Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User English Stu's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-21-2005
    Location
    Kirmington,England
    Posts
    397

    Default Technical aids for writing journals, books.

    I would like to write up hiking and other stories and would appreciate any advice/experience on the technical aids to help with this; other than spending a lot of time at a keyboard - though I am not ruling that out. I have used a dictaphone and a recording app on my smartphone. I and have looked up Smartpens and Dragon Anywhere package.

  2. #2

    Default

    Are you talking about keeping a trail journal of your hiking and backpacking trips? If so, no keyboard is needed until you return home.

    Here's the only technical aids you need to keep a trip report---
    TRIP 174 187-XL.jpg
    And you'll have plenty of time to pen your thoughts and stories especially if you go out in the winter with minimal daylight. The good old paper and pen.

  3. #3

    Default

    He's not looking to manually write anything down. There was one hiker on trailjournals who used speech to text software for his posts, mostly it did okay, but you do have to go back and fix the words it didn't get right. You should probably experiment with different speech to text software to find one which works for you.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-01-2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    943

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by English Stu View Post
    I would like to write up hiking and other stories and would appreciate any advice/experience on the technical aids to help with this; other than spending a lot of time at a keyboard - though I am not ruling that out. I have used a dictaphone and a recording app on my smartphone. I and have looked up Smartpens and Dragon Anywhere package.
    Could you be more specific about your wishes/goals for these technical aids?

    I see 3 primary means of recording your thoughts. 1) pen/pencil and paper, as Tipi noted. No batteries to run out or recharge; no electronic malfunction possible; less limited (inherently) in terms of storage. 2) Vocal recording to smartphone or other electronic device. Easier on cold fingers. Can get about 90-95% of it voice to text upon return, saving time overall versus typing from scratch. 3) Text entry into electronic device. This can be with a smartphone app/feature, speech to text, or with, say, a bluetooth keyboard.

    The latter two of course are subject to storage limitations, battery rundown, and electronic failure. Long-term use in humid environments may accelerate oxidation of electronic components.

    I suspect voice-to-text from the smartphone is much more compact, storage-wise, than voice recordings. You can edit as you go, too, though not easily.

    Personally I'd do the paper journal with pen/pencil, store in ziplock. You can edit as you enter it at the keyboard upon your return.

  5. #5

    Default

    It sounds like this is something he will be doing at home, not while on a trail.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #6
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-06-2013
    Location
    Chicago, Il
    Age
    42
    Posts
    3,772

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by English Stu View Post
    I would like to write up hiking and other stories and would appreciate any advice/experience on the technical aids to help with this; other than spending a lot of time at a keyboard - though I am not ruling that out. I have used a dictaphone and a recording app on my smartphone. I and have looked up Smartpens and Dragon Anywhere package.
    Depends on your style of writing... assuming you're writing to eventually share your work.
    If not- do whatever you want.

    Joey Camps blasted out many of his journals/trip reports with a phone app/talk to text feature. He posted many of these 'raw' and they turned out pretty good, though it took an investment in time to improve things. If you use Dragon or something like that at home in daily life... the 'learning' gets better but you have to spend some time working with it. Since Joey was just posting reports (rather than publishing) it was no big deal if there were some typos or odd stuff... in some ways it added to the fun/frantic nature of the posts documenting his FKT efforts.

    Otherwise introducing additional electronics on the wet/humid AT (like a smartpen) seems a waste.

    Mainly because at the end of the day... assuming you're publishing... you owe it to your reader to edit, proof, and properly format your work.
    So probably best to think of things more as note taking software than publishing aids.
    Sure there are blog posters/journals and other 'casual' publishers who offer their content quickly, freely, and have a reader who isn't too concerned and will overlook some errors in the name of 'you get what you pay for'.

    Me personally... I write notes sometimes on a map, use photos, and Microsoft OneNote (free on many devices).
    OneNote is probably my only digitial shortcut as I can do voice to text, take notes, or revisit stories.
    Because you can create new 'notebooks' it is also easy for a short story format to reorganize chapters and build a book. They auto sync over multiple devices so whatever I do at whatever device... it's all updated/current.
    At the end of the day though you need to dump into Word (or your google/apple equivalent) in order to format for publishing if you want to make an actual book.

    Most of my 'writing' is done while walking. I work out the stories that way so that usually when sitting down to write I'm recording.
    I also edit while out and about as well... which that onenote app is good for.

    If you're writing a journal... you need to be more meticulous about recording your experience accurately.
    If you're writing something more free form... a few voice to text or other quick memos are often enough to trigger your memory so you're not too slowed down 'in the field'.

    At the end of the day though... computer and keyboard is still fastest and cleanest for the best final product.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    63
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    Spent several weeks together with a guy, who actually was exploring the desert for to write books (hiking guides) about it.
    He had tried many ways to decribe everything in a perfect and consistant way, and he ended up using the video function in his digital camera to document the way in moving pics, plus voice recording about all he wanted to have noted. He did so every 10-15 minutes (depending if there was anything special to describe or not).
    He said it would be the way that would store the most consistent information over the whole day without delaying him too much or taking away too much fun from the actual hike.
    He had the videos automatically geo-tagged, plus kept 3 dedicated GPS devices running, two of them in tracking mode and one to display the assumed way he wanted to go.

    During the same trip, I tried various ways to keep memory of the whole thing, first by writing in my small booklet with a pen, then switched to writing exhaustive mails to my wife which were sent as soon as we had signal (because I wanted her to keep up with our whereabout), just to switch back to pen&paper again eventually because the typing on the smartphone was eating too much battery.
    I also found out that the look of the manually written text gives me so much more memories from the actual event the text describes than just the words itself.

    I've tried the voice2type thing a bit, but honestly it would be a stiff learning curve for me to dictate a nice text. Due to my profession, I'm too much a visual kind of person.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,033

    Default

    Who are you writing for? Who is your audience? Where is the initial writing to be done? Is the writing the main goal when on trips? What is intended to be included in the hiking stories? Fiction or non fiction? Do you need a high degree of detailed accuracy initially? Are you seeking to get paid?

    I'm currently taking this on class in association with Backpacker Magazine to further outdoor writing skills. https://www.aimadventureu.com/collec...outdoor-writer I'm doing it because the outdoors and communicating these experiences is a passion. I want to inspire others to get outside, adventure, and explore. It's the main reason why I'm on WB.

    http://www.justacoloradogal.com/2017...r-my-take.html

  9. #9
    imscotty's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-13-2011
    Location
    North Reading, MA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,267
    Images
    7

    Default

    I use a Rite-in-the-Rain notebook. The paper still 'works' and does not fall apart if it gets wet. They come in different sizes and types.

    For a writing utensil I bring an 'Astronaut Pen.' I like the astronaut pens because I can write upside down when I am lying in my hammock. Rite-in-the-Rain makes their version own of an astronaut pen. Pencils would be cheaper, but I don't like the feel of pencils.
    Last edited by imscotty; 12-28-2018 at 21:33.
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  10. #10
    Registered User theinfamousj's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-23-2007
    Location
    UNC-CH, NC
    Posts
    705
    Images
    60

    Default

    While I do this for sightseeing travels rather than backpacking, my method has always been...

    I get postcards and number them along the bottom right edge. I then write my journal entries into the message portion as if the post cards were pages in a notebook. I photograph the journal portion of the post card and then mail them as I finish them. I bring an address list before leaving of those who want a post card. When I have access to the internet, I update an online photo album with photos of my continuing journal.

    1. I am able to keep a internet viewable journal this way. Sure, you cannot Ctrl+f a keyword, but it is what it is.

    2. Souvenirs take care of themselves.

    3. Minimal weight to carry.

    4. Postcard stamps are the cheapest stamps, even internationally.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Registered User theinfamousj's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-23-2007
    Location
    UNC-CH, NC
    Posts
    705
    Images
    60

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty
    For a writing utensil I bring an 'Astronaut Pen.' I like the astronaut pens because I can write upside down when I am lying in my hammock.
    If you have a pen that takes Cross-style or D1 refills, you can get a SpacePen refill (the pressurized astronaut pen inportant part) and stick it in any of them. This is what I do. The shell of the pen isn't the part that writes upside down in zero gravity on water, that is the pressurized refill.

    The PenPod is a lightweight plastic keychain pen for under $2 that takes D1 refills. The Inka takes D1 refills but is significantly heavier. These are my two daily driver keychain pens and I only refill them with the SpacePen refills. For D1 you just have to break the Fischer SpacePen refill off at the appropriate pinch point (it is made for such breaking).

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-14-2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,166
    Images
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    I use a Rite-in-the-Rain notebook. The paper still 'works' and does not fall apart if it gets wet. They come in different sizes and types.

    Pencils would be cheaper, but I don't like the feel of pencils.
    Check around for a drafting mechanical pencil. Pentel is a good one that doesn't break the bank, 0.7 mm is a good lead size . Good heavy pen feel, but uses pencil lead refills.

  13. #13
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-15-2002
    Location
    Sugar Grove, Virginia
    Age
    87
    Posts
    1,356
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Who are you writing for? Who is your audience? Where is the initial writing to be done? Is the writing the main goal when on trips? What is intended to be included in the hiking stories? Fiction or non fiction? Do you need a high degree of detailed accuracy initially? Are you seeking to get paid?

    I'm currently taking this on class in association with Backpacker Magazine to further outdoor writing skills. https://www.aimadventureu.com/collec...outdoor-writer I'm doing it because the outdoors and communicating these experiences is a passion. I want to inspire others to get outside, adventure, and explore. It's the main reason why I'm on WB.

    http://www.justacoloradogal.com/2017...r-my-take.html
    Excellent, informative response. Thanks, Dogwood.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •