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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
1984 on 06/10/2013 20:25:39 MDT Print View

"1984 is here."

Except in our case we pay for the privilege.
Tell the average person that the govt. and every major corporation on the planet is tracking and storing everything they do and you'll be lucky if you get any more than a shoulder shrug and a response of "Well, I'm not doing anything wrong, so..."

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: re: on 06/10/2013 20:38:57 MDT Print View

"As someone who teaches writing and reading for a living, it's a formula that needs to move beyond its sophomoric horizons."

Clayton,

Would you mind elaborating on this point? It is pretty general as it stands, and of little practical use. Hopefully a professional like yourself can provide positive guidelines for writing a trip report at the junior level initially and eventually at the senior level with a little practice.

Thanks,

Tom

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: 1984 on 06/10/2013 20:58:34 MDT Print View

"We'll, I am not doing anything wrong, so.."

Is exactly what I hear and it really seems shortsighted. I will just leave it at that.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: 1984 on 06/10/2013 21:25:50 MDT Print View

"Is exactly what I hear and it really seems shortsighted."

First they came for the Gypsies, and I said nothing because I was not a Gypsy.....

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
re: Writing Better Trip Reports on 06/10/2013 22:42:39 MDT Print View

"Would you mind elaborating on this point? It is pretty general as it stands, and of little practical use. Hopefully a professional like yourself can provide positive guidelines for writing a trip report at the junior level initially and eventually at the senior level with a little practice."

Tom, that's a really good question, but--unfortunately--I don't have a better answer yet. I can elaborate, though, on some of my frustrations. Mostly, I find that trip reports focus on alternatingly on the events themselves as well as the psychological impact that they have. It's a kind of inner-outer narrative. That's not a bad thing at all, but generally speaking, when I read a trip report, the conventions of the genre cause the writer to lose a lot of his or her own voice in the process. With a few exceptions, it is difficult to tell one writer apart from another. Usually with writing, voice is something that is very evident, even among those who are not very experienced (I see this in my students all the time, from day one).

I don't think that the form of the genre needs to be chucked; though, I would like to see it expanded and played with. I wonder what a thematic trip report might be like, as opposed to the usual chronological one. --Or some other way of organizing the material. Probably the best thing, though, one can do to write better trip reports is to read high-quality nature writers. I cut my chops imitating Norman Maclean, and even thought it took me some time to grow beyond that, it was a good place for me to start.

Personally, I'd like to do some exploring with this in my own writing this summer. I made an initial attempt here, after a fishing trip in April, but my limited time right now--for both report-writing and trip-taking--has kept that goal on the back burner. When I get a break from this round of grad school classes some time in late July, I may try to do some real writing again.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 06/10/2013 22:45:01 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: re: Writing Better Trip Reports on 06/11/2013 17:15:59 MDT Print View

"I wonder what a thematic trip report might be like, as opposed to the usual chronological one. --Or some other way of organizing the material. Probably the best thing, though, one can do to write better trip reports is to read high-quality nature writers. I cut my chops imitating Norman Maclean, and even thought it took me some time to grow beyond that, it was a good place for me to start."

"Mostly, I find that trip reports focus on alternatingly on the events themselves as well as the psychological impact that they have. It's a kind of inner-outer narrative. That's not a bad thing at all, but generally speaking, when I read a trip report, the conventions of the genre cause the writer to lose a lot of his or her own voice in the process. With a few exceptions, it is difficult to tell one writer apart from another. Usually with writing, voice is something that is very evident, even among those who are not very experienced (I see this in my students all the time, from day one)."

I copied the 2 passages above separately for emphasis because, IMO, they provide 2 very useful insights into the shortcomings of our trip reports in general. Looking back over my own reports, they certainly apply, and shall be taken to heart in my future efforts. The loss of voice comment caused me to wonder if perhaps we have begun to substitute pictures for the written language in attempting to communicate our experiences in the backcountry. From this amateur's perspective, most of the trip reports I have read, and enjoyed immensely, make far more effective use of pictures than writing. Responses?


"I made an initial attempt 'here'(link), after a fishing trip in April"

All I can say is that anyone interested in elevating their trip reports to a new level should read the report in this link. What an elegant piece of writing!

Thank you, Clayton, for responding so thoughtfully. This post is one of the most useful I have ever read here.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re Writing Better Trip Reports on 06/11/2013 18:01:00 MDT Print View

Sounds like that should have its own thread.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
I like folk's names... on 06/11/2013 18:42:17 MDT Print View

...makes my wife a little more comfy when I meet "random strangers from the Internet" to go hiking with all the time.

She furthered her thoughts on my "crazy" hobby by saying one time: "What if the ramdoms you meet on the Internet are more ultralight than you?" I responded "well I'm SUL, but its certainly possibly, why?" She then says "they may not bring any food and decide to be cannibals and eat you" with a straight face.

She has a point. :p

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: I like folk's names... on 06/11/2013 18:50:17 MDT Print View

When I go on trips with Bpl folk my wife makes comments about the movie Deliverance.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 06/11/2013 18:54:22 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:27:10 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: I like folk's names... on 06/11/2013 19:11:33 MDT Print View

Rog,

I don't it was ye she was on about but more so about hunting season, sure my wife has met you and know you have all your teeth :-)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: I like folk's names... on 06/11/2013 19:13:18 MDT Print View

"I don't it was ye she was on about "

Have another.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: I like folk's names... on 06/11/2013 19:37:21 MDT Print View

Don't get what you mean Ken.

Edited by stephenm on 06/11/2013 19:37:59 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Civility and Anonymity on 06/11/2013 19:43:19 MDT Print View

I thought the name changing was silly, but that is what happens when people have too much time at home and not enough time to go hiking.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: cocktails. on 06/11/2013 19:43:51 MDT Print View

It's just how I read it. Who uses ye anymore? Carry on.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: cocktails. on 06/11/2013 19:45:11 MDT Print View

It stil gets used a good bit back home.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re:Civility on 06/11/2013 20:47:00 MDT Print View

"I don't think it was ye she was on about"

So it was me?



Lots of interesting commentary on this thread, though I'm still blown away by Clayton's writing linked above.

I agree with Steven Paris's concerns that initiated this thread, and honestly, the perception of loss of civility has kept me off the gear forum for a while. In the end though, the community I came to believe in still exists here and I treasure the friends I have made and the inspiration I have gleaned from this site.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: re: Writing Better Trip Reports on 06/11/2013 20:58:59 MDT Print View

"I copied the 2 passages above separately for emphasis because, IMO, they provide 2 very useful insights into the shortcomings of our trip reports in general. Looking back over my own reports, they certainly apply, and shall be taken to heart in my future efforts."

A couple of thoughts...

who is the audience for the trip report, and what would they like to read?

Some folks like to read about the daily journal. What gear was used, how was it used.

Some readers like to see pictures of beautiful places they might want to visit some day.

Some people like to read about the challenges such as man vs himself, or man vs nature. Recently Dan Durston did a backpack/packraft TR that I really, really enjoyed. And sometimes people write about a trip that went "wrong" and why they bailed.

Some people like to insert their ideas on how land should be managed, spirituality, etc. Dave Chenault does a lot of this.

For me, I used to write a trip report for my kids and email it to them. Then I would copy it to BPL. I finally just built a website and my kids check in to see what I am doing. And I just post a link to it on BPL. This is the easiest for me and I have complete control over it. Some TRs have themes, some have stories about the history of where I went, some have a lot of gear information for my son who backpacks with traditional gear. And some trip reports are rants of sorts. It varies with my mood. I write technical manuals for a living, so I don't feel like taking the time to try and create some sort of literary master piece.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re: re: Writing Better Trip Reports on 06/12/2013 15:22:28 MDT Print View

Dude, I just post low res pictures from my cell phone.