Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
My Experience Camping Without My CPAP
photo of young man adjusting tent flap

Last year, I went camping but I wasn’t able to use my CPAP since the campsite had no power. It can be difficult to get a good night's sleep when you’re without your CPAP machine. Here’s my experience and what I plan to do next time.

Tired the Next Day

When you’re not using your sleep apnea machine, you’re going to feel tired the next day. I didn’t feel my best when camping and felt I could’ve used more sleep. I tried my best to get rest, but my sleep apnea machine makes a world of difference in how I feel the next day. I missed that restful sleep I get with my machine.

My camping trip was fun and I enjoyed it, but I was tired most of the time due to a lack of sleep. I miss my CPAP machine a lot when I can’t use it.

You May Have Other Symptoms

During my camping trip, I woke up with a bad sore throat. This is normal for me. When I don’t use my CPAP, my acid reflux comes back. I also get a sore throat from snoring loudly. I knew then that camping without my CPAP was going to be a problem.

My snoring also kept my wife awake at night. She has gotten used to me not snoring when I wear my CPAP mask. If you don’t camp with your CPAP, you may keep others up at night if you snore loudly, and most of us with sleep apnea are loud.

Use Sites With Power

If you have sleep apnea, I recommend trying to find camping sites with power. This makes it easier than trying to sleep without your machine. The problem is that not all camping sites have power hookups, so you’ll have to pick and choose where you stay.

Get a Portable Battery Pack or Charger

There are new options on the market now, which I’m investigating for future camping trips. You can now buy portable batteries, which give you a couple of days' worth of charges for short camping trips. These cost quite a bit but are worth it if you have sleep apnea and enjoy the outdoors.

You can also take a portable charger with you, but many of these units don’t give you the charge you need for a longer camping trip. You may only get a few hours before you need to charge the unit again. These can still be ideal if you’re only going for a night or two. Check with the manufacturer to see if they are suitable for CPAP machines.

Use a Smaller “Travel” CPAP Machine

The ResMed AirMini is a good option for camping. This is a smaller unit suitable for a tent. It’s compact and has a waterless design, so you don’t need to lug distilled water with you to the campsite. You’ll want to use a portable battery or hook it to a portable charger to use it. If the site has power, this unit would be ideal.

Key Points:

  • You’ll feel tired.
  • You may have other symptoms.
  • Use sites with power.
  • Get a portable battery pack or charger.
  • Use a smaller “travel” CPAP machine.

I enjoy camping and need to use my CPAP, so I’m going to look at some different options. You don’t have to give up the things you love when you have sleep apnea. You have a wide range of different options with CPAP therapy so you get the rest you need.




Photo Credit: Srinrat Wuttichaikitcharoen / EyeEm via Getty Images

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Brian Lamacraft

Brian Lamacraft

Diagnosed since 2017

Brian Lamacraft has lived with sleep apnea for over 4 years. He is a full-time writer and guitar player. He spends his spare time writing music, going to the Royal Canadian Legion, and having fun camping trips with close friends. He lives in Powell River, Canada, with his lovely wife. Reach him at his website Lamacraft Writing Services or LinkedIn.

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