Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brooks-Range Field Organizers




If you’re a map monkey, journaling junkie, or note-taking nut, you might want to check out the Brooks-Range Field Organizers.  These lightweight organizers pack a ton of features to keep all of your pre-planning and on-the-trail navigational and record-keeping tools in one place.




There are two models:  the Field Organizer and the Field Organizer Pro.  Both are made of 1.9 oz. water-resistant ripstop nylon and cleverly store your maps, pens compass, and other gadgets in a convenient, compact package.  They come in bright yellow and red colors to so you’ll never leave one behind on the trail, in the car, or at your pre-hike breakfast table in the local café.  The main difference between the two is size.  Here is a quick rundown. 

The Field Organizer

The original field organizer measures about 4 ½” X 7 ½” with 3 outside penholders and is held closed by a Velcro strap.



When opened, there are 6 pockets on either side to accommodate maps, documents, or an optional Rite in the Rain waterproof notebook.  It should be noted that standard size maps will not fit in this organizer and only smaller ones like this Mt. Whitney map (4 ¼” X 6 ½”) will fit.  



It also features a strap that can be used as a bookmark in your notepad.



On the interior right side, there is a pocket that holds a compass quite nicely.  



The Field Organizer Pro

At 4.625" x 7.375" the Field Organizer Pro is a much larger model that can handle more bulk.  It features 4 penholders on the outside and a more secure, zipper closure.  



Like it’s little sister, it has 3 map pockets on each side but they will accommodate standard sized trail maps.  On the left, there is a very shallow pocket with a Velcro strap that could be used for a variety of things:  to hold ski cards, a ruler, your most frequently needed map, or a few flyers about local attractions you picked up at the visitor’s center.  



The right side also has an accessory pocket for you compass or other navigational tools.

Conclusion

While I’m not a compass master or diligent note taker, I think these field organizers are extremely well designed and can see that they have great potential for a wide variety of uses on the trail.  I like the fact that they’re versatile enough to customize to your particular data collection and document storage needs.  Since I usually carry just one map, I don’t really need to carry a backcountry office with me; however, the best application (personally) would be for pre-trip and on-the-road planning.

I like to gather different versions of maps, brochures, and flyers on my destination hike and sprawl them out in the hotel or table of the local greasy spoon to go over my hike.  I like to mark up the maps and make notes about points of interest.  I can see the Field Organizer Pro as being perfect for this and to keep everything together.  The smaller Field Organizer would be better suited to someone wanting a more compact size that allows for note-taking, and organization of smaller maps. 

What system do you use to organize your maps, notes, and other resources for a trip?

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3 comments:

Brian said...

Thanks for sharing Jason. Clean, simple, well thought out. Very nice indeed. They have some other smart products too.

H. Dean Clark said...

Interesting post. But you might want to take note that both organizers are too short to hold the largest of my AT maps: the fine Nat. Geo. Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains map which is a full 9.25 inches in length (and 4.25 in width.)

Philip Werner said...

Brooks-Range really makes some nice avy gear and these organizers are great.