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Fromage

Tunes for Denali

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I'm going sledding in Alaska this summer, and given the parameters of my trip I anticipate spending lots of time in the tent. My tentmate is probably going to bring a fiddle, and as entertaining as that sounds, I would like to have some music of my own choosing to drown out the howling winds. Rumors have swirled of ipods malfunctioning at high altitude, and then there is always the power source issue. I want to take a music player that stores at least 20 hours of songs and runs on widely available alkaline batteries and will work at 14k+. Any suggestions? If this question has already been covered before, please forgive my ignance/laziness and direct me to the archive.

 

:rawk:

 

"So put your aaaaaaaaaaarrrms around me, your dinner lady arms..."

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I have seen iPods do well up to 20k regularly, and those little solar chargers seem to be sweet. I have seen iPods failing to work at 21+k.

 

There is probably lighter, longer-charge lasting stuff for the amount of tunes you want to bring (20 hrs).

 

Music is key!

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Whoa, finally a question that I'm qualified to answer! (I'm a CS Major/IT guy, and am always blown away by how much everyone else knows about climbing)...

 

Your biggest considerations are:

1) Durability

2) Battery life/Means of charging

 

Luckily, both of these factors push you in the same direction: flash memory. Flash memory is more durable than a hard drive because there are no moving parts. This makes it more shock resistant than hard drives. It also makes it more able to weather the cold elements. Manufacturers may deny it in order to limit their legal warranty obligations, but nearly all Flash players on the market can withstand colder temperatures than their hard drive counterparts.

 

Flash memory also squeezes more juice out of your batteries because unlike with a hard drive, there is no need to spin a motor. Some manufacturers will offset this tradeoff by packing a bigger battery in their hard drive players than in their flash players (see: Apple); however that means that you're hauling around those extra couple of ounces.

 

If you plan on bringing AA batteries and/or your Solar panel can charge AA batteries, then I strongly recommend the iRiver T10 . It comes in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB models and gets a solid 35 hours of battery life on a single AA battery (they advertise 45 hours).

 

I cannot good-heartedly encourage you to buy an iPod, because I had an iPod shuffle that had a clear manufacturer's defect that Apple would not replace or fix even though it was within the warranty period. I've stayed clear of the company ever since.

 

That said, Apple's flash-memory players include the Nano and the Shuffle. Both can charge via a USB port, which the Brunton SolarPort has.

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The iPod failures at altitude were the hard disk drive variety and were caused by the reader arm (which floats on an air cushion) not being supported at low atmospheric pressure and crashing into the HD surface.

 

Not an issue with the flash memory based iPods.

 

I'd recommend getting a headphone jack splitter so you and your tent mate can both listen to the iPod. A cheap pair of external speakers is a good option too. Entertain the whole camp.

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I'm a big fan of bringing speakers for lower camps. Mealtimes, rest days. Style points when used properly (i.e. not bugging sleeping tents etc.), helps bring together people from different countries too.

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Either brings them together or else bring them to blows. Last thing on earth I want to hear when I am in the mountains is someone else's music, which with my luck would always be hip hop or rap.

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I was camped out at appleby dome in the bugaboos and some jackass packs in speakers. All I remember is I'm trying to get to sleep for an alpine start the next day and all I hear is this jackass with his speakers. If you need music that bad you should just stay at home with the comforts of technology to insulate you from reality.

 

Ok maybe I'm just a little bit bitter about that unfortunate event. I figure do what you want unless your bugging other people and speakers in the wilderness is just a little bit over the top. Headphones I could see but really I wonder why a person can't be content with their surroundings without an added distraction.

 

 

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Years ago I bought a $5 radio at Sears and started carrying it on climbing trips. It's the size of an old walkman and has a built in speaker and a long antenna. I always carry wire in my repair kit and connect the wire to the antenna and in turn wrap the wire around the tent poles. It's lightweight, an endless source of music and the batteries last about 40 hours. In the Alaska Range you can pick up radio stations from all over (even in the Ruth) and up high you'll have a plethora of stations to choose from; the speaker means both you can your partner can lounge around in your bags listening to NPR.

 

PS... I agree with fheimerd and have always been considerate of others and kept the volume low. However in regards to peace and quiet... after 3 weeks in a tent you'll be wanting to hear something other than your partner's breathing.

 

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as stated: flash memory (preferably with card add-on compatibility), AA or AAA batteries (bring lithium), and an FM reciever.

 

I use a sandisk and have been happy there and elsewhere. You can get 'em cheap online and get 1gb cards (one for each genre of music or playlist) for less and $20 each. plus, if you run out of card space on your camera, you can format a music card and have more storage space.

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And now what kind of music would you recommend for long trips? Variety is the spice of life, so make some recommendations.

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Barry Manalow, Pet Shop Boys, Vanilla Ice Greatest Hit, Bee Gees, Ohhh iI forget the rest of the good stuff.

"I write the songs that make the whole world sing, I write...." la la la.........

 

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