July 16, 2020

Camping With Your CPAP Machine

Camping With Your CPAP Machine


Camping is often an irresistible sport for travel and adventure junkies. It demands all your strength and determination.

It can be difficult if you do not have the energy for it. You have to do a lot of tasks to have a proper camping experience.

However, if you are a patient with sleep apnea, exhausting your energy over strenuous activities can take a toll on you and your health.

In these times, it is necessary to have your CPAP machine to get a good night of healthy sleep so that one can be well-rested for the adventure that is ahead.


How can sleep apnea affect your camping skills?

Tent at a camp site.

If you do not use your CPAP machine while camping, it may lead to an onset of symptoms, which can hinder your journey into the woods.

These symptoms make it harder for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, to have the fun they deserve. Given below are a few points to realize how sleep apnea will affect your camping skills.

  • Fatigue

Due to inefficient breathing, sleep apnea can lead to severe fatigue the following day. It will not allow you to enjoy your day to the fullest, but rather it will make you feel tired, dizzy, and irritated.

Fatigue may also lead to inefficiency in fulfilling your camping tasks, which may affect your morale and excitement.

  • Heavy snoring

One of the significant thrills of camping is being surrounded by the lush green forest and sleeping just beneath the stars. This is one of the most overwhelmingly beautiful experiences of a camping trip.

Now imagine you forget to bring your CPAP machine. This may lead to loud snoring, which can affect the peaceful sleep you deserve. 

  • Irregular or no breathing

If you are going for high altitudes, it is essential to have your CPAP equipment available with you. Higher elevations mean thinner air. Sleep apnea can cause more trouble by not letting you breathe efficiently at night.

It may also lead to irregular or inability to breathe.

  • Headache

Sleep apnea triggers morning headaches. Due to inefficiency in breathing at night, your brain does not have proper circulation and thus causes headaches right after you wake up.

Morning headaches are a huge discomfort, especially when you wish to wake up enthusiastic and energized. Thus, you can have the time of your life just by using your CPAP machine!

  • Daytime sleepiness

The reason for tiredness is not getting a proper night’s sleep. If you do not use your CPAP machine, the daytime sleepiness will take over all your excitement and make your trip just a hazy flashback instead of being full of mesmerizing memories.


How to plan your camping trip with CPAP?

Planning a camping trip.


Planning is the best way to enjoy the camping experience to the fullest, using your CPAP machine. This section will guide you in having an effortless CPAP journey.

This guide involves steps like choosing a powered site, using CPAP batteries, how to power your CPAP machines, using travel CPAP, and other tips to assist you.


Power your CPAP

The foremost step to starting your camping adventure with the CPAP machine is to power your CPAP.

CPAP machines cannot work without a proper power supply. This makes it harder to carry it wherever you go, especially in remote areas.

However, there are two ways to overcome this limitation:

  1. Find a site with an AC power source.
  2. Use a CPAP battery

    Powered Campsites

    Powered campsites are the best alternative for CPAP camping. Here’s a little bit about them:

    • These campsites offer electrical facilities to you like plug-points, WiFi, etc..
    • Powered campsites are a massive advantage for people who need humidifiers during their CPAP therapy.
    • If you use the humidification option while using batteries, you notice that the battery drains rapidly. This creates a nuisance for you.
    • The best advantage of powered campsites is the comfort it offers.
    • Powered campsites offer extra facilities like cleanliness and other technical facilities, too.
    • Powered campsites can be fully booked during weekends.
    • On the other hand, they ruin the real essence of camping by being crowded and not very far from major cities.

    So if you wish to have a comfortable getaway, powered campsites are the best option for people wanting to carry their CPAP.

    However, if you want to get away from civilization and have a camping experience amidst the flora and fauna of nature, CPAP battery packs are what you need.


    Use CPAP batteries

    CPAP battery packs are the go-to supply if you want to make your CPAP machines portable and easy to carry around. These batteries help you charge your CPAP machines with no need for power sources providing portable power.

    These batteries are the best option for camping with a CPAP machine because of the following reasons:


    • Portable

    CPAP batteries are easy to carry around as most of them are lightweight. These batteries can also transform your dependable CPAP machines into portable ones, just by inserting a portable battery in them. (Ex. Philips Respironics Dreamstation GO Overnight Battery)

    • Rechargeable     

    CPAP batteries are also easy to recharge. These batteries only take up around 4 to 5 hours to get fully charged. Once they are charged, they work with no difficulties or complications.

    • Reliable battery

    Other than being rechargeable and portable, CPAP batteries are also highly reliable. They can work efficiently for even more than one night if they are fully charged. (Ex. ResMed Power Station Battery Kit)

    • Cost

    Power campsites can cost you more than your usual camping expense. However, CPAP batteries are budget-friendly, and you can also recharge them as many times as you want. Thus, these batteries are cost-effective and long-lasting.

    • FAA approved

    Many airlines permit the use of CPAP machines and CPAP batteries after you have given them your doctor’s letter. Hence, these batteries will not cause any trouble during baggage check or in-flight use either. (Ex. Freedom CPAP Battery V2)

    • Adaptability

    You need not worry about the type of CPAP machines because CPAP batteries can quickly adapt to any CPAP machine. They work as per their efficiency and not the CPAP machine’s ability.

    However, there are a few disadvantages to CPAP batteries, too, such as:

    • These batteries might get costly if your trip is for a longer duration.
    • The battery run-time can decrease rapidly if you use a humidifier or inverter.
    • Some batteries are not heat resistant, and they are prone to accidents and hazards.

    Which CPAP battery to use?

    CPAP batteries are categorized into two different types - Deep cycle battery and CPAP battery.

    Deep cycle batteries:

    Deep cycle batteries are also car batteries. You can use your car batteries to power your CPAP. They are available at auto parts stores and have long-running battery life.

    You can turn the power on for your CPAP machines, through the car battery, by two methods:

    • DC adapter
    • Inverter

    These batteries have the following advantages:

    • They are available at auto parts shops, and so you can always find them easily.
    • Deep cycle batteries also have a better battery life than the Lithium-Ion batteries or CPAP batteries.

    The batteries have the following limitations:

    • Car batteries are hefty and are not travel-friendly because of their extra weight. It will be very tough for you to carry it in your bag every time you go camping, hiking, or trekking.
    • You can’t carry these batteries in flights, as they are not FAA approved for their toxic and unstable nature. So, if you have to travel by air to your camping destination, deep cycle batteries are not advisable.
    • It is hard to recharge and set up these batteries.
    • These batteries sometimes need inverters. If possible, make sure you limit their use.

    This is because inverters extract the power from your CPAP’s battery. This creates an issue because both the CPAP machine and the inverter are using the battery. This leads to more consumption of power than recharging the battery.

    Thus, deep cycle batteries are an excellent option if you want increased battery life and are choosing land travel rather than air.

    The next option is Lithium-ion batteries, which are a better alternative.

    Lithium-Ion batteries

    If deep cycle batteries do not fulfill your requirements, Lithium-Ion batteries are perfect for your camping and travel plans.

    These batteries are readily available for purchase through various online sellers and websites. Keeping in mind your camping plans, Lithium-Ion batteries have the following advantages:

    • Easily portable

    If your camping trip comprises lots of traveling, hiking, and changing sites, go for Lithium-Ion batteries. These are lightweight, and you do not require additional supplements to charge them.

    • In-flight purposes

    As mentioned earlier, some CPAP batteries like Lithium-Ion batteries are FAA approved, and so you can carry them to whichever camp you go, whether by air or by land. However, it is better to inform your airlines about this two weeks before the departure date.

    • Easily rechargeable

    Unlike deep cycle batteries, Lithium-Ion batteries are also easy to recharge before you get ready for your camping experience. These batteries can be fully charged in 4-5 hours and can even extend up to 2 nights.

    One of the significant limitations of this battery is that it is not prone to wear and tear and, thus, can be damaged by extreme temperatures and improper storage.

    Your condition shouldn’t keep you from any fun opportunities. With these options, you can join your friends or family on a beautiful camping journey, along with your CPAP machine, to keep you comfortable.

    Travel CPAP

    Travel sized CPAP machine.

    Travel CPAP machines are easily portable and also compact. These two features give this type of CPAP machine the title of Travel CPAP.

    Travel CPAP machines have the following key features:

    • Compact

    Travel CPAP machines are very compact and do not take up much space. This creates more room in your bags for essential camping equipment.

    • Portable

    Due to their compact nature, portable CPAP machines for camping are easy to carry around wherever you want.

    • Advanced features

    If you believe that reduced size means reduced functionalities, we have good news for you!

    Travel CPAP machines are not just compact, but they also have advanced and latest features to assist you when you are traveling or camping.

    • Useable and noise-free

    Imagine the confined space of the airplane, and in that, you have to fit in your CPAP machine when you want to use it. This would be troublesome.

    In such situations, it would be better to go for Travel CPAP machines as they are compact and will not take up much of your space.

    These machines also do not make the loud noise other CPAP machines make.

    Although, there are a few limitations to Travel CPAPs such as:

    • No humidifier

    Humidifiers make sure that your mouth does not feel dry, and your nose does not get stuffy.

    Some travel CPAP machines can cause inconvenience as they do not have a humidifier and can affect those with the above symptoms.

    It is vital to research and find travel CPAP machines that have an integrated humidifier. (Ex. ResMed AirMini includes a heated humidifier)


      • Ineffective Pressure

      Travel CPAP machines do not consistently change the pressure according to your needs. These machines require higher pressure to work efficiently.

      Your doctor may also need to set the pressure range to make it function effortlessly.

      • Cost


      Sometimes the cost of the travel CPAP machines is higher than your standard CPAP machine. These machines range from around $500 to $1000. However, the lower-priced devices may not be as capable as the higher-priced travel CPAP machines.

      Today, there are so many CPAP advancements out there, which means that you don’t have to give up your passion for camping just because you are a CPAP user.

      Follow through with all the information we have provided you with. Then, you can choose the best option.

      This way, camping with the CPAP machine will be a smooth and straightforward journey for you!

      So, bring out your inner Man Vs. Wild skills and create memories that will last for your entire lifetime!


      Written by The Sleeplay Team

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