Rite in the Rain, a company focused on creating “outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people,” was founded in the 1920’s by Jerry L. Darling. Designed to address the needs of logging industry workers in the Pacific Northwest, the new paper technology Darling invented soon became popular for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the United States. The water-based coating technology of Rite in the Rain paper makes writing possible in the most drastic of weather conditions: rain, snow, sleet, extreme humidity … even underwater! The ultra-durable protective notebooks have found a home in the hands of mountaineers, river guides, military personnel, outdoor research scientists, boy scouts, world travelers, and weekend warriors (just to name a few).
The Early Days
In the early days, Rite in the Rain’s paper coating process was done by hand in Tacoma,Washington. J.L. Darling would spend the early morning dipping paper in a secret solution, and leave it hanging from a hook while he went fishing for the day. After the paper had dried, J.L. would make a diagonal cut in the opposite corner of the hook where the solution had built up. This created the hole-punch and diagonal corner that made early Rite in the Rain paper identifiable.
When enough paper was finished, J.L.’s wife Mary would gather it together and hand-sew a binding to complete the notebook. By the time the Silver family took over Rite in the Rain in the late 1950’s, the process had become much more efficient. The distinct markings on the paper faded with the emergence of better technologies, but the focus on hand-made quality and a love for the outdoors would always remain.
Present Day Environmentalists
Current owners Todd and Scott Silver were brought on board in 1994, but grew up with Rite in the Rain. Their dad, Lloyd Silver was the third employee of the J.L. Darling Company. As outdoors enthusiasts with backgrounds in environmental science, the Silver brothers are dedicated to running an environmentally sustainable business, which is reflected by the incredibly efficient manufacturing processes at Rite in the Rain that include:
- The proprietary coating that makes RITR’s paper so special is made from water, not oil, and emits steam instead of harmful greenhouse gases.
- Printing is done with 100% soy-based inks. Vegetable-based inks such as soy have proved to be more sustainable than petroleum-based inks because they require less energy during the agricultural process and are easier to remove during paper recycling. You can read more about vegetable-based inks in our eco-glossary.
- Even with their waterproof coating, Rite in the Rain’s paper is completely recyclable just like standard office paper.
- Notebook covers are made from post-consumer plastics such as milk and shampoo bottles.
- Mill cut-offs are recycled back into the paper manufacturing process.
- All printing plates and processing liquids are recycled after use.
- Use of only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sustainable paper resources.
Everything is designed with the environment in mind, which pays compliment to the integrity of a company whose products stem from a love and respect for the outdoors.
One of a Kind
Rite in the Rain’s one-of-a-kind notebooks come in a multitude of sizes, bindings, and page layouts, making them a versatile all-weather notebook for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts alike. The notebooks come in soft or hard cover, with sizes from Pocket (3.5 x 5 inches) to Extra-Large (8.5 x 11 inches), and vary between spiral, hard, and perfect bound covers. The page styling offers three different formats: universal, ruled, or plain, to suit your occupational needs or personal preference.
The notebooks also come with a space to fill in personal information in case of loss. This includes the name and description of your project and a blank table of contents that will aid in organizing your research or sketches. The waterproof cover and pages mean no tearing, smudging, or bleeding. Dive into any adventure with Rite in the Rain and never worry about losing another idea.