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Rite in the Rain Notebooks from AnyWeatherPaper

A selection of various Rite in the Rain notepads and field books, both old and new, from my personal kit [©BM]

Any Weather Paper (AnyWeatherPaper.co.uk) are official UK stockists of American Rite in the Rain waterproof notepads, paper and accessories, writes Bob Morrison.


We probably don’t need to tell most of our British Army, plus Royal Marines and RAF Regiment of course, readers just how useful Rite in the Rain notebooks can be when operating in the field, but as on 1st September Scott and his AnyWeatherPaper team both revamped their website and speeded up the e-Commerce experience now seems like a good time for a brief review for those out there who are not yet converts.

I left this RITR side-spiral UNIVERSAL Nº 973 notebook out in the rain all night before writing on it with both ordinary pen and a pencil [©BM]

Not only have I have been a user of Rite in the Rain (RITR) military notepads for most of my specialist defence photojournalist career, but Mike Gormley also started using them on his treks and expeditions about a decade ago. Indeed the photo of the yellow notebooks on this page was taken by Mike way back in December 2012 when he turned a hosepipe on them as part of a gear test. I’m not quite as harsh on kit as Mr G. can sometimes be, but recently I left a RITR spiral notepad outside my loft studio window in the rain all night to show how it could still be written on with both ballpoint pen and pencil next morning. It is worth mentioning that while it is indeed possible to use a ballpoint pen on soaking wet RITR paper, if the pen uses a water soluble ink this is quite likely to leech or bleed; a soft or medium hardness pencil on the other hand should work fine no matter how wet the paper is.

Perfect bound (left) and top-spiral alternatives [©BM]
Tactical colours include Olive and Coyote and MultiCam covers are also available [©BM]

For those unaware of the story, Rite in the Rain came about well over one hundred years ago in the inclement Pacific Northwest of the United States when a lumber company owner, Alec Polson, was looking for a better way of recording timber tallies outdoors than writing on a wooden shingle with a hard pencil. To find a solution Jerry Darling teamed up with printer Herbert Buffington to create a waterproof ‘painted paper’ and this resulted in a company being formed (still operating today as J L Darling) to produce a Timber Cruisers Waterproof Estimate Book. Today’s side-stapled Rite in the Rain All-Weather Universal Notebook is the direct descendant of that original estimate book, but the range now also encompasses various specialist journals (e.g. fishing and birding) as well as spiral-bound notebooks and perfect bound field books plus loose leaf packs of paper and a range of accessories.

RITR ring binders, packs of loose waterproof paper and outer covers are also available [©BM]
My personal, and regularly carried, favourite sizes ~ note also rulers on the back [©BM]

My own personal favourite RITR notebooks are the top-spiral UNIVERSAL Nº 946 4×6” and the side-spiral UNIVERSAL Nº 973 4.6×7” versions, both of which I regularly carry in my shirt pocket and daysack respectively, but I usually also carry the slightly bulkier perfect bound Nº 954 in my main bergen or suitcase when on longer assignments where I am likely to be running this website while away from my office. There are quite a few style and military colour variations (including olive, tan and black) as well as several size options, so I strongly advise checking out the dedicated AnyWeatherPaper Military section to ensure your needs are best met.

Pages are marked with both horizontal lines and vertical dotted lines meaning graphs and maps can be drawn in addition to neat notes being written [©BM]

While I don’t use these myself, as I am seldom out in the field for long enough to warrant them, it is also worth mentioning that AnyWeatherPaper also stock RITR Cordura Covers, including in genuine MultiCam, and Binders. They also stock authentic RITR Pens & Pencils. When I say the company (founded well over a decade ago by a British military veteran) that is behind AnyWeatherPaper stock RITR products I mean that literally as they have a warehouse full of gear. So you can rest assured that when you place an order with this team you will not need to wait for them to first source it from somebody else. Incidentally, they also regularly supply kit in bulk from their Plymouth warehouse to police and other blue light services, as well as to British Army and Royal Marines units.

A Nº 973 hotebook slips into the ‘hidden’ pocket and a Nº 946 fits in the chest pocket of the 5.11 shirts I wear most of the time [©BM]

Now that the excellent summer we’ve been having in the south of the UK regrettably appears to finally be over, I suspect my RITR notebooks are going to be needed once again on upcoming assignments.

Library image from 2012 of Rite in the Rain waterproof products being ‘beasted’ by hosepipe [©Mike Gormley]

[images © Bob Morrison unless noted]


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