trail mix

One of the things I like about backpacking is the simplification it forces upon you. You have to bring only the essence. Just toothbrush and toothpaste instead of skin brush and eucalyptus oil and neti pot. Just one change of clothes. Just one pair of shoes.

Only some of your music.

That’s actually been one of the harder things to distill for me. We’re taking our iPhone as our only device for all tasks—taking pictures and video, editing video, email and blogging, listening to music. And of course plain old just talking on the phone. And all that stuff takes up a lot of space. Which meant it was time to play hardball with my sizable music collection.

It was rough, but instructive. It was a little intense too, like picking teams for kickball, except I did three or four rounds of kicking music off my team. And it turns out my team is not very diverse. My team is reggae. Here’s who will be serenading me all the way to Maine:

Groundation + Bob Marley. If I’m playing music, it’s probably either of these. Or both at the same time with Groundation covering Marley. Anyway, it’s the soundtrack for my life and I wouldn’t think of going anywhere without a hefty compliment of both.

Miscellaneous reggae. If I’m playing music, it’s probably reggae. I had to be really ruthless here, because there’s just so much. I also had to acknowledge the fact that I don’t actually own much old roots reggae (thanks, Spotify) so my selection is decidedly new-school—Sebastian Sturm, Raging Fyah, Don Carlos, Rockamovya and Professor (“Throw Down Your Arms”).

Non-reggae. Sometimes I listen to other genres. Sometimes. I’m bringing great musical love affairs of my past: Yeasayer, Fleet Foxes, Born Ruffians and White Denim.

I also made one playlist with other random songs I thought I’d want to hear. It started as a playlist for our cross country move, but I never finished it. Now, it’s for a cross country walk.

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