Review - Survey Books

Survey books

by Erin Lynch

Sketching in Leye

Over 100km of surveying, we've tested a number of books and loose-leaf systems. For a projects with only one team working in an area at a time, it can be quite convenient to keep all survey notes in a single book which can be referenced throughout the trip. I recommend hard covered books with at least 6 lined columns on one side and a grid on the other side. For wet or damp caves, both cover and paper should be waterproof, otherwise there is risk of the cover becoming mushy and the paper tearing easily or becoming unreadable. Loose-leaf paper in a rigid binder is a good idea if there is danger of losing or damaging the notes during a survey trip.

Rite in the Rain #340 Cruiser's Transit Book: My favorite thus far. It has a 10x10 to the inch grid, with 0.5 inch accents and 160 pages. The cover is very durable, the stitching lasts, and the pages are waterproof. At 13.50 US, it's a bit pricy, but then, everything is.

Rite in the Rain
Cruiser's Transit

Rite in the Rain #360 Metric Field Book: Like the transit book, but metric. It has a 2x2mm grid with 10mm accents and 160 pages. Haven't tried it, but I suspect it could be even better than the non-metric version.

Available for 14.75 USD at Rite in the Rain.

Bob and Bob

Bob and Bob survey books: Space for a ridiculous number of survey stations per page, thus you end up with squashed righting. The paper is good, but the tagboard covers fall off as soon as they get wet. 3.50 USD for 48 pages.

Avaliable from IMO.

Chartwell book

Chartwell Weather Resistant Survey Book #2257: Hard bound and top-opening, with a 2x2mm grid with 10mm accents on both sides and 160 pages. In theory these should be good, but in reality I wouldn't recommend them. The paper is okay, but the hard cover goes floppy once it gets wet, and the stitching tends to break. It only has space for 15 stations per page, so there's a tendency to run out of space and end up flipping back and forth.

In China you can find hard bound survey books lined on one side, metric grid on the other. Unfortunately they aren't waterproof. However, they're cheap and if you can find them (I got mine in Nanning) I recommend them highly for bone-dry caves.