My Music For Outdoor Recreation

bowDuring the warmer months, my family is very active outside. We enjoy going hiking, hunting, fishing, shooting, biking and taking in the sites around our area. But, when Fall is close, that’s our favorite time of year. And music is always there from the my player that has over 13,000 songs.

Music is always there. You don’t realize how accessible music has become since we’re in the digital age. It is the same as listening to the record player or the CD with you kicking back with a few beers or drinking a tall glass of iced tea? No! However, with the digital age, music is portable and compact and fits in your pocket or a holder. For me, I love all kinds of genres and this blog is beginning to reflect that.

metoo.jpgI love this time of year. The air is getting crisp, the leaves are beginning to change, and many people are gearing up for the opening of hunting season here in Pennsylvania which begins on October 1. I too am a hunter and I am gearing up after having practiced my skills all year long, it’s time for me to head into the woods. In fact, it’s a family affair. My oldest son goes out with me and many times my wife and youngest son will also head into the woods with me.

Many musicians are hunters as well. Three stand out. The first is Uncle Ted Nugent. Not only does he hunt, but he also wrote many articles about the subject, mainly about archery. He has the popular hunting show called “Spirit of the Wild.” Another is Eric Adams, lead vocalist for the Heavy Metal band Manowar. He at one time also wrote articles about bow hunting which he took up during his spare time. Even guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith is a hunter. Athletics like Bo Jackson are hunters. Bo has pretty much done everything. I have always respected Bo Jackson when I was a kid.

When I head to the gun range before those practice sessions, I enjoy just plugging my Zune player into my truck radio and hit shuffle. I get a chance to clear my mind from the busy workweek that just went by. My player may play Muddy Waters one minute and Megadeth the next. So there’s no telling what I will have playing from song to song. Once I get to the range, everything is turned off.

fishMy favorite songs to listen to before and after my practice sessions at the gun range are, “Hanger 18” by Megadeth, “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent,  “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, and “Stone the Crow” by Down. There’s many others too, but, these four are good to get me pumped and to get me focused.

The same way when I go hunting. I love to listen to Ted Nugent’s “Hunt Music” album or “Spirit of the Wild.” In fact, the song “Fred Bear” off of “Spirit of the Wild” that Ted Nugent wrote is about the founding father of modern archery. Fred Bear was born only a mile from where I live. I also love to listen to traditional music such as Bluegrass. After the day is over, it’s nice to just get back into my truck and turn the Zune player on and just relax to something by Neil Young.

When I go fishing, I love to hit shuffle on my player and just drive to the lake with my family. When I get to my fishing spot, I love to listen to long drawn out live songs. Neil Young’s “Tonight’s the Night” is a good one. Depending on the version, this song could be almost thirty minutes long live. Or I love to listen to something more traditional like Bluegrass or Blues. It all depends on the mood during the first hour or two when I am there.

biking.jpgUsually, when we go fishing, we go early in the morning and stay till about supper time. On those hot hazy days, just listing to some Delta Blues is just so relaxing. The rawness of the music just speaks to you. I love to hear the sound of the slide or the eeriness of the guitar.

When I go biking or hiking, I love to listen to something that has a faster tempo. AC/DC is a great band to listen to, or maybe Hank III.  On my bike, I have a cell phone holder that holds my phone where some of my music is stored. Just riding in the mountain with something Classic Rock playing, helps me to loose track of time and I can begin riding with no care in the world except for my surroundings.

Hiking is the same way. I look at the landscape and if it’s steep or if I am hiking the Appalachian Trail, music actually helps to give me a push to see what’s beyond the next ridge or around the corner. Next thing you know, you been out hiking for hours when you realize that it’s time to get back to the truck.

livinghistoryThe same way when we go camping in Virginia. I love just setting the Zune player on shuffle and just sit outside and read a book around the campfire. Even then, the variety of music that is playing just helps me to relax and pass the day. Next thing you know, the sun is setting and you just feel refreshed.

I am also a living historian, not a reenactor. On my way to and from an event, I again, love to listen to my Zune player. I try to pick out songs that deal with history such as “Gettysburg” by Iced Earth. When I arrive, it’s all business until the event or living history is over. I do a lot of public speaking when I am at the events. Telling the stories of our past and connecting people to that time period. I do Civil War and French and Indian War periods of American history. Once in a blue moon, I also do WW2 because of Fort Ritchie being so close to the battle park that I manage.

Whatever the case may be, music is there. It’s the life blood of today’s society. There’s so many genres and so many sub-genres. Although, I blame the digital age for destroying the fun of going to the mall and buying records or CDs, it is easier today to carry a small MP3 player with hundreds of songs on it than what it was when I was a kid who brought several cassettes or CDs at one time to listening to.

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