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Is it Possible to Go Camping with a CPAP?

Posted On April 2, 2015
April 02, 2015

Pitching a tent and being one with nature are some of your favorite activities to enjoy in your downtime for pleasure. You have hiked and camped out in some of the most popular, tried and true locations. But still on your bucket list are sleeping under the sandstone arches in the Utah national park, heading to the Far East and Miyajima, Japan in order to camp out with domesticated deer and you definitely want to test the truth of what the Washington Trails Association touts about Sahale Glacier Camp. That is to say that “no one returns disappointed after frolicking among fields of flowers, peaks of ice and boulders bearing basking marmots—some of the most outstanding alpine landscapes to be found anywhere in the world.” But there’s a slight glitch in realizing these dreams. Almost 2 years ago you were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for treatment. Kind of difficult to operate your CPAP machine when miles and meters away from an electrical power source. Is it possible to go camping with a CPAP?

The good news is that indeed it is possible to go camping with your CPAP. All it takes is planning and preparation.

Sleep Apnea 101

For those who might not know, OSA is a condition in which the sufferer stops breathing throughout the course of the night. From mere seconds to minutes and as many as 5 to over 30 instances, sleep apnea obstructs oxygen from properly circulating in the body.

A CPAP machine resolves this obstructive problem by keeping the airway open with a pressurized stream of air. Symptoms of daytime sleepiness, fatigue, snoring, poor concentration, memory loss and morning headaches fall by the wayside when the sleep apnea patient is compliant with CPAP therapy.

Camping with Your CPAP

Even if you will only be camping out overnight, it is important to bring your CPAP machine with you. Think about it: to get a good night’s sleep without feeling fatigued the next day, you need your CPAP machine. If you don’t bring it, you’ll be miserable communing with nature and in all likelihood you’ll be irritable due to tiredness.

Here are some easy steps to get you ready for camping with your CPAP:

  • Get out your CPAP travel bag.
  • Unplug the cord and detach the humidifier.
  • Empty all water from the reservoir and allow to dry.
  • Make sure that along with your machine, you pack any additional supplies such as extension cord, back-up battery and any adaptors (including one if you are travelling overseas).
  • An ample battery source is the key. It is possible to use a 12-volt battery with a sine wave inverter.
  • Contingency plan would be to use a proper power cord that plugs one end into a cigarette lighter and the other into the CPAP machine.

At any rate, it is always sound advice to check with your CPAP manufacturer for the best way to handle alternative power sources for your particular machine. Not matter what, be rest assured that you can still enjoy roasting s’mores by the campfire and pitching your tent for the night when you have sleep apnea and need CPAP for treatment.


If you have sleep apnea and would like to learn more about other treatment options other than CPAP, we can help. Please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a consultation.

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