Sunday 27 September 2020

Thrunotes - a waterproof notebook for thru-hikers

Back in March I did a video interview with Russell Hepton, aka The Trail Hunter, just before he set off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, and, of course, just before the Covid-19 pandemic started to really affect our lives. With trail towns locking down and the PCT Association advising hikers to get off the trail Russ made the very difficult but sensible decision to abandon his hike and return to Britain. 

Using the savings left over from his PCT hike he set about designing a notebook specifically for thru-hiking as he couldn't find one he liked, saying that all those he tried were "too wide, too tall, too heavy and would fall apart after a few days". His aim was a notebook that was "strong, lightweight, waterproof and environmentally-responsible". The result is called Thrunotes.

Thrunotes is small - 13 x 9 cms - and light - 27 grams. It has 32 pages, of which 25 are for recording your walk. The remainder are for emergency information, contacts, trail angels, trail family details, and resupply points. The notebook is made from a recyclable waterproof tear-resistant synthetic material called YUPOblue and printed in England by Ashley House Printing Company, which has excellent environmental credentials. Clearly a great deal of careful thought and design has one into this product.


Thrunotes is designed so you can put the day number and mileage in the corners and then quickly flip through to find entries. There are circles you can use to highlight other information too. 

I developed an index system for my walk notebooks many years ago but it's never involved a flip-through method like this, which I can see being very useful. As all the waterproof notebooks I've seen before have tear-out pages, which I don't want in a notebook that's intended as a permanent record, I've mostly used notebooks with waterproof covers but ordinary paper pages. Thrunotes is the first notebook I've seen with sewn-in pages.

If you only keep brief notes one Thrunotes might last 25 days. I'll probably fill three or four pages or more per day. Looking through my notebooks, which are bigger than Thrunotes, one 90 page book covers around 50 days. I'd probably need four Thrunotes for that long. They would weigh 108 grams. My 90 page notebook weighs 130 grams. 

I think Thrunotes is excellent. I like the idea of a tough waterproof notebook I don't have to look after carefully. I'll be using it on my next long walk. What about day walks and short backpacking trips though? A similar notebook for those is promised soon. 

Thrunotes cost £7.99 and can be bought from the Thrunotes website, which has masses of information including some interesting little videos.

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