The ultimate guide for camping with a CPAP machine

Camping in the sunset

If you love the outdoors, camping with your CPAP device has never been easier.

Camping and CPAP therapy go hand in hand when you’re prepared. Like any getaway, you need to plan to ensure your trip is smooth sailing. Your therapy should be a priority wherever you go; after all, sleep plays a major part in how productive, alert and relaxed you are.

This article will guide you through camping with your supplies so you can relax. 

Can I take my CPAP machine camping?

Yes, you should continue using your CPAP machine wherever you travel to. Pausing your therapy can increase the likelihood of your Sleep Apnoea symptoms creeping back, causing an uncomfortable and restless night of sleep. 

Sleep Apnoea treatment has evolved over the years, and you can take your device almost anywhere.

All Intus machines come with a carry case to make travelling easier.

Research where you are going

Depending on where you decide to go camping will determine if you need a travel adaptor and what type of battery you can take with you. Lithium batteries with over 100 watt-hours, such as the Atom Pro, can not be taken on a plane; consider the Ion compact battery pack instead.

If you travel outside the UK, check the available power supply voltage level to ensure your device can be powered through it. If you travel abroad with your CPAP machine, some airlines require a letter to take on board for security purposes to use your device on board. Intus can only provide a letter if you have taken a Sleep Test with us and bought a CPAP machine from us.

Related page: Tips for travelling with Sleep Apnoea

How to power your CPAP machine

Stay at a campsite with available mains power outlets to simplify powering your machine. If there is no available outlet, you may need a battery pack.

Use a DC cable

To help power your device, you can use your car battery or another available source by connecting a DC power adapter cable.

These allow you to power your device off of a cigarette lighter port in a boat, caravan, bike or car. 

Please note: 12V cables are only compatible with other 12V sources. 

Can you run a CPAP off a battery?

You can power your CPAP machine from a battery pack. A CPAP battery pack makes travelling with your device easy and can power your device for up to three days. 

What’s the best CPAP battery for camping?

A popular and reliable option is the PowaPacs 12V Atom Pro, which only takes around seven to eight hours to recharge. The portable battery pack is excellent for camping trips, paired with an optional 12V power cable adapter for optimised efficiency; alternatively, you can use the mains lead. 

The Atom Pro can power the ResMed AirSense 10 machine for up to 28 hours; find your device’s estimated run time here

If you use a battery pack, ensure you regularly test it to keep it working when you don’t use it.

Please be aware using a humidifier and heated tube will drain your battery power significantly. 

Pack a disposable CPAP humidifier

When camping, you may find your humidifier drains your battery too quickly. An alternative to using your usual humidifier chamber is a waterless disposable humidifier

These do not use water and eliminate a dry mouth, throat and nose like your standard humidifier tub. 

Using disposable humidifiers also prevents you from needing to take distilled water on your travels.

Please note: Individual disposable humidifiers can only be used for up to 24 hours.

Pack CPAP wipes

Keeping your CPAP supplies clean is essential; it helps to remove bacteria and get the most from your equipment. 

It can be harder to clean your equipment when camping, so taking CPAP wipes is ideal. 

These small and affordable wipes are alcohol and latex free. 

Related post: How to clean your CPAP equipment

Pack extra supplies

Taking extra supplies can ensure your therapy is not compromised. Consider packing: 

Consider a travel CPAP machine

If you frequently travel to campsites, consider investing in a travel CPAP machine

To avoid lugging your heavy device around, choose a portable machine. Many travel machines are as small as the palm of your hand, quiet and lightweight. 

Travel machine options:

  • ResMed AirMini – Since the first day of distribution, AirMini has been in high demand. The machine offers the quality technology of the usual ResMed devices but at a much smaller and more convenient size. When paired with the HumidX waterless humidification, camping with Sleep Apnoea is simple. Any CPAP mask can be used with the AirMini when the universal hose adapter is added. If you usually use the myAir management app, AirMini is compatible with this feature.
  • Transcend 3 Auto – The ultimate travel companion, the Transcend is compact and ready to go anywhere with you. The Transcend also has two battery options to maximise portability and convenience. 

Please be aware that the travel device you require may be out of stock due to the global shortage of CPAP machine chips. 

Use a CPAP alternative

Depending on the severity of your Sleep Apnoea, you could use a CPAP alternative

Those with milder forms of OSA can use an alternative treatment. It’s much easier to pack an oral appliance or positional therapy trainer. Temporary treatment options include:

  • Oral appliances – Also known as Mandibular Advancement Devices, are mouth guards or dental appliances clinically proven to treat milder forms of OSA. They gently pull the lower jaw and tongue forward to reduce breathing pauses (apnoeas) and snoring.
  • Positional therapy – Sleeping on your side can help prevent Sleep Apnoea events; the Somnibel positional sleep therapy trainer encourages the user to sleep on their side. The small forehead device lightly vibrates while sleeping on your back or stomach. 

Please note: It is encouraged to go back to using your CPAP machine if your doctor or sleep specialist advises. 

Round up

Treating your Sleep Apnoea while away from home is essential for your health and preventing further complications. 

To have comfortable travels, always treat your OSA.

If you have any questions, contact us for expert advice.

Author Danielle Myatt