Tips for Camping with Hearing Aids
Big fan of the outdoors? Want to establish a connection with nature? Dragged along on a camping trip? Regardless of why you’re camping, you should be prepared. Here’s what to pack, how to keep up with hearing aid maintenance, and how to stay safe.
What to Pack When Camping with Hearing Loss
Aside from the obvious things on your packing list (proper footwear, tent, etc.), you’ll need to pack extra to accommodate your hearing loss. Luckily, hearing aids and their accessories are fairly small, and you don’t need to fret too much about other items. Here’s a quick checklist to help you prepare your bag.
- Light sources. Some people with hearing loss rely at least partially on lipreading or sign language to communicate. Having several lamps and flashlights on hand can help with this. In the event of an emergency, lights can also be used to signal hard-of-hearing people in the dark.
- Map of the area. This is important, regardless of whether you have hearing loss or not. It’s important to rely on visual maps versus spoken directions.
- Your hearing aids! If you have hearing aids, you should take them. Even if you’re trying to rely on your other senses and enjoy the silence, it’s important to keep them on hand. If you don’t have hearing aids, it’s doubly important that you take a friend or pet instead.
- Hearing aid cleaning kit. Maintenance doesn’t stop during your camping trip — in fact, it’s twice as important. If you plan on hiking or doing outdoor activities, you need to be prepared just in case your hearing aids get dirty.
- Container of rice/dehumidifier. While you should avoid getting your hearing aids wet, there’s a chance it will happen anyway. Be prepared for that.
- Replacement batteries. Pack as many batteries as you need, with an extra pair or two. If you’re visiting a cold place, this is extremely important. Zinc-air batteries run out faster in the cold, so you should pack extra.
- Portable power bank. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, packing a power bank is a good idea.
Keeping Up With Hearing Aid Care
As mentioned above, it’s important to stay on top of your maintenance routine while camping with hearing aids. While you shouldn’t feel held back by your hearing aids, you should make accommodations to make sure they don’t get broken or ruined.
- Clean your hearing aids every night. Even if you’re just performing a simple clean, make sure to check them before bedding down for the night. They may have gotten sweaty or dirty during your activities.
- Keep them safe. If you don’t have a hearing aid case, invest in a hard case. This will protect your hearing aids when you’re not wearing them. Make sure you place your case and hearing aids somewhere close and safe when you’re sleeping.
- Don’t panic if they get dirty/wet. Some hearing aids are designed with water-resistant coatings and sealed ports. Don’t test your hearing aids’ durability, but don’t panic if they get dirty or wet. Just take out the batteries, clean/dry them thoroughly, and place them in their dehumidifier.
- Avoid intense/direct heat & sunlight. Never set down your hearing aids near a fire or hotplate, even if you’re trying to dry them out. Don’t leave them in direct sunlight either.
- Be mindful of the cold. Cold weather can cause condensation to collect on your hearing aids. Wipe them down often and wear a sweatband or hat to wick away moisture while you’re wearing them.
- Get them checked afterwards. Better safe than sorry. After returning home, make another trip to your Hearing Care Professional (HCP). They can check over your hearing aids and give them a professional clean.
Staying Safe Outdoors
Above all else, it’s important that you stay safe during your trip. While you shouldn’t be afraid of the great outdoors, you should be cautious when going into the woods.
- Plan your activities with hearing loss in mind. Avoid things like kayaking, canoeing, or other water-based sports. Try hiking, ziplining, and horseback riding instead. You should also plan your trip with weather forecasts in mind.
- Take a friend (or a pet). Solo camping can be a great opportunity to be alone with your thoughts and clear your head. However, you should consider taking at least one friend, or even a pet! They will pick up on sounds you can’t, and they’ll enjoy the trip too.
- Talk to your camp neighbors, rangers, or camp host. If you’re going to be camping in a zone with other people, talk to those people and let them know you’re there. Rangers and camp hosts can help you in case you get lost or injured.
- Let people know where you’re going. Never leave for a camping trip without letting friends and family know which park and campgrounds you’re going to. If you’re group-camping, make sure to tell your companions where you’re going when you leave camp.
- Establish an emergency plan. If something goes wrong, make sure you’re clear on what to do. This might involve sending out an emergency signal, or just staying put and calling for someone.
And most importantly, you should try to have fun! Many people cite nature as one of the most calming influences in their life, and camping is a great way to experience that influence. Just be respectful and cautious of your surroundings, and never go camping unprepared!
If you found this article helpful or interesting, you might benefit from our other blogs. Signia Hearing regularly releases guides and articles on aural health and living with hearing loss. We cover a broad range of topics, offering tips and advice and educating people about hearing loss and its causes. Consider going through our archive of content, and subscribe for notifications when we release more!