Have you ever had the urge to jot down tales by the campfire, record your trek highlights on paper, or place a note for your special someone to find under their camping pillow?
A notebook might not be top of the list for your next hiking adventure – granted it’s not going to keep you warm, provide shelter, or calories – but it could be a handy addition for the writers among us. Regular peak-bagger and WAE contributor, Lisa, packed the All-Weather Notebook from Alton Goods on her latest escapade and jotted down her thoughts.
Keeping it Light
With my petite frame, I’m always trying to keep the weight of my overnight pack as light as possible so I don’t pitch forward under the kilos.
At a tiny 48 grams, the Alton Goods pocket-sized all-weather notebook was a lightweight addition to an overnight hiking expedition, and it fit easily and conveniently into the pockets of my backpack’s zippered waist straps.
This meant I could easily pull out the notebook without taking my backpack off when any creative thoughts struck me, or I simply wanted to take down our location and time.
Alton Goods was founded in South East Queensland – which happens to also be my adventure playground. Even better, it was founded by two mates who live and breathe adventure so you know you’re getting equipment and accessories designed with the adventurer in mind.
Always Bagging Peaks
My test of the notebook was on an overnight camping trip in Mt Barney National Park, located two hours drive from Brisbane.
Traversing a total of five peaks, I was able to note the peaks we summited, the time we arrived, and the elevation we reached. Perfect for recollecting the trip to tell my mates and share in my next We Are Explorers microadventure.
All 96 pages are lined and gridded, although I tended to write large with a pencil and not stick to the lines. My hiking mates and I tried out the palm-sized notebook throughout the hike, while at camp and while soaking up some sun by the waterholes of the Upper Portals.
The notebook was exposed to wind, water, sun, soot, mud, and moody vistas during my peak-bagging adventures. It didn’t end up grubby despite our filthy hands, often covered in soot gathered from bushfire affected forests.
It also didn’t lose its shape bent against my hips throughout the long hike and looked almost as good as new by the end of the hike, albeit with a small dent in the cover, but no ripped or soggy pages.
So Did it Resist the Weather?
The most surprising aspect of this notebook was its water resistance.
I was unconvinced at first that water wouldn’t ruin the pages. I’ve ruined many books while traveling after spilling water on them and the pages ended up all crinkled and crunchy.
To give the notebook a full test, I splashed water on it and even dipped it in the water for a couple of minutes while relaxing at the waterhole at the end of our hike. Surprisingly, the water mostly beaded off.
A few wet patches remained when it was submerged but they dried quickly and didn’t mark, so it would certainly survive an accidental dip in the water, or rain. You could even still write on it when slightly wet. Its durability in wet conditions was unexpected for a paper-based product.
The makers of the notebook recommend using a 2B pencil – although you can also use a pen. My advice is to make sure the pencil tip is not too pointy and sharp otherwise it may snap in the flex of your backpack. Yep, I found out the hard way when I went to make my first location entry – but luckily our trio had a pocket knife on hand to sharpen.
Admittedly, I often forgot I had this notebook – when I remembered, it was useful to note down the peaks we passed and their elevation. This was so I could figure out later how much height we had gained throughout the hike and how long it took us, the old fashioned way.
Even though there may be limited opportunities to use the notebook while exploring the great outdoors, I think it would be handy when traveling. I actually carry a small notebook on my overseas travels – using it to note down public transport timetables, write down packing lists, or occupy myself on long bus rides by planning out future destinations.
This notebook is a more durable and smaller version of what I’ve been carrying on previous trips, and I’ll definitely be adding this into my backpack on future overseas adventures.