Tents are one of the most convenient ways to camp available. Setting up a tent outside takes minimal effort, and they are usually late enough that a single person can carry a pretty large one.
As convenient and portable as they might be, there have to be a few sacrifices. To keep weight down, the walls of a tent are pretty lightweight, and not exactly soundproof. This might not be that big of a deal if camping takes place in a very peaceful environment, but what if the sound needs to be controlled a little bit better?
Here are a few ideas on how to soundproof A tent and keep things as peaceful as possible.
1. Add Mass To The Tent Wall
Most people only think of acoustic barriers as something used in recording studios. The cost has come down to the point that not only is it used for regular homes, but it can even work for tents. In fact, it might be the best solution overall, especially for those who need to block a solid amount of sound.
An acoustic barrier is basically just another layer of mass loaded vinyl, or some other type of similar product, that significantly reduces noise pollution in and out of the tent. At most, it is a quarter of an inch wide, so it does not reduce the size of the tent inside.
Most of the time, companies only sell MLV in large sheets. That means it might not work as well for smaller tents. Larger tents will have the ability to install relatively easily, and then really take advantage of a much more quiet environment.
Mass loaded vinyl isn’t super expensive, but it’s not cheap either. It’s a very effective way to handle sound, but those who are on a budget and might only use a tent once in a while might not find the investment a good one.
2. Rugs Or Carpet On The Ground
It might surprise some people, but laying carpet on the floor or ground inside a tent is another way to create an acoustic barrier. Sound travels consistently through the ground, especially bass frequencies. Adding something to the ground will help out and make the tent feel a little more homely.
Thick carpet works better than thin carpet, but a rug that rolls up might be the best some people can do. Even if this is the only change a person makes to their current tent set up, they will see a bit of a difference that could keep everyone a little more pleased.
3. Soundproof Wall Or Barrier Outside The Tent
This works particularly well for people who know exactly what they need to control as far as sound is concerned. Maybe there is one particular sound coming from a certain direction, and the barrier can help out with that. From the other perspective, this can help people inside the tent block there sounds so there are no people or animals who hear them.
Completely sealing off a tent is a lot harder than some people realize. Even when putting in a lot of effort, it is still a tent that will have some leaks. That is why a barrier might be the best setup outside. It also works as an addition to some soundproofing methods already done inside the tent.
4. Soundproofing Curtains
For a cheaper, but just as effective way to soundproof inside, consider using soundproof curtains instead of an acoustic barrier. It might not look as professionally done in the end, but there are some advantages to a curtain that people just won’t get with MLV.
Soundproof curtains are a lot more accessible not only online, but in local stores as well. This helps people who are in a hurry and need some soundproofing material before they head out for the next excursion. The curtains also fold up and are a little more portable than MLV sheets, which is something to keep in mind.
Remember that for soundproofing curtains to actually work, they need to be very thick. Investing in a thinner soundproofing curtain isn’t going to do much good in the outdoors.
They are also not the best for keeping temperatures down, as a thick soundproofing curtain heats up the inside in a hurry. It then becomes a trade-off between sound and heat on what matters most.
5. Sound proofing sheets, towels, etc.
This last suggestion is more for people who might need to throw anything they can together at the last minute to make life in a tent a little more enjoyable.
Soundproofing sheets, towels and anything similar to that are all pretty easy to find, and very inexpensive. That all sounds fine, but it’s a little challenging to install and do a great job of soundproofing everything. It is usually a last-ditch effort to help as much as possible, but it is not the best.
Look at this as an option if it is getting challenging to sleep at night, or the tents plans for a noisy area set up.
Common Soundproofing Questions For Tents
Quite a few people might still be a little unsure of what to do when soundproofing a tent and improving things.
Most of the focus has been on a camping tent, but there are tents used for other purposes as well. In fact, sometimes at an event, there will be tents set up that want to project sound. The most common questions have answers below, giving people insight on this topic that not typically talked about much.
Can a tent be completely soundproofed?
As people go further and further down the rabbit hole of soundproofing a tent, they start to wonder if it is all for nothing. It might not be the answer many want to hear, but there will always be a limit on how much soundproofing actually goes on.
The biggest reason soundproofing is tough is based on the structure itself. In order to soundproof an existing room in a home or building, the walls need to be very thick and filled with the right type of material to work.
That is not going to happen with a temporary set up like a tent. Not only is the tent itself made of nothing that can help in that regard, but the soundproofing material will not completely soundproof everything.
That doesn’t stop people from continuing to put in work contents. All of the methods above work very well, and as long as people are realistic about results, they should be just fine.
Does soundproofing material help strengthen a tent structurally?
While adding material shouldn’t be looked at necessarily in that way, it does strengthen tents enough to see a little difference. Tents are so lightweight that adding any bit of bulk will enhance it a little.
There are times when people with tents have said that their set up would have blown away if not for the added bulk weighing things down.
How should people intend to handle added heat?
In the winter, soundproofing material definitely benefits in more ways than just handling noise pollution. It also acts as insulation, which heats up the inside of the tent and comes in handy.
In the summer, it can have a negative impact. It might already be a hot night, and adding more and more soundproofing material is raising the temperature inside. Are there ways to cool down inside?
Keep in mind small tips like picking the right clothing and looking into lightweight material to sleep on, such as a mesh cot, work very well. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and make adjustments if necessary.
A small fan might be another solution worth looking into, just as long as it isn’t too loud. If the fan is noisy, it is going to be extremely distracting while sleeping, and it’s also going to add to the noise that people are trying to avoid.
It also becomes pretty costly, because there has to be a way to either charge the fan or add batteries to it.
What is the proper way to set up speakers and hear music clearly in a tent?
For tents used for other purposes, such as an outdoor event, the goal might be to not soundproof the tent but actually enhance the sound inside it. Maybe the goal is to have the sound very clear when others are inside or to even project sound for people surrounding to hear.
The first thing to do is to really make sure that the ground is properly treated. Bass frequencies travel through the ground, and noise can be lost pretty quickly without any assistance in that regard.
Even with an enhanced floor, make sure the speakers are up off the floor. This is so that they do not lose as much sound. By lifting them off the ground, it can make a huge difference. Look into buying a stand for speakers, since the tent is likely going to go up and take him back down frequently.
If a stand is unavailable, find something that can go between the ground and the speakers. Vibration insulation pads, foam, or standard soundproofing material will be better than nothing.
Handling sounds coming in and out of tents
There used to be a time where most people thought they were just out of luck if they needed to control sound in a tent. With a little bit of effort, there can be some noticeable differences
depending on a person’s specific needs. Don’t be afraid to mess around with a few different types of material, and see what works best.
Every situation for a tent will be slightly different. Some need more material than others, while others may not need much at all because they have other barriers helping out. Try out a few solutions, but always take advantage of natural barriers built-in that help to cut down the cost and effort to control noise.