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Etiquette for Snoring Backpackers and Campers

Snoring CartonDo you snore on backpacking or camping trips? Does it disturb the people you’re with or others who share the same campsite with you? If so, you need to take responsibility for your ‘condition’ and reduce its impact on others. Here are some camping etiquette guidelines for backpackers and campers who snore.

Etiquette for Snorers

  • If you are a very loud snorer, a so-called “goose-honker”, pitch your tent or camping shelter far away from others – 100 yards should be adequate, especially if there are trees or boulders between you and others.
  • If you are sharing a trail shelter, lean-to, or tent, tell your companions that you snore before you all go to bed and ask them whether snoring bothers them. If so:
    • Offer to sleep outside, well out of hearing range.
    • Tell them how to get you to stop snoring at night. For example:
      • HIT, KICK, or PUNCH ME! Most people are bashful about moving a snoring sleeper so give them permission in advance.
      • Wake me up and tell me I am snoring.
      • Roll me over onto my side.
    • Offer your shelter-mates sedatives before they go to sleep.
    • Offer your shelter-mates ear-plugs before they go to sleep.
  • If co-habitation in the same tent or lean-to is unavoidable, reduce or eliminate the volume of your snoring by: 
  • Sleep on your side if sleeping on your back causes you to snore.
    • Camping pillows like the Exped Air Pillow UL are surprisingly effective at keeping you on your side at night and can help prevent you from rolling over onto your back.
    • Bring extra sleeping pads like an accordian style Therm-a-Rest Z-lite that you can fold behind your back to prevent you from rolling over onto your back (attach it to another closed cell pad using velcro)
  • When choosing a campsite, pick one that has a loud white-noise sound source close-by such as a stream, waterfall, rapids, or ocean surf. These natural sounds can help drown out the sound of your snoring and hide it under “white noise.”
  • Go to sleep after everyone else has. People can often tolerate snorers and sleep through the night if they’re not kept awake by someone who is already snoring nearby.  

These are just a few of the tips and tricks I use to reduce or eliminate the impact of my snoring on others when I’m backpacking or camping. Yes – I snore, though intermittently, and not through the night.

How do you limit snoring or keep it from affecting others when you backpack or camp?

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  1. Oh poo hoo, condition and responsibility,give me a break! I bring ear plugs for sale to offset my gear costs. Smart hikers that sleep in shelters should bring their own pair. Poor Planning on your Part does not constitute an emergency on my Part.

  2. Bringing earplugs should be taken for granted. I’ve had enough sleepless nights near a chainsaw-like snorer to know better

  3. Using extra padding to keep you from rolling onto your back at night is good, but I’ve found tennis balls work better. Sew or glue them onto the back of a sleep shirt. Position them so that they fall between your spine and shoulder blade. You may wake up once or twice at first, but your body will learn quickly.

    • Pack 1-3 tennis balls and 2 large safety pins. Put balls in a sock and pin to the back of your sleep shirt. Will keep you from sleeping on your back which is the body position most likely to lead to snoring.

  4. Earplugs, and a big wad of toilet paper in their mouth.

    Don’t drink alcohol before sleeping near others is so true. Also don’t let long lost friends meeting you along your endeavor bring snorers alcohol. They can turn into angry bears during the night and start moving and snoring in their sleep.

  5. John Wesley Hardin once shot a man just for snoring. He wasn’t backpacking at the time and carrying revolvers on the trail generally violates ultralight principles, not to mention the possibility of being crosswise of some obscure regulation somewhere.

  6. My friend Hiker Biker Babe once said, “You are responsible for the quality of your own sleep”. Blaming someone for something they cannot help doing is an exercise in futility. Ear plugs, night masks and Tylenol PM…..take responsibility for your own level of comfort! :) :)

  7. I snore, loudly at times, according to some. I try to observe the go to sleep last rule and try to sleep on my side. A rainstorm can help with white noise too. Otherwise I try to blast in the opposite direction of my usual tent mate, who also snores.

  8. My brother says snoring is a competition. The first one to sleep wins!

  9. Solving the Snoring Problem…

    There are six Winter Campers crammed into a lean-to for a multi-day winter camping trip. While Bob is a likeable guy, no one wants to sleep next to Bob, because he snores so loudly. They decide it isn’t fair to make one of them sleep next to him the whole time, so they vote to take turns.

    The first guy sleeps with Bob and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot. They say, “Man, what happened to you?” He says, “Bob snored loudly the whole night! I just sat up and watched him all night.”

    The next night it is a different guy’s turn. In the morning, same thing – hair all standing up, eyes all bloodshot. They say, “Man, what happened to you? You look awful!” He says, “Man, that Bob shakes the roof with his snoring. I watched him all night.”

    The third night is Fred’s turn. Fred is an experienced, older man. The next morning he comes to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. “Good morning!” he says. They can’t believe it. They say, “Man, what happened?” Fred says, “Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Bob into his sleeping bag, patted him on the butt, and kissed him good night. Bob sat up and watched me all night.”


  10. Okay, I snore (enough to annoy my wife, but certainly no honker), so maybe I don’t get credibility with some on this issue, but here goes. I too have spent nights with snorers – hotel rooms, tents, shelters. And you know what I say: it happens. I’ve slept with some pretty loud snorers, and slept much of the night too. Okay, it does cut into your z’s, but that’s the way to goes. Consideration is fine, but there is no way I’m offering someone to wake me up if I’m snoring. As for some of the best practices – I sleep in my own ten; I usually avoid shelters; I usually sleep on my side, but do sometimes end up on my back – and let loose. Oh well – it’s a colorful world.

  11. I snore – apparently – and I hate being kept awake by other snorers. So I’m always sure to tell anyone I’m sharing a tent or snow cave with to kick me if I start sawing logs…

  12. I did most of my early camping in a group that often included an epic snorer. Now… hearing snores in the night is kind of homey.

  13. Just Your Average Hiker

    Parked and slept in my car at a trailhead last year with my good friend so we could hit the trail early the next morning. He slept great. I almost found out how sharp my new knife was at 4am, after screaming and punching did nothing to wake him.

  14. Don’t sleep in communal shelters if permissible. Many problems solved! :)

  15. I snore so bad that if it is a drive in campsite, i usually make camp in the back of my suv. while all the others are tent camping. On the plus site when we have bad weather i stay the driest. :)

  16. Strange how lean to sharers…especially female ones…offer to sleep as far as possible away from the lean to after I offer them sedatives….

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