There are several different types of papers for harsh conditions available – let’s look into Modestone, our choice when it comes to paper that works everywhere. Their slogan “any weather paper” describes best what their product is.

If you haven’t heard of Modestone, here’s a short overview: They are a Finnish company that focuses on producing paper with outstanding qualities. To achieve their goals they invented a paper that is not actually made of wood but of a mixture of CaCo3 and HDPE. In other words it’s made of stone and a special kind of plastic. What’s really astounding is that it still feels like normal but high quality paper.

You might ask why reinvent paper when there’s already actual paper. Here are some of the reasons:

  • The actual sheets consist of the material. There is no coating that could break or wear off. So the following specs apply even after rough and prolonged use.
  • Modestone paper is completely resistant against water and grease.
  • This kind of paper is actually more environment friendly than actual paper. Not only because no trees need to be chopped down but even the production process is creating less pollution. Read more about it on the Modestone website.
  • A nice side effect is that you can use metal items like a key or a bullet to write on the paper. You don’t actually need a pen.

Is Modestone any weather paper for you?

In one word: Yes. There are various reasons and I’ll start with the most “tactical” one. But read on to find more civilian use cases as well.

Access to vital data

You don’t have to be a scuba diver for a living or a Smokejumper to benefit from paper you can rely on. Given, we all use smartphones for taking notes, navigation etc. . But since you’re into tactical gear you already know that every modern convenience tool can run out of battery, break etc. And this is the time when you start using pen and paper again. In fact, you should do it before you lose the ability to access your data in your electronic devices. Vital data needs to be accessible even when your smartphone has run dry.

Vital data could be contact data emergency contacts. Navigation data, pack lists, cheat sheets for Morse code etc. There’s a lot you don’t want to loose access to just because you played a mobile game for too long.

With Modestone paper and the right pen you don’t have to fear that your notes are lost when your gear is drenched by rain or threw it in the dirt.

Hand writing has benefits

There’s actual data that suggests that writing notes by hand helps with memorizing your notes. If that’s not enough, think of situations where an electronic device just isn’t the right tool for the task. Usually enhancing your notes with scribbles and drawings is easier done on paper. And there are situations where you just can’t easily use a touchscreen. Think of greasy fingers when working with mechanic parts. Or rain.

Like paper, just better

The thing is that you shouldn’t take much persuasion to use Modestone any weather paper because there’s not much of a drawback. You can just use it like normal paper and you have all the benefits I’ve shown you above. So don’t look at it as a super special tool for rare occasions. Instead take it as your standard paper for all occasions with the benefit of having these extra features in case you need them.

If you look at our portfolio of Modestone products, you will find different sizes of notebooks but also preprinted pages like TCCC cards.

Does Modestone paper have drawbacks?

The only two I found so far are:

  • Depending on what paper you normally use, Modestone might cost a bit more. If you don’t need excessive amounts this might not be as important as it sounds in the first place.
  • You can’t use it as tinder in an emergency situation. Modestone paper melts but it doesn’t catch fire. On the upside, it only crumbles up but doesn’t drip, so it’s not risky to use.

A few Modestone products

Of course, there are plain notebooks in different sizes available. But there are pre-printed sheets for different applications and notebooks with extra features.

One of my favourites is the Modestone glow-pad. It’s a small notepad plus one thicker sheet that’s coated with glow in the dark material. The basic idea is you load the gitd sheet up like every such item. Then you slip it under the page you’re currently writing on or reading. The glow shines through the page and you can use the notepad in complete darkness. If you load it up enough you can even use it as a dim light source or for signaling.

Another item I really appreciate are the TCCC cards. I always have a few in my first aid kit. While I’m not in the military and won’t need all of the fields on the form, there are several fields for vital signs that are worth keeping track of. Whenever I come across someone in need of medical attention I try to collect as much data as possible to tell the operator on the emergency line so they know how to plan for further help. Now I can note the data down and read it to them. Or just give the sheet to the paramedics when the ambulance arrives.

Modestone also has their own pen. It’s a gel roller with a pressurized refill. With it’s specially formulated gel ink it can write in a wide range of temperatures and even upside down or in zero gravity. The gel ink stays on Modestone paper even when you dunk it in water for extended times. Again, it’s unlikely that most users will regularly work in zero gravity but it just means that it will work no matter what. And since I couldn’t find a drawback, why not just use it.

How I use it

Even when my day job is in IT I do write a lot by hand. My wife’s into stationary as much as I’m into tactical gear and it did rub off onto me a bit. So I love to take notes by hand. I always have a notepad ready and I use Modestone quite often now. The fact that it works with fountain pens is very important for me and so I’ll use these notepads more and more, especially on business trips.

Other occasions include having the TCCC cards in my first aid kits. In my EDC pouch I always have a small notepad and a pen to take notes when everything else fails. I’ll use one page of it and note emergency contacts and other important data I might need in an emergency.