BWCA The Value of Journals Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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07/01/2020 10:35AM  
My wife has kept journals most of her life, and she keeps detailed journals of all our trips--hiking, RV, paddling, etc. For the past few evenings we've been reading the daily entries from a 24-day hiking trip one year ago and a 10-week RV trip four years ago. How many of you are using journals to re-live trips during this time of restricted or limited travel?
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07/01/2020 11:12AM  
I have journalled all of my trips.. which is A LOT! lol My grandfather jouraled his life and made a book of it for everyone about 5 years before he died. We live where there was once a small town and I found a journal online from one of the people who lived here in the 1880.. it was fascinating. Journals are amazing. I only hope people don't replace them with facebook.
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07/01/2020 11:19AM  
I keep one for our trips. It can be tough to keep up with, but I try and at least summarize the trips and some cool details. Hopefully one day my kids or someone finds them cool. For the time being we mainly use it to reference check our "50 fish days", usually to discover they were closer to 20 fish days lol.
07/01/2020 11:22AM  
I keep a couple and read them on occasion for fun or for intel. One is just a simple account of trip: When, where, who went, route/lakes/camps. Second one is more detailed: Times(start/end of a leg), hard to find portages, fishing spots, events of the day. I keep notes during the day and enter the days events in the journal usually at night by the light of my headlamp.
Journals sit on my end table by bed and I sometimes read them before sleep. Good memories.
07/01/2020 12:13PM  
TrailZen: " How many of you are using journals to re-live trips during this time of restricted or limited travel?

I started keeping fishing journals and paddling journals a couple of years ago. I find them very valuable and try to make a note of conditions to help me on future outings. I tend to take several day trips a year on local rivers and having a reference for the CFS on a river gauge is really helpful.

I made a trip report and photo book of my first bwca trip and plan to do so again. I enjoy looking back on the trip report. I also used one of my photos as the background image on my cell phone.

There are a lot of great trip reports on this site. Just reading the reports of others shows how valuable writing one for your own trip can be.
07/01/2020 02:16PM  
I have journaled all my trips from the 1970’s to date. They wouldn’t be of much interest to anyone not on the trip but the sure can bring back the memories for me. I really value my journals covering 14 years of Canadian trips.
07/01/2020 03:58PM  
I do not but my wife keeps detailed journals of our trips.

Funny, but in 20 years we have never gone back to look at them, I doubt the wife knows where half of them are.
member (40)member
07/01/2020 04:40PM  
I don't journal, but had my kids start journaling their camping and hiking trips at 7 years old.
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07/01/2020 06:07PM  
I've been on many trips and only journaled one. We had a lot of laughs that week and my cartooning skills and storytelling make for a delightful read 28 years later, but all my other trips exist only in my head and in the retelling. My attitude toward journals is that there's nobody building a presidential library in my name, no need to keep this stuff.
07/01/2020 07:46PM  
Not keeping a journal of my Boundary Waters trips is my biggest regret.

I have lots of pictures, but to put words down on paper makes those pictures even more vivid.
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07/01/2020 08:02PM  
I have 4 journals, each with years of trips both BWCA\Quetico\Wabakimi, Isle Royale and other places out west. My biggest recommendation is get a waterproof journal and bring 2 pens. Never know when one will stop working.
Savage Voyageur
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07/01/2020 08:13PM  
I have used a journal in past trips. It’s really funny to read about the trip years later. I lay in my hammock each night with a headlamp on and write about the day.
07/02/2020 06:22AM  
I always take one but find I miss some days when with a group. Much more detail and consistency when solo. I dug out old jornals of trips from the 1980's not long ago and it was pretty funny. My first canoe camping trip was in the BW and our first night a bear ate all our food for the week so we canoed out the next day and got wind bound on the shore of Brule Lake for awhile. To kill time I drew pictures of a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake. :) My girlfriend drew pics of squirrels and a bear. We were young and everything was new to us.

For some reason I put the two fuel cans for the stove in our food pack up in the tree. The bear was a big one and I guess he had to sample what was in them. Souvenirs from past trips are great for memories also.

07/02/2020 11:47AM  
I always journaled on our canoe trips, and also on our "grandchild vacations", as I was continually taking pictures and I made some sort of book afterwards. At first it was photo albums, and the past ten years or so I have made a book on Snapfish.

We have a lake cottage about 75 miles from home, and there is a cottage journal there. I record each time we are there, keep track of expenses and when the flowers bloom and all sorts of things. If we have guests, they are asked to write in the journal before they leave.

At home, in my daily life, I don't keep a journal, but traveling I find it is useful and fun.
07/02/2020 06:36PM  
I used written journals on and off through my life, and have early written journals from trips. I have started using audio recordings as my journal format. I listen to them on the road heading north and then the trip journal driving home. Mood and memory go together. So nice to have so many good memories.
An added plus is audio recordings include ambient sounds. Rain is so nice under a tarp with a good day to reflect upon.
07/04/2020 03:31PM  
I try to keep a journal but it is not for me. I want my kids to know what their father was like before them and during their growing up. I think it is beyond value.
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10/06/2020 05:16PM  
I try to write up trip reports after most of my trips. Hopefully, one day, my daughter will find them fascinating and they will give her a glimpse of what her Father was like.

Occasionally I go back and read them as well. It's interesting to see how I and my trips have evolved over the years.
Savage Voyageur
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10/06/2020 06:27PM  
I just started this week keeping a journal of our Camper trips this year. I use a small spiral bound notebook, one page per day. I include the location, date and temperature to the top of the page.
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