Birder's Guide

DEC 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

Issue link: http://bg.aba.org/i/605604

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20 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2015 Rite in the Rain Revisited notebook or formatted paper for you, though minimum quantities apply. Writing instruments Any pencil will write on wet or dry RITR paper. Most pens will write when the pa- per is dry, and once something is writ- ten, it will not rub off. Not all pens will write on wet paper, but RITR All-Weather Pens write through anything! They write smoothly through water, over dirt, through grease, on napkins, upside down, and in extreme temperatures. Their ink will never leak, evaporate, or explode. My frst RITR pen was a Number 37 black and silver clicker with black ink. These 5 1/8" pens are still available, in addition to silver/blue and silver/red ones with corresponding ink colors and the RITR logo on them ($10.95). However, the newer Black Metal All-Weather Clicker Pen ($15.95) is one of the most useful of all RITR pens and the one included in the various kits. It comes either with black or blue indelible ink that fows fuidly along with your thoughts. The black 4" Trekker Pen ($37.95) runs a close second. It has a convenient ring to attach to your keychain so you'll always have it with you, as long as you're vigilant and snap it snugly into its holder every time so it doesn't come off and get lost. Bullet Pens ($25.95) are 5 1/4" open or 3 3/4" closed. These are fun to use but tend to fall out of a pocket easily. There are several other All-Weather pens, too, as well as Pen Reflls ($6.95) for any color. In general, pencils with harder leads work better for taking notes on RITR paper because softer leads tend to smear more. A simple mechanical pencil al- ways remains sharp, but thinner leads snap too often. The newest RITR innova- tion is one of the best: Tough Mechanical down from page to page! Small, bound Memo notebooks (3.5" x 5", $4.95) are another of my favorites. The frst ones to come out were green and tan; they are now available in Midnight, too. I like to keep my pen clipped in my Memo book for quicker note-taking. These have 112 pages and are nice for longer trips and keeping a running birding diary over the year or longer. The Birder's Journal ($7.95) comes a la carte or in a kit ($39.76) that includes a CORDURA ® fabric cover, the journal, an All-Weather Pen, and room for other small items. The other notebooks come sepa- rately or three to a package and are also available in kits. In case they mistakenly get thrown into the wash, they're all still laundry-proof. Other notebooks of interest to birders are the case-bound, Fabrikoid-covered Travel Journal, Sketch Book, and 770F Maxi Bound Book. The Travel Journal ($18.95) is 4.25" x 6.75" with tan pages formatted for date and location, and nine pages of handy traveler's reference mate- rial, such as embassy, climate, and time zone maps. The Sketch Book ($14.95), an 8.5" x 11" top-spiral yellow covered note- book with white pencil-friendly pages, is for serious outdoor art- ists. The 770F Maxi ($29.95), also 8.5" x 11", has perforated pages. Not only is its Midnight cover stealthy, the gray pages are easy on the eyes. Its Universal page pattern makes for a good journal or project record book. Countless other RITR note- books, loose leaf binders, and papers are available, including different specialty ones. For ex- ample, there are Retriever's Train- ing, Fishing, EMS, and Livestock Record books with formatted pages. DuraRite is a synthetic paper created for use in extreme conditions. It is actually water- proof and can even be used under water. However, if you can't fnd something to suit you, RITR will be happy to customize a unique them, in case you need to measure a jaguar track while birding in Brazil. The spiral- bound notebooks let you leave them open to keep your place. Various page patterns exist, and any notebook is available in sev- eral sizes and any of the colors. The 4 5/8" x 7" yellow Stapled Note- book ($12.95/3-pack) was my standard feld geology notebook. I still use them for vehicle maintenance log books. This 48-page book was recently updated with a tougher Field-Flex cover. Minis are min- iature versions of these standards that ft easily into any pocket ($6.95/3-pack). With 24 pages, the Mini is perfect for a day or weekend trip. It's one of my favorites. After awhile, I had so many that I started decorating them to tell them apart! Top Spiral notebooks ($3.95–$14.95) range in size from Pocket (3" x 4.5") to Maxi (8.5" x 11"). With Pocket note- books, I have to pay attention to which way is up, or my notes will be upside Once while on a walk at the Salton Sea, the author forgot her dog's drinking cup, so she tore a page from her Rite in the Rain notebook and folded one, as seen here. This still works with to- day's RITR notebooks. Challis, Idaho, March 2003. Photo © Dave Faike

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