Appalachian Trail Music

Every thru-hike deserves a well curated playlist. I am a believer that there is a right song for every moment, and that music enhances the human experience. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a grand adventure, and it deserves a grand soundtrack*.

*A note to the haters: Don’t worry, I won’t walk 2,200 miles with earbuds in.  I will listen to the wind, the birds, the forest sounds.

Music from the Ones I Love

It all started over breakfast one morning, when a yoga teacher and musical therapist of mine suggested that I reach out to friends and family and ask them to create a collection of songs for me to bring along on the trail.  A thru-hiker friend of hers noted that it brought immense joy and comfort to him to be to able listen to the music loved by his favorite people back home.  For the past couple of weeks, as I have caught up with those close to me over the holidays, and have requested they put together a set of songs to remind me of them.

The Expected Results

Mom: Washed hippie music/Top 40 Bangers-Joni Mitchell, Grateful Dead, the Kinks, Beyonce, Dua Lipa

Sister: Philly Skate Punk/Midwest Emo-Skegs, Beach Goons, Dune Rats, Vundabar, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, PUP

Best friend: More emo shit/Bluegrass/Psych Rock-The Doors, Modern Baseball, Devil Makes Three, Sorority Noise, Santana

Uncle: Dad rock/Metal- Mezingers, Misfits, Dropkick Murphys

Townie and coffee shop regular: House music-HNNY, Mall Grab

Hunny: Reggaeton-Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee

Heavy Metal Switchbacks

My strategy is going to be to only pull out the headphones when I most need them.  Two miles of climbing ahead? Heavy metal.  Long way left to camp while the sun sets? Stoner jams.  Midmorning emotional breakdown? Dance banger.

Find me on the trail if you need a buddy to sing along, open up a two-person mosh pit, or start an AT dance party.  Feel free to send me some music along the way.

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Comments 5

  • Rachel Lee : Dec 4th

    Never thought I’d see the day that King Gizz was mentioned on The Trek! Nonagon Infinity is an absolutely P E R F E C T album to hike to. Also — your family/friends have an A+ taste in music.

  • Rachel Lee : Dec 4th

    ALSO — If you are in to ska-punk at all, Choking Victim – No Gods/No Managers, will 110% get you up and over all those PUD’s.

  • Diane : Dec 4th

    I also am planning on having music as a backup for when I need a boost. But I’m old school and currently do not have music on my phone. What’s your favorite music app? I need suggestions.

    • Rachel Lee : Dec 4th

      SPOTIFY! It is amazing. It DOES have a monthly subscription, but you can download full albums/podcasts and play them while offline in airplane mode. It is well worth the monthly cost. I used it on the Long Trail last year and it is a go-to for me when I hike/am traveling and will not have internet available.

  • Kathy Stevens : Dec 23rd

    I think you are the coolest, but trying to figure out how to follow you 🙂


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