View Full Version : unnecessary distraction or essential boredom reduction device?

02-06-2006, 19:18
So who here brings an mp3 player, cd player, or radio sort of music device with them (excluding guitars and banjos and such)? Why do you or dont you take this said device of your choosing?

Personally, I'm against bringing anything along. I feel that it takes away from the experience. It dilutes the immersion experience, that exposure to extended silence and aloneness is an integral part of the adventure whether good or bad. What do ya'll think?

02-06-2006, 19:30
I'll carry a tiny little mp3 player and a radio with me. I really dont know if and how often I will use them, but to have some distraction from time to time (e.g. if it's raining the whole day) could be helpful. The radio is mainly to check weather reports and serves as a watch and alarm-bell as well.
Extended silence is something I wont experience and therefore can't damage as I have tinnitus. So there's always a certain amount of "noise" with me.

02-06-2006, 19:58
I am bringing a mp3 player with a fm radio that only takes one aaa battery. I will probably listen to it for the weather or maybe before bed. I once was going on a three day trip to hike mt. harvard and I brought a dvd player it was actually pretty cool to watch a movie while laying in your tent. The best thing I have brought was a mini watermelon. You should have seen the guys faces when I pulled out a watermelon when it was time to eat supper. After we had hiked about 13 miles.

Tha Wookie
02-06-2006, 20:08
people who plug their ears with distractions don't know what they're missing.

Mother Nature
02-06-2006, 20:09
I carry a little radio that runs on a single AAA battery. Some days the pain in my back and hips gets a little in the way of my fun so I tune in some inane thing on the radio and it distracts me from my internal grinding and I get up the big hills.

:jump :jump :jump

I also like the weather band on it and listen for the weather for the day ahead.

Mother Nature

02-06-2006, 20:13
people plug their ears with distractions don't know what they're missing.

U got dat right....I don't even know what a PM3 player is...and I certianly don't know why someone thinks they may need something like that on the trail.....

02-06-2006, 20:16
i bring no music ,pen,paper,camera,town clothes,change for soda,keys to apt.,cup,bowl,coffie maker or filter,no watch ,wallet,camp footware,extra anything. no first aid,no maps,matchsafe ,liner sox,no booze,no toothpaste,no nail clipper, and no worries.no walking poles,no fanny or day pack,no pants,no no no no!

Pennsylvania Rose
02-06-2006, 20:46
I don't even own an MP3 player - or anything with headphones. I love music, but can't stand anything playing directly in my ears. My life is so noisy I crave the solitude and silence that I find in the woods.

I've hiked with people who carry little radios to catch the weather, but I figure when it rains, I'll put on rain gear; when it gets cold, I'll bundle up; does it really matter if I know 12 hours ahead of time?

02-06-2006, 20:49
I've never gone for more than a week at a time and don't take portable music. I like the time to hatch ideas. On my hike in July, thru the smokies, I planed a surprise party for my wife for our 25th anniversary. I don't know though...4 months on the trail, I think I might steel my son's MP3 player. A novel device for us over 40 gang...very cool though, only a couple of oz. hundreds of songs...:banana might help you dance up a couple gaps...my sons 18 TAKE THE MUSIC and enjoy it your way!

02-06-2006, 20:52
i dont own music but for my harps and my ax.i dont know why people bombard their minds with stimulation all day and night. ill pay cash money for quiet. im in love with you thinking you love quiet. im goin hikin to talk to god. cause i cant hear him in the city.

02-06-2006, 20:59
I enjoy music every now and then so I will carry an ipod. The earplugs dont let the sounds leave my ears and it is often more pleasurable than listening to some gearhead rattle on for hours at night about the latest piece of equipment they bought.

02-06-2006, 21:06
nature's sounds are best, but good classical music can add to a sunset like the right wine complements a meal... and too much of it can ruin it... and a little ac/dc, motley crue, or def leppard can make the wet miles roll by a little faster and less painfully... news is good too, but that's just me...

hyoh... just don't make me hear your music...

02-06-2006, 21:38
I got an MP3 player delivered to me at Trail Days last year, and I really enjoyed it. There were many days when I didnt listen to it, but it was a good way to get through some of the rainy days.

Left Hand
02-06-2006, 22:11
I like the sound of nothing; if I could I would bottle it! :-?

02-06-2006, 23:32
Bringing mp3's and such definitely reduces the whole experience. Not my bag. I DO bring a nice paperback for my bivy

02-06-2006, 23:35
I recite poetry out loud that I've memorized or compose poetry. This way the only added weight is in my head not my pack.

02-06-2006, 23:46
I've hiked with and without music and have never felt having music disturbs my wilderness experience. On the AT there are plenty of days when you can hear highway traffic or lawn mowers going. No one can tell me I'm missing something, especially if at those times, I'm hiking to some good tunes.

Also there's something about listening to Car Talk on Saturday mornings that makes my day. :)

02-07-2006, 05:53
The most exciting, most spectacular thing you will EVER hear is the wilderness' creshendo of silence.

One of the problems with folks that bring along artificial noise is that they have yet to learn how to LOOK AND SEE with their ears.

A thru-hike is a marvelous opportunity to acquire this skill. You'll be AMAZED what you 'see.'

02-07-2006, 06:29
a Grundig mini world, short-wave radio. I got it from Campmor a few
years back. I sometimes take it on short hiking and canoe trips. At 7 oz.
though I do not think I will be bringing it on my thru-hike. It has been
interesting at times listening to folks from around the world while I wait out
a thunder-buster etc............... :sun

02-07-2006, 06:41
One of the problems with folks that bring along artificial noise is that they have yet to learn how to LOOK AND SEE with their ears.

.................................................. ......

Isn't it USUALLY the case that those that preach the most are the ones that need to learn the most?

One of the best pieces of wisdom that I have learned as a Teacher, Instructor is that the "We teach best what we need to learn most."(i.e. Everyone still has a lot to learn.)

I've found that those that usually pro-offer unsolicited advise are usually scared/ignorant (which is usually why they are so arrogant as arrogance is a cover for ingnorance and fear).

The process of "convincing" you is really an excercise in convincing themselves.

If you missed the "how to get along with people lecture," its rude to go around judging and critizing strangers. Its also quite dangerous - especially out in the wilderness where it's unlikely anyones going to ever find the body.

02-07-2006, 09:55
I enjoy my music in the evening and when I hike sometimes,although normally I dont hike with tunes,like to be able to hear a rattler If i come on one,when I was out west it was nice for company,and I like to hear the weather,very seldom hike in the rain anymore,unless I have to!:cool: ky

02-07-2006, 10:00
I use my ipod for bible study in the morning and then a bit of music before drifting off to sleep. Its my luxury item.

Almost There
02-07-2006, 10:42
Have hiked with and without. I enjoy both depending on where I am at on the trail. If I had to pick one however, I do prefer hiking without more often than not, it allows me to be more aware of my surroundings!

Pennsylvania Rose
02-07-2006, 11:04
im in love with you thinking you love quiet.

Sorry, honey. I'm already claimed by a 6'2", 250 lb redneck. But I DO love my quiet time.

02-07-2006, 11:15
.................................................. ......

What's the point of showing these two quotes by brz? Is this to give her/him a lesson of there own invention?:-?

02-07-2006, 11:22
I don't really see using a radio/mp3 player while hiking as a distraction. Its not like you can't think to yourself while using one. I considered mine the soundtrack to my thru hike. I didn't always use it but I did enjoy it when I put the headphones on. Plus theres nothing better for uphill motivation.

Gray Blazer
02-07-2006, 11:23
I try to get in touch with the Higher Being. Hi, I'm Jay and I'm an AT addict (Everybody says Hi, Jay)

02-07-2006, 11:28
I don't really see using a radio/mp3 player while hiking as a distraction. Its not like you can't think to yourself while using one. I considered mine the soundtrack to my thru hike. I didn't always use it but I did enjoy it when I put the headphones on. Plus theres nothing better for uphill motivation.

Gotta go with RITBlake on this one. For me, music can be a great motivator. To each their own though.

02-07-2006, 12:21
Having the option to listen to music while hiking is nice. The weight consumed by a small MP3 player is insignificant but potential advantages can be huge. While I don't use mine much when the weather is good, it sure is nice to be able to listen to music when it is pouring rain, or super cold/super hot, or you just feel like *&%^. The music can help take your mind off your discomfort better than just about anything legal. I don't like it when people play their radios out loud though, it takes away from the experience for people who don't want to listen to music.

How about story telling on the trail; instead of playing music out loud? Story telling is a neat thing and is how people entertained one another for thousands of years. One person can entertain a large group very quietly and with no batteries. Too bad the art is almost lost...

02-07-2006, 12:38
Just like reading certain books in certain places, or times in your life, the right music in the right place at the right time can definitely make a nice bonus to your hike. I don't usually listen while hiking, unless I'm on a day-hike or trail run and I know what I'm going to listen to. Usually it's something to keep the blood flowing. Or if I'm on a multi-day hike and have some radio or music on, it's usually just in one ear, with the other open. It can also be nice to catch a few notes at dinnertime or bedtime.

It's not a 'must' for me... I just play it by ear...

02-07-2006, 12:39
I've had an MP3 player for a couple years now. I like having my CD collection all in one neat little package. When I worked in NYC and had a 1.5 hour (17 miles ... sad but true) commute EACH way to work, I used it A LOT. I also use it doing cardio at the gym and sometimes on long flights . But that's about it. When I am in the woods, I want to be in the woods.

02-07-2006, 12:44
I carried a radio/mp3 player on my thru-hike. Listening to the radio helped give me a perspective on some of the local color. I considered it an educational tool...

02-08-2006, 10:44
I've thought about buying a Nano iPod for music, but I've never actually hiked with any such device. I do tend to create a lot of music in my head, especially on the uphill slogs. I'm always amazed at how much is going on around me, even on the 'quietest' days.

02-09-2006, 01:32
I carried a radio, and as Blake would say...it was my "crutch." I picked it up when I got into NY to help me thru the green tunnel, and I quickly became addicted. prob about 75% of the I had the headphones in listening to some type of Sports Radio program. I usually took them off on climbs or at least for summits so i could enjoy what was around me without distraction. I know I have wicked ADD, and listening to talk radio helped me stay on track and kept me moving.

02-09-2006, 08:28
On my section hikes I haven't been carrying music-generating devices with me, though on my upcoming thru I'm thinking about including a sheet of lyrics to songs I don't know quite all the words to with me, so I can learn them.

That said, I've several times caused people with ear-thingies in their ears jump amazingly high off the ground by coming up behind them, or otherwise startling them because they couldn't hear anything but their music.

02-09-2006, 08:47
PS--The reason I don't need artificial music with me is that I'm blessed with a constant stream of earworms...

02-09-2006, 18:13
Love MP3 technology. In no way does headphones detract from your hike IMHO. Great on rainy days, right before bed or as a motivator at certain times. Some days your just going to not want to be on the trail and their a great distraction. Love listening to sports, NPR, weather and downloaded books. As an added side bonus, when some brain leach latches on to you and babbles incessantly in your ear while hiking or at shelter just put the headphones on with radio off and pretend you can't hear him/her. Also nice to use at night when going to bed if your bunkies are noisy or snore. Just set the radio to no station and drift off to white noise.

02-09-2006, 19:36
Just a portable chess board, for when you are around those other noisy people. You can pick up a great one at the hotsprings outfitter btw.

ed bell
02-09-2006, 20:24
Just a portable chess board
Great suggestion! I have the small magnetic type. Is this what you are talking about? I love chess and there is not a better way to pass some extra time. If one is familiar with chess notation, games can even be saved for later.:sun

02-09-2006, 22:58
We carried a slingshot but made a rule that we had to eat any animal that we killed with it. It was fun! and we didn't kill any animals. Mostly signs.

02-10-2006, 22:07
I cannot understand the need for constant stimulation. I can't imagine going to hike the AT and polluting the experience with noise. AS long as they keep the noise stuck in their head and the rest don't have to listen to it.