View Full Version : radio reception on the long trail

11-14-2010, 00:09
i really like to listen to the radio; i'm planning on hiking the long trail this summer, and was wondering if it is worth it to bring my pocket radio along?

also, how is radio reception over all on the AT? were there long stretches that no reception was available?


11-14-2010, 00:44
Finding a radio station while on the LT will not be a problem. Finding one you really want to listen too might be something else again. Same goes for the AT in general. Reception at shelters in more remote areas of NC can be spotty depending on how the hills shade the shelter from FM radio waves. Listening to a radio station while hiking can be fustrating, as they tend to fade in and out depending on which side of the hill your on at any given time.

11-14-2010, 09:55
You'd probably have somewhat decent reception for public radio since the station here has transmitters on both sides of the mountains. If you have good line of sight to the Adirondacks, you can get some stations...as well if you can "see" the top of Mansfield.

11-14-2010, 10:05
You should be able to get public radio all along the southern Long trail and muhc of the north. As for other types of radio, its going to be a lot less selection.

11-14-2010, 11:23
There are some small XM/Sirius pocket radios, but they're expensive especially including the subscription, and most that I've seen use those flat rechargable LI batteries, and the run time sucks (4 hrs or so). But I suppose it is a possible alternative for the well-heeled hiker (is there a pun in here somewhere?) who really likes radio.

11-14-2010, 14:15
Ditto on Public Radio.. the NPR stations seem to be the most predominant when I am in the Dacks and Greens.
There's a few commercial FM Stations that I pick up out of Lake Placid and Plattsburgh as well. Nice thing about VT is the signal is crossing a lake which means for clearer reception (at least it seemed to be growing up on Lake Ontario and listening to Canadian Stations/TV.
For AM, evening listening you have a whole host of stations from the NE to Midwest

Here is a quick list I pulled up near LP. (http://www.ontheradio.net/cities/lake_placid_ny.aspx)

Wise Old Owl
11-14-2010, 14:31
Reception problems are a fault of poorly manufactured radios and lack of proper filters within the unit. Terrain / Altitude also contributes to problems as stations come in from a distance and compete on the same channel, again a good filter helps with all the signal fading in and out. Sw and digital radios, such as Grundig have the filters / Sangean - well I am not sure. I use a digital Sangean but it still has some of the problems.

As for NPR, a cheap radio will pick up the channel on the hike and 15 minutes later it still NPR but the other transmitter kicks in and the show changes 5 minutes later it fades back to the original show... frustrating..

Oh and those ETON"S? -SUCK!

Wise Old Owl
11-14-2010, 14:44
xm = http://www.myradiostore.com/portable/xmp3i.html

am/fm http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QTXKFG/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00000JMRV&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1355W7MS569BT37631NA

Get what you can afford - make sure it takes regular batteries - Digital tuner helps stay on the transmitter - MP3 for poor reception areas - understand there will be limitations.

11-14-2010, 15:17
I always thru-hike with my sony walkman am/fm/wb radio and have great success finding stations. When I did the LT this was no different. In the southern sections, you get the local southern Vermont, Massachusetts, and Albany, NY region stations. As you go north it becomes more focused on Vermont and by the time you're in the northern section, it's mostly Canadian stations... which is strange due to the amazing amounts of french.
To offer one tip... don't use your preset buttons... the station reception changes all the time due to elevation and direction changes as you walk. I just constantly flip the channels, looking for good music. In Vermont, this was an easy task. NPR has many stations up there, and I got rather adicted to some of their shows as well... including and especially A Prarie Home Companion.
I say go for it with a traditional radio. It's a great way to get a flavor for the local area. I found I learned a lot about the types of favored music, local political issues of the area, and even fun events happening in towns as I went through. Go for it.

11-14-2010, 18:05
How's your French? Lot's of Quebec stations in that neighborhood.