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  1. #1
    Registered User GolfHiker's Avatar
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    Default Letís talk ear 👂 plugs

    Iím always looking for the best ear plugs available ( otc), for those nights in shelters &/or near a loud tent or hammock. I know you can go cheap, and Iím assuming there are ample choices to be had, both cheap and not so cheap. Iíd be interested in knowing what works for you all, noting both type and specific brand.

    You know what they say about a good nights sleep.....
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

  2. #2

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    Mack's ear plugs

    For me, the squishy foam ones are okay for a few days but start irritating my ear canals after that. These soft, moldable ones don't do that. They can pick up debris easily, so take care to keep them in a little case of some sort. My wife gave me a little plastic pill box that is perfect for them.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  3. #3

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    Hardware store, 3M disposable. I bought a box with 80 pairs, for about $10. Very soft, good if you happen to sleep on the side. No concern if you lose them in the bottom of your sleeping bag, or get them dirty, just grab another pair.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Mack's ear plugs

    For me, the squishy foam ones are okay for a few days but start irritating my ear canals after that. These soft, moldable ones don't do that. They can pick up debris easily, so take care to keep them in a little case of some sort. My wife gave me a little plastic pill box that is perfect for them.
    Mack's work best for me too. Foam ear plugs don't work well in my ears.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  5. #5
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quiet, made by Howard Leight / Sperian / Honeywell. NRR 26 rating. They are smooth surfaced so they are easily cleaned and hold up well for disposables. Very light and comfortable - I hate those plugs you have to roll up and let expand in the ear canal - these don't bother me like those types. I would venture with good care you could get at least month out of a pair. https://www.earplugstore.com/qureear...waAgWOEALw_wcB
    But... I don't wear earplugs when hiking (or sleeping). Only at work.

  6. #6
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    Default Let’s talk ear ? plugs

    I can't believe the Wayne-man hasn't weighed in on this one yet! He knows ear-plugs inside out!

  7. #7
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    3M yellow earsoft plugs
    Narrow enough to fit ear canals easier

    Hold shape long enough when rolled to insert in ear
    Repeatedly

    Some types only do 1st time or 2. then get impossible to reinsert they expand so quick. A finish that let them expand slow gets destroyed by ear oils making difficult to impossible to reuse . Probably not coincidence.

    Can keep reusing the 3M yellow a long time
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  8. #8
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    EAR DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Custom Molded Earplug Kit with Cord

    https://www.amazon.com/Yourself-Cust.../dp/B01HSHVR90

  9. #9

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    I use the 3m foam ear plugs. The trick with them is how you put them on and you need to realize that any earplug is going to get dirty from ear wax in a few days. If you dont keep them clean an wash them every few days they will irritate you ears. Having worked in industry I had to sit through annual training to use foam ear plugs. The trick is take one hand reach over the head grab the top of the ear lobe and lift up. Now using clean rolled foam plus insert it in the ear canal and wait until it expands. Let go of the ear lobe and do the other ear.The will not roll and re expand as well as they get dirty. The nice thing is with the 3M foam plugs is just throw them in the washer when you do a wash and they are good as new. I personally like the corded variety as they are lot easier to keep track of. BTW there is no one size fits all ear plug. I have big ear canals and the only thing that work well are the foam ones.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GolfHiker View Post
    I’m always looking for the best ear plugs available ( otc), for those nights in shelters &/or near a loud tent or hammock. I know you can go cheap, and I’m assuming there are ample choices to be had, both cheap and not so cheap. I’d be interested in knowing what works for you all, noting both type and specific brand.
    I've tried 3M soft "bullet", AOSafety yellow cylinder, and right now, Western Safety soft bullet (cheap, bought at Harbor Freight).

    Hard to generalize. For me, the balancing act is this: the soft bullets are more comfortable in the ear, but the yellow cylinders block noise better. The yellow cylinders can be a bit painful in the ear (too forceful agains ear canal walls), but the soft bullets can often seal out air so thoroughly that it can nearly pop your eardrum upon removing them (you have to try to break the seal SLOWLY and only THEN pull them out).

    All have worked much of the time; all have failed some of the time. Of the three, I just wouldn't buy the last one again, but they work well enough that I am going to use up the box first. I think the others are a bit better. Not sure I have a clear favorite among the latter. It depends on the day ... er, on the night. I think the NRR is higher on the yellow cylinders, and that's what I counted on when I rode motorcycles. The others are a bit harder to get a good seal in one of my ears.

  11. #11
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Mack's ear plugs

    For me, the squishy foam ones are okay for a few days but start irritating my ear canals after that. These soft, moldable ones don't do that. They can pick up debris easily, so take care to keep them in a little case of some sort. My wife gave me a little plastic pill box that is perfect for them.
    Iíve been using Mackís since forever. We first used them in the 70s when my daughter was swimming and I had a motorcycle.
    Iím still using them today around the house with leaf blowers, chainsaw, etc.
    AND! In a tent during overnight rainfall. Required to retain my sanity!
    Best hearing protection ever! They last forever until you drop and loose them. Carry spares.
    Wayne

  12. #12
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    My preference is for the soft silicone plugs with three baffles. They look a little bit like a three tiered Christmas tree. My ear canals drive me crazy with the foam or moldable types. The silicone ones are much more comfortable for me and super easy to clean. They are a bit more expensive than other types, but money well spent in my opinion. I will add that no ear plugs work for stopping noise coming from obnoxious campers who choose to set up tents right next to yours and talk/cackle into the wee hours. It happens.

  13. #13

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    I've not used them so much for sleeping, but have a handful of times....
    My experience with earplugs is over many years of daily wear at work. I have always preferred the old classic EAR foam plugs.... the yellow tubular ones. I've never had a pair of the conical bullet shaped ones that felt right to me, and I'm just not able to get a good seal either....have probably tried them all over the years. I know lots of other folks though with different opinions. I figure all people are made a bit different and what works for me may not be the best for you.
    I'm curious though about these mack plugs. I have no experience with them. If they are moldable, then it seems like it would not be a good seal with any movement, but on the other hand they may not put any outward pressure on the ear which seems like it may be better for sleeping.

  14. #14

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    I know you ultralighters wouldn't consider this, but I bring my Remington shooting ear muffs. They weigh 10 ounces, but for me, they block out everything much better than any inserts I've ever used.

  15. #15

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    If your a side sleeper the soft foam bullet shaped ones are the only way to go.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    ..............
    But... I don't wear earplugs when hiking (or sleeping). Only at work.
    I try not to, but with coyotes, owls, whipporwills, mating frogs, roaring wind and rain on my snare-drum Cuben, and — and on occasional hikes with other people — chainsaw snoring and gas-blasting, I will gladly use them.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  17. #17

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    And I forgot loons. One time in Algonquin I was ready to go out and kill every last one of them, or myself... something had to give. IIRC, I ended up stuffing toilet paper in my ears.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  18. #18
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Snare-Drum TarpTent as well.
    Yes. Silnylon can be drum tight during several hours of rain.
    Maddening!
    Wayne

  19. #19
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I go with the blue foam Hear-Os from Walgreen's, with an NRR of 35 (I notice a big difference between 35 and 32). These don't handle washing with water very well, so I typically bring a pair that will last for 1-2 weeks.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  20. #20
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclaught View Post
    I know you ultralighters wouldn't consider this, but I bring my Remington shooting ear muffs. They weigh 10 ounces, but for me, they block out everything much better than any inserts I've ever used.
    In college i would study with earplugs , and shooting muffs together.

    You can hear yourself blink.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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