Sure, it’s wonderful to hit the trails with only birdsong as your soundtrack but sometimes, you need a little something extra to give you that push to persevere. From hip hop hits that help set the pace to some indie tunes perfect for open-air introspection, we’ve got some songs for the playlist you need to listen to on your next hike
Started From the Bottom, Drake
Because you start hikes at the bottom…get it? While we’re fairly certain that it has absolutely nothing to do with getting your outdoor on, this track from Drizzy’s 2013 album Nothing Was the Same is a surefire way to get pumped about hitting the trails. Get the clean version if you’ll be sharing your earbuds with sensitive listeners.
Such Great Heights, Iron and Wine
Also covered by The Postal Service, this haunting tune is the perfect soundtrack to introspective rambles through old growth forests or when contemplating the meaning of it all. They will see us waving from such great heights, “Come down now,” they’ll say. But everything looks perfect from far away, “Come down now,” but we’ll stay… Can you get any deeper than that?
Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show
Originally a demo recorded by Bob Dylan, this catchy, heartfelt song is the perfect accompaniment for that moment on your hike when you feel overcome with the beauty of it all. The sky will seem bluer, the trees will seem greener, the birds will chirp more loudly, and you’ll be singing along at the top of your lungs.
Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed
Because what is a hike, if not a walk on the wild side? Perhaps not quite the same but you’ll appreciate it nonetheless. Good luck not chiming in with the chorus.
I’ve Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash
You can’t not include this classic ode to wandering in a hiking playlist. After all, fans of getting out there can appreciate lyrics like “I’ve crossed the deserts bare, man, I’ve breathed the mountain air, man…” For a fun game, why not see how many of the listed locales you’ve hiked and see how you stack up against the Man in Black.
My Wandering Days Are Over, Belle and Sebastian
Any song with wandering in the title seems perfectly appropriate for a hike. While this pretty little ditty may not be referring to the kind of wandering that you do with a pack on your back, it’s still the perfect tune to listen to when you want to keep things light and fun despite the fact that you’re getting blisters and ran out of water 3 miles ago.
Beautiful Day, U2
Such a great song to listen to when you’re marveling at the sheer magnificence of nature. Whether exploring a national park or blazing new trails in the back country, it’s hard not to appreciate the stunning scenery that surrounds you. U2’s classic hit is the perfect accompaniment to those moments of sheer awe.