10 Songs Every Thru-Hiker Needs On Their Playlist
Preparing for a thru-hike is a lot of work. For the last few months, I’ve been planning resupplies, training, both mentally and physically, and buying and testing out gear. It’s hard to know exactly what you’ll need so obsessing over predecessors’ gear lists has become quite the hobby. But what those who came before don’t often tell you to prepare is your ears. These are ten of the songs on my “Take a Hike” playlist that have been tried and true on countless hikes and backpacking trips.
“Going Up The Country” – Canned Heat
It’s time to get in the mountain mood! Lace your boots up, buckle your straps, turn this song on, and get to hiking!
“Lovely Day” – Bill Withers
Because isn’t every day that you’re on the trail a lovely day compared to being stuck under fluorescent lighting at work somewhere?
“Talk A Walk” – Passion Pit
This upbeat song repeats “take a walk, take a walk, take a walk, take a walk” 52. Yes, I counted. You’re welcome.
“If You Want To Sing Out Sing Out” – Cat Stevens
Dude, just do what you want. If you want to be free, be free. If you want to hike, just hike. If you want to eat a Nutella, spinach, and cheese filled burrito, do it.
“I Would Walk 500 Miles” – Kenny And The Scots
If the lyrics “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more” aren’t enough to get you moving, screaming “BA DA DUH DA DA, BA DA DUH DA DA, BA DA BA DA DA DUM DITTY DUH DITTY DUH DA DUM” over and over again into the mountains should do it. Bonus points if you have a shouting match with your trail partner.
“Stairway To Heaven” – Led Zeppelin
Stairway is not denied on the trail. Ever.
“Old Pine” – Ben Howard
This one will hit you right in the feels and leave you feeling nostalgic for even the worst of your miles.
“Rivers And Roads” – The Head And The Heart
Cue the waterworks. This song is weighted with the magnitude of what you’re trying to accomplish and reminds you of what you left behind.
“Send Me On My Way” – Rusted Root
Guaranteed to be the feel-good song to pick you up when you’re down and is best played after the tearjerkers above. I dare you to resist the temptation to break down playing the air flute.
“Ends Of The Earth” – Lord Huron
If there is one song that describes what adventurers crave, this is it. I’ll just leave this here: “Oh, there’s a river that winds on forever. I’m gonna see where it leads. Oh, there’s a mountain that no man has mounted. I’m gonna stand on the peak.”
Have a song that I left out? Leave it in the comments below.
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