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 folding camping bed 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.)