Camping with CPAP: The Essential Guide

Camping with CPAP: The Essential Guide

We all need a little escape from time to time, and camping is a great way to do that. There are plenty of benefits, from fresh air and sunshine to relieving stress and resetting your sleep cycle. But how can you go camping with sleep apnea? While it might seem like a challenge, camping with your CPAP is easier than it sounds. In this guide, we’ll discuss the following:

  1. How to Power a CPAP When Camping
  2. Using a CPAP Battery for Camping
  3. Using a Car Battery for Your CPAP
  4. Choosing a CPAP Machine for Camping
  5. Extra Tips and Reminders

How to Power a CPAP When Camping

Although it may be tempting to leave your CPAP at home for a few days, it’s not recommended. Practicing consistency in your therapy is the best way to treat sleep apnea, so it’s never a good idea to skip nights here and there. But in order to go camping with your CPAP, you’ll need power, and which power source you use will depend on where you want to go. There are two choices:

  • Use a CPAP Battery for Camping
  • Stay at a Campsite with Electricity

Which direction you go is completely up to you, but rest assured that there are great options to power your CPAP machine either way.

Choosing a CPAP Battery for Camping

Using a battery is the best option if your trip takes you off the beaten path and the site you select doesn’t have electricity. Disconnecting from the hustle and bustle is the obvious choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for some peace and quiet, but it does require more preparation and planning. It’s important to find the best battery to use for your CPAP while camping, and this comes down to a couple of options.

  1. Using a CPAP Battery: Bringing a CPAP battery on your trip is the best way to keep your machine powered up and ready to go. CPAP batteries are great for camping since most are fairly small and lightweight. Most are also FAA-approved, so you won’t have to worry about transporting them if you’re flying to your camping destination. Keep in mind, however, that an average battery will only last for one or two nights, so we recommend bringing multiple batteries if you plan on taking a longer trip. As you choose a battery, it’s also important to remember that not all batteries are compatible with every machine. Some batteries use a DC input, while others might require an inverter, so it’s best to purchase a battery that is compatible with your CPAP out of the box. If you have questions about your machine’s specific power needs, contact our support team and we’ll help you find what you need.
  2. Using a Car Battery: Using a car battery for your CPAP is an alternative to a traditional CPAP battery that might be appealing depending on your situation. The biggest advantage is how long a car battery will power a CPAP machine – usually, 2-3 days compared to 1-2 for a CPAP battery thanks to a larger capacity cell. However, there are tradeoffs to using your car battery. You will most likely need to use a DC adapter cable, which is clipped onto the positive and negative terminals on the battery and allows you to plug your machine into a standard car auxiliary outlet (cigarette lighter). Depending on your machine, you may also need an inverter to convert the power from DC to AC. Finally, car batteries are not FAA-approved, so you will need to make sure you’re driving to your destination if you plan to bring one along.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the best battery to use for your CPAP on your camping trip. There are positives and negatives to both options, but either one can help you plan the trip you want.

Find a Campsite with Electricity

Of course, the easiest option is just to stay at a campsite that provides power. If you’re looking for a camping experience with a side of air conditioning and Wi-Fi, this is the way to go. There are plenty of great choices, from KOA Campgrounds to National Parks, that offer power hookups. Access to power makes it a lot easier to go camping with your CPAP, especially if you use a humidifier. While helpful, using a humidifier will drain your battery a lot faster, so it’s recommended to have a source of electricity or to bring extra batteries if you plan to use your humidifier on your trip. Powered campsites are also more likely to have bathrooms and showers available, but they may be more crowded and feel less like a true camping experience, so keep all of this in mind as you’re deciding where you want to go.

Choosing a CPAP Machine for Camping

While it’s perfectly fine to use your current CPAP machine for camping, you may also want to consider investing in a travel CPAP machine for long trips. Using a more portable CPAP for camping and other traveling offers a few advantages:

  • Smaller and lighter weight, making it easier to carry on long hikes.
  • Simpler to use in confined spaces such as a car, plane, or tent.
  • You don’t have to disturb your home setup every time you travel.

In addition, travel CPAP machines often have advanced features that allow you to track sleep trends and gain further insight into your sleep quality. These are great for anyone that struggles with sleep more when they’re on the road.

Extra Tips and Reminders

As you’re preparing to go camping with your CPAP, deciding where to stay, and figuring out how many and what type of batteries you need, don’t forget the rest of your essentials.

  • Make sure to bring your mask, tubing, and other accessories such as filters and cleaning supplies that you may need during your trip.
  • Remember to pack everything carefully to avoid damaging your equipment.
  • Consider bringing something to protect your CPAP from the rain, since the weather can be unpredictable.

Above all else, have fun! Camping with sleep apnea doesn’t have to feel any different than normal camping. Make sure you’re prepared, then all you’ll have to worry about is the standard stuff like mosquitoes, poison ivy, and bears…Sweet dreams and happy camping!