On my last backpacking trip, I made a conscious effort to write every day. I feel like I’ve been slacking in the note taking department on my backpacking trips, the ones that I take with other people at least. I don’t have problems writing on my solo trips. 

I succeeded in writing every single day on that trip. It wasn’t even that difficult. It was like falling back into a comfortable habit. I liked writing down our times for starting and stopping for the day, and just recording things that I might want to remember later. Like seeing a bat at one of our campsites, or reminding myself that I wanted to look up the etymology of bat. 

Although I used to bring a notebook for writing, I now bring loose sheets of unlined 8.5 x 11 paper, which I fold into quarters. I treat each quarter like its own page, with its own orientation. I use a ballpoint pen, carried in the same gallon baggie that holds the maps I write on. Usually a black one, for whatever reason I rarely take blue ink. 

On my next trip, I’ll be solo, so I shouldn’t have any trouble getting my writing done. I’m excited to be going on this trip, and also excited about writing the book about the trip. The whole process of writing, putting together pictures, and publishing the book lets me relive the whole thing well into the fall and early winter. It’s one of the things that keeps me sane in the off season. 

The only problem I foresee is that I typically write on the back of the ICT maps on my solo trips. Trouble is, I also typically travel from south to north. This year, I’ll be travelling from north to south. That means that I’ll be starting on an ICT map that overlaps with a future hike, and ending on one that I’ve already started. Worst case, I run out of room. I guess I could go ahead and print out a new copy for the future hike, and use the whole thing this year. 

I’ll be happy if the worst issue I have on this hike is running out of room to write on the ICT maps. After all, I’ll be carrying more maps, and they’re paper too. Sure, they’re the topo maps, but we don’t ever use the back 🙂

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