The Musical BackpackYou may have read about my use of the "Musical Backpack" in one of my trip reports. Well, here is a brief explanation of what it is and why we use it.
During an epic 7-day jungle expedition to a remote archeological site known as the Mirador, we decided to connect a set of speakers to an iPod (with a lot of AA batteries for reserve) and put the whole device inside the mesh pocket of a backpack. The tunes that the Musical Backpack produced set the tone for the entire week: it kept our energy high during a 15 hour push through relentless calf-deep mud on the second day, provided the impetus for a night-long dance party, and kept us smiling as we explored the ruins throughout our trip
Since then, the Musical Backpack has been toted along on treks in the Andes, carried up 14ers, and brought down a rafting trip on the Colorado River. Everywhere it travels people are impressed by its small size and big punch! I attach it to my iPod, which has around 80 gigabytes of music on it, so we can please almost any listener.
That said, it is often inappropriate to have music playing. It is important to mention that I never use it when there are other groups around. Also, I enjoy listening to the sounds of nature as much as anyone, but on big trips, or during tough pushes through inclement weather, the Musical Backpack can't be beat.
Here is the setup.
We have a couple of different options regarding speakers.