Many people fall asleep to sound machines or white noise apps: rainstorm, crickets, waterfalls. When you’re tucked in bed at home, the sounds of the outdoors can be soothing. Yet when you’re actually sleeping outside? Sometimes the soundtrack of nature—and fellow campers—can be downright disruptive to sleep. For many people, getting a good night’s sleep if one of the biggest challenges of camping. As we’ve covered in a previous post, there are many solutions that can make sleeping in a tent more comfortable. But what about that other barrier to dreamland? Noise. For anyone who’s ever struggled to sleep on a camping trip because of noise, we’ve got some solutions for you!
Spend enough time camping, and you’ll discover that nighttime noise can be divided into two main categories: nature and neighbors. Both can be frustrating in the middle of the night and both can be nearly impossible to stop. (Aside from calling a park ranger or breaking up the party at the next campsite.) That said, you can prevent the noises from bothering you in the first place. (We’ll get to that later.)
First, let’s address the obvious. Sometimes noises outdoors can keep us awake simply because they’re unnerving. Most of us aren’t used to the ordinary nighttime sounds of the woods or anywhere else. (Aside from the more common frogs and insects.) It can often help simply to identify what we’re hearing so it doesn’t keep us on high alert. Here are some common culprits:
Raccoons are usually harmless scavengers and you might hear them scurrying through your campsite or checking out your supplies. Yet raccoons also have a wide range of sounds from chirps to squeaks to snarls. Also worth noting? Raccoons often squabble or fight with one another and when they do, it sounds way worse than it is. Think lots of vicious snarling and growling.
Coyotes are another common nighttime scavenger. They might wake you with a chorus of yips and howls as they communicate with one another (that will likely encourage your dog to join in), but they tend to be harmless and wary of people. (They’re also adaptable and can also show up in a variety of environments from the woods to suburban backyards.)
There are 19 species of owls in North America and each one has its own distinct range of calls. Each species is also nocturnal, spending the night hunting for mice and other small prey. The Great Horned Owl and Barred Owl have the most familiar calls but owls make plenty of sounds that don’t sound familiar at all such as cackles or screeches. Another thing worth noting is that owls—like all birds—have to learn their calls, which can lead to some strange, unidentifiable noises in the woods. That eerie noise you hear might simply be a baby owl calling for its parent.
Skunks are known more for their smell than their sounds but they still hiss, growl, and whimper when they need to. They’re also nocturnal and active at night.
Aside from nature noises, there are also the sounds typical to camping near large groups of people. Most campgrounds have quiet hours but they’re infrequently enforced so campers (especially tent campers) are often left to deal with noisy neighbors on their own. Of course, not all fellow campers purposely disturb the peace. When you camp near other people sounds like talking, dogs barking, car doors slamming, and generators running are often inevitable. It helps to expect this ahead of time so you can be prepared with some noise cancelling solutions.
No matter what’s keeping you awake at camp, here are some easy—and relatively inexpensive—solutions:
Here are three types of earplugs that are worth a try.
- PREMIUM HEARING & EAR PROTECTION: The NRR 32 (Noise Reduction Rating) is one of the highest available on Amazon! Avoid harming your ears and hearing in water or loud environments with these earplugs.
- ULTRA COMFORTABLE: Soft silicone ear plugs to fit your ear canal, no pain
- FOR ALL TYPES OF NOISE: Perfect for reducing, muffling and blocking sound at concerts, loud pubs & restaurants and construction sites. Protects ears during swimming and watersports, airplane flying and more!
- BPA FREE & HYPOALLERGENIC: With your safety in mind, these travel ear plugs are BPA free and hypoallergenic, wear them without skin irritation or discomfort. They are waterproof and can be washed and reused.
- BONUS TRAVEL CASES & POUCH: A convenient drawstring travel pouch holds two pairs, each in a mini case. They are light blue in color, but are very discreet and almost entirely inconspicuous when in your ear.
- THE ORIGINAL AND #1 SELLING - USA’s original and #1 selling moldable silicone ear plugs. Provides safe, non-toxic, non-allergenic waterproof protection and protects hearing from loud noises.
- THE ULTIMATE IN EARPLUG COMFORT - Mack’s soft moldable silicone putty molds very comfortably to the unique contours of any ear. These multi-use earplugs are great for sleeping, snoring, swimming, studying, bathing, travel, loud events, concerts, flying discomfort, motorcycles, etc. Lab tested and proven to help relieve airplane ear pressure and pain due to flying.
- #1 BRAND FOR SNORING - Mack’s is the #1 Doctor Recommended Brand to get a good night’s sleep when sleeping with a snoring spouse. Mack’s Earplugs have been saving marriages since 1962.
- #1 BRAND FOR PREVENTING EAR INFECTIONS - Mack’s is the #1 Doctor Recommended Brand to help prevent swimmer’s ear infections (otitis externa). Safe for use with ear tubes. Provides protection after ear surgeries. Also helps prevent Surfer’s Ear (exostosis). Mack’s are so trusted, they are the Official Earplugs of USA Swimming!
- #1 BRAND USED BY DOCTORS - Mack’s is the #1 brand of moldable silicone earplugs personally used by doctors. Mack’s original soft silicone putty formula provides a better, more comfortable fit and seal than custom molded ear plugs. These ear plugs are MADE IN THE USA and carry a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22 decibels.
If earplugs are uncomfortable, headphones are another option for muffling noise. Use them with a white noise app or a sleep-inducing playlist.
- 【Sleep Headphones & Sports Headband 2 in 1】- Lavince Sports Headband allows you to listen to your music without having to wear additional headphones, and protect you from being disturbed by your mess hair and sweat.Microphone to let you won't miss any callings.Perfect suitable for gym, workout, running, yoga and other outdoor activities. Ideal for children, college students, dorm life, shared apartments, noisy roommates, snoring spouses and co-eds.
- 【Wireless Version-5.0 Technology 】- Wireless Headband pair with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet devices quicker & easier. 45 feet wireless range, rechargeable LiPO battery and with a 2 hour charging time provides up to 10 hours of Playing Music or 12 hours of Talking with a 100 hours standby time. Perfect fit Sports or Sleep.
- 【Premium Audio Quality 】 - Thickness is only 0.25 inch speaker, which is very comfortable for sleepers. True HD HIFI sound featuring latest Bluetooth technology that produce great sound quality.
- 【Sleeping Headphones for Side Sleeper】Devices module is in the middle of speakers, won’t press the ears, which is very comfortable for side sleepers sleeping. The ultra-thin flat headphone speakers are comfortable enough to wear while lying down or sleeping on your side. They block out ambient noise without using earplugs that are painful & fall out.
- 【Fashion, Comfy & Washable】 - Our sports headband is made of special fabric, compressive on pressure to protect your ears and great breathability. Please take out the devices module before full wash the headband.
- 【Stereo Sound with Thin Speakers】Thickness is only one-third of the average speaker, which is very comfortable for sleepers. True HD HIFI sound featuring latest Bluetooth V-5.2 technology that produce great sound quality, bluetooth can pair your any Smartphones Tablets easily.Compatible with Android and Ios.It is the best gift for family or friends on travel and airplane in Festivals.
- 【Play Time More Than 9 Hour】Upgrade usb chargeable battery, Built-in 240mAh high-performance battery, Charge about 2-2.5 hours provide more than 9 hours playing time, won’t be waked up at night,enough to support the whole night.If you fall asleep with it on and the battery runs down , this bluetooth eyemask won't beeps to wakes you up. you will have a very good sleeping.
- 【Good Companion For Sleep And Travel】Block light to make your sleep better, allows you to listen to music without wearing additional headphones,which make you fall asleep faster.Extra cushion makes eye mask and nose touch better, which can be completely shaded. Best for frequent flyers to sleep on long flights or sensitive sleepers (insomnia) who dislike glaring lights in any occasions.Sleep in a light blocked world whenever and wherever.Perfect for air travel, relaxation, meditation, insomnia.
- 【Comfortable and Washable】Joseche bluetooth sleep mask is made from 95%polyester 5%cotton, and provide a soft and comfortable feeling. Fabric liner separated from stitching is not defective,it is the place to take out the bluetooth module, so you can full wash the eye mask.You don't have to worry about it shrinking and deforming.
- 【Size and Speakers Adjustable】Size is 20.3-26.5inch, Velcro is adjustable, also fit big heads,sleep eye mask can be adjusted according to the size of the head.The delicate wiring connected to the speakers that go from ear to ear is very sturdy, you can adjust adjust the position of the speakers for your ears to hear more clearly.
- 【Sleep Headphones & Wireless Earphones & Sports Headband 3 in 1】Perytong Bluetooth Sleep Headphones feature a headband design with wireless speakers inside which help to tune out external noises and lull yourself to sleep Wireless headband adopt latest Bluetooth 5 0 version with 33 feet of wireless range and compatible with most iOS Android or windows system wireless devices like smartphone table ipad or laptop
- 【Best Sleeping Headphones for Side Sleeper】The devices control module is in the middle of speakers won’t press the ears which is very comfortable for side sleepers sleeping The ultra-thin flat headphone speakers are comfortable enough to wear while lying down or sleeping on your side They block out ambient noise without using earplugs that are painful & fall out
- 【Comfortable and breathable material】this sports headband is made from a soft cool material that absorbs sweat is very breathable and fast drying making it excellent for jogging or working out These headbands are washable very easy to clean (just remove headphones from the headband)
- 【Long Battery Life】Perytong sleep headphones offer a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 hours Quality chip set ensure clear sound and lossless music even the headphones are in the sports headphones There are built-in microphone and volume control buttons which enable users to answer hands-free phone calls and handle previous/next song without having to use your phone
- 【Fashion Comfy & Washable】Our headphones headband is made of special fabric compressive on pressure to protect your ears and great breathability Please take out the Bluetooth module before full wash the headband
3. Sound machine
These small battery-powered sound machines are great for travel of all types.
- 29 SOUND OPTIONS: Featuring a cradle song which could be your baby's favorite. It is build-in 29 soothing sounds settings are available, which are non-looping and high-quality; Includes 7 types of natural white noise, 7 fan sounds and 15 nature sounds(birds, ocean waves, fetal tone, stream, thunder rain, bonfire, crickets, humming sound, music sound pendulum clock). Suitable for soothing your baby, your older kids into a deep, restful sleep; Choose your favorite sound for sleep and relaxation.
- TIMER OPINION AND MEMORY FUNCTION: The sleep sound machine features a 30, 60 or 90-minute sleep timer, The sleep machine can either play all night or automatically turns off when you want it to. whether you are taking naps, relaxation, meditation or concentration while studying or working. You can set the perfect mode based on your environment and your sleep habits. The memory function can recall your last settings of the timer, sound, and volume when you next turn it on.
- NOISE MAKER WITH NIGHT LIGHT: This sound machine night lights is very soft and mild, it could be used as a night light for kids, baby, acting as atmosphere bedside lamp by selecting color light adjustable brightness setting which could be turned off if you don't want it. (Short press to select the color from red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, violet, and white. ) The night light will turn off automatically when the timer is auto shut-off. So it is so helpful to sleep.
- HELPS WITH YOUR BABY'S SLEEP - Our portable baby sound machines for sleeping comes with the Fetal Heartbeat Sound, to mimic the sound of mother's womb to help newborn babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Whether nap time or night time, this sleep therapy sound machines help lull your baby to sleep. A sleeping baby means more sleep for the whole family!
- AIRSEE WARRANTY: All AIRSEE's white noise machines come with a liftime warranty from the date of your purchase. if you experience any problems at all with your product or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
- High Definition Crystal Clear Sound: This GAGH-003 sleep sound machine has a premium patented design, advanced digital sound, noise/wind reduction technology and unique loudspeaker cavity structure, delivering premium acoustic sound for better sleep, relaxation and sound masking.
- Nine Soothing Natural Sounds: Ocean, thunder, soothing music, white noise, wind, brook, summer night, rain, relax. This GAGH-003 machine helps you to block out distractions and create a perfect environment for sleep, relaxation or concentration. Different from similar products, our sound therapy machine has a button for each of the 9 sounds, enabling you to choose your favourite sound directly. It’s very easy to select the sounds you want
- Customized Sound Masking Effect: the GAGH-003 precise volume control allows you to set the perfect level for your unique environment. The volume control can reach a surprising level and is capable of masking a wide range of typical ambient noises. the Auto-Off timer can be set for 15, 30 and 60 minutes, thereby conserving energy.
- Natural Sleep Aid: This GAGH-003 White Noise Machine can better improve your sleep quality and enrich your concentration. It can help you get to sleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer by helping you tune out the environmental noises that might otherwise wake you. Suitable for use as a sleep aid, blocking distractions, masking tinnitus, pacifying children, soothing migraines and increasing focus for home, office, dorm, kid’s room or nursery.
- Portable & Convenient: This GAGH-003 Spa Relaxation sound machine is lightweight and portable, easily fitting into any travel bag or suitcase. It is powered by either a USB adaptor or four AA batteries. It will become your perfect travel companion, creating a familiar sleep environment when you travel for business.
If you’re camping on a warm summer night, a portable fan can cool you off plus provide some much-needed background noise.
- BATTERY POWER FAN - This 5-Inch portable fan from Treva runs on 2 D batteries (not included), cool gadgets for an awesome office desk accessories or floor fan for your summer cooling
- COMPACT DESIGN: This mini fan won’t take up much space and features a convenient folding design, so you can use it as a window fan or travel fan to go with you
- TWO-SPEED OPERATION: To accommodate your needs, the box fan features high and low speeds. The cooling fan boasts a quiet operation on both settings so you can read or relax without any distractions.
- EASY TO USE: This personal fan runs on two DD batteries (not included). To install, slide out the battery door and insert batteries following (+/-) marks, then replace door.
- EMERGENCY/DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Make sure you’re prepared with this table fan bedroom fan the next time a power outage occurs. You can stay cool and comfortable without electrical power
5. White noise app
There are a lot of white noise apps on the market, here are three of our favorites.