A CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a standard treatment option for people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is a medical condition characterized by blocked or collapsed airways.
One condition that worsens the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea is cold. In the winter, cases of OSA tend to be worse compared to the summer. As you know, camping does not always provide the warmest weather. You must deal with cold nights and depend on a few blankets to keep you warm.
If you have OSA, then a CPAP machine is a must-have when you go camping. However, the solution seems plausible in a developed campsite where each station has a power supply. But as you know, sometimes camping is all about living in the wild with no contact from the outside world. That means no power supply or generators.
Now, how do you power up your CPAP machine without power in your campsite? If you want to find out, keep reading.
Types of CPAP Machines
There are different types of CPAP machines. The common ones include:
1. Auto CPAP
These machines adjust the pressure delivered automatically. With an auto CPAP, you have it working on a variable or constant pressure. They come in different sizes too.
2. Travel Machines
These CPAP machines provide OSA patients with sleep therapy on the go. Notably, they are compact, with advanced features to deliver full performance. They come in small, travel-friendly portable sizes.
These machines have 2 pressure settings. The inhaling pressure is high. On the other hand, the lower pressure setting is for exhaling. BiPAP machines are standard for patients with low oxygen levels or cardiopulmonary disorders.
Depending on your activities, you can invest in a portable CPAP machine. For instance, they are easy to carry around when you go camping.
The CPAP machines come in different ratings. Therefore, they require different power supply connections. For instance, you can directly connect a 90-Watt CPAP machine rated 240 Volts to the outlet.
However, if the rating drops to 12 or 24 volts, you need an adapter. The adapter will step down the 240 volts in the outlet to 12 or 24 volts you need for the CPAP machine.
Below, we discuss how you can keep your CPAP machine running, even when you go camping.
Camping with CPAP
The adventure and thrill of camping should not pass you because you worry about keeping up with OSA therapy. Nowadays, you can explore many options when planning your camping trip.
In this case, you have 2 options:
- Camping with your CPAP plugged in
- Camping with your CPAP unplugged
The first option involves you camping on sites with access to electricity. On the other hand, camping unplugged means traveling with your power supply.
Visit a campsite with power
Among the many options, you can consider to power up your CPAP machine outdoors is camping on sites with power. Usually, these camping sites have drinking water and electricity hookup stations. Therefore, campers do not have to worry about charging their phones or plugging in crucial equipment like their CPAP machines.
Some of the top Electricity supplies in the US include:
- Elk City Lake camping grounds in Oklahoma
- Visitor Center, Natchez Mississippi
- Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas
- Chatfield State Park, Colorado
- Most of these campsites are clean and well-maintained
- You enjoy complete therapy runtime, which means full therapy benefits
- Most of these campsites are full of people. So, you may have to change plans or cancel your trip
- They are not the perfect camping grounds for people who want to enjoy solitude
Take your Therapy off-grid
Alternatively, you can take your therapy off-grid with power storage systems. Thanks to the compact CPAP machines and portable power sources, camping off-grid is possible. The variety of power converters allows campers to keep up with their therapy off-grid.
If you are a die-hard camper, lack of electricity hookup on your favorite camping grounds should not be an issue. If you have to continue your sleep apnea therapy, you can find a solution. Remember, skipping your treatment therapy, even for a few days, could reverse your progress.
Ways to Power your CPAP off the Grid
When you are camping with no access to electricity, you can solve your problem in two major ways.
1. Using your vehicle’s battery
When you want to use your CPAP machine when camping, you can use your vehicle’s battery to power it. It works similarly to charging your phone on the car. You’ll need an adapter with ratings similar to your CPAP machine.
If you have a 12 volts CPAP machine, you will need an adapter rated 12 volts output. You have two options to power your CPAP machine:
Using a DC Adapter- You clip the positive and negative terminals to the battery outlets on your cigarette lighter plug.
You connect your inverter to the car’s battery using an inverter. The inverter changes the DC power to AC power for your CPAP machine.
If you’re using a ResMed’s S9 or S8 CPAP machine, you get an inverter and a converter that lets you connect the device to your car, boat, or trailer’s battery.
You can also buy one if your CPAP machine does not have one.
2. Using a CPAP battery pack
A portable power source is an even better solution to keeping up with OSA therapy when camping off-grid. This option saves your vehicle’s battery from damage and keeps you sleeping soundly at night.
The most common power source would be a CPAP battery pack. Most CPAP retailers offer to sell batteries. Usually, these batteries are small and lightweight. Furthermore, many are rechargeable, which means you can use one on multiple camping trips.
Most can last 1-2 nights before you need to recharge them. But this is a problem you can solve by getting multiple battery packs for your camping trip.
- Batteries allow you to go camping anywhere
- An FAA-approved battery is all you need to fly anywhere
- You can enjoy camping with no sight of civilization
- Lithium-ion batteries do not work well under heat and can hence fail on you when camping in hot places
- Batteries also tend to be expensive
- Batteries may fail to sustain your machine, especially the higher-rated CPAP machines
Can I choose a CPAP machine with an in-built battery?
At the moment, there are no CPAP machines with in-built batteries. However, there are now more miniature battery packs that you can use when traveling. Couple that with a travel CPAP machine, and you can go camping anywhere.
Will the inverters damage my CPAP machine?
An inverter will not damage your machine. However, it reduces your battery’s runtime. An inverter uses battery power to convert DC power to AC power. Inevitably, it consumes some of the energy that you could use to prolong your camping trip.
How do you charge batteries in remote camping sites?
Advanced technology allows smaller solar panel generation. If you travel to camping sites without nearby towns, you can buy a solar panel to charge your battery pack. A solar charger could be a game-changer if you enjoy outdoor activities.
Skipping an OSA therapy treatment is not an option, especially when you decide to go camping. There’re many options available. You can buy a battery pack or power your machine directly from your boat, RV, or sedan. All you need is an adapter cable. So, do not let your camping experience die down.