Things I learned about and from the AT – Music can and will PUMP YOU UP

Categories:Appalachian Trail | Camping Advice


There has been a large debate ever since the creation of portable music devices. The heart of the debate is whether or not you should listen to music while you hike. My personal opinion on the matter is that of to each their own. I typically do not listen to music while hiking, but having it available and using it every now and again is great for getting you out of some funky days or times. A lot of it boils down to what makes you comfortable while out on a hike. If I am hiking in a place where there might be mountain bikers or is heavily traveled by hikers I will hike with one ear bud in and one out. This is so I can hear when people come up from behind and want to pass.

If you were to take a look at my music library there is no real theme other than music. I collect music so there is everything from Classical to Pop and everything in between. There are a few exceptions however. I am not a huge fan of the metal genre or rap.  I also find myself creating sound tracks based on moods or even themes like using the word hike or walk.

There were several times on the AT where I found that it was just me out there between points a and b and needed some kind of boost.  During those times it was nice to pop in my ear buds or even just play without head phones. I will say that natures sound track could use a bit of a mash up with your favorite tunes. It is also neat to have your own soundtrack. One thing I would like to stress is that that just because you like it does not mean everyone else does. When I had my music blaring out of my pocket I had not seen another human for hours that day.  Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and be courteous to other people.

Do you hike or trail run with music? If you do what do you listen to? If not why do you prefer not to?

Happy Trails.


Adam Nutting relishes being an avid backpacker, hiker, and all-around adventure junkie. While he currently spends his time hiking in the backcountry of southern Arizona, he grew up in Missouri, where he was naturally inclined to spend as much time as he could outdoors. Adam’s passion for the outdoors grew as he climbed the ranks of the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts, eventually attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

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