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  1. #21
    imscotty's Avatar
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    I would like to keep a journal, both for myself and to have a record that I hope will inspire my kids someday to get out there and hike (right now they think it is just another annoying thing that dad trys to get them to do).

    For those of you who have journaled, I am wondering what you estimate the daily time investment to be?

    Also, in following several thru-hiker's journals, it seems to me that the ones who create YouTube type video updates seem to be able to keep it up better than some of the TJ's I have followed. Is doing videos really easier than the written word? Or perhaps they were just more motivated to begin with?
    Last edited by imscotty; 12-03-2014 at 14:48.

  2. #22
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    For me the daily investment on the AT was about 15-20 minutes just after finishing dinner. I had a keyboard in that case, so I could write much faster than with pen and paper. Sometimes I e-mailed the entries to a friend who posted them on TJ for me, sometimes I used a computer to upload them once week or so - which took about 30 minutes. Two months ago I used pencil and paper for a week-long trek and it took me roughly 30 minutes to write up after dinner, and wayyy too long to put in digital form afterwards.

  3. #23

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    I am Soooo glad I did a journal.
    I generally like to express myself through the written word and it happens to come off well.
    I never felt pressure by the TJ, only by the internal pressure to get to Katahdin before it closed!! I made it by August 23, so, silly me.

    I'd lay in my hammock after dinner and chores and write whatever I felt about the day.
    I did find me holding back a bit with social correctness regarding a couple of experiences because I knew someone partner / wife/ husband was reading my journal. I would have liked to have been a tad bit more honest about a couple of douchey things people did.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #24
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Joey Camps and many others used the "voice to text" features on their phones- just a thought if you have the phone along and like this feature. A friend of my wife has written two books this way while driving to work and shuttling the chitlins.

    I would think a simple, "I'm hiking and don't have access to the internet on a daily basis, so you'll get entries when I'm damn good and ready." should work.
    It's your hike. Thankfully my wife or family has been used to this over the years and understands the limitations of trail communication and its not a point of contention.

    I like using Microsoft One Note to store ideas and notes. But prefer to sit down and organize my thoughts or reflect after the fact. It's much easier to lie about it that way.

  5. #25

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    I tried to keep a trail Journal on my 2012 AT thru-hike but gave up on it Farily quickly for me it just became to much of a hassle and a major distraction from my hike instead i took many many pictures and videos and when i got home i showed them off i did the same thing on my 96 and 2006 thru-hikes. but for some reason i promised a really close friend that i would keep a trail journal for my 2015 PCT thru-hike.

  6. #26

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    Just my opinion but the whole idea of hiking is to leave all the electronic devices behind and live in the woods. "No phone ,no lights,no motorcars. Not a single luxury" Aren't way too many of us slaves to a smartphone? If we can be REALLY truthful with ourselves we can admit that nobody really cares how our hike went day to day so we don't need to post of fake book or some dumb blog . Again, just my opinion ; I'm an analog man in a digital world.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Sawyer View Post
    Just my opinion but the whole idea of hiking is to leave all the electronic devices behind and live in the woods. "No phone ,no lights,no motorcars. Not a single luxury" Aren't way too many of us slaves to a smartphone? If we can be REALLY truthful with ourselves we can admit that nobody really cares how our hike went day to day so we don't need to post of fake book or some dumb blog . Again, just my opinion ; I'm an analog man in a digital world.
    No devices needed to keep a trail journal---just paper and pen. Post when you get home.

    On the other hand, most trail journals are horrible, mine included. Example---

    "Hi, my name is Succubus and this is my trail journal."

    Okay, pre-trip post #1 is finished and after 50 more pre-trip posts the big day arrives---

    "Day 1 at Springer. Today I linked with up Choke Bolus, Anus, and Ring Gotterdammerung (his real name) and began the journey of a lifetime. Along the way we met a father/son team named Smudge Account and Turd. We stopped for lunch and I had 2 bags of marshmallows with a can of Mt Dew."

    "It's getting colder and the temps have fallen below 40F so I decided to bail out to the closest town until warmer weather." ETC ETC

    You get the idea. It never gets any better. Who can read such crap?

  8. #28
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    I think most journals are a nice way for people to keep the folks back home informed. Certainly easier than many, many, many post cards, emails and phone calls.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  9. #29

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    I did keep a notebook, once. It helped with "good memories" to have a few names and little hand-drawn maps.
    An experienced traveler suggested it.

    I have purchased a little digital camera, that records GPS. I am thinking I will upload the photos to one of the online maps for bicyclists and hikers. I really like those at Bicycletouringpro.

  10. #30

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    +1 on the voice recorder ideas mentioned above. We do that for all of our hikes. Time investment on trail is about 5 minutes per night. Time investment once the hike is finished to turn those tired-mind-and-body ramblings to something that is coherent is much more, but then we have it captured with all of its detail (which some may find boring, but hopefully we keep some folks entertained with our Trail Journal entries.) Because of the ease of voice recording, we journal way more than if we were writing or typing it on the trail.

    It's even fun to go back and listen to our voices for that day - how excited we are ....or how tired we sound...or ...whatever.

    Brakeman & Grasshopper

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by royalusa View Post
    +1 on the voice recorder ideas mentioned above. We do that for all of our hikes. Time investment on trail is about 5 minutes per night. Time investment once the hike is finished to turn those tired-mind-and-body ramblings to something that is coherent is much more, but then we have it captured with all of its detail (which some may find boring, but hopefully we keep some folks entertained with our Trail Journal entries.) Because of the ease of voice recording, we journal way more than if we were writing or typing it on the trail.

    It's even fun to go back and listen to our voices for that day - how excited we are ....or how tired we sound...or ...whatever.

    Brakeman & Grasshopper
    With the advent of speach recognition and hands free typing programs like "Dragon" many find this much easier than the pain stakinkley hunt and peck.

    I term this condition forever more be known as....."Dragon Breath"

    .....Mwahahahaa

  12. #32

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    I spent nearly 20 years as a field biologist and as an integral part of the job, I had to keep good notes on weather, topography, plant communities - you name it. After a while, it just became second nature for me to keep notes whenever I'm outdoors. It's never felt like much of a chore and I'm forever stopping to jot down whatever grabs my attention - make sketches, etc... . After all these years I have several bound 'rites-in-the-rain journals and I value them more than any photo albums I have.
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  13. #33
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    On my 2013 thru-hike I was on trailjournals, had my own website, and posted to FB. I wrote every day and posted an entry for all 164 days of my hike. All the writing was done on my iphone. My writing actually motivated me to keep hiking on many occasions. After the hike I edited the journal, re-wrote many of the entries, included some new material and published a 330 page book which has been selling well on amazon.com and Kindle. Now I'm doing speaking engagements and book signings to share my thru-hiking experience. So in many ways the writing was more important than the hiking. Still, maintaining a daily journal does take time and a great deal of discipline. For me, completing a thru-hike and publishing a book were both significant accomplishments. I'm definitely glad I kept the daily journal. The book, by the way, is Don's Brother: A Hike of Hope on the Appalachian Trail.

  14. #34

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    Wow, what a lot of interesting responses. I gained so much from reading other Trail Journals before my 2013 AT hike that I decided I wanted to post one as a way of giving back to other aspiring middle aged hikers. I never felt as though I was a slave to my journal, and found it very easy to keep up with throughout my hike. I also certainly never felt as though I was a slave to my smartphone, actually far from it.

    Journaling became part of my nighttime routine, usually after I'd eaten and when I was relaxing either in a shelter, hostel, or my tent. I typed my journal each day in the notes part of my smartphone, and would post it when I had service. Some days there was no service, so I just waited until I had a signal. Not a big deal whatsoever.

    What I hadn't anticipated was how much inspiration I'd receive from the people reading my journal. I had a lot of people following me from all over the place, not just my friends and family, and reading entries in my guest book kept me going many days. The journal really took on a life of its own, and I felt as though I had a huge community of people supporting me every step of the way.

    Now that my hike's over, I appreciate having the journal to read occasionally. It keeps the hike fresh in my mind on those days when I'm really missing the whole experience. I've been asked to speak about my hike several times, and it's so nice to have the daily journal available. As Don's Brother said, I too am definitely glad I kept the journal.

    Lady Grey AT 2013 www.trailjournals.com/LadyGrey

  15. #35
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    I guess my answer would be; It's up to you. When I thru hiked I found my only need to keep in contact with those off trail was my wife. Back in 2001 without a cell phone I was able to call home at least once a week to let her know that I was doing O.K. and that I missed her and family. It was up to her to let folks, who were interested, how I was doing. When ever I had access to a computer I would send some info. out to a list of those interested. just how I was doing and where I was.
    I did keep a personal journal. Daily entries were made as to weather, milage and things of interest .
    It,s your hike you are not obligated to keep the world informed, unless you are hiking for a cause and folks paid donations for your hike.
    Grampie-N->2001

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