After a long day on the trail, getting a good night’s sleep is essential to provide your body with time for healing and refreshment. Unfortunately, having lightweight gear means that the different materials and textures often create noise which is not always pleasant when trying to sleep.
Here are some steps you can take to make your sleeping pad less noisy:
Step #1 – Locate The Noise
Determine where your sleeping pad is making noise; for example, is the noise coming from the pad itself, between you and the sleeping pad, or between the sleeping pad and the tent floor or the ground (or a combination of all three).
Finding the location of the noise can help you pinpoint what is causing it and come up with a solution to remedy the noise.
Step #2 – Come up with a plan to remedy the noise
Checking The Pad Itself
If you determine the noise is coming from the pad itself, the best course of action is to make sure you have followed the manufacturer’s directions and all plastic/stickers are removed from the pad.
Next, check to ensure the air valves are secure and finally make sure the right side faces up (if the pad in question has different surfaces on top vs. bottom.
Checking The Pad vs. Surfaces It Comes Into Contact With
Next, you should make sure the pad does not contact any surfaces that might make it noisy. For example, depending on the pad’s material and the material on the tent floor, they could interact with one another and create loud noises. Some sleeping pads have felt like material on the bottom that keeps the pad from slipping around and keeps it from making unnecessary noise.
The second area common for making noise with sleeping pads is the pad and the clothing you are wearing. For example, many hiking clothes are made from nylon and/or polyester, making a lot of noise when coming into contact with certain sleeping pads.
Lastly, you should make sure the pad is not rubbing against any other gear that might be near it.
If the noise is still coming from a pad that has been checked and verified to be in good condition, it’s time to move on.
Try Positioning Yourself On The Pad Differently
The noise may be coming from how you are lying on the pad. Try to take a different position and see if that helps with how loud it sounds.
How frequently you toss and turn can create many sounds if you can keep from rolling around (yes, I know, easier said than done!).
Forums and Facebook Groups can have people with tremendous amounts of experience in hiking and camping. See if someone else owns the same pad as you and if it is making noises. These people may have some suggestions that worked for them.
Step #3 – Test After Making Changes
After you make some changes test it out to see if the noise is gone. If so, great! Keep making changes until you find the right combination that will keep your pad silent and comfortable for sleeping.
Temporary Solutions If You Have a Noisy Sleeping Pad While Camping or Hiking
There are many temporary solutions you can try; some examples include:
- Place a piece of foam under the mat; this will keep the pad from coming into contact with the bottom of your tent. An added benefit is the foam will also help protect your pad from getting punctured.
- Place your clothes near where the pad will be; these can act as a barrier between the noisy sleeping pad and any other gear that it might be coming into contact with and creating the noise.
- As a last resort, a good temporary measure is to wear earplugs to block out any noise from the sleeping pad, allowing you to sleep.
- You can just put up with the noise; while not ideal, some people understand that challenges happen when sleeping outdoors, and they are ok toughing it out and ignoring the noise.
Purchase A Different Sleeping Pad That Won’t Make noise
If you have exhausted all other options, you should consider purchasing a different sleeping pad that will make less noise than the current one you have.
If possible, try to test the new sleeping pad at the store before you buy it to determine if it makes any undesirable noises or if the retailer has a generous return policy; take the pad home and try it out in your house or backyard to see if it meets your needs. Of course, you can always return it if it doesn’t.
You may also want to try and change the type of sleeping pad you use; an air-filled sleeping pad will make different noise than a foam one. In addition, some sleeping pads will have different insulating materials within the pad; some of these materials will be sound deadening and help reduce the amount of noise you experience.
I hope these tips were helpful for you in solving your problem of how to make your sleeping pad quieter!
In conclusion, it is just about making minor modifications and testing things out following the steps above until you find a combination that works for you.