Author Topic: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?  (Read 3395 times)

Kaplin261

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How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« on: July 04, 2017, 02:29:50 PM »
So for father's day weekend my wife finally agreed to go on a camping trip with me and our 3 year old son. We went to Cave Mountain Lake, it is a state owned and operated park in Virginia. We had no electricity or water at the camp sites. We want to go back and try to do this 4-5 times a year as we all had a great experience. However sleep was a issue.

When we first went to bed it was very hot. The second problem was we could keep hearing people talk and moving around all the way till midnight. At home we use a box fan for white noise and this works great at helping us sleep, however since we have no power at the campsite we couldn't use our box fan. I did purchase a battery operated fan and put 8 D cell batteries in it, but it just didn't compare to what we use at home and we could barely feel any air.

So when I got back I did a lot of research on fans and the only fan I could find that compares to the Lasko box fan we use in the bedroom was a high performance 12v radiator fan from amazon. It costed under $20, it requires 12v and 80w or 6.6ah. My first thought would be to use 8 D cell batteries like the previous fan, and this did work but for only a little more than a hour. Other options would be to custom make a battery pack out of lithium ion 18650 batteries $300 or to use huge deep cell golf cart batteries $240.

Im hoping someone has a more mustachian way of solving this problem. It would be greatly appreciated.

Kaplin261

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 03:13:31 PM »
I enjoy car camping.  I would take a different approach - I don't think a fan is the best answer.  Find a more family friendly campground.  Some have more secluded sites where you aren't on top of your neighbors.  Most have quiet hours - check on that and call to ensure they are enforcing them before you book. 

As for the heat, it's hit or miss with the weather.  You may be cold next time.  Most decent tents can be opened up pretty good - take off the rain fly, open all windows and that should help.  Maybe the orientation of the tent can lead to better airflow.  Stay up a little later watch the stars until it cools off enough (go ahead and send the kiddo to bed earlier if needed).  This also solves the problem of others making noise, as you'll be staying up later too.

Have fun!

The white noise really helps me fall asleep and stay asleep. Good sleep ensures i'm energetic the next day.

scottish

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 06:42:49 PM »
I always found my vehicle's electrical system handy for car camping for lights and compressors and so on.   It won't deliver 80 watts all night though.

Something like this would run all night:   https://www.amazon.com/Xutu-Powerful-Adjustable-Portable-Electric/dp/B06XQF1892/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&qid=1499215275&sr=8-28-spons&keywords=fan+brushless+dc+motor&psc=1

turketron

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 06:54:42 PM »
Does it have to be a fan? It sounds like you need it more for the noise than for the airflow. How about a battery powered white noise machine? Just checking on Amazon, I see are plenty that work on batteries: https://www.amazon.com/HoMedics-SS-2000G-Relaxation-Machine-Nature/dp/B00A2JBMRE

Linea_Norway

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 02:11:31 AM »
I always bring ear plugs -> very Mustachian.
But I like to have silence when I sleep, not white noise.

What we do often, is camping in the wild. Especially if you are at a campsite that offers not electricity or water, then the only thing a camp site offers more than "the wild" is a loo, a place to leave garbage and other campers. Garbage is easy to take back home and the loo is everywhere out of sight. Toilet paper can also be taken home in a plastic bag.
But this wild camping gives you opportunities to be quite alone. I have found that when you are camping with a car, these places are sometimes hard to find and if they are available, you aren't the only person there and then you again get the problem with people walking around late at night. If you go hiking with a backpack, it is a whole different story. You can put up your tent anywhere in a beautiful place. With a three year old this might be more challenging, as he/she must also be carried on your back. Or what about an outdoor wagon? https://www.rambler.company/en/home

Now I have strayed from the original question. Just bring along ear plugs. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Earplugs-Reusable-Designed-Sleeping-Construction/dp/B06XXXWPP5/ref=sr_1_5_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499242378&sr=8-5&keywords=ear%2Bplugs&th=1 should do the trick.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 02:14:11 AM by Linda_Norway »

oblivo

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 03:38:44 AM »
You can play a white noise or pink noise track on repeat on a smart phone's speakers, pretty energy efficient and requires no new devices

No-battery solution: find a camp site near a stream
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 03:53:41 AM by oblivo »

Dee18

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 04:29:34 AM »
If you are in a campground with campsites close together your louder "white noise fan" could easily be your neighbor's all-night annoyance.

Aminul

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 09:38:51 AM »
If you are set on bringing a fan, Ryobi makes an 18v fan that sounds like it would do the trick.  You'd have to bring a battery per day or find a way to re-charge the battery during the day.

I would echo the advise of others:  A campsite near a lake or stream will provide a ton of white noise.  If you still want to go to sleep earlier, try more exercise during the day to wear yourself out.  I've slept like a baby in a car-campground, on a holiday weekend after hiking all day.

As for the heat:  If discretion allows, leave one (or both) of the tent fly doors open/rolled up.  If your tent has a vent on it, make sure it's open and pointed into the wind.  Open your sleeping bag up and use it like a blanket. 

mm1970

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 09:41:22 AM »
Does it have to be a fan? It sounds like you need it more for the noise than for the airflow. How about a battery powered white noise machine? Just checking on Amazon, I see are plenty that work on batteries: https://www.amazon.com/HoMedics-SS-2000G-Relaxation-Machine-Nature/dp/B00A2JBMRE
Yep, we had a similar one when we had our second kid - it helped him sleep.  Runs very well on batteries.  Had nature sounds and ... white noise.

honeybbq

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 10:06:09 AM »
Can you use ear plugs instead?

lentil

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 10:51:56 AM »
You've gotten lots of good suggestions, and I'll particularly second the suggestion of sleep headphones. I have a pair which are basically soft foam discs tucked inside a headband, and it lets me listen to white noise apps, or audiobooks, or whatever I want to, without impinging on the experience of others. I don't use them often while camping, but I do bring them when I'm in the kind of campground you're describing. It helps a lot for those occasional nights when someone is being thoughtlessly disruptive! I think you can also get under-the-pillow speakers, which might be easier to adjust to, but I'd be cautious...noise carries really far on a quiet evening in camp.

And to add my voice to the chorus, I camp a ton, and all-night electronic noise in a campground is just bad manners. Unless you're in a campground where generators are literally running all night long, I guess (which are generally not tent-friendly places in my experience, but it's been a long time since I spent the night in an eastern state park campground, so maybe I'm forgetting how different things can be). Nobody goes camping so they can hear a stranger's electronics, music, white noise, or whatever run all night long.

I'll add that I think practice helps a lot. Like your family, I sleep with a fan at home, and it's incredibly important to my sleep habits. But I also camp a lot, and my tent feels at least as much like "home" as my bed does. So have fun, wear yourselves out during the day, sleep under a light sheet if it's hot (and definitely open up the fly, or take it off altogether!), and repeat the experience as often as possible, and I bet you'll find that the camping environment gets more comfortable and sleep-inducing with practice! It's really just part of learning something new, and I'm so glad to hear that you all had a great time even with less-than-perfect sleep.

Lady SA

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 11:32:10 AM »
I was going to suggest ear plugs before I scrolled down and saw like 5 people also suggest that.

At home, we have a large fan for white noise to help fall and stay asleep. But while camping (and we camp a lot) I actually prefer ear plugs because there's a lot of unfamiliar noises that tend to wake me up (birds chirping, animal rustling, other campers getting up at 3am to pee, other campers talking, etc). I'm used to my house noises so there white noise is fine, but even the tiniest outside noise tends to wake me up just because its unfamiliar. So ear plugs are a must for me when camping. I also find that with the rush of blood, there is a bit of "white noise" with ear plugs too :)

I also bring a sleep mask just because I can't sleep if there's light, so early sunrises wake me up well before I'm ready.

TrMama

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Re: How can I car camp with a tent like a Mustachian?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 03:01:58 PM »
I always bring an extra tarp. String it up over the tent to provide extra shade.

If one set of neighbours is being particularly loud, there's also the option of going over there and politely asking them to tone it down. You know, because your 3yo is having trouble sleeping ;-)