Bitter and Better: Take a Hike!

Greta Kooy // Columnist 

Last month, I read an article on the Daily Hive titled “Portable speakers now banned on Grouse Grind trail“ and the “misery loves company” part of me immediately lit up. 

Although I’m not known to be fond of the outdoors, I have dragged my butt up a couple of the mountains scattered around the outskirts of the city. I am a Vancouverite, after all. It would be a travesty if I didn’t at least make an attempt to behave like one. 

When I dare to venture outdoors, most of the time I have a good time. The sun feels warm and inviting on my pale, almost translucent skin, and the fresh air really is worth the throbbing pain I feel in my glutes. It’s also nice to see friends, families and couples out and about enjoying their weekends together, a truly wholesome atmosphere. 

That feeling I relish is almost immediately lost, however, the moment someone shows up with speakers. Music is subjective, I know, but it’s always the worst type of music. There’s something so special and serene about being out of the city and up in the mountains where it’s so quiet that you can hear the leaves drop from the trees above. Silence, much like ignorance, is bliss. 

Speaking of ignorance, which is apparently this column’s most overused word, I need to address something loud and clear (if you can even hear it). No one wants to hear your shitty music. 

Again, music is idiosyncratic. I understand that and can appreciate the beauty in people having different tastes, especially when it comes to something as personal as music. That being said, it’s unfair for someone to force their punk rock or melodramatic lyrics on others when we’re all just trying to be healthy human beings and enjoy a nice hike out in beautiful British Columbia. 

Since I’m not one for hiking all that often, I decided to ask a couple of people who are.  

My mom loves hiking, and it’s only because of her that I go out when I do. When I asked her how she felt about the speaker issue, this is what she had to say. “I tell them to turn it off! But in fact, usually there’s someone much younger than me who tells them. You’re in the mountains for peace and quiet and to experience the beauty around you – not clubbing,” she said exasperatedly. 

Our Features Editor, Freya Wasteneys, is an avid adventurer who finds herself outdoors far more often than yours truly. “I find it a little bit obnoxious… especially when you’re in a remote area. It just feels inconsiderate,” she said. “There are places for [your music].” The outdoors simply isn’t one of them. 

And she’s right. It’s completely inconsiderate, and the people who blast their music are well aware of it. That’s the worst part about it all – that they’re cognizant of their annoying and disrespectful behaviour, but they just don’t care. 

The inconsiderate punks with their speakers aren’t confined to the trails unfortunately. They’re even on the bus. I don’t hate people that blast their tunes, but it’s fair to say that if you do, be bloody well aware of your surroundings. You wouldn’t show up at a Lamaze class with your guns blazing and speakers blaring, so why do it on a public trail where you know others are most certainly going to be bothered by it? 

I realize those are two entirely different points, but you get it. 

I’m also not insinuating that if you’re out with friends, or whomever, that you can’t play your music out loud. It sets the mood and gets you pumped up for the hellishly long hike you’re about to embark on. But I just can’t stress enough that you need to pay attention to your surroundings and the mood on the trail. And if you can’t even do that, then I’m showing up at your Lamaze class with some classics you’re bound to hate. 

 

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