If you keep your logbook with you on the paddle (in a waterproof pouch) or in your car, be sure you put your emergency contact information inside the cover. See "Keeping a Kayaking Logbook" for more information. The information you decide to keep in a logbook is your choice. You should know why you want to keep a logbook and what you would like to look back upon when you read it in the future. Here is a list of the many different categories for consideration for your logbook. I have used many of these and seen some in other logbooks. Keeping consistent with the USK motto, pick the ones that work best for you.
Arrival Time (also time you left the house)
Actual route (reason for route change)
Parking information (restrictions, fees, # of spaces, etc)
Restroom & facilities (rinse water, showers, food, etc)
Launch Site (ease of launch, fees, restrictions, etc)
Marine forecast, buoy reports, surf reports
Weather conditions at site (Sunny, cloudy, rainy, etc)
Wind conditions (speed and direction)
Water conditions & surf conditions (include changes)
Tidal and current information (include changes)
Water Quality (visibility, debris, run off, etc)
Shore conditions (sand, rocks, debris, vegetation, etc)
Boating traffic (type, density)
Prior weather (days before the paddle)
Equipment used (kayak, paddle, recovery equipment, etc)
Launch (how did it go?)
Charts and maps used
Navigation markers and information (compass headings used)
GPS info if you have one (way points, distance covered, top speed, average speed, etc)
Estimated paddle speed
Paddle stops (location & duration)
Camping locations (fees,restrictions,permits,etc)
Recommended lunch or rest-break locations (nature calls)
Reliable water along the route
Food and water consumed (was it sufficient?)
Points of Interest
Marine/wildlife sightings or encounters
Best part of the paddle
Challenges during the day
Problems along the way
Solutions to the problems
Possible escape routes (if you had to stop the paddle or injured paddler)
Nearest emergency services (throughout the paddle)
Radio frequencies needed
Cell Phone/Radio Coverage (black out areas) Obstacles to GPS signal?
How did my equipment perform?
Equipment malfunctions or problems
Discomforts, aches & sores
What did I learn today?
Skills practiced (remember to practice your solo & assisted capsize recoveries)
Landing (how did it go?)
What did I do particularly well during the paddle?
What will I do differently on my next paddle?
Did I dress appropriately for the day? (if not, what changes?)
Equipment I forgot?
Partners perspective of the day
Local knowledge from others
Other things to do in this area
Time leaving the parking lot
Vehicle traffic times
Services near or on route to launch site (gas, food, lodging, etc)
Nearest kayaking shop for supplies/equipment
I am sure you will come up with other categories for your logbook. If you wish to add to this list please e-mail us email@example.com.
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