Hiking/sports and hearing aids

Anyone out there an avid hiker? Or even some sort of sport enthusiast? What do you use to protect your hearing aids while hiking or working out? Any gadgets or strategies to help you hear when on the trail? Hiking is a big part of my work and I find it difficult to communicate with my hiking partner at times compared to when I used to have ‘normal’ hearing 3 years ago.

I recently ordered a pair of ‘ear gear’ (gearforears.com) to help keep my aids protected. I also have a hearing aid dehumidifier case (no it’s not a Dry & Store, yes I’ve heard of it, no I’m not interested in it considering there’s no place top plug it in when in the wilderness, can you tell I’m sick of ppl recommending it).

I’m also considering getting a pair of Oticon Agils and having my hiking partner wear the lapel microphone that connects with the streamer. Someone suggested using an FM system the same way but aren’t they generally larger and more expensive?

Lydia,
I just got my first HA’s. I asked my audi for waterproof HAs as I play golf even in the rain. She first recommended Phonac H2O’s as they and the Siemens Aquarius are waterproof. The rating says you can swim in them. Unfortunately, with my hearing loss The H2Os would not have has sufficient excess power to “grow into” and she gave me Phonac Naida which are water resistant. I plan on wearing them while playing. I’ve already had then in (or is it on) twice so far in a gentle rain. I store them in a jar with desiccant. every night.

I’ve used the Ear Gear sweatsuits on a pair of ReSound Live 9’s, and they seemed to work well. Because of perspiration issues I recently switched back from BTE open fit aids to ReSound Future Remote Mic in-the-canal aids. I started a decade ago with Widex in-the-canal aids, and the occlusion doesn’t bother me. That, and I discovered that in-the-canal aids give me more low frequency sounds, i.e. better bass response.

This is why I want some powerfull tiny in the canal hearing aids.

Somthing like the motorcycle guys use to talk to each other whilst riding.

If/when it is available, The Starkey Surflik Mobile (also Micro Tech, Audibel, & NuEar) with the Starkey Wi Series or their new 3 Series aids (or other brand equivalent) could be an option. Starkey has “released” this product in the IS, but it cannot be ordered due to no stock. :confused:

I do not know what the status in Canada is. Somebody here said the UK release has been delayed until July, I think.

Your partner could carry the Surflink Moile and use its built-in microphones. (Or, if malicious, they could mess with your aids by changing programs. :smiley: )

The Surflink does seem pretty sweet. It seems that these kinds of wireless devices that don’t need to be on a loop around your neck (like the Oticon streamer) are the next big thing for hearing aids. Unfortunately, I don’t think something like that would be good for hiking, doesn’t really look rugged enough or small and easy to clip on to whomever is talking. I’m curious to know when all the other manufacturers will have something like this though. I might want to wait another year before buying my new aids!

I feel like the main issue that hearing aids in general will be facing is that of power. Look at cell phones. Once upon a time, you put it on the charger weekly. Now I charge it at my desk. The more we make it do, the more power we burn.

Hi, Lydia- I had a LOT of trouble with my HA’s and sweat; after 4 years of trying other dessicant methods, I finally broke down and bought a Dry & Store. Yes, it’s everything they say it is- my aids sounded better after one night in the dryer.

When I asked my audi what to do when camping, he told me to take the dessicant brick from the dryer, and seal it in a ziploc bag with the aids. I actually use a little dry case (the kind that’s on a neck loop, to hold keys and money at the beach) so my aids are protected. This is the best portable dryer I’ve ever used! You can get the Dry & Store bricks cheaply, and even without the machine, they work great.

Unless your a heavy sweater, hiking should be no problem with a hearing aid. Be sure to pack a rain hat to protect them if it rains. If you hike as part of your job, I can’t help but think a program for your instrument in that situation might be in order. Set the mics for full omni, and rachet down (or off!) anything having to do with noise reduction. I can’t help but think you could get gobs of uncompressed gain under this condition. If you’re usually the leader, you may even inquire if your audie can set up the mics to be direction in the backwards direction.

I don’t consider myself a heavy sweater but hiking in the mountains does have a tendency to make one sweat. I have a pair of Smart V’s and sweat while hiking is a MAJOR problem. I keep my hair (male) fairly short and have found that wearing a bandana has helped me the most.

Keep looking out for that waterfall and those Bears then :wink:

Omni.

H2O’s or Naidas.

As for the guy who want’s the bike helmet drivers - they aren’t hearing aids, they are just driver units with very high outputs. At 70Mph excess exposure levels are reached in 40 minutes. Any greater amount of sound is actively deafening you further.

Thanks everyone!

I always wear a bandanna/sweat band and have a hat too. I guess Um Bongo is right, I just need to look out for those waterfalls and bears, lol.

Although I’m still uncertain about communication strategies. Hiking takes a lot of energy out of me at times, and low energy means lesser ability to hear people. I also get busy doing the work I need to do while out in the field, taking notes, looking at the rocks etc. so my attention isn’t primarily focused on who I’m with, which also decreases my chances of hearing the person.

I can tell my partner over and over again what they need to do to make me hear them (so annoying!), but he or she is being affected by all the same things that make me less likely to hear, only in my partner’s case it makes them not remember to communicate differently. Which is why I think a clip on mic for my field partner would come in handy because then their voice will be in my head.