View Full Version : Books on tape

10-18-2011, 14:36
Has anyone listen to books while hiking on a thru hike. Of course you wouldn't pack tapes but just download them on an iPhone. Mostly talking about non fiction books vs fiction.

10-18-2011, 14:50
I downloaded several books via Audible onto my iPod before my 250-mile section hike this summer. I kept all my electronics/chargers in a screw-top disposable tupperware container, and during the day I kept my I-pod in a ziploc in my pocket along with my torn out page of the AT guide. I used the books for motivation towards the end of the day... like if I had a 15 mile day, I would tell myself I could listen to my book for the last 5 miles. I always took my headphones out near road crossings to be more alert-- I think lack of awareness about one's surroundings is an issue with ipod use. I also thought I heard voices in the woods a few times while I was listening to the audiobooks, which was a trick my ears were playing on themselves. As for my selections, I read high-interest, mostly silly beach-type reads. Hiking is hard enough-- I wouldn't download anything too challenging or dry. Also, I met mostly wonderful people in the shelters, but in the few instances that I met someone I didn't care to talk with, I could just put in the headphones and listen to my book.

Energizer Bunny
10-18-2011, 20:14
I always listen to books while I hike, mostly mystery or suspense. I've tried nonfiction books that are more serious and didn't care for it as much as the fiction books. I get the audiobooks from my library and load them on my iPhone. I can go through 2 books a week between hiking and driving to work. You might want to check out mophie for your iPhone or iPod, it is a case that is also a charger. I couldn't live without mine.

Papa D
10-18-2011, 21:01
I have not listened to books on tape hiking but I do carry an i-pod mini - love the tunes falling asleep - but I do really love books on tape for long road trips - they are pricy though -- I have a whole bunch of ones I've listened to already - mostly detective novels - escape fiction quality but fun for the road - PM me if you want a few at about $5.00 ea

Rocket Jones
10-19-2011, 06:49
Podiobooks <dot> com is a great place to get audiobooks for minimal cost. You basically donate for the titles you enjoy. The authors post chapters as they complete them, but there are tons of completed books available. At least one of the authors there has gone on to hit the NY Times Bestseller list.

Rain Man
10-19-2011, 10:00
Has anyone listen to books while hiking on a thru hike.

I section hike rather than thru-hike, but I usually take "Playaways" from the public library. They are audio books on tiny electronic devices, about like a simple iPod. Light-weight. You pop in a single AAA battery and plug in your ear buds, and you're good to go. Sometimes I listen while hiking, but most often after I lay in my hammock for the night.

The variety of books covers the whole spectrum.

Playaways site. (http://www.playaway.com/)



10-19-2011, 13:58
My hubby downloads all kinds of free books to his MP3 to listen to while hiking. I'd ask him what they were, but he's working while I'm on WB. :)

12-03-2011, 15:39
I tried to listen to audio books on my AT thru-hike but for me, I breathed differently when I was listening to an audio book versus listening to music. It slowed me down and wore me out listening to an audio book for some reason. Couldn't relax as much I guess so I stopped listening to audio books and just listened to music via headphones. I did carry a tiny (written) book of short stories that a friend of mine had sent to me as a surprise in New Jersey. That sure was a treat. I was intently reading that tiny book one morning while sitting at the edge of the shelter floor when a bear walked right up to me. I'd thought it was another thru-hiker and didn't realize it was a bear until his bear face and mine were about two feet apart (he was looking at me wearing my headnet, trying to figure out what I was I guess). That made for an exciting start of a thru-hiking day.


Sarcasm the elf
12-03-2011, 16:00
Has anyone listen to books while hiking on a thru hike. Of course you wouldn't pack tapes but just download them on an iPhone. Mostly talking about non fiction books vs fiction.

I tried listening to audiobooks when section hiking, but found that it didn't really work out. My mind would naturally focus on paying attention to where I was walking and the audiobook would just become background noise.

I DO recommend listening to them when you are camped for the night, especially if you are camped alone. I like them more than real books since you don't need to drain you headlamp in order to read them.

12-03-2011, 17:02
I get my audiobooks from the library - downloaded onto my computer and them transfered to the ipod. No need to go to the library.

12-04-2011, 02:53
I too use audible.com, but even though I have a smartphone I found it worth while to carry a very small & light MP3 player, one that takes a single AAA battery. And of course, one that Audible.com had support for.
I think it really depends on how much you anticipate walking alone (whether hiking in a group or not), vs. sticking close to and talking with others. And your personal feelings about this might change. I listened to quite a lot of content on the PCT and the AT during some long solo stretches and at times when walking apart from the folks I was "hiking with". On the CDT this year for some reason I just felt less inclined to listen to stories, so I listened to music more, or just stayed more in tune to the terrain and/or my own head.

The thing about getting audio books from the library is that, if I recall, these will generally "time out". Maybe not a big deal doing this from a trail town onto a smartphone, but not practical for me with an MP3 player, apart perhaps from loading up some content for just the beginning part of the trip.
To be clear, however, I'm talking here about getting audio content from the library in digital format. If instead you physically check out CDs and rip them, then no worries. Apart from whether this gives you any legal/moral qualms, however, it's also a pretty time consuming process to rip a set of N discs at home, and then can also sometimes be tricky to make sure that you listen to all the pieces in the proper order.

12-04-2011, 05:29
Librivox.com is a site where volunteer readers collaborate on reading public domain classic books and you can download MP3s for free, without registration. It's pretty extensive. For example, I've downloaded John Muir books, the history of chocolate, Mark Twain, philosophy, old adventure and literature classics... I think they have over 4,000 books listed. I like Audible too! Also recommended for ebooks (non-audio) - Kindle for smartphone, which you can download to your android/iphone from Amazon. I never thought I'd read a book on my phone but it's actually not bad if you get the right text size/colors in the app settings. The Kindle Daily Deal books are often $1.99 or $2.99. They keep getting me.

mark schofield
12-04-2011, 08:12
There are quite a few sites where you can download free books, articles, podcasts, ect. As was mentioned, Librovox and Podiobooks,com. I listen when I'm finished for the day and get in the sleeping bag. For me, it's important to have a "sleep timer" function on the player so that it will shut off after a certian time. I usually go to sleep while listening and would otherwise drain the battery. Also, think about hoe you will 1-recharge or 2-replace the batteries. The electronic service my library subscribes to-"Overdrive"= has tons of books and articles to download but like a regular book you cant have them activated forever. They expire after 3 weeks.

12-04-2011, 15:29
Correction to my previous post... Just realized it's Librivox.ORG - not .com