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What Kind of river log do you keep

  • It's all in my head - I have a photographic memory

    Votes: 6 14.6%
  • I keep a master list of runs, but few or no details

    Votes: 9 22.0%
  • I keep a log of every run with details

    Votes: 16 39.0%
  • I don't keep a log

    Votes: 10 24.4%
  • I tick off the runs in my guide book

    Votes: 8 19.5%
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been bad. As a commercial guide, after my rookie season I stopped keeping an actual log of every run. Instead I just got a summary from each company I worked for and used that. But I haven't really kept track of my private runs outside of my head. I do periodically update a word document with a list of everything I have ever ran and the number of times i have run each stretch.

So I want to know how you track your runs. Do you have a logbook, use a legal pad, just tick off the run in a guide book? Do you note the date, level, boat paddled, weather, who you went with, who owed ice cream? Is there some perfect book or journal out there for doing this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I used to use that one, and I have all of my guide training, check out, and related stuff in the official format. I am well over 6,000 miles now and the outfitters I have worked for have just wanted some kind of written record - so the logs from previous employers have worked just fine for those requirements.

I think I want spaces for who I went with, some trip notes and other memorable things for my private trips. For the commercial trips I just want to add one more tick to the list. The 87th time I guided parkdale dosen't hold much meaning for me.
 

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I have a log of every raft and kayak run. I keep a list of each run, who was there, what boat I was in, the flow, the date, the miles and my swim count. Then I also write narratives for interesting days. I use a small maybe 6"x4" note book. On the right hand pages I keep the list and write the narratives on the left hand pages.

I love looking back into it. It reminds me of all the cool trips and people I'd forgotten from time to time. Also, I have a great history to help me predict what will flow and when. Thinking about it now, I wish I'd kept peak snowpack totals for the major drainages to help me differentiate expected flows from year to year.

Journals are awesome - even for kayakers or non-professional rafters and a must for professional types.

Joe
 

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^ im with Joe, I go for detail in logging my trips.....

I made some forms on the computer a few years back when i got started boating, they have a few text boxes at the top for Body of Water/Stretch, Flow, Date, Who Went, and What Boat i used, plus the bottom half is empty for filling in with exciting stories. i printed off a huge pile of em and just fill out one of those every time i get back. i've got a large filing cabinet that they all hang out in, and its been nice. No questions about who went, what the flow was, etc, because its all right there!
 

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I get a new calendar every year

Each paddling day I mark the river, flow, who went, quality and anything interesting; details such as swims, which combination of folks worked best together, folks I'll never boat with again etc. It works realy well when you are getting antsy about run off coming, Its not exact but will put you in the ballpark.
 

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I logged in every trip for quite a while now I just do a yearly update. I keep a yearly snow and water calender that I look back on for flow levels and snow days..

My first log entery was in 1982.. Browns Canyon with the pops.. First time I was on the oars was 1985 Salida to Rincon and is 87 I kayaked from Salida to Rincon.. My first unsupervised trip was at over 3300 cfs on the ark when I was 14.. Took all the rafting gear and my day's jeep for shuttle then ran browns with a few other kids.. We knew we had no chance but to get caught.. Funny pops was more pissed about drivin with out a license than he was about raftin at 14..

When I did the total and add em up again.. I have about 35,000 total miles since 1982.. Over 70% are on the Ark or creeks around the Ark.

Worthless but fun to look back over.
 

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I keep a fairly elaborate log in excel with a section with general info on runs (put-in, take-out, gradient, number of times I've run it, etc.), a section for all the flows I've run each section at, and a section for day-by-day info. I think it's definitely worth it and provides good entertainment for the off-season.

COUNT
 

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My "Captain's Log" has gotten more detailed as years go by - I've mainly recorded the run itself, total mileage, who I ran it with, any events of note (e.g., my two flips) and anything else I felt compelled to mention. Last year was the first time I started recording cfs, campsites and weather. It's fun to read it over the winter and gets me totally amped for spring:-D
 

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I usually keep a log for all my outdoor activities. The main ones I write down are backpacking trips, boat trips, climbing trips, and kayaking runs. I haven't been that great about keeping up on the water related stuff, usually just writing down big trips, or the first time I ran a run. Usually I write down who was there, mileage in, pitches climbed, miles floated, gear I used, gear I didn't use, and complications. It is a good way for me to go back through and say to myself, ok, I used this, on this trip, or I wish I had this, or I have never used this, but I still pack it with me every time I go, do I really need this? It basically turns into an account of the trip, after I get some pertinent information/facts down, then I just start writing what I felt during the trip and what the experience was like.


Edit to add: I also am a big fan of writing in guidebooks. Especially guidebooks for climbing, etc. I will write down who I did it with, when, and just a line about what it was like. In the river guidebooks I write down campsites, things I notice on the way down, weird new sandbars, etc.
 

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Gotta say I love the paddle log. I use excel. Got every run since day 1. Total river days, river days that year, run name, difficulty, flow / level, number of swims, who I paddled with and random comments. I started keeping track of which boat I was using after breaking creekers like they made of balsa wood.

As noted its really cool to look back and see a nice history or all the runs you have paddled and who you ran them with. Its also a great reference for flow info to look back and compare level vs. fun factor.

I also break it down by river run, overnighter, or park n play.

Can't wait to start logging some serious fun in 08!
 

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I used to use small calendars sorta like Joe's, now I use my palm pilot which is easily searchable
River
Stretch
distance
class
flow
people
interesting tidbits

I'm using the callendar program but would love to use a database program like the old filemaker one I have on my Mac laptop that may not be compatable with anything modern. Anyone know of something like this for palm or pocket PC? Calendar limits your text size. Ideally I could cross-reference runs I've done w/ a digital guidebook type thing. Anyone w/ suggestions would be appreciated
-C
 

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I've been guiding a long time and my river log is really thorough. I list section of river, flows, milage, hours, and sometimes weird or pertinent information. I also list training runs in my log book also. You need to really have your training log and signed off check-out sheet run forever. If you have thorough logs and someting horrible happens in the future it could help keep lawyers or the state parks department off your ass. I just use a diary/journal book for my log book.
 

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I keep my river logs in the groover.
I'm with you. I have occasionally kept scribbles in river guide books but that is the extent of it. For long floats where you have to figure out where to camp I think detailed notes are valuable, but I don't really write anything down out of pure laziness. I have rafting friends who are meticulous about that sort of stuff and I guess they have enabled me. I follow them to camp.

I'm buying a raft this year. Maybe I'll start taking notes now that I am going to have to figure out where to park my own rig at night. Then again, maybe not. I could just Google it.
 
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