From picturesque views to fresh air, better-tasting food to improved mental health, unplugging to being closer to nature, nothing compares to camping in the great outdoors.
However, if you use a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders, you may probably think that camping with CPAP is impossible. But the truth is, you can still enjoy the great outdoors even if you use a CPAP machine. You simply need to make arrangements for how you will power your CPAP while camping. Fortunately, there are several options to explore.
In this guide, we will walk you through various ways of powering your CPAP machine when you are camping in the great outdoors. We will also share some tips for camping with CPAP, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. And with that said, let’s jump straight in.
CPAP Power Supply for Camping: Plug In
As mentioned above, you have several options to explore when it comes to powering your CPAP machine while camping. And one of the options is to book a campsite that’s connected to the grid. With a powered campsite, you will simply need to plug in your CPAP machine and you can continue with your sleep therapy.
There are powered campsites in almost every location or state. You simply need to do some research and identify a campsite that aligns best with your needs, budget and other camping arrangements.
The main benefit of booking a campsite with access to electricity is that you won’t have to bring along lots of supporting equipment or gear. Furthermore, powered campsites tend to be well-maintained and clean.
But like everything else, powered campsites also come with certain drawbacks. Probably the main drawback of powered campsites is that they tend to fill up quite fast. Also, they are quite popular, especially over the weekends and holidays. So, you will have to sacrifice solitude and quietness, if you opt for powered campsites.
CPAP Power Supply for Camping: Unplugged
As noted above, powered campsites will provide you with all the electricity you need to keep your CPAP machine running. However, they also come with the issue of noise nuisance.
So, if your idea of camping entails spending time alone in a quiet place, you will have to move further away from civilization. But, how will you power your CPAP if you don’t have access to electricity? Well, you have two options to explore, which can help to solve this problem. First, you can use a deep cycle battery or use a CPAP battery pack. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.
Using a Deep Cycle Battery
With a decent adapter, you can safely and comfortably power your CPAP using a conventional car battery for a couple of days. To use a deep cycle battery, you can either opt for a DC adapter cable or use an inverter.
Using a DC Adapter Cable
Using an Inverter
Drawbacks of Deep-Cycle Batteries
Without a doubt, deep cycle batteries provide a reliable CPAP power supply for camping. However, they also present some drawbacks. First, deep cycle batteries are quite heavy. Hauling one in a backpack, especially over long distances can prove to be a challenge. So, if your camping trip entails moving from one camping spot to the next, then a deep cycle battery may not be the ideal powering solution for your CPAP machine.
Second, these batteries are not FAA-approved. Therefore, you won’t be allowed to bring one along, if you are traveling by air on your way to your camping destination. In such a case, you will have to make other travel arrangements or explore other means of powering your CPAP machine.
Using a CPAP Battery Pack
As mentioned above, deep-cycle batteries are not portable or travel-friendly. While they can be a great and highly dependable source of power for CPAP machines when outdoors, they pose travel limitations, due to their weight. And this is where CPAP battery packs come in.
CPAP battery packs are lighter, compared to deep-cycle or car batteries. Besides, they are smaller and more compact, making it easier to travel with them. Furthermore, some CPAP batteries are FAA-approved, meaning you can fly with them as you head to your camping destination.
Most CPAP batteries also come with USB ports. Hence, besides using it with your CPAP machine, you can also use the same battery to charge additional devices like a phone, power bank, laptop, audio system or torch.
Drawbacks of CPAP Batteries
Just like deep-cycle batteries, CPAP batteries also come with some drawbacks. Perhaps the main disadvantage of these batteries is their price. For instance, a CPAP battery that can hold enough power to run your CPAP machine for one night will cost around $300 to $400. And for almost the same price, you can get a portable power station, which can power your CPAP for two nights.
Also, CPAP batteries don’t usually come with solar panels, meaning you will have to purchase the solar panels separately. And finding a compatible solar panel for your CPAP battery can prove to be a challenge. Therefore, the number of days you can spend out there when will depend on your battery’s capacity.
Using a Portable Power Station
Another option for powering your CPAP while camping is to use a portable power source. Portable power sources usually feature around two to four electrical outlets. Hence, besides powering your CPAP machine, you can also use these stations to recharge the various electronics that you may have traveled with including a laptop, phone, or audio system.
To power your CPAP machine when camping, you will simply need to plug its power cord directly into the compatible electrical outlet of the power station. Almost all the power stations that you will find on the market will feature several outlets, meaning they can fit almost any type of power cable that your CPAP machine may have.
Portable power stations are available in different sizes. Also, they have different power capacities. And as you may expect, the station’s power capacity will determine how long you can run your CPAP machine.
In general, a mid-tier, portable power source with a capacity of approximately 350 to 500 watts can power your CPAP machine for around one to two nights, even with the heated hose and humidifier turned on.
However, if you are planning to go for an extended camping trip, then you should invest in a larger station, which can hold around 1,000 to 2,000 watt hours. Such a station can power your CPAP machine for a week or even more as long you have reliable solar panels to keep it keep it running.
Portable power sources need recharging, once they have been drained. And, you can recharge it using various ways. One of the best ways of recharging a portable power source is using solar power. Almost all of these stations are sold together with solar panels. And, these solar panels can fully recharge the station within a few hours, as long as there’s adequate sunshine.
Apart from solar energy, you can also recharge your power source by plugging it into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. All of them come with a 12V DC cord, which you can use to plug directly into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. However, this recharging method is only applicable if your vehicle is within the vicinity of your camping site, you are a car camper or an RV camper.
Advantages of a Portable Power Station
Using a portable power station to power your CPAP while camping comes with several advantages.
One of the main benefits of using a portable power station is that it’s extremely quiet. As much as it will keep your CPAP machine running the whole night, it won’t disrupt your sleep in any way, since it doesn’t produce any noise.
Has an Integrated Power Socket
Portable power stations also come with an integrated power socket. Hence, you won’t need to bring along additional power accessories. You simply need to plug in your CPAP machine into the integrated power socket and you are good to go.
Lightweight and Portable
Also, a portable power station is highly portable. It’s lightweight and compact, making it the ideal power source for powering your CPAP and other devices while camping or traveling.
Another benefit of a portable power station is that you can recharge it using solar panels. And this is what sets it apart from the other solutions. Compared to the other options of powering a CPAP while camping, a portable power station is the clear winner.
Tips for Camping with CPAP
Keep CPAP Clean and Dry
It’s important to keep your CPAP clean, even when you are out there camping in the wild. Keeping your CPAP clean will help to prevent the build-up of oil, dead skin cells and sweat.
Also, the moisture in the mask and the water in the machine as well as the hose, all provide breeding grounds for pathogens. By cleaning the CPAP machine at least once per day, you will help to prevent the growth of bacteria, germs and other contaminants, which can make you sick.
Furthermore, it would be advisable to pack extra tubes and filters. So, if any of them breaks, you will have a replacement, meaning you will not be forced to end your camping trip.
Keep Using CPAP, Don't Stop Therapy
Camping with a CPAP machine may require you to make some adjustments than you are used to. And as a result, you may be tempted to stop your therapy during the entirety of your camping trip.
But, it’s highly advisable not to skip your therapy, even if you will only intend to discontinue it for a few nights. Stopping your therapy may affect your health negatively, in various ways.
First, you will find it extremely hard to get a quality night’s sleep. As a result, you will always wake up feeling exhausted, meaning you won’t enjoy your camping trip as much as you should.
Second, you may also have breathing difficulties, both during the night and day. Furthermore, you are also increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke, if you discontinue your therapy.
Therefore, regardless of whether you will only be camping for a few days or several weeks, you should never stop using your CPAP machine. You only need to arrange how you are going to power your CPAP machine and you will be all set.
1. How do you use a CPAP machine without electricity?
When it comes to using a CPAP machine without electricity, you have several possibilities to explore. First, you can use a deep-cycle power battery or a car battery, as they are popularly called. If your CPAP machine has a DC input port, then you can connect it directly to the deep-cycle battery via a DC adapter. In case your CPAP doesn’t have a DC input, you can still connect it to a deep-cycle battery via an inverter, which will convert the battery’s DC power to AC power that the machine can use.
2. Will a portable power station run a CPAP?
Yes, a portable power source can run a CPAP machine. As for the number of hours or days, it can power the CPAP, that will depend on your power station’s capacity. Also, you can check Tips of choosing a portable power station for your CPAP.
3. How long will a CPAP run on a battery backup?
On average, a fully charged CPAP battery can charge the machine for approximately 8 to 24 hours. The actual duration will depend on the battery’s capacity. As you may expect, the greater the battery’s capacity, then the longer the duration that it will power the CPAP machine and vice versa.
Also, if you are using a humidifier, then the duration will be reduced considerably. If you are planning to go on an extended camping trip, it will be highly advisable to carry several backup batteries. Alternatively, you can camp in a place where you can recharge your battery.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, you don’t have to give up your upcoming camping trip just because you use a CPAP machine or discontinue your CPAP therapy just to go for a camping trip. You simply need to find a means of powering your CPAP machine when you are out there. And, you can use any of the options that we’ve recommended here. From there, you can bring your CPAP therapy with you, as you enjoy the great outdoors.