Adventure can be another word for braving the elements, but that doesn’t have to stop journaling/note-taking and other writerly pursuits. A few tips for when the precipitation falls:

1) Think Pencil. As a cub reporter, I once returned to the office with a notebook full of runny inky mush after covering a crime scene in the rain. A few weeks later, I was stuck again – this time with a frozen pen at a sub-zero fire. An elder statesman of the copy desk offered an assist – use a pencil. It’s true. They don’t run, they don’t smear, and mechanical ones don’t have to be sharpened. They’re also way cheaper than those so-called waterproof pens. $1.00 at the grocery store or $15 online plus shipping – you be the judge. This is a great tip for campers, skiers and anyone who journals or takes notes in less-than-perfect weather.

2) Waterproof notebooks. They come in sizes from “shirt pocket” to “large spiral”. The smaller ones won’t get too far as a journal, but work great for jotting notes on the fly. They are also relatively inexpensive, all but the largest typically between $3 and $10 each. Look for the yellow covers. You can find them here, or at outdoor stories like EMS or REI. The covers differ slightly – look for the “Rite In the Rain” paper logo on the cover, inside, or in the product description.

3) Kayak Bags: Not Just for Boaters. A few years back I wanted something to keep my camera dry for a few days in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Professional waterproof gear cost serious dollars. Then I stumbled upon kayak bags. The bags are seriously waterproof. The opening rolls down and cinches with a clasp to close – no spontaneous unzipping here. They also come in different sizes. An X-Small fit my SLR body, two lenses, film, even a pen and pencil and a reporter’s notebook. Mine is thick, clear plastic. Lighter-weight versions don’t come clear, but definitely save a few ounces. They cost a bit more, though. Warning: Don’t buy the so-called waterproof bags with zip closures like sandwich bags. They’re glorified Ziplock. Cheap, but you get what you pay for.

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