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?
The weekend of May 10th, an old college friend and myself headed a few hours east of Kansas city to Knob Noster State Park. The goal of the weekend was to hang out, catch up, test some gear, and have fun. The weather could not have been better for the weekend. Low forties for the lows and high sixties to low seventies for the highs. Perfect temperatures for tent camping. We left my place around noon and picked up a few last minute items and grabbed lunch before heading out of town.
The park was relatively empty when we arrived with a few RVs and spots taken for the weekend. We arrived set up camp and headed out for a quick hike before dinner. The hike was a nice one and a half mile loop and was a perfect warmup for the weekend. The trail ended at the park office and as we walked through the campground to our site in the back the entire place had filled up almost completely while we were out hiking. We built a fire had dinner and just chatted the rest of the evening.
I had heard of Knob Noster the town and had visited Whiteman Air Force base, but this was my first time to the park. Overall its a great park and I recommend going if you are in the area. It is quite small and only has a handful of trail to hike. We grabbed some maps from one of the trail heads, but they ended up being incorrect and the longest trail was 6 miles.
The first night I opted to test out the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent. I will not spoil my thoughts on the tent but it was easy to set both of the Big Agnes Fly Creek tents and they are quality shelters. The other gear that I tested the next day was the RIBZ Front Pack. We hiked several trails and were able to get in about 8 miles that day. There is not a whole lot to do at Knob Noster state park if you go there to hike. It is great for folks who camp in RVs or campers because its quiet and allows you to just enjoy whatever you RV folks do. A great weekend catching up and testing gear. Also did some research on possible locations for other hiking and camping trips later in the summer.
To view more photos of the weekend please check out the Knob Noster Photo Gallery.
This past weekend I got to experience testing out my first ever front pack. The pack that I was able to test was a RIBZ Front Pack. Before I get into the review let me take a brief moment to explain what a front pack is.
A front pack is a bag or pack that allows for easy access to important equipment from the persons waist or chest. These have become very popular in Europe however they are quite new to the outdoors in America. The front pack not only provides ease of access to your essential gear but it also provides a counter weight if worn with a backpack.
The RIBZ Front Pack uses a unique harness system to allow for the weight distribution allowing the pack to be comfortable as a stand alone or used in addition to any backpack. It also allows for the weight in the RIBZ Front Pack to be distributed comfortably and even. One thing about the RIBZ Front Pack is that the harness system can not be removed to be used with a backpack. (more…)
Give people enough time and they will surprise you.
In my last post I talked about community. Today I want to talk about people. There are always people who will rub you the wrong way and then there are others who you will more naturally gravitate towards. On the AT you can always hike on your own and you can choose to camp on your own but if you camp near or in the shelters you are stuck with those people for the night. Being stuck with some people is not always a bad thing. (more…)