Forget the app, there’s a pocket notebook for that…

by Stuart Lennon

I first discovered in 2016. Its tagline was the catchy phrase I’ve used in the title of this post.

The line summed up how I felt about notes. I keep my notebooks, but generally I don’t refer back to them.

This week, I did.

I write a blog, and just this week, started a series on my experiences walking the Camino de Santiago. Each post is a day on the trail, and runs to quite a long read. I started the camino in 2016, and freely admit that my memory for detail is not what it once was. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be; because there’s a pocket notebook for that.

My notes are not extensive. Frankly, I was busy, but they don’t need to be.

“A sing-along in Persian, German, Dutch, French and English”. Written in a bright green fountain pen ink.

An evening that provokes such a note is easily recalled. (It was a cracking evening, but you’ll need to be a paid member at to read about it, when I get to it.)

As well as notes, I scrapbook. I staple in receipts, business cards, maps, all sorts of things. I started this on my second trip, when I trawled the streets of Bilbao, looking for the smallest stapler I could find. I’m not trying to keep an accurate record of the experience, I just preserve things that prompt memories.

One drawback is that I keep slipping off into a reverie, when I should be writing a blog post.

Perfect Camino Notes Kit

1. Pocket Notebook (or 2). Which? Your favourite, of course.
2. Writing implement. Pencil? Don’t forget a sharpener. Pen? Yep. Take something you love, but could bear losing.
3. Jacket. You may be walking for 8 hours in pouring rain. No rucksack is that waterproof.

My choices

Field Notes Expedition and a Fisher Space Pen is a great waterproof combo. I also like a normal Field Notes with a Kaweco Sport and a plastic bag. Equally waterproof.

I used the Nock Seed A6 last trip. (Please note, these are the last of our stock, Nock is not supplying retailers anymore.) I could comfortably get a couple of notebooks in there, along with a mix of writing implements, and even my baby stapler.

The last leg of the camino was scheduled for September 2020, and for obvious reasons was postponed - but as the world settles again, I’ll be choosing a new notebook for the last leg.

Whatever you are up to, keep notes. I was amazed at the power of the memories that welled up as I scanned the notebooks.