Help me find a decently loud battery-powered fan...
March 15, 2011 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a decently loud battery-powered fan...

I'm one of those people who CAN'T sleep without the sound of a bedside fan (it's pathetic, I know). I'm going to Iceland later this year and staying in hostels, and am in need of a loud battery-powered fan to bring with me (I don't want to risk not having an available outlet, which is why I'm going the battery-powered route). I've found plenty of such devices on the Internets, but thought I'd have better luck asking the hive mind for personal suggestions.

Also, fwiw, I'd actually rather use a normal (non-battery-powered) fan, and plug it into some type of portable battery device (this would give me a lot more options in terms of fans I could pick from). The device would need to be powered by disposable batteries (I don't think I'll have the ability to charge anything since I'm in a hostel).

Any ideas?
posted by JPowers to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A fan is going to run down batteries pretty fast - like I'd be surprised if theyasted the night. You might be better off finding some kind of white noise generating device as it will likely take less juice.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:15 AM on March 16, 2011

Why not record the sound of your present fan on your phone, and set it to play back on loop?
posted by flabdablet at 12:57 AM on March 16, 2011

Then you'd need a battery to keep the phone running all night :-).

Seconding some kind of noise-making doodad rather than a real fan, if you don't need the actual airflow and are not planning to travel to Korea and exhibit yourself as a daredevil.

You could run a low-powered 12V computer fan for maybe a week worth of nights from eight alkaline D cells, but it probably wouldn't make the right noise. Ditto for tiny USB-powered fans. A 12V fan made to run from a car cigarette lighter would be the closest you could get to a "proper" mains-powered fan, but it'd probably also draw too much power for use with a decently portable battery.
posted by dansdata at 1:02 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check ebay for old-school mp3 players that run on conventional batteries, load up a nice loop of brown noise, and put on some nice comfy isolation headphones. My Sennheisers are very comfortable to sleep in.
posted by scrowdid at 2:35 AM on March 16, 2011

If you're staying in a hostel you may well be in a dorm or, if you're in a private room, it might not have proper soundproofing. Not everyone likes the sound of a fan at night, so running one might disrupt other guests.

I'd suggest you download some white noise and play it through earphones via an mp3 player. I think it's unlikely there'll be nowhere to charge an mp3 player - hostels cater to younger travellers who'll be carrying gadgets that need to be charged. You could email the hostel to see if they have somewhere to charge an mp3 player or iPhone.

And it's not pathetic - I have to sleep with a fan on too.
posted by essexjan at 3:37 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you have a smartphone, there are many white noise generating applications out there that work great. Even if you don't have a smartphone, there are probably battery-powered white noise generators that would be less bulky to lug around than a fan. If you don't have a smartphone and don't want to buy a contraption that only generates white noise, the idea of using a cheap MP3 player with a looping white noise sound (you can download one, or generate it using Audacity) might be the way to go. I'm sure the hostels will at least have outlets where you can charge a battery during the day, so you don't have to lug around lots of batteries, too. Do keep essexjan's point about other people in the hostel not wanting to hear your fan in mind, too, when planning your trip.

Have fun!
posted by arco at 7:17 AM on March 16, 2011

I don't know how feasible it would be in a hostel (essexjan has a good point about disrupting other guests), but I can recommend this white noise machine for general travel (or when the power is out). I was skeptical of the "nature" sounds, but the "waterfall" sound is just standard white noise.
posted by amarynth at 7:49 AM on March 16, 2011

nthing a white noise machine/mp3 + headphones. To be honest, it seems ridiculously wasteful to use a fan over these at home too.
posted by turkeyphant at 8:32 AM on March 16, 2011

Actually the $6 battery-powered fan I got at Walmart runs for several days, 8 hours a day, on C batteries. It has a base that folds up. It also has a hole for an AC adapter if you choose to buy one. (If Walmart doesn't have the AC adapters, try Best Buy or Radio Shack.)
posted by IndigoRain at 8:40 PM on March 16, 2011

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