The woods, to me, are God’s own cathedrals. I love listening to the wind through the trees, the birds, the entire chorus of Nature’s music. And I love listening to the people with me.
Save the outdoors for outdoor sounds—the hiss of snow through spruces, a surge of breeze in the trees, or bird song.
I thru-hiked the AT with a small speaker and it made life so much more enjoyable. I always turned it down when I was near other people or at campsites and shelters.
I’ve been aided by Spotify’s “Endorphin Rush” playlist at the end of some long fast hikes and trail runs. I guess I’m OK with it—it keeps the bears away?
I run without earbuds. I prefer the symphony of the forest. But if I need some extra motivation deep into a 70+ mile run, I’m not opposed to cuing up the Rocky soundtrack on my iPod.
The rhythm of my breath and sounds of my footsteps hitting the earth are all the music I need.
If it’s loud enough to be heard and to affect other public land users, turn it down or leave it at home.
If you have earbuds, then listen to what you like. Otherwise, allow the rest of us to enjoy the bird songs, rippling water, and ruffling breeze in the dwindling number of places where we can.