This week we’re going to be discussing Rite in the Rain paper and the benefits of using it over traditional paper when you’re out shooting! As the name implies, you can use Rite in the Rain paper when it’s wet outside and the weather isn’t cooperative with your range time. Then there’s always the questions of cost and how well it works. Whether or not it’s something you want to invest in will be up to you! For now let’s dive into more information about it and you can decide for yourself!
Rite in the Rain Paper
What is it? It’s paper with a weatherproof coating on it that shields the delicate paper fiber from the elements. The Rite in the Rain brand traces its roots back to the the turn of the century with the logging industry. Obviously, logging is not a sunny day only operation and Jerry Darling came up with a way to dip sheets of paper in a special weatherproof coating. This enabled him and other folks out in the elements to write on the paper without having it turn into a wet mess as soon as moisture became a factor. They’ve refined and updated the process over the years but it’s a long standing product produced by an American company.
The applicability to the precision shooting community should be equally obvious here. While we certainly aren’t loggers, many of us live in parts of the world where the weather can be unpredictable at times. Colorado is notorious for huge temperature swings in a matter of only hours. In fact as I write this we’re just coming out of a cold snap where we had temperatures in the teens for a couple weeks. Yesterday it was in the 20s and today it got up to around 65F and was a gorgeous day. Those swings work in reverse too. It might be a cloudless sky when you head out the door, but what happens when you get to the range and it changes on you? You’ve got two choices, keep on keepin’ on or throw in the towel!
Rite in the Rain Databook Pages
I’m going to confess early with this article that with each year that passes I put myself in lousy shooting weather less and less by choice. Sometimes it happens without my having a say in the matter. Other times if I’m attending some sort of event or I’ve traveled to compete in a match. I don’t get to pick the dates and times or the weather. I’ve shot in some lousy conditions from time to time over the years. If you think about it, you probably have all kinds of gear to help with different weather elements. Rain Gear for shooting when its wet out, thermals for shooting in the cold, etc. We’re going to have several articles this year pertaining to weatherproofing yourself and your gear for precision shooting.
In this particular instance we’re discussing your databook. Even if you happen to be shooting at a match and you might not have your data book out, you still need to write things down. You can invest in notebooks as well as databook pages that are printed on Rite in the Rain paper. This then allows you to function despite any wet elements that may be in play as you head out the door to do some shooting. Keeping a log of your information can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Tracking rounds fired helps predict the usable and accurate life of a barrel. Noting different shooting conditions and the adjustments needed for hits at extended ranges allows you to double check your DOPE and make sure your ballistics calculator is working properly.
Does Rite in the Rain Work?
Similar to when we tested some of Bison Tactical’s data cards for the Sidewinder I wanted to illustrate for you guys how the Rite in the Rain paper holds up to water and moisture. I dropped a spare Rite in the Rain page in a small container of water for five minutes to see how well it held up. I did the same with a sheet of standard paper. You can see the results below!
I want to point out that pure submersion isn’t exactly what this paper is designed for. It isn’t for divers but this seems like a good way to test paper, data sheets, stickers, etc. to see how resistant they are to moisture. The Rite in the Rain page got a bit flimsy and kind of felt like moisture had softened it. To follow that test up with something practical I tried writing on the page after dabbing it dry really quickly. It worked fine. By the time the regular sheet was finished with the immersion test the Rite in the Rain page had dried almost to the point of never seeming to have endured such torture. It still repelled and shed water at that point.
Since rain, snow, and ice are all different forms of the same issue I think it’s safe to say that after passing this test the Rite in the Rain pages are easily able to stand up to the elements. That’s a good thing! I’ve converted my databook over to Rite in the Rain pages so I can use the book in any weather condition. The two big databook companies both offer Rite in the Rain options. You can check out the offerings from Storm Tactical here and those offered by Impact Data Books here! Storm Tactical has around a $20 upcharge for one of their databooks using Rite in the Rain paper over standard. Impact Data Books adds about $8 to the cost of their standard book for Rite in the Rain paper!
I use the Impact Data Book offerings for my record keeping. I like the modular approach to the books where a shooter can custom order the different pages they like and are likely to use instead of adapting a pre-made book to their needs. It only adds about $1 to each order of pages if you are purchasing refills or converting some of your pages or books over to Rite in the Rain. That may sound steep ordering 10 double sided pages but everything else out there these days costs about $100 bucks. For me adding the benefit of Rite in the Rain paper for a dollar each purchase is a no brainer! Now that I’ve converted my data book over to Rite in the Rain paper a bit of Colorado snow or rain doesn’t have the power to derail my record keeping! I’m also going to toss a Rite in the Rain notebook into my databook in case I need to jot stuff down quickly with less prep time for later reference! Have any experience with Rite in the Rain products? Lets hear about it below!