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#181544 - 12/30/13 02:52 AM Managing a guitar with your pack
MountainJoe Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Wasatch County, Utah
As far as efficiency goes i understand that the concept isn't really suiting, but i find that nature and music are a more than suitable combination.

I have tried before but i have a hard time suiting it to my pack without it loosely swinging around and/or falling off.

I am sure someone around here has tried before. What is a good way of carrying a guitar around on long trips along with the rest of your pack.

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#181550 - 12/30/13 10:33 AM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 679
I use to play in an acoustic band in the Sierra and we did over nighters by just hand carrying. On some longer trips I have brought a mandolin strapped to the back of the pack. I've played some backpack guitars like the Martin that can be strapped to the back or side of a pack. I use to have specific guitars designated for outdoor use- cheap, small bodied (ooo size or concert) and basically expendable. Put the guitar in a garbage bag, then a soft shell case. I've never been UL, so my packs have always had lots of lash points. I have been careful to not disturb others that may be camped nearby. Though, I've ended up giving some impromptu concerts and having some jams that were lots of fun. Amazing what kind of percussion section you can create with backpack cookware and bear canisters. grin


Edited by bluefish (12/30/13 10:35 AM)
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#181551 - 12/30/13 10:46 AM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
All the guitars I have seen have been lashed or bungee'd to very large Osprey or external frame packs, typically belonging to hitchhikers along Highway 1. smile

The more ingenious way was hooking a bungee in the large opening on the face of the guitar, running it through lash points on the pack, and bringing it around to hook on the other side of the hole. Not that this is likely to be good for the guitar. Another bungee lashed the neck higher on the pack.
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#181553 - 12/30/13 12:27 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: lori]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 679
Lori, that's a horrendous way to lash a guitar. It probably had more purpose as a stash for other recreational things..... laugh
Just sew some loops on a soft shell case and lash it on. Simple.
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#181557 - 12/30/13 01:36 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3590
Loc: Texas
The Martin backpacker guitars and mandos are very "lashable". They are also tough enough to use as a weapon....and sound similar to guitars and mandos. grin The gig bags they come with protect the instruments well and you can simply lash through the hand hold with some bungee cord, lengthwise along the pack somewhere. I have the mando and it's been in kayaks, airplanes, on mountain tops, etc. I wouldn't recommend a full size dreadnought or even a OOO or concert instrument unless you are hiking to a fest and need a good instrument.
I've also been known to bring along penny whistles, Irish flutes, and harmonicas. Much easier to haul.
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#181558 - 12/30/13 01:53 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I've seen thru-hikers carrying specially-made small guitars (plus at least one banjo and other options).

This thread suggests some alternatives among "packable" guitars, which presumably are not only easier to carry on a pack, but also lighter and perhaps (?) more robust:
WB thread on packable guitars
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#181560 - 12/30/13 03:45 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
I know I'm gonna sound like a real bummer here but keep in mind not everyone enjoys a concert at the end of the day. Especially when it extends into sleeping hours. Many are looking to get an early start on the next day and IMO its a bit disrespectful to start playing in the evening hours. I enjoy playing guitar at home and listening to all sorts of music but too many times I have been kept up late at night by some wanna be musician in a camp ground, never on the trail however. Just something to think about.

jimmyb

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#181561 - 12/30/13 05:01 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: jimmyb]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I agree and get a bit annoyed. I love music but go to concerts to listen to it live. Nothing's worse than a crappy rendition of a Jimmy Hendrix or a drum circle with no one on beat. Leave the noise pollution at home.
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#181563 - 12/30/13 06:27 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: rockchucker22]
MountainJoe Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Wasatch County, Utah
Originally Posted By rockchucker22
I agree and get a bit annoyed. I love music but go to concerts to listen to it live. Nothing's worse than a crappy rendition of a Jimmy Hendrix or a drum circle with no one on beat. Leave the noise pollution at home.


This is under the assumption that i would be playing when others are near by. The intent isn't to play a show but to further my own enjoyment.
I do appreciate the point though, in that many people wouldn't appreciate the noise. I agree its always a good idea to make sure the area is always clear of any unwanting ears.

On the note of guitars such as the martin backpacker: How does the sound quality match up to the average acoustic guitar? (i understand that the quality ranges greatly in correlation to price, so lets say an average $400 acoustic?)


Edited by MountainJoe (12/30/13 06:31 PM)

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#181564 - 12/30/13 06:37 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I was in Death Valley last year camping when a family pulled up, set up camp, and pulled out instruments, fiddles, violins, banjos. I was worried it was going to be a late night jam session. They started with the most amazing bluegrass awesomeness that sounded so sweet. They only played for about 45 min but they where so good I could have listened for a bit more. I guess what I'm trying to get at is there is a difference between drunken noise that grates the nerves and well played music. It just been my experience that usually it's the former.
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#181575 - 12/30/13 11:39 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3590
Loc: Texas
Quote:
How does the sound quality match up to the average acoustic guitar?


It's thin and boxy as one might expect, for a guitar that skinny. By itself, they are fine and play well. You'll get use to the sound. I'd go to Guitar Center or the like and demo some small bodied instruments and see what you can live with.
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#181580 - 12/30/13 11:48 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: bluefish]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By bluefish
Lori, that's a horrendous way to lash a guitar. It probably had more purpose as a stash for other recreational things..... laugh
Just sew some loops on a soft shell case and lash it on. Simple.


Well, considering the noises they made with it, I would say the lashing method could only improve things. eek
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#181670 - 01/02/14 06:33 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: rockchucker22]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 679
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-SLG110S-Steel-String-Silent-Guitar-H71294-i1788063.gc
These are very interesting, very packable and have the advantage of not bothering anyone. I must say, as a semi-professional with lots of studio and professional performance under my belt, I don't think I bothered anyone. I always had people ask me to play more and let them hang around rather than the opposite. Met some great people through it. I've also been on the other side, enduring endless 2 chord jams with a backpack Martin and a recorder or pennywhistle. I didn't know whether to shoot them or myself. grin I usually pack up and move on.
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#181672 - 01/02/14 07:51 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: bluefish]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1889
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By bluefish
I didn't know whether to shoot them or myself. grin


That is a great line!
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#181673 - 01/02/14 10:22 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: bluefish]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Quote:
I've also been on the other side, enduring endless 2 chord jams with a backpack Martin and a recorder or pennywhistle.


Yup, this is more or less what I was talking about in my previous post, and going into the wee hours. Not mentioning the accompanying vocals cry eek

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#181676 - 01/03/14 12:07 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: MountainJoe]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
I have never taken my guitar backpacking but I have taken my ukulele. I find the smaller instrument most enjoyable. Most often I was the only person in the wilderness camp and so disturbing others was not an issue.

Howie

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#181681 - 01/03/14 06:08 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: Howie]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1889
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By Howie
I have never taken my guitar backpacking but I have taken my ukulele. I find the smaller instrument most enjoyable. Most often I was the only person in the wilderness camp and so disturbing others was not an issue.

Howie


If you weren't alone before you pulled it out, I am sure you were after you did!

Grin
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#181685 - 01/03/14 11:39 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6670
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
That's what I was thinking of, taking a ukelele (? sp) instead. The lightweight version!

I do suggest you either camp way off by yourself or make sure all your neighbors don't mind the musical session!
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#181689 - 01/04/14 10:42 AM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: OregonMouse]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3590
Loc: Texas
Yamaha makes a Uke body packable guitar now on sale at Guitar Center...$100 or so.

As a pro musician (teach, and in a working band) all the talk about unwanted jams/noise is warranted but probably not necessary. Few people on this forum need to be told to not pollute (noise, air, etc.). If I bring instruments with me, it's either because I'm with other musicians, was requested too, or am by myself. The OP requested packable instrument suggestions...give the guy some credit to know where to play them.
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#181692 - 01/04/14 12:25 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: Dryer]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Reasonable folks are always open to others suggestions and feedback. I considered the OP a reasonable individual until proven other wise. cool

jimmyb

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#181698 - 01/04/14 03:44 PM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: balzaccom]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
Actually I own a couple of nice sounding ukuleles. Expensive ones too. The trouble with ukes is the fact that schools buy the cheapest ones they can find and they are not even set up properly. Hence the negativity surrounding them. On the other hand, many a good musician such as George Harrison played one.


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#181721 - 01/06/14 10:08 AM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: Howie]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
We have a pair of entry line Ovation's, I think called the Applause line, uke's. They have that round plastic back and are smaller than a tenor uke. They are light weight, fairly small in size, very durable, and sound pretty good. I mean, you really don't want to be hauling some Koa wood beauty with all those corners to dent and ding, so that round "plastic" bottom (you know the ones Ovation is famous for) is very functional for sound and backpackability.

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#181723 - 01/06/14 11:45 AM Re: Managing a guitar with your pack [Re: skcreidc]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6670
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Speaking of guitars, I have to tell the story of my father's birthday present to my mother in early 1946 (I was pretty small back then). As background, my parents (my father was a university professor and my mother a professional pianist) decided in 1945 to chuck everything, come out west, buy horses in Jackson, WY and pack down to New Mexico. We got as far as northeastern Utah, where we were invited to stay for the winter in a cabin 25 miles from town, accessible only by horseback or wagon (eventually Jeeps got in, but not while we were there). Anyway, Mom was missing her music, so on one of the trips to town Dad traded for a used guitar. There being no other place to carry it, he lashed it to the top of the pack horse's pack. That worked out fine until the horse slid off the steep icy trail and landed on its back. Fortunately, the horse was OK. The guitar, though, was simply a collection of tiny pieces, far beyond repair.

One thing I should have mentioned--if those camping near you want to join the jam session, and nobody objects, the more the merrier! Sometimes even if I want my sleep, the music can be worth listening to. I was at the 150th anniversary re-enactment of Gettysburg last summer. (No, not a backpack, just 10,000 people sleeping in 19th century tents, wearing 19th century clothes and indulging in lots of black powder smoke and noise.) Shortly after "Taps" one night, some of the guys near my tent decided to start a songfest (Civil War period songs, of course). I was tempted to go say something, but their voices were so good that I just listened with great pleasure until midnight, when they finally broke up. Some things are more important than sleep!

So just be sure, if you're near others, that they're willing!


Edited by OregonMouse (01/06/14 04:38 PM)
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