Log Book

A newbie here - Trying to keep track of things. Anyone have good log book ideas? Make your own? Format? Relevant data?


I developed a spreadsheet that works nicely. It lets me keep a running total of miles and time, as well as put-in and take-out info, water temp, wind speed and direction, wave height, and general observations.

You didn’t say if you are paddling rivers, lakes, or sea.

On rivers, it is a good idea to keep track of the level. One of the many fascinating things about paddling is how even though you may go to the same location, it is almost always different. Rivers can take on quite different characteristics at different water levels. So be sure to note the level among your log notes.


log hatch cover
I started writig on the inside of my hatch cover where and when using a silver marker for the valley hatches and a black marker for the QCC hatches…

There’s one for sale on this site

– Last Updated: Apr-27-07 12:35 AM EST –

Paddling journal, made for use around water (the ads used to say ink would not wash off, not sure if that's still true), $19.95


My log
After each paddle, I download the trail from my GPS to a map and enter all pertient data (date, put-in/take-out, times, wind speed and direction, temps, sky conditions (stop and stop). Also include whom I paddled with and what was observed. This is then printed out for a permanent book I keep and I also e-mail a copy of the page to all particpants (they love “that touch”.)

Any day on the water is a great day


Ah’ never use a log

– Last Updated: Apr-27-07 8:58 AM EST –

tis way, if ah' dun't remember de details, it be easier fer me ta make up tall tales later ta tell folks.


Same as the first Post. USGS gives
water temp, stage and flow info down to the miniute. I don’t use GPS but Google Earth for distances.

The log has helped me a lot, to see trends and weaknesses. I record the data on Excel.

That’s essentially what I do as well
plus I save an electronic record of the weather data for the days of the trip using Weather Underground’s history and almanac feature:


and gage data from the appropriate USGS gages.

Useful for comparison next time I plan to go back and am curious what conditions might be like.

Be careful with logs…
If you give people info about yourself they will log it and never forget.

it will come back to haunt you.


My catagories
As a relative newbie myself, here are the headings from my Paddling Journal:


Body of Water (this is where I record river level if appropriate)

Put In (Location, Time)

Take Out (Location, Time)

Boat - what was I paddling, also comment if I’m trying out new equipment i.e. paddle, pfd, etc.

Paddling Miles - for this trip and year to date

Temp - should probably call this “weather” as I comment on anything relevant

Wildlife - What birds/animals were spotted

Notes - usually just a brief note about where I went and what I did, if paddling with others I record that. Also if anything noteworthy, but not skill related, happened I include that.

Skill Assessment - discuss anything in particular I was working on, anything that went well or didn’t. At this stage, this is usually the longest portion of my entry.

I just started my paddling journal in January and it really has been a great experience so far. Mine is just a Word doc on the computer that I add to as soon as possible after the trip.

jbead & I…
jbead & I think alike.

I record almost exactly the same things in my river log that he does.

I started my first (hand written) river log in l982. Am now on my 4th notebook (still handwritten), and working on breaking 7,000 miles.

Wish I’d started a log when I first started paddling in the 1960s. Great to read through some of the old entries, and also quite informative on occasion. Great to be able to look back & tell exactly who, what, where, when, why, and how.


Makes me realize what a shame it is to forget any good paddle. Thats like coming across an old picture of a paddling trip that you forgot you did.

The big trips are easy to remember, but so many day paddles, some are bound to be forgotten although they don’t deserve to be.

Give’ em the truth
and nothing but the truth and you’ll have nothing to fear!

Be onest
Tell the truth and you won’t have to remember anything else. I talk to groups all of the time but it’s the newspapers that get the figures. One just added 3,000 miles to my 7,000 river miles.

Thanks Folks
Lots of good ideas here. I’ll build my own using some (most) of the topics suggested.