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Green Eggs and Spam
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a question I just found out I have.

I have moved to a different region of the US then I am familiar with.

Me and a friend did a night of stealth camping a month back.

My friend is an ex-Army guy that has camped outside in the bush all over. He was teasing me some when I mentioned that I didn't like the "odd" sounds.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I am used to odd sounds at night. However, my mind can wrap itself around the fact that critter noises happen, and all is well.

I was NOT a happy camper with the weird sounds while stealth camping in this new region.

Is there some trick to getting used to night time sounds that are "normal" vs those that are not?

I was USAF (that should be hard to figure) and my first dorm after basic was DIRECTLY UNDER the take off route for night flights. I didn't sleep for the first several nights; turns out I got there just when it was the time of year when night flights were common.

About a month later a new guy arrives to the dorm. Yea, he has blood shot eyes and asks how often the base does night flights. I never heard a thing. And, BTW, the brain can shut out certain sounds if you live near an Interstate, or cross country Rail-line.

So, if I live near an airport, can I train my brain to ignore chipmuncks in Tennesse? If I came from the PNW, can I train my brain to understand the sounds of the south that are worth sleeping through?
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Unfortunately, exposure to those noises is really the only way. That's how you got used to the noises that you're used to now.
 

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Patiently Waiting
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"Is there some trick to getting used to night time sounds that are "normal" vs those that are not?"

Yes, ear plugs.
 

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i think you've answered your own question. learn to identify the "new normal"sounds then you will feel more comfortable with them. once you know it is only (whatever) your mind will settle down and you will be able to zone those sounds out and your sub conscious will be able to isolate the "unusual" sounds in a short while. back to normal before you know it!
 

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Yes get out and camp even more.

I get nervouse when the sounds stop. Animals/critters will get quiet when there is a problem. except snakes that is. The ones that can eat you don't make sounds and the others are an alarm system. enjoy the sounds.
 

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Sometimes it the lack of sounds. In the South most people are conditioned to the sound of the AC, in most places its the sound of cars/trucks. It'll be the lack of familiar sounds that will freak a lot of people out.
 

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Homesteader
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I've spent the last ten years living where the only sounds at night are the wind, rain, the occasional coyote, and the train way off in the distance. Street noises from the city make me crazy if I am visiting, and I have a hard time sleeping.

It's all what you are used to.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I second the earplugs..my hunting camp is full of guys who can snore pretty bad...earplugs gives me a good nights sleep
Earplugs are great when you're camping and such. But in a survival situation, they're a liability. About the only solution is getting used to the change. I tend to be sensitive to that too, being a light sleeper/insomniac.

Camping has always been a problem for me for the first few days as I adjust to the new environment. This is part of the reason I've always preferred to live out of the city, where it's quiet to start with.
 

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Never Give up
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Best way is for me is my dogs and a nice rifle. Now I dont worry about noises. My dogs do. I treat them like Kings and they treat me the same way.
 

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Misfit Toy
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Environmental Rhythm - situational awareness. These are good skills to develope. Don't drown them out with ear plugs or ipods, lol.

I sat up one night, all night keeping a fire roaring up north (we were tent camping) because the coyotes were running through the brush all around our campsite.

My wife and kids were terrified and locked in the jeep....I'll just be honest, I don't have good sense, I've always had a weird death wish mentality....so I sat out and got high on the adrenaline, lol.

I love the bush...get to know it well. Every environment is different; it's fun to try to figure out whats around you. Imo, anyway.
 

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^^ That, right up there!

You're afraid of the unknown (the OP). Until you either know what animal makes what sound, or you're confident that when you hear that sound that you are still safe, it's going to bother you.

Go back out with the same guy, stay up late and start asking 20 questions about each sound. Once the unknown is gone, the fear will go with it.
 

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I would see if you have an local folk that can help you out. I knew a wonderful old woodsmen (a Japanese prisoner of war) who used to walk with me through the woods. We both had dogs with us. He taught me so much, like how to walk silently, what sounds where what. He was an awesome chap. Its amazing what great people you meet walking the dogs.

There might be something on You Tube about night sounds etc in your local area.


On a side note, I went on holiday some years back with three other girls who were townies. We went to a spiritual retreat set on a large country estate and were put in a four bed dorm. In the middle of the night I was woken by one girl screeching that we must help this girl who was being attacked outside. I had to point out that it was a vixen having a good time! :)

Later on we went for a walk in the local fields and she came running at me, saying there was something creapy down the end of the field - it was a peasant! ;)
 

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Find out what the local wildlife consists of, typical raccoons, opossums, porcupines, armadillos and so on, typically these will be whats going bump in the night. If its larger than these, then deer or bear moving at night, coyote, wolf etc. Just think of what could be out there and you should be fine. Just be aware of what dangerous animals might be in your region and camp accordingly.

Ive been around gunfire and explosions for a good portion of my life and know whats incoming or outgoing. I was bunked up in what was supposed to be a friendlier part of Iraq one night, actually got to sleep without my gear on and I awoke to the sound of 6 mortar rounds coming in all around us, I was able to immediately tell if we were in any danger, I simply rolled over and slid my body armor over my chest and covered my face with my kevlar and went back to sleep to the sounds of perimeter security handle the situation.
 

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Green Eggs and Spam
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
To anyone still reading this:

Now that I think and remember back, there was one small detail I left out.

The noises would change based on how much noise I made. This seemed to me to be both a good thing, and a bad thing. I can't remember the exact details, in the end I woke up the next morning, so it wasn't THAT big of a deal.

In fact, halfway through the night, when I moved 8 inches over, because it took that long to figure out my feet were moving a fallen branch that was curved and twisting to put uncomfortable pressure under my back, I was able to sleep better overall.

I have slept in a lot of different locations; but not everyday different to learn to adapt daily. Once I figured out that there was in fact a barrier between me, and the scariest sounds, a time close to the time I moved to avoid the stupid branch, I was able to sleep better.

Truth is that I did wake up because the brain told me so. However, once awake I was able to mentally calm down and start "counting sheep" such to quickly fall asleep again. So, that is the reason for the post; my subconscious wasn't happy about the new sounds.

Thanks for all the helpful replies!

I think what I will try to do is mentally take note of the sounds around me before I close my eyes for sleep. I will mentally take note of my position and the barriers between me and the world's critters. These ideas may not work, but it gives me something to try for the next stealth camping event.
 
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