October 28, 2022 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Kristen Richards | Photo by Katherine Beard

While I like to believe that nature is its own song, there is something special about the way music can be a connection to the outdoors. The rhythm of music is, at times, a crucial part of hiking and the feelings that are evoked from songs you love can emphasize the joy and relaxation of being in the natural world. Here is a list of songs that not only embody some concepts of nature but also can be applied to various landscapes for any kind of hike.

“Into the Wild” by Lewis Watson: Listen to this song in the summer, walking under the shade of trees in the heat of the afternoon. Watson positions this song as both music for reflection and for joy. This song is energetic while also being sentimental.

“Downpour” by Brandi Carlile: This is a rainy-day, muddy hike song. This song is a reminder that it is okay to go outside in the rain, weather does not have to be a hindrance to exploring the natural world, and it is okay to embrace discomfort.

“Green Mountain State” by Trevor Hall: This is a song that is reminiscent of my own years spent in New England autumn. The Green Mountain State — Vermont — is an area covered in trees, and thus, this song is an ideal one to listen to while hiking in a forest.

“Sunset Lover” by Petit Biscuit: As the song title implies, this song is for people who love the sun and the sunset. Though the lyrics are not the most present or obvious in this song, the beat and aura of the song itself is perfect for sitting outside and watching the night approach.

“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver: An essential for all hiking playlists. Denver’s songs speak directly and indirectly to the natural world, but as students who live in the Rocky Mountain region, this song can hit especially close to home. Perfect for this song is camping or hiking up (or down) a mountain.

“Island” by Will Heggadon: This song is one that is included here because of the different landscape that is described. When I think of music to listen to in the outdoors, I don’t think of an island. You don’t have to be near the ocean to listen to this song; it is beautiful anywhere.

“Wild I Am” by Vocal Few: Vocal Few makes a connection between what is wild and what is wilderness in this song. It is perfect for anywhere that could be considered a wilderness and any movement that could be considered a hike. Not only does this song encourage movement, but it also brings light to how it feels to want to be closer to nature.

“Sleep on the Floor” by The Lumineers: While not directly speaking of nature itself, this song is perfect for the kind of hiking where you wish to slip into another world for just a few moments. In its very essence, Sleep on the Floor is about movement.

While this list is in no way complete, I hope it brings to light a variety of different songs that can find their place in different experiences in nature.

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