RITR Extreme Journal: Long Term Report - TODD
- See below for my Extreme Journal Long Term report. Report with
photos have been placed in the test folder at:
Long Term Report - Rite in the Rain Extreme Journal
Personal Biographical Info:
Name: Todd Martin
Height: 5'11" (1.8 m)
Weight: 155 lbs. (68 kg)
Email Address: todds_hiking_guide (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Date: February 1, 2004
Thru-hiked the AT in 1994. Moved to Pacific Northwest 1996 and
enjoyed day hiking excursions in the Columbia River Gorge area,
followed by some backpacking along the Pacific Crest Trail. Moved to
the desert southwest in 1997 and have been actively day hiking most
weekends. Generally take 2 week-long trips to the Grand Canyon each
year. Backpacking philosophy has been rapidly moving towards ultra-
light gear. My current base pack weight (not including food or
water) measures about 10 lbs (4.5 kg). Have also been participating
in canyoning since 1997. Web master for Todd's Desert Hiking Guide
Rite in the Rain (http://www.riteintherain.com/)
Style of Product: Spiral notepad with 50 sheets of waterproof paper
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Listed Weight: N/A
Weight as Delivered: 3.3 oz (94 g)
Size: 4" x 6" (10cm x 15cm)
Materials: Plastic cover with "DuraRite" synthetic, tear-proof paper
Field and Test Information:
Location(s) of test:
Since my Field Report was written, the Rite in the Rain Extreme
Journal was taken on several more canyon hikes in Arizona and Utah
including hikes in the Coronado National Forest and North Wash area
of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Trips were off trail through canyons consisting mainly of sandstone
and granite. Elevations ranged from 3000 to 7000 feet (900 to 2100
meters) above sea level.
Temperatures ranged from highs above 100 F (38 C) in the lowland
desert areas to lows in the 50's F (10 C).
Description of Experience and Comments on Product Performance:
The Extreme Journal was taken on several trips in the last few
months. Hikes ranged from day hikes in the desert to technical
canyoning trips involving climbing and swimming.
Trips include the following:
Technical canyoning trip - Coronado National Forest, AZ
Technical canyoning trip - North Wash area of the Glen Canyon
National Recreation Area, UT
Day Hike - Martinez Canyon, AZ
Day Hike - Seven Springs Recreation Area, AZ
Day Hike - Eagletail Mountains Wilderness, AZ
Day Hike - Christopher Creek Gorge, AZ
Technical canyoning trip - Devils Canyon, AZ
In all cases the notebook was kept within easy reach (in the hat of
my pack or in my shorts pocket) while hiking. Notes taken in the
Extreme Journal were used to create trip descriptions for each of
these hikes which were subsequently posted on my web site at:
Despite all this use, the Extreme Journal is holding up well. Other
than a bit of fading of the text on the cover and some dirt on the
corners of the pages, the journal appears to be as good as new. One
thing that I did notice is that, with repeated soakings, the ink
from the ball point pen I had used to write most of my journal
entries began to transfer to the page which is in contact with the
ink when the journal is closed (an example is provided in the photo
at left). While the original text is still legible (taking into
account my less than stellar penmanship), it is now somewhat more
difficult to read. This bleeding seems to be limited to the the ball
point pen ink and was not observed in cases where a permanent marker
Since most of my note taking had been performed with a ball point
pen. I decided to determine how other writing implements compared
with the pen for writing on the synthetic paper of the Extreme
Journal. For this test I evaluated a standard ball point pen, a
roller ball pen, a pencil, a crayon and a permanent marker. In each
case the writing implement functioned smoothly to create a mark on
the paper, with the exception of the crayon. The slick plastic of
the paper did not seem to take the waxy mark of the crayon very
easily. It required more force than would be required with normal
paper and the resulting line was somewhat faint with several small
crumbs of crayon stuck to the page. Despite this difficulty, in each
case the resulting text was legible (as can be seen in the image,
The page was then placed under running water to determine the effect
of moisture on the text. The ball point pen, pencil, crayon and
permanent marker did not appear to be significantly effected by the
water. The ink from the roller ball pen, however, immediately lifted
off of the page (see photo, above right). A little bit of rinsing,
quickly removed any evidence that the roller ball pen had ever been
used on the paper (see photo, below left).
With the paper was wet, I then tested which implement would write
best on a damp page. Interestingly, the ball point pen and pencil
wrote very well on the wet synthetic paper. The crayon only created
a faint and barely readable line while the permanent marker simply
didn't write at all. Not surprisingly, the ink from the roller ball
pen smeared immediately upon contact with the water. My conclusion
is that a pen or a pencil are best suited for writing in the Extreme
I then set out to determine if the pencil line could easily be
erased from the page. Using a normal eraser, I found the pencil mark
erased similarly to what you would expect with a normal piece of
paper (see photos above). The end result left a faint impression of
the original pencil text, but it was sufficiently removed that text
applied over this spot would prove to be legible.
Does it float?
Though the manufacturer does not advertise the claim, I have found
that the Extreme Journal does indeed float when submerged in water.
This could prove to be a very useful feature in the event the
notebook were accidentally dropped in deep or murky water. Boaters
and rafters in particular, might find this to be a significant
benefit, not to mention those who venture into wet canyons.
Overall, I am pleased with the performance of the Extreme Journal.
Because of its durability it is suited to go many places that would
not be possible with ordinary paper. Since it is completely
waterproof, the notebook can be kept in a convenient location while
hiking or canyoning, without having to worry about it being
subjected to rain or water found in canyons. While I have
experienced some smearing and bleeding when the journal became wet
(particularly with the ink from a ball point pen), all the writing I
have done in the journal to date has remained legible.
The Extreme Journal lives up to its claim to be waterproof,
tearproof and bloodproof.
I'm able to keep the journal in a convenient location which allows
easy access as I hike (in this case, the stow pocket on my hiking
shorts) without having to be concerned about it becoming damaged.
Despite being repeatedly drenched, flipped through and written on,
the Journal still appears to be as good as new.
Areas for Improvement:
The reference material in the back of the journal (which includes
tips and tables for various outdoor activities including: planning,
first aid, survival, climbing and kayak ratings, wind chill
conversions and even tips for building a snow cave), is mildly
interesting, but of little practical use in my opinion. I would just
as soon have this section removed and replaced with additional pages
to write on.
The ink from a roller ball pen washes right off the synthetic paper
of the Extreme Journal. I would strongly discourage the use of a
roller ball with this journal.
It is not possible to write on the paper with a permanent marker or
crayon when the paper is wet. I would not recommend these implements
for writing if conditions are wet.