How To Camp With Sleep Apnea (CPAP)

Camping with Sleep ApneaEven among compliant users, CPAP can be inconvenient for frequent business travelers, vacations such as cruises, camping, hunting or fishing trips, backpacking, to name a few.

Patients that want to use CPAP for camping or other travels where electricity is unavailable have to carry a power source in addition to the CPAP machine. The inconvenience may cause them to leave it at home and not treat their sleep apnea.  This increases the risk of medical complication if CPAP use is infrequent due to travel or choice.


CPAP Oral Appliance

Oral appliances are convenient and effective alternatives to CPAP for Sleep Apnea patients who use their CPAP at home but would prefer to leave it at home when you travel. Properly designed and adjusted Oral appliances are effective, convenient alternatives to CPAP and are acceptable treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea when camping or travelling.

There are numerous ways that you can bring your sleep apnea machine with you as you go camping. Plus with technology improving each and every year, CPAP machines are getting better and smaller.

There are a couple different types of CPAP machines that make camping outdoors more enjoyable and easy to use. Here are a couple new CPAP machines to look into for camping or RVing:

Mini CPAP machine Camping and RVingMini CPAP Machine – 

Transcend makes a mini CPAP machine that is not only lighweight and portable, but also quiet.

CPAP Batter Pack Backup – 

While camping with CPAP had its turn off’s 5-10 years ago, there was no bigger turnoff than lugging around a car battery in order to hook up your CPAP machine. Those days are not long gone, but getting there.

Today battery technology is getting better and so are the CPAP batter packs and battery backups. Check out a sampling on amazon here.

Solar powered CPAP – 

If you are truly to go camping in the back country, it will be impossible to lug around a car battery to power the CPAP machine. This where solar comes in really handy.

Solar powered CPAP machines are broken down into two items: portable solar panels and batteries.

Portable solar panels are getting incredibly cheap and can recharge CPAP batteries during the day. Check out some incredible solar panels for CPAP here.

Tips for Traveling With A CPAP Machine – 

Traveling with a CPAP machine, especially the travel versions listed above is actually pretty easy.

  • When flying, do not check in your CPAP machine, as long as you keep it in its own plastic tub, TSA won’t have a problem with it.
  • Always remember to bring extra parts: mask, tubes and cord plugin.
  • Always bring an extension cord. It seems to never fail that the outlet is not in optimum location to where you are sleeping.

I work with sleep physicians to construct a sleep appliance and test its efficacy for camping, business travel or other situations where CPAP is inconvenient to use.

Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition affecting nearly 18 million Americans as estimated by the National Sleep Foundation.  That’s 1 in 15 people. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to the development of weight gain, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and hypertension. There is also a much higher risk of death by traffic accidents due to daytime sleepiness.

Conventional medical treatment of sleep apnea is the use of a CPAP machine. A mask is worn over the nose and/or mouth and is attached to a fan-like device that pushes air into the lungs as you sleep. If worn, CPAP is highly effective treatment for sleep apnea. Unfortunately, compliance with CPAP has been reported to be only 54% were using it after several years and nearly 40% had discontinued use within the first year in one long term study.



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