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Camp Guitars Make the Music Travel with You

July 28, 2011
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Strumming a song on a guitar around the campfire can be as soothing to the ears as snacking on finger-licking good s’mores are to the palate and just as much a classic part of the camping spirit. Only trouble is, even if you have the room, do you really want to expose your delicate studio instrument to the humidity, dust, water, temperature extremes and downright roughness of the camping environment?

Luckily, the marketplace of travel guitars has exploded. And, while they shouldn’t be expected to fulfill the full-bodied sound of a seasoned dreadnought or the rich tones of a classical guitar, many of these travel guitars will comfort the diehard guitar players who don’t want to leave home without their instrument.

For the longest time musicians were enticed by Martin’s Backpacker with its weirdly shaped body no bigger than a cigar box. Designed for the trail, it was a serious instrument for those of us who really wanted to bring our music into the backcountry. Others soon followed with several sizes and designs marketed as travel guitars. Names such as Trailblazer and Rover clearly suggested these guitars were specifically designed to be your traveling, music-producing sidekick.

Another approach used to promote the instrument as a travel guitar was to make the entire guitar smaller than most full-sized models. In some cases the guitar was downsized to 75 percent of the standard models. Called “three-quarter” or “baby” guitars, most will fit into overhead bins on commercial airlines. These are also popular first guitars parents often buy for their aspiring guitar-playing child. Technology has even enabled one manufacturer to offer as close to a two-piece guitar as is possible. The Voyage-Air literally folds in two where the neck meets the body.

Here is a sample of some of those camp-friendly guitars that can have you singing around the campfire on your next outdoor adventure.

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