I have used a Fisher Space Pen refill. They fit most conventional pen housings. I keep a pencil and small waterproof pad as a backup for when I forget the custom log sheet or if the weather is really lousy.
Am now starting to use VK Portalog. Which of course starts a whole new set of thinking on pens/stylus/fingers etc.
I’m part of a team that helps put multi-billion transistor semiconductors together, so something as simple as a pencil has a huge amount of “cool simplicity”. Increasing the reliability by a factor of 2 by sharpening both ends is in the same ball-park.
All good but have you done a proper OH&S study of a double ended pencil and the use of a pocket knife? Top end of pencil may be an eye hazard? Pocket knife, a weapon, is banned in many places apart from aircraft.
BTW I am non PC as I too use a pocket knife on SOTA and two pencils, sharpened at one end. I await my arrest for carrying a weapon in a National Park.
I’m safer with a pencil than a pen Ron. I used a ball point pen and a little notebook in Gran Canaria last week. Dangerous things as Mrs. FMF pointed out I’d got ink on a shirt. That doesn’t happen with a pencil!
And yes, I too carry a penknife in my walking gear but it meets the UK size limit. In the UK it’s illegal “to carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less”. Now you can carry bigger knives if you have a good reason. The law contains this statement “A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife or a weapon if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.”
I do have a much bigger lock-knife (really a folding pruning saw) with an 8in blade that I carry (when I remember) to trim back braches in overgrown firebreaks in forests.
@DK3IT Martin, one thing to check if you switch to a pen is the temperature that the ink freezes or becomes to viscous to flow.
I’m a space nut, I’ve had a Fisher Space Pen for years but I don’t use it for SOTA, a pencil is definitely the best solution for soggy logging!
My favourite pencil type is a PaperMate mechanical pencil. The lead is suspended in a spring and it’s very rare that the lead snaps off, unlike other mechanical pencils. It’s just so convenient to be able to extrude some more lead rather than hunting for a sharpener and then sharpening a traditional pencil. Unfortunately it seems as though my favourite pencils are no longer manufactured but you can still find them for sale. I treated myself to a 12 pack a couple of years ago
I use the ARRL all-weather pens, which are identical to the rite in rain pens other than a logo, and probably cost a few dollars more…but I figure I’m helping out the USA’s National amateur radio organization just a bit. I bought two and have used them on over a hundred activations so far without a single failure, temps from below freezing to 110+ degrees Fahrenheit.
I have used the space pen, Write in the Rain pen, Uniball and pencils.
I prefer pencils as they always work and I can always sharpen them with a knife.
As par as pens, I have been using a Fisher space pen refill only (without the body) dummy corded to a small waterproof field book.
In the end, I always seem to loose pens/pencils so the best one is the one that I happen to have on me at the time.
Actually I have been getting away from manual logging and using my iPhone with Hamlog these days…
I used an Inka pen for a while, but went back to using a standard pencil. I often temporarily misplace my pencil during an activation, so I take several with me and they all usually reappear when I am packing the kit up. I learnt my lesson when I accidentally dropped the only pencil I had down between some rocks on the summit I was activating… fortunately I had taken a fibre tip pen up with me.