Field Notes

Field Notes In Action:

Customized by Cotton

October 30th, 2009 by Bryan Bedell


A few weeks ago, COLORS subscriber Ladd Cotton of Salt Lake City, Utah fired up his Smith Corona and typed us a letter about his FIELD NOTES customization projects. Ladd’s been making hand-stitched leather covers and adding ledger information to each page for some adventurous friends and family. The other day, he followed up with an email and some photos:


Your memo books are secured in the inside back cover and there is a pocket for a fishing license, cash, or whatever else. With some use, the leather will develop a nice patina.

Fly-fishing with my brothers is probably my favorite thing in the world. We always have a friendly competition during these trips (First, Most, Largest). Mostly, we just like spending time on the river together and always leave it with a story that may not be directly related to the fishing. I wanted a tangible record mostly for whatever happened other than who caught the largest cutthroat.


My good friend Backpacks A Different State Every Year (BADSEY). He keeps details of the trip on a piece of scratch paper and then transfers the information to a digital record afterwards. I hope that he’ll enjoy a log that he can hold in his hand, turn the pages, and see how it’s aged nicely through all the years and all the states.

I’ve looked far and wide for an activity log. I wanted something with simple, classic looks, could fit in a pocket, and didn’t make me feel like I was writing in a diary. Everything I found was either too complex, too large, or too commercial. Thank you for providing exactly what I wanted.

Thank you, Mr. Cotton, for showing us another great way to make FIELD NOTES even better and more personal!

(note: that’s Ladd’s letter in Amy‘s old Corona in the top picture, Ladd Cotton’s Smith Corona is the blue one in the bottom photo)