We used a combination of methods to get our thoughts down on paper. Jessica brought a bound journal that she wrote in most days. I also took a small notebook to jot ideas but it was rarely used. Most days I would go on a walk with a small tape recorder and ramble on about things. This was a very rich source of information and handy to use. It was fun to listen to these tapes and relive moments on the river.
I usually carry a small spiral notebook to use as a journal, and actually use it once every three or four trips. The best size for me is about 5” x 7” or whatever size a gas station carries when I forget my notebook from home. Sometimes I just grab a few notecards and jot down a word or phrase to jog my memory. The words “Matt, tent, Rogers” brings back more memories than the five pages of the tripe I usually write about. Many of my journal entries are along the lines of “Man I’m tired, I walked 17 miles today, and this is the best ramen that man has ever created. God bless ramen noodles!”
Last but not least was an old Handspring PDA and folding keyboard. I used this most of the times I actually sat down to write. This thing would goes for weeks on a couple of AA batteries, but the downside wasthe inability to email documents directly from the unit. A newer model with wi-fi or removable memory cards would have been a lifesaver when I had to retype articles at public library computers.