Logging in the rain

As a SOTA newby, can I ask another question.

What do people use to log on the hill. So far, my few activations (on lowly single point hills) have had coincided with dry weather. Even little Bredon Hill on Friday, which was under a good foot of snow, was dry to operate. However today on Sugar Loaf, I was in a blizzard. The radio was fine, tucked in a bag, and I was fine wrapped in many layers, but of course I struggled to log, especially when I came to turn over the page and found it had turned to tissue paper. What do you all do?

Thanks to everybody I worked today, some of you had to work quite hard to hear me. I had tried to get out of the wind on the lee of the summit. I had simply stuck the mast into a snowdrift but this did mean the antenna was lower than usual. It really is appreciated that there are chasers out there.



In reply to G0IBE:

Richard, search the reflector for “logging” and “rain”. It will turn up lots of useful links.


In reply to G0IBE:

Hi, Richard.

Thanks for the S2S. It sounds as if you had the same WX as us.

I make my log sheets out of 100gsm laser paper. being slightly shiny, it withstands the damp quite well. I usually write with a biro but when that freezes or if it’s snowing or raining, I switch to a 2B pencil.

73, Richard

In reply to MM0FMF:

I should have realised that it must be a well discussed topic. Thanks. I will look for some waterproof paper.



“Rite in the Rain” waterproof notepads - and HB pencil. Completely waterproof and simple, effective system.

Google “Rite in the Rain” to find a supplier - or search the archive on here, as I posted a link to a good one a while back.


Record both sides of the audio onto an mp3 player, transcribe once warm & dry at home.
Works for me :slight_smile:


Cheap mp3 player, 512k ones can be picked up for under a tenner and are sufficient for dozens of activations. Worn under topcoat will cut out wind noise and keep player dry. Start recording with a time check and announce any band/mode changes. When the recording is played back you simply add the time the recording started to the time position as shown on the media player for the QSO. You will be surprised that the recording is usually better than what you heard at the time on the summit. Always use a fresh battery.

I also use a waterproof notebook (available camping shops & Army surplus) and a pencil if it is wet but to save money I use an ordinary notebook when dry.

Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GW7AAV:
I occasionally use an Olympus VN-4100 voice recorder for logging. They weight about 30g and can be found online for about £20. Problem is I tend to rely upon the log book to remember who I’m talking to etc. Otherwise I agree with Steve’s comments. Another possibility worth considering is using your mobile phone - many nowadays seem to have a voice recorder option.

Rick M0RCP

In reply to G0IBE:

I have one of these:


(Specifically the A4 portrait). I usually use a normal reporters notebook and either a pen or pencil. Works well enough. I normally stick the radio (FT-817) inside it as well to make sure that doesn’t get wet.

Drawback is they’re not cheap - prices are rather higher now than when I got mine. You might be able to find them cheaper from other sellers though. And sometimes the weather’s so bad that my hands get soaked, meaning the paper’s getting wet anyway.

(I didn’t actually buy it for SOTA. I bought it for geological fieldwork, undertaken for my degree.)

In reply to G0IBE:

Hi Richard,

The other thing you’ll come across is sub-zero conditions. I either use a pencil or Inka pen on normal 100 gsm paper if it is dry and pencil on waterproof paper if wet. It is awkward trying to protect the log from wet, so I don’t bother any more and just use the appropriate materials.

As far as logging in the wet, the SOTABeams Waterlog is a ready made solution, but there are only 10 contacts on a page and it’s a pain having to keep changing sheets. Paul G4MD printed up some A5 size logs on waterproof paper with 20 contacts per sheet for us to use and then there is usually only a single change of log sheet during a typical activation. Miniturisation is not always the best thing.

If you intend to go out in all weathers regardless, one issue is protection for the rig. My 817 and the 2m + 70cms linear live permanently inside plastic containers inside the back pack. I use the type you can get on eBay for paper storage which are available in A4, A5 and A6 size. They make good containers for cables, etc. as the tops overlap the bottoms and slide off rather than clip on like a sandwich box. Less messing about when you have cold hands.

You will develop your own ideas and will no doubt fine tune something every so often.

73, Gerald