What Should You Listen To On A Backpacking Trip?

Music can enhance the experience of a backpacking trip. Source: Flickr

Music can enhance the experience of a backpacking trip. Source: Flickr

What to listen to while on a backpacking trip? An age old question for a real music lover like I am. Even though I love going out to the wild and looking at birds, animals and trees I get that ache from time to time that tells me to listen to my favorite songs.

If you are like me, you have different songs or types of music you love to listen to depending on what state you are in. For example I will gladly listen to some lounge or trip-hop on a summer evening sipping wine in the yard, or I would gladly listen to a Metallica album while in the gym, but I never want to listen to a DJ Bobo album during a funeral.

Backpacking is all about relaxation, and the adventure you go on. It is not uncommon that you have to travel to awesome heights and incredible lows during backpacking, and you will quite likely experience multiple mindsets.

There will be those moments when you think that you just can’t take it no more and you need to get some motivation to keep you moving. This is the famous state that marathon runners call the wall. It happens with backpackers as well. If you go on a long trip, and you have been carrying all your gear for two straight weeks you will surely feel like it is hard to carry on. This state requires something motivational. I am not talking about the theme from “Rocky”, but you get the idea. A pulsating song with strong groove and rhythm as well as inspiring lyrics is the music to go for in these situations.

If everything is going fine, you don’t need extra motivation. These states call for a completely different kind of music. How about something chilly. You just want to observe the beauty of mother nature, feel the breeze on your skin and get as much energy as you can from the sunshine. You might even pull out your headphones and listen to the singing of birds, if you like that sort of stuff. Who doesn’t? In these instances I recommend something from Thievery Corporation or any other lounge artist. Something that has sexy saxophones in it.

If it is raining, and you are forced to take cover inside your shelter, under a tree or worse, in a cave you will have to go for something more melancholic, because these states are the worse. You came out here to hike, backpack, go on an adventure, and not to just sit in one place. I often get quite depressed if the weather turns like that, and I have to listen to something bleak and dark, like Type-o-Negative.


No matter what the weather is like, or where you are on your backpacking journey, music can be a great companion on the road. It can elevate you, give you motivation to carry on. I always carry my iPod with me on a hike, and you should too because it is a great form of entertainment during a backpacking trip.