5 Helpful Tips for Camping with Your CPAP Machine

A senior man poses during a camping trip.

Fresh air, photo-worthy views, and the liberating feeling of getting away from it all. If you use a CPAP machine, you might think it’s not possible to enjoy an escape to the great outdoors like you used to. However, you absolutely can. With a little bit of planning and some smart packing, camping with your CPAP machine is just as easy as using it at home. Follow these helpful tips and you’ll be sleeping under the stars in no time. 

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Consider a Travel-Sized CPAP Machine

Traveling with the right gear can make all the difference. For those of you with the budget, there are CPAP machines made with travel in mind. Lightweight and sleek, the ResMed AirMini is a portable machine that offers big-time features like waterless humidification, AutoRamp sleep onset detection, and easy control via the AirMini™ app. You can even buy special travel-specific packs that include tubes, humidifier cartridges, and adapters that are compatible with certain masks, like this one for the N20 Nasal CPAP mask. 

Although the AirMini is a great travel option, most CPAP machines these days are transportable enough that you don’t need to purchase anything extra if you don’t want to. Better yet, you can find special bags and cases for just about any model that will make traveling to and from your campsite a breeze.  

Book a Campsite with Access to Electricity

It’s one thing to bring your CPAP machine, but powering it is another matter entirely. Fortunately, there are plenty of state and national parks and KOA campgrounds that have campsites with access to electricity. In most cases, you can even book your spot in advance. Although these sites aren’t typically well away from civilization, they still offer the chance to get outdoors without having to worry about buying anything extra to power your CPAP machine.  

Bring a Travel Battery If You're Going Off-Grid

There’s nothing quite like the peace and quiet you get from being well away from busy roads and bustling campgrounds. If you prefer primitive camping, having a CPAP machine doesn’t have to hold you back from truly getting away. For its ease of use, a travel battery like the ResMed Power Station II can’t be beaten. This portable battery provides up to 13 hours of power, meaning you can leave the cords and outlet behind.  

Another option is the Air10 DC/DC converter, which you can use in your car’s cigarette lighter socket or hook up directly to a car or boat battery. For a higher-tech option, invest in a portable solar panel and generator and keep your CPAP battery charged by harnessing the power of the sun.  

With portable batteries and all kinds of ways to charge them, your CPAP machine shouldn’t keep you from wandering off the beaten path. 

Pack Extra Filters, Tubes & Cleaning Wipes

Roughing it is part of the fun of camping, but the outdoors isn’t as controlled of an environment as your home’s bedroom. Something can always get dirty or break, and the last thing you’d want to do is cut your camping trip short because of something going wrong with your CPAP machine. The solution? Pack extra filters and tubes just in case anything breaks, as well as CPAP wipes to keep everything clean and sanitary. Having more than you think will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your camping trip.   

Don't Stop Your CPAP Therapy

Camping with a CPAP machine may require a few more steps than you’re used to. Although not necessarily inconvenient, the extra work needed to use your device might tempt you to skip therapy for a few nights. Doing so may negatively impact your health, however. For starters, you won’t get the quality sleep you are now used to, which will leave you feeling exhausted when you should otherwise be relishing your time on the hiking trails or by the lake.  

You may also notice a difference in your breathing throughout the night and during the day, and your risk of having a stroke or heart attack while you sleep jumps significantly when you skip therapy. Not only is using your CPAP machine while you’re camping good for your health, but it also allows you to feel rested enough to truly relish your trip in a way that you deserve.  

Given how important CPAP machines are in the treatment of sleep apnea, and how they need uninterrupted access to electricity to function, it would be easy to feel like your camping days are over. But with a bit of preparation and the right supplies, you can camp out in the wilderness just like you used to. Planning your next camping trip? Get the supplies you need here or browse our array of CPAP masks and machines 

Camping With a CPAP Machine FAQs

How Do I Run My CPAP While Camping?  

There are two ways you can run your CPAP machine while you’re camping. The first is to stay at a campsite with access to electricity so you can plug your machine directly into an outlet. Your other option is to purchase a portable battery or an adapter that you can use to hook your CPAP machine up to a car or boat battery.  

Is There a Portable CPAP Machine for Camping?  

There is no camping-specific CPAP machine, but the smaller ones made for traveling work just as well. These include the ResMed AirMini, a portable CPAP machine that is light and compact design with features like expiratory pressure relief, sleep onset detection, waterless humidification, and Bluetooth connectivity. Although machines like the AirMini are easy to travel with, most devices these days are streamlined enough that you can camp with them. 

Is There a Battery-Operated CPAP Machine?  

Although there are no strictly battery-operated CPAP machines, many of them are compatible with portable batteries made by their manufacturer. In some cases, you can get an adapter that will enable you to connect your CPAP machine to your car’s cigarette slot or a car or boat battery.  

What Are Some of the Best CPAP Batteries for Camping and Traveling? 

When you’re shopping for a CPAP battery, look for one that is lightweight, compact, and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. Weighing in at only two pounds, the ResMed Power Station II offers up to 14 hours of battery life at 10 cm H20, while the ResMed-compatible Medistorm Pilot-24 Lite generates up to 16 hours at 1.3 pounds. There are many other options out there, some of which you can see in this article by the Sleep Foundation 

How Long Can a CPAP Battery Run For?  

Battery life depends on the battery itself and how you run your CPAP machine. The baseline is up to 16 hours, but your battery may only last for half of that if you’re using your humidifier. For longer camping trips, consider having a backup battery or a place you can charge it once every two days.  

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