21 Comments

  1. John,

    Great review! I love Field Notes. Back in March 08, I reviewed the Field Notes notebook (Apologies for lack of CSS or images at the link — all of my PencilThings.info posts are gone forever, except in the Internet Archive).

    One of the things I noted, like you, was the heartiness of the notebook. I accidentally ran mine through the washer, and although I couldn’t continue using the notebooks, I was still able to read the pages and transfer them to a new notebook (incidentally, when I wrote about that, BoingBoing picked it up and Field Notes sent me a gratis set of new notebooks! They are great to interact with).

    Something of note: Did you get one of the Field Notes ballpoint pens? Although I wouldn’t expect you to talk about it on this blog, I didn’t care for the pen very much. I thought it would be more fitting with the style and ruggedness if they included a Skilcraft pen, used by the federal government. They are old-timey looking and work well.

    Again, great review, and yay for Field Notes!

    • @Andy, Sorry I missed the pen question — I was thinking the same thing about the Skilcraft pens! My dad was in the Army when I was growing up, and I always had some of them that we stole (!) from his briefcase. They were (are?) made in the USA and have a nice look to them.

      • I broke down and ordered a pack of the pens with my last order of the *special* item from yesterday’s Field Notes email. I couldn’t help myself. : )

  2. Robert M.

    Thanks for the review! Graphite transfer used to irritate me quite a bit, but now when I am writing on the back side of an already filled-out page, I stick a piece of paper between the previous two pages to catch the graphite. In my plain Moleskines, I use a graph paper page from a cahier for that purpose, as it also provides me with guidelines. Every once in a while I’ll have to dig out and eraser and make a few passes over the inserted page to keep it clean, but it works like a champ to reduce transfer and improve the appearance of each page.

    • I’ve been doing that with Moleskines, but that paper is so thin that I still get the ghosting/transfer, especially with softer leads. The new Blackwing, while beautiful on other papers, makes an unholy mess in the thin paper of Moleskines. : )

  3. Tom Glidden

    The review fell a little short by not mentioning the printing on the cover. Not only is the Field Notes equipped with a date and owner register on the back of the cover, along with an indication for reward if found, but on the inside back cover-suggested uses. Some of these are hillarious! Shady transactions and escape routes included in the 30 suggestions. Also on the page: Specifications of the printing and paper and a useful 5 inch ruler printed on the edge. I use my field notebook for woodwork projects and keeping track of my agricultural chores. My introduction to them was as a surveyour helper.

  4. alright! I have just now getting around to buying a pack of these bad boys, with pencils to boot!, and I’ll be picking them up in Chicago tomorrow. They’ll be accompanying me for a week in the Porcupine Mountains State Park in Michigan. I got the mixed pack, just to see the difference. I’m excited and thought I should share.

    • Excellent!
      I should probably mention that the paper was changed since this review. It’s smoother and less prone to smearing the graphite. But fainter pencils don’t work as well.
      Blackwing 602s are lovely on the new paper, though.

      • good to know; I was not a tremendous fan of the paper in the Steno, and I don’t know if it’s the same as the cahiers, though I have come to enjoy it more with use. I’ve been putting off getting any of these notebooks for some time..don’t know why, maybe shipping costs(?)..but then I’ve put off new Scout Books too. no idea. thought about making my own for a while, which I may still do. Glad to know the 602s are nice, and I’ve expanded my collection (somewhat…though still not too extensive) so I’ll be able to do some comparisons. Also, got a box of Pearls, which are pretty dreamy. The boy (12 years old) loves them for drawing. They are now his absolute go-to pencil for this sort of thing, which is pretty cool.

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