Hiking with speakers

Do you hike with a Bluetooth speaker?? Why/Why Not??

While I like music as much as the next guy, I certainly get rather annoyed when I cross paths on the trail with people carrying music with them. Now I’m not much for letting a 90sec encounter ruin my day, but it always sparks the same discussion with my hiking partner about peoples’ need to always feel “connected” and/or the inability to enjoy the moment they are in.

When I see this at the ski hill I am generally less irritated, but I view my time there as less of an escape to the outdoors than when I am hiking/backpacking or rock climbing.

And if your musical need outweighs your ability to be in your own head for a while, why not use headphones?? Is this a generational thing?? A lack of outdoor etiquette?? Or a showboating kind of thing?

Discuss, vent, gripe, support as you see fit.

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Agreed. My husband is a musician so he brings his guitar for campsite time. Rather than people complaining, it draws others over and we have had great times talking and playing with other musicians. But I see a difference with actually making the music, or just listening to a playlist. I heard someone playing the bagpipes and it was awesome…but I have to admit, canned music bothers me. I think people need to shut it all off and be comfortable disconnected, including playing their instrument (but one can’t play for hours either like a playlist can), get in their heads and out again, talk to people and relearn being in the moment with whomever is present. It’s becoming a lost art.

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I recently purchased a bluetooth speaker that I use for solitary runs. I love it but that said, I would never consider using it in either an organized race or when hiking, either alone or with someone. Last summer, we were camping and the couple in the site next to us (not even that close) played loud music (they were enjoying libations) - fortunately, we liked their choice of music but not the volume they played it at!

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Completely agree! I feel the same way about the beach. Enjoy the moment and the sounds of nature…or use earbuds.

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Being the typical old curmudgeon, not only do I not see the necessity…it becomes both a potential safety issue for the user/other trail users…it tends to become a source of divisiveness. Trail etiquette dictates announcing “passing” or “on your left” or “track” when overtaking a slower walker/hiker/biker/XCskier…can’t remotely fathom the number of times I exercise this courtesy to earbud/headphone users only to either startle (sometimes dangerously so, given the location) the deafened, preoccupied users. Then in that startled response move in the wrong direction or become belligerently and negatively berating me the passer. One can’t suggest using common sense any more, as it appears that has become nonexistent.

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I’ve passed plenty of thru hikers listening to podcasts or music. I generally don’t listen to music when I’m hiking or trail running, but there are times I really need the boost to my morale. (I’m always able to hear my surroundings. If you startled me while passing or approaching me, it was because I was lost in thought, not because of my music.)

A few years ago, I did a seven-day hike on which it rained every day. The only time my feet were dry was in the morning before I put them in my cold, wet shoes (and sometimes into cold, wet socks). A long climb on a drizzly day when you haven’t seen the sun - or much scenery - in a while? heck yeah I’m going to take advantage of technology to help pass the miles.

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