Trailhead: My Newest Field Notes Addition

As part of my Field Notes annual subscription, I get a quarterly shipment of the newest Field Notes notebooks. Yesterday’s mail brought their 51st quarterly edition, “Trailhead.” This edition’s theme, as you might guess from the title, are the great trails of the United States. Each 3-pack of notebooks comes with a different trail printed on the back, and facts about the trail on the inside back flap of the notebook.

My new Field Notes "Trailhead" notebooks
My new Field Notes “Trailhead” notebooks

These editions contain lined pages. I prefer squares or dotted squares, but I like that these pages are an off-white. As with most of the subscription packs, this one came with an extra goodie: a Field Notes “Blaze Your Trail” patch.

Field Notes Blaze Your Trail patch

This quarterly shipment is the 17th consecutive quarterly shipment I’ve received from Field Notes since I began subscribing back in 2016. I began my subscription with their 34th quarterly edition and the Trailhead edition marks Field Notes 51st quarterly edition. Despite having filled more than 30 notebooks at this point, I still have more coming in than I can fill at any moment. I have a section of shelf in my office dedicated to a wide variety of fresh notebooks to choose from once I fill one up:

My collection of Field Notes notebooks ready for use when I need a fresh one.
My collection of Field Notes notebooks ready for use when I need a fresh one.

I have a tendency to use whatever the latest notebook is as the next notebook, so chances are good I’ll pull out one of the Trailhead notebooks when I finish with my current notebook–which happens to be a United States of Letterpress edition.

It’s fun to occasionally go back and flip through the old notebooks. There is all kinds interesting stuff in them, like when I had to locate the name of a beer I liked. I recently began an experiment of scanning in the old notebooks to make them easier to search no matter where I was. I scanned in one as an experiment. Now I have to go back and scan in the other 29 that I have already filled. I’ll get to that eventually. Filling a notebook is much more fun than scanning one.

It occurred to me that while I know of friends and a few other people online who have told me that they also use Field Notes notebooks, I’ve never run into anyone at the grocery store, or a conference, or anywhere else I can think of that has a Field Notes notebook in their pocket, and is pulling out the notebook frequently enough for me to notice that they are using one two. I see people with Yankees hats all the time. How come I don’t see more people with Field Notes notebooks (or any notebook) for that matter, jotting things down? Does everyone use their phone for this stuff these day? I still find taking notes on my phone way too cumbersome and time-consuming.

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  1. This post has convinced me, I have just ordered 6 notebooks and will be considering the subscription going forward. Being based in the UK, I’ll have to look at customs charges etc before commiting as it could get rather expensive!

  2. I started using Field Notes due to your recommendation and got my Trailhead notebooks last week. I really like this edition. The funny thing is, I almost never actually use the subscription notebooks because I like their look too much and don’t know what to use them for. So I tend to keep ordering more and more of the regular Kraft edition…

    And people have seen me pull them out of my pocket and commented. 🙂

    One question: for many of the special editions, including Trailhead, the cover color makes it difficult to read what I would normally write under “Pertinent Coordinates” and “For Internal Records” on the inside front cover. How do you deal with this issue?

    1. Michael, I’ve noticed that about the Pertinent Coordinates, etc. on some of the editions. I typically use blue ink filling them out which stands out better than black, at least to my eyes.

    1. Michael, I haven’t used the Clandestine edition yet. I do note that they did use a lighter shade on the interior page. I prefer what they did on the Lunacy edition where the boxes were themselves lighter. See the difference below.

  3. How do you carry your notebook? I’ve alternated between back pocket (gets worn pretty quickly) and front pocket (fills up my pockets) and haven’t landed on the best convenient location.

    1. Jesse, for the last 4+ years, in my back left pocket, along with a blue and black Pilot G-2 pens. (I’ve got the ink stains on my pockets to prove it.) I carried them in a shirt pocket the first year that I used them. Then I stopped wearing shirts with pockets. They do get a little beat up, but I kind of like that. I think of them as well-used by the time I fill one up.

      1. Thanks for the reply, Jamie! Back pocket makes the most sense. I typically use moleskine and off-brand notebooks, but I’ve wondered if Field Notes are more durable. I should give them a try.

  4. Jamie, I’ve just recieved my Series B Nation Parks Editions and the Snowy Evening pack and I have to say, I’m reluctant to use them!! These have really stunning art and will only get messed up being carried in my pocket!

    1. That’s quite a compliment to Field Notes! Agree about the art, but I’m totally utilitarian when it comes to the notebooks. For me the art often serves as a conversation pieces when I inevitably pull out my notebook to jot something down. (I’ve filled a couple of the National Park notebooks, but haven’t yet cracked open the Snowy Evening editions.)


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