Radios, CD players, Ipods, etc.If you’re hiking alone or with friends, there’s nothing to keep you from bringing anything you want, including a radio, CD player, or whatever. But the more you stay electronically plugged in to the (high-stress) world most of us reside in during the week, the more of Mother Nature’s pleasures and benefits you’re going to miss out on.
On hiking trips we ask participants to leave radios, CD players, and other such items at home, or at least in the car, or make sure they’re turned off.
If you were to play a radio out loud you’d be sure to annoy other hikers, who are in the woods, at least in part, to get away from everyday noise and to soak in the natural sounds. And if you should play a Walkman-type radio, or CD player, or Ipod with earphones, you’ll be denying yourself an opportunity to absorb the relaxing, tranquilizing, healing effects of natural sounds like moving water (rushing streams, lapping waves) or wind blowing through pine boughs, or birdsong, or croaking frogs, or chirping crickets. Those of us who love music can nevertheless easily learn to live without it for a few hours or more, and will benefit from the soothing sounds and relative silence. Some people bring radios to the woods because of a fear of boredom. Yet with time, most of us discover there’s really no reason to ever be bored in the wilder places, where the pleasures are simple but as rich as any in this world.