If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), your treatment may involve use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine at night.
These devices are used to keep your airway open so that you can break the cycle of intermittent breathing stoppages and benefit from a good night's sleep.
If you love camping and are worried about how you can maintain your therapy and use a CPAP machine when camping, read on.
Technological Advances in CPAP Machines
Technology continues to advance. There's now a range of travel CPAP machines that are lightweight, portable and durable. This means that you can still enjoy holidays and travel while maintaining your therapy for OSA. However, there are some important considerations that you need to be aware of when choosing your new CPAP travel device.
Choosing a Travel CPAP for Camping
There are a few key things to keep in mind when camping:
- Follow your prescription and recommendations for mask type and features.
- Check that your preferred type of mask is compatible with your chosen travel CPAP.
- Check that your travel CPAP has the same features that you require from your standard CPAP machine. Consider things like humidifiers, pressure range, ramp options and data tracking.
- Test how portable and lightweight the machine is, especially if you are backpacking or traveling lightly.
- Consider the decibel level. The lower the number, the quieter the machine.
- Have a look at the warranty and range of accessories that are available for the particular device.
- Be aware that travel CPAPs may not be covered by health insurance
Critical Point: Powering Your Device
One of the most important considerations when taking your travel CPAP on a camping trip is access to electricity.
Although travel CPAP machines are designed for travel, they DO NOT include a battery, so you must have a power source.
If you enjoy camping, you will need to check if your campsite has powered sites and consider booking ahead to ensure that your site has power if you are traveling during high season.
If you want to camp 'off grid' you will need to have a separate battery.
A reliable and versatile way to camp off-grid is to have a portable power source.
ResMed Power Station II is one example, but you will need to make sure that your battery is compatible with your chosen CPAP travel device. Naturally, you need to remember that even your power source needs charging at some point.
There are some solar charging options available, but again, you need to check that these are compatible with your particular battery.
Don’t Skip Your CPAP Therapy
Untreated sleep apnea can have a devastating effect on your health and quality of life so it's important to maintain your CPAP therapy.
Fortunately, you can still enjoy travel and camping by using a portable travel CPAP, but make sure that you choose your device carefully. Check that your device has the features that you need.
More importantly, if you intend to take your device camping, consider how you will power your device as there are no battery-operated CPAP devices on the market as yet.
For more information about camping with a CPAP machine and a closer look at some different features, benefits and recommendations, follow the links below: