Gadget Guru: Rite in the Rain All-Weather Notebooks

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Making weatherproof plans with a Rite in the Rain notebook.

Travelers who can’t imagine going anywhere without a notepad handy to record observations, reminders, and whatever, needn’t let a downpour put a damper on their jotting. Keep on writing in the rain — also in the pool, the shower, and even underwater (dive log, anyone?) A company called Rite in the Rain has invented a process by which regular paper is impregnated with a mixture of oils and other (nontoxic) chemicals. The result is paper that sheds water (the drops bead up, making it possible to write legibly with a pencil, crayon, or any non-water-based pen, even if the paper is wet. (The company also sells its own pens and other writing instruments).

Your words — or drawings — won’t smear or run, the paper won’t turn to mush, and the only soggy mess will be you. Rite in the Rain makes everything from small spiral notebooks to dated pocket calendars, hard-bound journals, sketch pads, and special notebooks for birding, fishing, and  travel. Most of the notebooks’ inside covers list tips for choosing writing instruments (permanent markers and standard ballpoints can  be used only when the paper is dry, though the ink will stay put if the paper later gets wet). Gel pens, most highlighters, and water colors won’t work.

Rite in the Rain notebooks range from about $4 for small top-spiral notebooks to $7 for 4.5-by-7-inch side-spiral blank journals with flexible plastic covers to $25 for large hard-cover books with sewn-in pages; all-weather mechanical pencils start at about $9; pens at about $11; at www.rainwriter.com