PKM for building a first brain

As a completely different idea, is it absolutely the case that there can be no computing while you are on the river?

I realize you are not bringing along a laptop, and even an iPad might be problematic as at some point you are likely to be charging via solar…although an M1-based Mac mini could potentially last you for a week on the river…

But as a thought. What if you put your PKM into a format readable on a Kindle and brought along that device as a reference tool? Kindles seem to be sufficiently low power consumption as to last quite a long time on a single charge (although I admit I so rarely use mine that I don’t know exactly how long a charge lasts, I believe Amazon claims 30 days). I believe they have waterproof versions. Although I doubt they would stand up to immersion in the river, they would probably handle river spray ok, and you could get a small water-tight bag for it.

Just a thought.

Cannot imagine that would be safe or permitted by the tour / outfitter company

You need 100% alertness when rafting - double so when acting as a tour guide responsible for safety of others.

Imagine if your Uber driver started blogging while driving.

I would be hesitant to bring electronics on the river because of the high probability they would end up in the river. :grinning:

Notes written in Sharpie on Tyvek pages can take a lot of punishment. Even tables printed on Tyvek with a dot matrix printer could survive 4 to 6 hours underwater with very little fading. By now It seems someone must sell something that allows you to print all weather notes.

Old school water proof maps and sharpies work. Done a few trips through the BWCA with maps, compass, and the rare GPS reading to confirm where we are. But when running big water - you still stop, observe, plan your run to the conditions and your backup strategy.


@WayneG 's suggestion off a sharpie reminds me of the story of the space pen! Great technology that can write upside down. The Russians used a pencil!

Maybe the solution is analog? :man_shrugging:

1 Like

In line with what @Bill_Aus said, I brought two Rite in the Rain pens on my raft trip in April. Both of them bit the dust during the trip (sand is hell on pens’ click mechanisms). I ended up borrowing a pencil from my dad to finish out the trip.

1 Like

You can get Rite as Rain (or at least something very similar) at Staples in a format that is a pen with cap rather than a click mechanism. That should address the sand issue. I know that Rite as Rain also makes notepads that are billed as being waterproof, but I have not tried them.

Yeah, I’ve got a couple of non-clicky Rite in the Rain pens for future trips (with pencils as backups).

As far as their notebooks go, I can heartily endorse then. I’ve been using them for years with great results.

Much as I love pencils (current favorite: Musgrave Tennessee Red), the “Russians used a pencil” is a myth. Pencils are wood and graphite; both are flammable. Graphite is breakable. Ballpoint Fisher space pens work well in space, or in very wet conditions at equine pastures in Puget sound or lobster boats in Maine.


Like all the other drivers now in Philadelphia do you mean? It is beyond belief, literally.

If you’ve ever seen pictures of the Russian moon lander you can understand how some of the stories could sound reasonable. It looks more like something that would be attached to a steam locomotive rather than a rocket. :grinning:

The Fisher pens turned out to be popular with the Russians too.

“According to an Associated Press report from February 1968, NASA ordered 400 of Fisher’s antigravity ballpoint pens for the Apollo program. A year later, the Soviet Union ordered 100 pens and 1,000 ink cartridges to use on their Soyuz space missions, said the United Press International. The AP later noted that both NASA and the Soviet space agency received the same 40 percent discount for buying their pens in bulk. They both paid $2.39 per pen instead of $3.98.”

  • Scientific American, December 20, 2006

Well now you’ve just gone and ruined a good story with some facts! :joy:
But seriously thanks for correcting my understanding. I love this. I have found a few “long held facts” lately that have been untrue and yet we can base our lives in them.

@ChrisUpchurch maybe a Space Pen is in your future? :wink: