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#153645 - 08/12/11 04:32 AM mp3 players on el trail?
lightas Offline

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2
anyone bring an mp3 player on the trail with them, ive thought about it before never done it though

#153647 - 08/12/11 09:30 AM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Pika Offline

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I will take an Ipod with me on rare occasions so I can listen to music in the evening. I find that I take it with me it less and less as time goes by. I have never used it when hiking though; too distracting to say the least.

Around here, I come across a lot of younger, mostly day hikers who are plugged into their music players. They appear to be totally oblivious to their surroundings and appear to be rather ill-prepared for any kind of hike (flip-flops and halter tops). And, because they can't hear you behind them, they can be rather difficult to pass. I actually had to tap one MP-3'ed young woman on the shoulder to get her attention. I scared the stuffing out of her in doing so and then, of course, she got mad at me for scaring her.

Edited by Pika (08/12/11 09:30 AM)
May I walk in beauty.

#153649 - 08/12/11 10:27 AM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Rayman1968 Offline

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 30
Loc: Ventura, CA.
About two months ago I passed a group of kids on a local trail (Piedra Blanca Trail in the Los Padres Forest) and one of them had a full sized Roland keyboard attached to his pack with bungee cords. The keyboard was in a black soft case and seriously must have been 3-4 feet long. I know nothing about keyboards but it must have been battery operated.

Glad I didn't have to share a site with them.

But no, no mp3 player for me.

#153662 - 08/12/11 03:10 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
ndsol Offline

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
I now bring my iPod Nano to listen to podcasts and will always bring it when I am doing preparation hikes at home. I will only use one of the earbuds while hiking. It does help make the time go a bit faster as you are climbing up switchbacks.

#153707 - 08/14/11 09:52 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: ndsol]
Whiskeyguy Offline

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Northern California, USA
I always have my android phone with me for emergencies. It also doubles as a backup navigation tool (GPS), backup camera, ebook reader, and MP3 player. I do listen to music occasionally, especially if I cant sleep.

#153781 - 08/17/11 01:54 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
RHodo Offline

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 60
Loc: Texas Hill Country
I have an ipod nano that I always take. Total weight with phones is 45g. I usually listen to it in the tent before going to sleep but don't wear it while walking except to distract myself when the going gets tough.

#154020 - 08/25/11 05:27 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
My phone doubles as an mp3 player. I take it, but have never, ever used it, ever.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#154458 - 09/08/11 05:14 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Erik Ward Offline

Registered: 09/08/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Nor Cal
I bring a player with me, and usually grab a book or two to listen to. Just like with any other piece of gear you bring, there is a time and place to use it, and it isn't all the time. It's a fun luxury to have when the mood is right.

#156501 - 10/31/11 08:23 AM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Allison Offline

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 21
I've never have listened to music on the trail. I often hike solo and it's much safer to be aware of your surroundings. I also love listening to my surroundings; nature has it's own soundtrack.


#168554 - 08/17/12 10:20 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Ecrow Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 85
Loc: N. New Mexico
An MP3 player can keep you sane if you ever have an epic night, a big push, or even have to sit tight somewhere. Cowan iaudio have tuners and take one AA.
Live to tell.

#168734 - 08/24/12 08:39 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Ecrow]
kievalina Offline

Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 38
Loc: metro detroit, mi
I took one of the original ipods to Montana with me, but then again, I logged more than 60 hours on Amtrak getting out there and back. (Although I think I spent more time talking to people on Amtrak than I did listening to my music, but it is helpful at night.) I also did listen to it a few times during the trip-- when I was stuck in the tent and my tent mate had crashed (and was snoring AND was between me and the door [why they make tents with doors on both sides]) and I was still wide awake. It was also useful to tune out loud neighbors in the hotel before and after the hike. I used a box fan the night before the hike, but if I hadn't had the box fan to drown out noisy neighbors, I would have been using the ipod and been glad for it. It would have been a rough first day if I'd not have slept the night before!

On the actual trail, no I'd never use it. I mean, I guess if I were hiking at my local park where bear/mountain lion are no concern, I could... But I'd like to be more aware of what's going on around me, anyway.

#173041 - 12/13/12 06:42 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: kievalina]
ultralightbp Offline

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 10
I don't ever listen to music on the trail, I like to be aware of my surroundings. By not listening to music I have dodged a couple rattlesnacks from hearing their rattles.

#173552 - 01/05/13 09:04 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Archbishop Offline

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Indiana
About a 50/50 if I take a MP3 player with me, but when I do here's what I take and my thought process. I found a cheap Chinese MP3 player that runs on a single AA battery. It has a very limited display. (like a wristwatch.) One battery will usually last a whole trip depending on length of trip and how much I actually use it.
Now, here are the reasons I use it.
1. Occasionally I just have to "crank out" some miles. I don't like to hike like this, but occasionally the goals demand it. For this I load Cadence drill instructor stuff. (Hard core ;D)
2. When I'm going to be out on the trail on a Sunday I'll load a sermon and some church music. For the time that service is going on back home I have church out in the woods. Very refreshing change of pace! (If I'm reasonably certain I'm alone I'll even sing along. laugh )
3. General use. I often hike alone as such I occasionally have the need for "human contact". This loneliness doesn't often hit, but when it does, general music usually does the trick.
Love that my MP3 player is NOT power hungry and that it uses the same battery that other gadgets that I carry use. Also, I've never lost or broken it, but if/when it happens I'll grab another one off Ebay for $10 bucks.

#182639 - 02/09/14 12:45 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Zestyninja Offline

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Colorado Front Range
I always have music and shows with me as they are on my phone but I've never used it in that fashion. I'm always out on the trail with at least one other person so I'd probably be more apt to listen to some tunes if I was out on my own.

#189522 - 03/05/15 11:57 AM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Zestyninja]
Southcove Offline

Registered: 02/27/15
Posts: 14
Loc: CT River Valley
On early and long winter nights, I will often go to bed with my MP3 to pass some time and relax and read before turning off the light. I use a little battery pack now to keep the battery charged up and usable in the cold. When my son travels with me, we usually take a very small USB powered speaker, but they are only used in camp and quietly.

#189527 - 03/05/15 01:46 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Archbishop]
Rick_D Online   content

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2921
Loc: NorCal
Confess I usually have one. Helps me drift off to sleep on noisy nights or with snoring tentmates. Sometimes dig it out for that final grind to the trailhead, especially when I have to make double-time or it's a nasty horse highway. Good time to catch up on my podcasts, as I'm always way behind.

Weights a scant few grams, so penalty-free.


#189530 - 03/05/15 02:19 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Rick_D]
dylansdad77 Offline

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 158
Loc: New Jersey
No issues with music on the trail, actually I prefer it, so long as you use your headphones. I posted a long while back about using a small mp3 speaker for the members of my group. It had become somewhat common practice for our dayhikes. However, I was met with scathing comments about intruding on everyone else's experiences, etc. I have since atoned for previous sins and no longer use any audible speakers.

To agree with previous posts, sometimes you need an extra boost to get through a late challenge at the end of the day. For me, movie soundtracks have always meshed well with hiking. Rudy, The Natural, Jurassic Park et. al.
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

#189532 - 03/05/15 03:49 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: dylansdad77]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
As much as I love to have music at home, I don't bring any for the trail. I prefer the sounds of the wild--even if it's just the wind blowing, or even just silence.

I also can usually conjure up plenty of music in my head, if I want it (and sometimes if I don't). I just recently had the entire third movement of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Guitar Concerto flash through my head, when I learned that my son and daughter in law are going to Spain for their 20th wedding anniversary (and guess who is going spend most of September staying with the grandchildren?).

Your mileage probably will vary, and that's fine with me as long as you use your headphones--and not so loud that I can hear them as you pass by (which would damage your ears as well as my enjoyment).

Edited by OregonMouse (03/05/15 03:51 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#189534 - 03/05/15 04:02 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Rick_D]
4evrplan Online   content

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 858
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I don't prefer music when I'm hiking. Part of why I go out is to slow down and clear all of that noise out of my brain.

But, sometimes I have trouble sleeping when it's too quiet. Every tiny movement and breath echoes like a kettle drum in a concert hall. This is why, at home, I sleep with the fan on. Maybe I should look for a white noise app with a timer feature.
The journey is more important than the destination.

#189543 - 03/06/15 09:23 AM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Rick_D]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
Love these zombie threads! :-)

For me this is a HYOH issue so long as not bothering others.

For short trips I can't see a reason to bother, and like some others have suggested, I'm out there to be more in tune with nature. For trips that are multiple weeks or months, however, I think that for many (most?) long distance hikers some sort of MP3 player is an excellent way to put your head somewhere different or adjust attitude, particularly good for long low-traffic road walks or "pretty boring" sections.

Can also be nice sometimes to put "normal world" stuff into your head; podcasts are good that way, and can help spark interesting topics of conversation.
Brian Lewis

#189553 - 03/06/15 06:19 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: BrianLe]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
"Zombie threads"--good one, Brian!

I don't always check the dates--at least not if the latest post or two are recent. It didn't happen here, but I have been embarrassed a time or two to discover that I made basically the same response back when the original posts were made several years ago!

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#200433 - 03/17/18 05:53 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: Rick_D]
pinhotiBill Offline

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Alabama
I like the use of covering up snoring camp-mates.

I confess i took a small mp3 on a mountain fitness hike, to my surprise my fitbit app showed that I moved faster on fast tempo songs.

All in all, when backpacking i leave music at home - just enjoy the music of the spheres.

#200440 - 03/19/18 03:02 AM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 283
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I confess I watch "Family Guy" on TV. Yes, I know, sometimes it even offends me, and that's not easy. Anyway, I would answer this post in the voice of the hispanic maid, Consuela:

Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

#201093 - 06/04/18 04:15 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: lightas]
troutstalker Offline

Registered: 06/02/18
Posts: 38
Loc: CO
I just use my phone for music

#201104 - 06/04/18 08:59 PM Re: mp3 players on el trail? [Re: troutstalker]
aimless Online   content

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3155
Loc: Portland, OR
I think if the phone is playing mp3s, it is technically an mp3 player. smile

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