A Woodsman’s Journal

I think one of the most useful tools of the Woodsman, can be his journal. This tool is not often talked about with regard to what one carries with him to the field.  I’m not sure why that’s the case, perhaps it is the other remnants within his pack that allows for this one to be over-shadowed. It’s not flashy, expensive, made out of carbon steel or the trending piece of gear to display, and so it’s nonexistent in most cases. I would say it’s just as valuable as having a knife with you, at least to some extent.


The journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy, like the one depicted in the photo here, it’s what goes inside that makes the real difference. I wish I had started keeping a journal when I began this journey some years ago. I did to some degree, but not like I should have. So there is no better time than now to start. I look back now and realize all of the trips and memories, lessons to be more accurate, that could have been a help possibly moving forward. If nothing more, it could have shown just what I have done and accomplished over the years. Anyway, I don’t plan on wasting any more time and will be doing that from here on out.

Again there are very few who ever mention such a thing, but there are a couple of very accomplished folks who see it’s real benefit and spot in one’s kit. Mors Kochanski gives it a mention a time or two if I’m not mistaken, and my friend Tim Smith makes it of mandatory use at his school. I would say that should tell you something, if my mere rambling of words and a picture didn’t.

3 thoughts on “A Woodsman’s Journal

  1. I noticed you didn’t show what kind of writing instrument you use here in the picture. I know the temp swings here in New England are severe and as a police officer, I often have ballpoint pens freeze up and stop working on me when trying to take reports outside in the cold! Since it’s mandatory that I complete forms and other government documents in ink, I’ve had to start using a fisher space pen… They’re not my favorite, but it gets the job done.

    Just curious as to what you use to write with since you’re often in cold weather. Do you use a pencil, or pen? What type?

    I love the good ol’ fashioned wooden pencil for a number of reasons:
    1. They’re fun to sharpen with a knife! (Good whittling practice)
    2. They work in cold weather
    3. They write at any angle
    4. There’s no guessing how much graphite is left… You know how much is left before having to replace the pencil.
    5. They give superior tactile feedback when writing (at least in my opinion)
    6. There’s just something primitive about writing with them that’s really cool!

    Only problem with wooden pencils is transporting them because of the sharp point… I haven’t been able to solve this yet other than maybe searching for those illusive pencil caps… I think you gotta order them from Japan! Lol.


    1. This one came with a wooden pen. But I too like a pencil, so that’s what im using, and will possibly go over it in pen as I go….when im in the warm tent or home in the office.


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