cheapo Papermate. Bottom line, they are great notebooks, and just about any pen will do.
That being said... I see no reason to use them for backpacking. A cheap Mead pocket notebook and a Ziplock bag weigh half as much and, like I said, I don't write in the rain much.


Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
"Pens and notebook - which one?" on 07/06/2008 13:43:31 MDT Print View

I used Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks for over 40 years of forestry field work. They work great if you have to take field notes when it is raining. Since I worked in the PNW for much of my career, rain was a part of my working life.

Now, I no longer need to take field notes and so satisfy myself with a simple bound notebook and a #2 pencil. If rain is likely, I simply keep the notebook inside a gallon plastic bag, put my hand in the bag with the notebook and write.

I always preferred a pencil to a pen for use with the Rite-in-the-Rain books. The pencil would emboss your data in the paper even though it would not always leave a mark. Some pens would not mark the paper and would tear the paper if you bore down and tried to emboss.

Jon Hancock

Locale: Northwest England
Pens and notebook on 07/06/2008 14:03:22 MDT Print View

For pretty much all day-to-day and hiking purposes I carry a Fisher "Stowaway" pen, essentially a non-refillable small version of the standard "Space Pen." It works well on ordinary paper, waterproof notebooks and less-than-perfect surfaces such as glossy card. Details here:

Fisher pens aren't cheap and their reputation is somewhat overblown, but I found a few Stowaways in a sale and they last in storage virtually indefinitely. The key thing for me is that they have proved, over many years, to be the most reliable biros I've used; that's not necessarily the same as the best, smoothest or most appealing but I know that I can rely on the Stowaway doing its job.

René Enguehard
(ahugenerd) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland
SpacePen on 07/08/2008 11:24:36 MDT Print View

I use a SpacePen as well and must say that it has been excellent so far (2 years). I carry it with me everywhere (it's on my belt) and I use it for all my witting needs. I also use it daily in university. Cartridges have lasted about 10 months, give or take a couple months.

Once I was out doing fieldwork and it started raining and was actually forced to write in the rain. It worked wonderfully. The paper I was writing on was a Duksbak booklet, similar to the Rite-in-the-Rain offerings. They are very rugged and work exactly as advertised. Just make sure you don't smudge the ink with your hand (I'm left handed), the pen and paper are waterproof but not smudgeproof. :)

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Rite in the Rain is the best on 07/08/2008 12:09:35 MDT Print View

I use a Rite in the Rain note book (chopped in half to save weight, of course) with a regular mechanical pencil. For me, the chief benefit of the Rite in the Rain paper isn't the waterproofing, it's the tear strength. The paper simply doesn't rip. When I take regular notebooks/notepads on backpacking trips, I always have to be careful with the paper, lest I end up with a bunch of loose pages and a wire spiral. With the Rite in the Rain stuff, you can just toss the notebook in your pack, and you can rest assured that pages are not going to start coming loose. It's expensive, but it's worth it.