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Supplies to Start Your Nature Journaling Adventure

You don’t really need many supplies to start your nature journal. All that's needed need is a blank journal and a pencil or pen. That being said, experimenting with the abundance of supplies available today is fun. In this picture, I had forgotten my kit but remembered my journal when I went to see the bluebonnets in bloom this past spring at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Thankfully, I had a blue pen with me, so I was able to make a quick sketch and then color in the rest when I got home.

Here are some suggestions for a basic kit:

1. Choose a small sketchbook or journal that will easily fit in your pack.

I’ve tried many different brands and they all have their pros and cons. I suggest taking a trip to an art supply or paper store so you can get a feel for the different kinds of paper. If you enjoy painting in watercolor, you’ll want heavier-weight paper that can take water. If you like sketching in marker, you’ll want paper with a smoother finish, and if you enjoy working with colored pencils and/or graphite, you’ll want paper with a bit of texture. Most art supply stores will let you test out a paper sample.

2. Decide on your writing implements.

I go back and forth between colored pencils, ink, and watercolor paints. I enjoy drawing with a nice pen because it forces me to commit to the page and then move on. With graphite, I’m tempted to keep erasing lines until I get the image just right. I tell my artist friends that I’m a recovering perfectionist, so it’s very freeing to let go with ink and not worry about the image being perfect.

3. Pack your supplies in a knapsack, kit case, or fanny pack.

I keep a kit packed so I’m all ready to go and don’t have to hunt around for supplies when I’m heading out on the trail. See some of my supplies below

In future articles, I will review specific supplies.


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