One of the oddball things I'm taking on the Appalachian Trail is an Irish whistle. It belongs to my husband -- he has a whole set of them in different sizes and keys. I could, if all goes well, be gone 5-6 months, and I have never gone that long in my life without a musical instrument.
It's small, light, tucks between all my gear and the side of my backpack, and is easy to play. Having played music all my life, I've figured it out pretty easily. I'm not saying every tone comes true yet, but I can play it.
I'm not going to regale my campmates with concerts. What I want is to be able to play a soothing melody, usually a hymn, in my tent before settling down to sleep.
The ones I'm doing, which I've worked out as relevant to hikers (especially me):
- This is My Father's World
- Simple Gifts
- Just As I am
- For the Beauty of the Earth
- Oh, Master, Let Me Walk With Thee
- Amazing Grace
- Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart
- Aura Lee (Love Me Tender)
- Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
- All Creatures of Our God and King
The last two, I plan to play just about every evening, one or the other, as a scale warm-up. Then two rounds of just one of the others. Nothing involved or annoying... just a, "Goodnight everyone, goodnight, moon.... goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere."