CUCC Expedition Handbook


As soon as possible after a trip finishes, a hand-written write-up of the trip is made in the nearest logbook: the base camp logbook or the top camp logbook. All these logbook entries are then typed into a laptop (often the expo laptop) which is then synchronised the version control system.

The logbook writeup is the oldest and most basic way of recording your trip but it must not be neglected. This is also where you put your speculations and ideas for what looks promising and what is obvious but doesn't go: things that are vital to future expoers. And please, please do lots of sketches in the logbook.

If you are at basecamp, then it is an excellent idea to type your logbook trip report instead of writing it by hand - see below.

The contents of both the topcamp logbook and the basecamp logbook are typed into the same "logbook.html" file for archiving. The drawings are scanned and stored in the same place, and hand-edited into the logbook.html file after expo finished.

If this is all new to you, please now read Cave data management, and why we make surveys and then the Survey Handbook

Typing just your trip report

If you are at basecamp, then it is an excellent idea to type up your logbook trip report. You can then print this and stick it in the logbook, adding any sketches by hand. This will save someone (probably you) deciphering your handwriting and typing it up later.

These instructions assume that (a) you are sitting at the expo laptop and that someone who knows the password has logged in for you (as user "expo"), and (b) that you know nothing about the software systems used by expo.

The first challenge is to find how to start up the text editor. The expo laptop is running debian Linux with the Gnome 3.2 desktop manager, so click on "Activities" in the top left corner. This will bring down a vertical menu of icons down the left hand side of the screen. Hovering over the icons brings up a label, and the one you want is at (or near) the bottom with the label "Text editor". Click on it.

If you are lucky this will bring up an empty window for a new file.
If you are unlucky it will bring up the previous person's file.

If it is a new file, save it to the Downloads folder (/home/expo/Downloads) using the "File->Save" menu item and give it a sensible name such as "logbook-mynewtrip.txt".

If it was someone else's file, save it using the "File->Save" menu. Then close the text editor ("File->Close"). Then start it up again from the vertical icon menu as before.

Now type in your trip report using whatever format you like, but please leave a blank line between paragraphs.

Adding your trip to the logbook online file

If you are using the expo laptop just edit this file:

copy the format you can see other people have used; and other people will take care of synchronising it with the version control system.

DO NOT take a copy of the logbook.html file from the expo laptop, copy it by email or USB stick to another laptop, edit it there and then copy it back. That will delete other people's work.

If you are using your own laptop then you will need to either:

Logbooks are typed up and kept in the [expoweb]/years/[nnnn]/ directory as 'logbook.html'.

Recommended procedure

Rather than editing logbook.html when you type up your trip, it is a much better idea to type up your trip(s) in a separate file, e.g. "logbook-mynewtrip.txt", and store it in the same place on the expo laptop, i.e.


or email it to a nerd if you are sitting at a different laptop.

Format of the online logbooks

Do whatever you like to try and represent the logbook in html. The only rigid structure is the markup to allow troggle to parse the files into 'trips':

<div class="tripdate" id="t2007-07-12B">2007-07-12</div>
<div class="trippeople"><u>Jenny Black</u>, Olly Betts</div>
<div class="triptitle">Top Camp - Setting up 76 bivi</div>
<div class="timeug">T/U 10 mins</div>

Note that the ID's must be unique, so are generated from 't' plus the trip date plus a,b,c etc. when there is more than one trip on a day.

T/U stands for "Time Underground" in hours (6 minutes would be "0.1 hours").

Historical logbooks

Older logbooks (prior to 2007) were stored as logbook.txt with just a bit of consistent markup to allow troggle parsing.

The formatting was largely freeform, with a bit of markup ('===' around header, bars separating date, - , and who) which allows the troggle import script to read it correctly. The underlines show who wrote the entry. There is also a format for time-underground info so it can be automagically tabulated.

So the format should be:

===2009-07-21|204 - Rigging entrance series| Becka Lawson, Emma Wilson, Jess Stirrups, Tony Rooke===

<Text of logbook entry>

T/U: Jess 1 hr, Emma 0.5 hr