There are some problems civilians don’t generally have to deal with, and one of them is writing important stuff down when everything’s soaking wet. If you’re a soldier, cop or security contractor, the chances are you do sometimes have to deal with this problem, because those jobs need to be done in any weather. That’s a problem when all you have to write with is a Bic pen and a notebook from Staples. Yes, you can keep them nice and dry in a plastic bag, but what happens when you take them out into all that lovely rain and start trying to write down your commander’s orders, or an urgent message that’s just come in on the radio? Pretty soon the pen’s going to refuse to work and the nib will be tearing lumps out of the paper.
Generations of soldiers have found solutions for this problem. Nyrex folders or pocket photo albums can hold sheets of paper, orders formats or message cards, and you can write on the plastic sleeves with a chinagraph pencil or OHP marker. The hard plastic inserts found in some ammo cans make handy notecards – punch holes in three or four, string them on a length of 550 cord and tuck them in a pocket. Chinagraph or marker will work fine on those too.
Unfortunately, writing in chinagraph or marker isn’t great if you need to write a lot. It’s impossible to write very small with them, for a start. They tend to smudge quickly (unless you use permanent marker, and good luck wiping that off when you need to reuse your orders cards).
What you really need is something you can write on normally, but that isn’t going to disintegrate as soon as it gets damp. Something like an all-weather notepad, for example. Unlike a normal notepad – these have a waterproofing compound impregnated into the paper – these will stand up to any downpour without falling apart. At the same time, they’re as easy to write on as normal paper, so you don’t have to abbreviate your orders to a crayoned scrawl. You can even get pre-printed waterproof tactical forms.
You can also get all-weather pens to go with your new notepad, or even splash out on one of the famous Fisher Space Pens – they’ll write underwater, and just about anywhere else too. On the other hand, it might be smarter to do what the Soviet Union allegedly did, and just go with a pencil. Pencils never run out of ink. The only known malfunction can be solved by digging out your knife and sharpening it. They’ll write on pretty much anything, and the text they leave is waterproof. It can also be erased if you want to reuse a page.
So, if you’re fed up with struggling to write in the rain, now you know the solution. Pick up a waterproof notepad and a handful of cheap pencils and you’re sorted. It’s often the little things that make a big difference, and this is definitely one of those cases.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.