What are the Acceptable Noise Levels for Camping?

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Camping is all about immersing ourselves in nature, escaping the hustle and bustle of city life, and reconnecting with the great outdoors. 

We sometimes have to seek to leave behind the constant din of traffic, the chatter of pedestrians, and the wail of sirens and instead surround ourselves with the soothing sounds of birdsong, rustling leaves, and gentle streams. 

However, with the comforts of home often come the hums and whirs of technology. 

Generators, in particular, have become a staple for many campers, providing the power needed to keep our devices charged and our lights on. 

But as we seek to escape the din of civilisation, we often forget that noise pollution can be just as disruptive as the sights and sounds of the city.

Generators are mostly one of the most important tools of the camping experience for many of us, providing the power we need to stay connected, comfortable, and safe. 

However, the noise they produce can be a significant factor in determining the quality of our outdoor adventures. 

But what exactly are generator noise levels, and how are they measured?

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB), a unit that quantifies the intensity of sound. 

The dB scale is logarithmic, meaning that each increment of 10 dB represents a tenfold increase in sound intensity. 

For example, a whisper is around 20 dB, a normal conversation is around 60 dB, and a rock concert can reach levels of over 110 dB.

Generator noise levels are typically measured from a distance of 23 feet (7 metres) using a sound level metre. 

This distance is standardised to ensure accurate comparisons between different generators. 

The measurement is usually taken at a 50% load, meaning the generator is producing half of its maximum power output.

Acceptable Noise Levels for Camping

What are the Acceptable Noise Levels for Camping?

So, what’s the acceptable noise level for camping? 

The answer varies depending on the location and type of camping you’re doing. 

In general, national parks and wilderness areas have stricter noise regulations than private campgrounds.

  • National Parks: 30–40 dB
  • Wilderness Areas: 20–30 dB
  • Private campgrounds: 40–60 dB

As per the National Park Service’s camping guidelines on Assateague Island, generator use is prohibited during quiet hours. 

Additionally, according to the A-weighted scale, the noise level cannot be higher than 60 dB at a distance of 50 feet.

ALSO READ:- Why Is Your Generator Making Weird Noise? Causes and solutions

Types of Quiet Generators

If you’re in the market for a new generator, there are several types of quiet generators to consider:

  • Inverter Generators: These generators produce a pure sine wave output, making them ideal for sensitive electronics. They’re also much quieter than traditional generators, with noise levels as low as 40 dB.
  • Portable Generators: These generators are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport. They’re often quieter than larger generators, with noise levels around 50 dB.
  • RV Generators: These generators are specifically designed for RVs and are typically much quieter than traditional generators, with noise levels around 40 dB.

Tips for Reducing Generator Noise

Even with a quiet generator, there are steps you can take to minimise noise:

  • Place the generator away from campsites and sensitive areas.areas.
  • Use sound-absorbing materials like plywood or acoustic blankets.
  • Point the generator exhaust away from campsites.campsites.
  • Use a generator with an automatic shut-off feature.
  • Consider using a generator with a muffler or sound shield.
  • Keep the generator well-maintained to reduce noise.

ALSO READ:- How to Make a Generator Quiet: 5 Best Ways


Camping is all about finding balance in nature. 

Excessive noise can disrupt the natural environment, disturb wildlife, and disturb fellow campers. 

Moreover, noise pollution can have serious health effects, including increased stress levels, anxiety, and decreased sleep quality.

By understanding generator noise levels and taking steps to minimise them, we can ensure a peaceful and enjoyable experience for ourselves and those around us. 


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