Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Summit logging

I’ve been using the trusted pen and paper for logging qso’s on the summits. Got some A5 webtrex waterproof notebooks which work fine. Just wondering what others use, I.e PDA, iPhone, netbook or any other solutions??



Long since given up on pens, even specialist so-called waterproof ones. Long since given up on normal paper.

For many years I have been using Rite in the Rain All-Weather Notebook (No. 146) and standard HB pencil. I am yet to see or hear of anything else that comes near to the effectiveness, reliability and overall economy of this arrangement!


In reply to 2M0ETR:

SOTAbeams Waterlog (no longer available, it appears) with my own refill sheets laser printed on Zecom waterproof paper.

Cheap plastic 0.7mm propelling pencils from Staples - always sharp and nice bright colours for visibility.

Odd contacts made while on the move go into a ring bound waterproof notebook.

I wouldn’t recommend anything electronic - too fiddly, can generate QRM, and can go wrong leaving you with nothing. Audio recording can provide a useful backup for when you can’t read your own writing, but it would be tedious to have to transcribe everything.

In reply to 2M0ETR:

Homemade log sheets made from 100gsm laser paper and spirally bound. This has a smooth finish. It will repel the occasional drop of water which can be wiped off.

Ballpoint pen if it’s dry or 4B pencil of it’s not.

Trekmates small umbrella!

Works for me. Anything with electronics in it? No thanks.

73, Richard

In reply to G4ERP:

Trekmates small umbrella!


After your last trip maybe you need one of these;


The video is well worth watching…



In reply to G4ERP:
Thanks all. Never thought about a pencil for some reason? Must remember to take one next time.

Thanks again guys


In reply to 2M0ETR:

Sharpen both ends of it. Then when it snaps (and it will) you can continue logging with the other end. Sharpen it before the next activation.



In reply to MM0FMF:
Yes it is the simple and the obvious that is sometimes not so obvious if you know what i mean.


In reply to MM0FMF:
Tried that - it made a right mess of the rubber :frowning:

Roger G4OWG

Best thing for logging both on and off the summit are a sharp axe and a chainsaw ;0)

“Sleeps all night and he works all day”…

In reply to M1MAJ:

THE WATERBOOK A6 www.weatherwriter.com This is what I use with a HB pencil or SeaWriter pencils from same place works for me.


In reply to G3CWI:

Thanks for that, Richard. Actually, my 240g job has been inside-out quite a few times and survived.

It’s very easy to use on a windy activation 'cos the wind holds it in place against your back and you operate and write in the lee. It’s a bit more tricky when there’s very little wind as it has a tendency to move around.

It is, of course, a compromise between weight and performance. I take it backpacking and it’s much better than a rucksack cover, keeping my head dry as well as keeping most of the water off my pack.

(edit) Adrian. Go for 4B pencils. Anything harder won’t do.

73, Richard

In reply to 2M0ETR:

Hi Adrian!

After years of activations in all sorts of conditions have settled on a A4 pad cut down to A5 (the cut end sealed with PVC tape to stop water ingress).

A0 waterproof paper used by architects obtained from local stationary supplier, cut down to A4 sheets. Have created a Excel SOTA mountain logsheet file (inc: heading with SOTA Ref inc NGR&QRA & Name + the usual info inc RST In/Out and Remarks) used to create 4 sections (2 per side), printed using laser printer. A4 then cut to A5.

Small HB pencil with rubber that pushes over the end (this is handy to protect pencil point when in transit - also always carry a Swiss pen-knife as part of my standard SOTA kit ‘Be Prepared’], should I require to sharpen pencil - KISS principle - small spare of course carried). On sides of pad use a clip to hold my watch (switched to GMT) and clip to hold pencil in place (stops it getting lost in the grass/rocks). These clips along with the A5 pad’s clip keep the log pages in place during windy conditions.

Each sheet is numbered an once a sheet is completed and info logged on the SOTA database the sheet is stored in sequence in a master logbook kept in the shack for future reference.

Also. You might be interested in my checklog which is created from my master Excel Activator/Chaser file. Great for checking contacts names, QTH’s and if you have worked before. It’s sorted and printed off the master log onto a A4 sheet (printed both side). This is then laminated and folded to A5. It’s then clipped onto my activator log-book via a small cable tie (to stop it blowing away) to one of the existing clips. Updates are made with an indelible pen on the laminated surface (though only if dry - can be done later back at the shack when logging contacts on the SOTA Database). On-going updates are made when you start running out of space on the exisiting lamated sheet.

Trust of some interest. Works for me!

73 es SOTA ever upwards!!