Along with trekking and camping, I am too involved in musical instruments that I play. And, I always have had a thought of carrying my six-string with me on some long hike for entertainment during I camp at some site. ( I have so far always have taken care of safety issues/procedures related Campsite Selection), but still I wonder if its is absolutely safe (with active Wildlife perspective) to play musical instruments like Harp/harmonica or a flute or even a guitar in wilderness?

I would love to carry my Harmonica or a Flute with me ( being extremely portable as compared to a guitar), but what worries me more is that usually such wind instruments generate frequencies that are audible over a longer distance as compared to a guitar which is a string instrument (but hardly portable).

Animals that are usually seen are: Wild Boars, Deer, Wild Dogs, Hyena.
Very Rarely seen but confirmed (by unofficial sources like Farmers and Woodcutters frequently visiting the area) of being there: Leopard, Jaguar, Sloth Bears, Tiger(But I doubt on these except Sloth Bears)

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    I'm curious why you think musical instruments would be unsafe? Are you worried about attracting wildlife or?
    – studiohack
    Sep 12, 2013 at 17:01
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    I would think that anything like an instrument is going to sound out-of-place to animals, perhaps even distinctly human, and they'll avoid the area, unless some stronger motivation draws them in, like cooking food. Sep 13, 2013 at 1:53
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    If your playing is to bad that you think animals will attack to make the noise stop, then you should either practise more or leave the instrument home. Sep 20, 2013 at 13:18
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    A fried of mine uses a plastic flute (found one with decent tone) as he didn't want to expose a wooden one nor his guitar to the usual moisture at camping/hiking/biking trips. Unless you're in an area where the bears have learnt that bear bells ring for breakfast I think the noise will not attract the wildlife. Not so sure about driving them off: lots of animals don't care at all about loud sounds unless they are "natural human/animal" (steps, voices): Going into the wood with an old & loud tractor, in my experience the deer will flee when you shut down the engine and get off, not before. Sep 22, 2013 at 10:15
  • 2
    Good luck carrying a harp whilst hiking!
    – Phil
    Apr 16, 2014 at 10:28

3 Answers 3


Wind-chimes where originally designed to keep wildlife away, for example Wolves don't like sounds they don't know, that's why it will keep them away.

So it's safer (to play an instrument) than not playing an instrument on your campsite


Friends of mine were going for a trip to Canada. They told me that walking the woods they were singing/whistling/clapping most of the time. The main issue is alarming bears abruptly which can cause them to attack. I guess this is true for other wild animals too.

I made a quick google search to verify this. You can find tips very easily, like e.g. here where they say:

Don't surprise bears. If you're hiking, make your presence known. Make noise by talking loudly, singing, or wearing a bell. If you can, travel with a group. Groups are noisier and easier for bears to detect.

Don't play the flute too badly though, that could cause wild animals to dislike humans ;)  

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    This is the theory behind bear bells. However you should know the joke about telling grizzly scat from brown bear scat: grizzly scat has bear bells in it :-) Apr 17, 2014 at 15:06

I have been recommended to carry a tin can, filled partly with gravel. This will rattle and oust snakes, boars, bears.

I have no idea how effective this would be. Playing a musical instrument should have similar effect, as suggested by all the comments.

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    Thanks for the info Sir. But I have one doubt about: How would a Tin Can filled partly with gravel will rattle and oust snakes? In case of Boars and Bears, (As people commented about) would work. Snakes I believe can't hear. They don't have external ears, rather they don't have any hearing ability.
    – WedaPashi
    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:00
  • @WedaPashi, I believe they hear through skin and bones (and a google search on "snake hearing") confirms this. Still no idea if this would work :(
    – Vorac
    Sep 17, 2013 at 11:00
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    I believe snakes have senses that are stimulated by vibrations, and few of them do have an organ like Jacobson's Organ for sensing heat signature
    – WedaPashi
    Sep 20, 2013 at 5:15

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