Tunes for the Trail: Making the Sounds as Epic as the Sights
Does anyone else out there have a little mental soundtrack for life? I know I can’t be the only one.
I grew up singing, fancying myself somewhat of an opera singer or a Broadway-type. One morning long ago, while hitting the high note of ‘The Angel of Music’ from the Phantom of the Opera, my sister firmly asked “Can you tell the Angel of Music to SHUT UP?” My 14-year-old self complied with her request at that moment, but I never REALLY stopped singing.
Now that I am graduated from college and have myself a grown-up job, I love attending concerts. The lights, sounds, crowds, and free-flowing beer are right up my alley. In fact, I have recorded some pretty stellar
videos of musician’s killer vocals with my pitchy voice in the background duets in my life. Sadly, thru-hiking season and concert/festival season coincide. This year, I will forgo big-name live concerts, but I do not intend to forgo music all together.
Regarding music, I believe that thru-hikers are divided into two schools of thought.
- No music needed, the sounds of nature are beautiful enough.
- I can only listen to the sound of bugs/cracking twigs/my own thoughts/my partner’s huffing-and-puffing for so long. Bring on the tunes.
I belong in school 2. Nature sounds are fabulous. But the sound of birds chirping is just not going to motivate my to pump out some big miles the same way that Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band, or Pitbull will. The problem is, I haven’t figured out how to take music with me.
Option 1: Phone
- I already taking my phone with me (to blog, contact family, etc.)
- I already own a phone
- I know how to use my phone
- Option to download books on tape or podcasts when in town
- I don’t have any music on my phone currently
- I might need a bigger SD card for enough storage
- Don’t know if I am able to download iTunes onto an Android phone
- Don’t want to drain my battery (any recommendations for lightweight power banks greatly appreciated!)
- No FM radio
Option 2: iPod
- I already own an iPod
- iPod is lightweight
- Music is already on my iPod
- FM radio
- iPod is extra weight
- Need to carry an extra charger
- iPod is realllly old and battery is questionable at best
Option 3 – Purchase a lightweight AM/FM radio
- Much better battery life than phone or iPod option
- Radio is extra weight
- Pricey, considering I don’t already own one
- Quality of music may be poor depending on location
- No option to play music I already own
Option 4: No music 🙁
- Get in touch with nature
- Lots of quiet time
- Everything 🙁
Option 5: Give me your suggestions!
- Hikers are smart! Help a music-loving hiker out 🙂
- None; new ideas are rarely a bad thing!
Bonus Question: Has anyone planned specific songs for specific parts of the trail? At this time, I am really feeling Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith for Katahdin.
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