Did you know that the average healthy human ear can recognize frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hertz (Hz)? It can also tell the difference between sounds that are familiar and sounds that are new, which can warn you of potential danger and help you be more aware of your surroundings. This is an important sense to have when you’re out camping, hiking, or hunting. The ability to hear rustling bushes and trees, the sound of a twig snapping, or rushing waters isn’t just pleasant - it can be life-saving.
1. Protect Yourself by Being Aware of Your Surroundings
Experienced hikers will inform you that you should be alert and on guard if the forest you walk through is too quiet. If birds and other animals are silent, it’s because they know a predator is in the area. Depending on where you live, keep an eye out for bears or mountain lions. DO NOT keep food in a space where you’ll be sleeping and hanging around. The large animals will initially look for that food.
Being able to hear unusual noises in your environment can signal that there’s an animal in the bushes nearby. You will normally hear animals before you see them, or don’t see them at all. A sharp sense of hearing will act as a harbinger to keep you prepared for any dangerous encounters.
2. Camping and Hearing Aid Usage
If you’re a new or long-time hearing aid user, you may be unsure about the best way to camp or backpack with your devices. Here are some tips to keep your hearing aids working while enjoying the great outdoors:
Carry extra batteries or a portable charger
Be prepared when traveling anywhere. Purchase extra batteries in case you need them, and store them in a cool, dry place when they are not being used. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, bring a portable charger so that you can recharge them without an electrical outlet.
Keep your hearing aids dry
Pack a cleaning cloth, dehumidifier, and a hat or headband to cover your ears if the weather is cold, wet, or windy. A Ziplock bag can be used to store these items.
Keep your hearing aids cool
Extreme temperatures, especially heat, can damage the wiring and other technology in your hearing aids. Remove them if you plan on sitting close to a smoldering campfire, do not place them in direct sunlight, and do not leave them in a hot car.
Get your hearing aids checked
Before going off on your outdoor adventure, make an appointment with your hearing aid provider. Inform them that you will be camping and might need your hearing aids re-programmed to hear the different environments you’ll be in.
Make friends and family aware of your trip
Whenever you plan to go into a secluded area, whether it’s alone or with at least one other person, always tell someone you know where you are going and when they should expect you to return. Do not wander away alone for any reason, especially if it’s dark out.
3. Hearing Safety and Hunting Outdoors
When gun safety is discussed, protecting your hearing is a topic that doesn’t get covered. In addition to safe gun use and storage, it’s important to protect your ears from the deafening noise of gunshots. The sound from a single shot can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Since hunters need to be aware of their surroundings and hear their prey, choose hearing protection that muffles sounds, but also allows softer sounds in a forest environment to be heard. Custom earplugs are an excellent option. Talk to a hearing aid provider about getting a customized fitting for earplugs.
If you, or a loved one, wear hearing aids and plan on spending an extensive amount of time outdoors, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing aid tune-up, professional cleaning, or supplies.
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