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Trip Reports The Trip Reports forum is for backpackers to share their actual (not links to) trip reports and/or journal entries for their wilderness backpacking and day-hiking trips. Please include photos and information regarding what worked (e.g. gear) and what didn't.


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  #1  
Old 04-01-2006, 08:33 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Trip Report Elements

What do you think should be included or that you would like to see in a backpacker's trip report.

I think it would be helpful for us all to come up with some tips and ideas, so that we can start posting some good trip reports as our backpacking year progresses.

I think the following are helpful/important/interesting:
  • Description of the trail/location
  • What you saw (photos)
  • How you felt
  • What you experienced
  • Who or what you met
  • What you liked or disliked
  • What you wish you would have done differently
  • How particular gear performed
  • How you performed physically (level of difficulty)
  • Problems you encountered
These are just a few that come to mind.

What do you think? Is there anything you'd like to add or take away?

Reality
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2006, 04:13 PM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Sounds pretty all-inclusive to me. I can't think of any other additions.
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2006, 04:54 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildlifeNate
Sounds pretty all-inclusive to me. I can't think of any other additions.

Oh, and neatness helps. The one that you posted is very neat nice pics to go with it.

Reality
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2006, 07:38 PM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
Oh, and neatness helps. The one that you posted is very neat nice pics to go with it.

Reality


Well, yes. Punctuation, paragraphs, proper spelling, and even decent grammar sure help. Doesn't have to be perfect, but at least make a concerted effort to keep it readable. I've seen trip reports on other sites that I stop reading after the first couple sentences because the writer doesn't create stopping points, doesn't use punctuation, and every third word is misspelled or the wrong word is used altogether.

The best trip reports I've read have been written by people who are excellent at using literary devices to describe images, sounds, feelings, and such to the reader. I am a TERRIBLE creative writer. I do, however have a strong background in technical and scientific writing. While my writings tend to be technically well-done, I have a hard time conveying the intangible aspects of a trip in writing.

I do much better at quantifying cloud cover, canopy cover, temperature, wind speed, and precipitation than with describing how all of those factors impact my mood and emotions.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2006, 08:51 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildlifeNate
The best trip reports I've read have been written by people who are excellent at using literary devices to describe images, sounds, feelings, and such to the reader. I am a TERRIBLE creative writer. I do, however have a strong background in technical and scientific writing. While my writings tend to be technically well-done, I have a hard time conveying the intangible aspects of a trip in writing.

I do much better at quantifying cloud cover, canopy cover, temperature, wind speed, and precipitation than with describing how all of those factors impact my mood and emotions.

We think a lot alike with regard to this. I tend to be more of a technical (how-to) writer as well. I attended a 'Creative' writing class in college but promptly dropped it. It wasn't what I was looking for. The instructor was talking about "the light seemed to flow from the lamp as if it were water flowing from a faucet...it flooded the room with its moist presence" or something like that. I like a little bit of emotion and descriptive language, but that was sickening (to me).

Reality
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2006, 07:01 AM
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no_granola no_granola is offline
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I have several elements that are must haves.

1) A header that includes:
  • Trail name/location
  • participants
  • dates
  • distance

2) A footer that includes:
  • quick gear review of any new items
  • Funny quotes
  • a 'What I learned' list

The body is just a free-form exercise for me. I try to keep it casual/conversational and that seems to appeal to most forum readers, but in general I just let the trip report write itself. Grammar, structure, style are not big selling points with me. I focus on content. I could probably do some editing and clean things up, but I'm not exactly bidding for a magazine article here.
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  #7  
Old 06-20-2009, 07:19 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Name That State !

I would like the State included with the trail name on the tag line.
I use the list of reports to identify unknown trails that might be near me.
Unless the state is used in the tag line it becomes tedious to open the thread to solve the mystery.
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2009, 11:25 AM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
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Yes, it does help to know where the trip takes place! Directions to the trailhead (or where to find them) are also very helpful to those who want to take the same trip. If you want to keep the location secret, then you probably shouldn't be posting a public report at all!
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