A couple of things have changed my mind a little, and made me think about giving an mp3 a shot. First, I never sleep very well when I'm camping- I tend to wake up a few times a night. It's a bit of a faff to read when I do wake up- find the book, find the torch etc. I haven't tried reading in the bivvy yet but I would gues that would be a pain. A bit of music might be just the ticket. Second, on my last trip, I wasted a fair bit of time not enjoying myself. Often, I do like walking in the mist and I do have a thing about experiencing the outdoors rather than shutting it out, but selective use of music may well have helped.
So when my sister asked what I wanted for my birthday I asked for an mp3. I am not a technologically minded person- I own virtually nothing in the way of gadgets and I still like to have a physical object in my hand when I buy music. I owned an mp3 when they first came out and managed to get about three songs on it before I abandoned it, so I wasn't bothered by complexity. But of course technology moves on and so what I got from a basic mp3 pretty much blew me away. It's the Archos 1 vision-and as far as mp3's go I gather it's for the 'casual' user, which I guess is me. It's advertised as 28g but the headphones put it up to 41g on my scales. I could use it without reading the instructions and it's got 4G of memory. Pretty much exactly what I needed. So what have I put on it? First thing on was a bunch of Bob Cartwright's excellent podcasts. I have listened to a few on the free cds he sends out with his products, but there's five years of podcasts for me to catch up on. Perfect tent listening I reckon, inspiring rather than jarring. My next target was some audio books. Librivox has hundreds for free- amazing! While the entire text of 'The decline and fall of the Roman empire' tempted me I decided that it was a bit like one of those ambitious peak bagging routes I plan and then fail to complete. So I now have H Rider Haggard's 'Alan Quartermain' downloaded. Easy listening for post hill exhaustion but exciting stuff nonetheless. And music? Pretty much the first album I got on there was U.F. Orb. A blatant sign of a misspent youth during the 90's, it's got to be my favourite album of all time. O.O.B.E still has the power to send a shiver down my spine and Blue room is just incredible.This will be the one for midnight dozing. In fact I'm getting all of my Orb back catalogue on it. Orbus Terarrum has a much more 'earthy' feel and tracks like 'Oxbow lakes' may well make for a decent black dog dispeller. I'll take it on the next trip and see how it goes.