Just read an article at Appalachian Trials on “9 Things A Former Thru-Hiker Wishes She Had Known Before Hitting The Trail“. And what was on the list? My personal favorite….
#7 Listen to music:
” It will help keep you positive in the present as you hike and afterwards the music you listened to will become a time machine back to exact moments on the trail. You may not know the place or even the state but the song will bring back a perfectly rendered memory. “
Many go in to the woods to leave technology behind. I work in technology, and I promise you that when I go in to the woods there’s nothing more that I want to do than leave technology behind.
But when you are hiking ~ 2200 miles to Maine – it’s a long, long way to walk. Yes, music helps – believe me. Actually, everything helps – hiking in silence, listening to the birds, talking with a day-hiker or fellow thru-hiker, and ….. even listening to music for an hour or two. (It’s an 8-12 hour thru-hiking day, you get that.)
So this week, I’ve been listening to cassette tapes that a group of friends made me for my hike in 1994. I summited Mt. Katahdin 20 years ago this October, and the music does bring me back – as the article states. There truly is a soundtrack to a thru-hike (and your life.) And yes … all the memories do come flooding back.
Even if it originated on cassettee tapes that were played on a yellow waterprooof Walkman. On a thru-hike … the music does matter, maybe not today – but tomorrow.