The Ultimate Guide To Camping With Your CPAP

Are you ready for the summer to finally arrive? If so, you’re not alone.

After all, there’s nothing better than sunshine and warm weather after a long cold winter. There’s no denying that camping is one of the most popular summertime activities for many people. But those suffering from sleep apnea, the notion of camping can cause some alarm.

That’s because you might have concerns about keeping your CPAP machine when traveling with sleep apnea.

This article takes a look at traveling with sleep apnea no matter where your camping vacation might take you. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

Don’t Forget to Pack Your CPAP Essentials

Let’s start by discussing the essentials you’ll need for packing for your upcoming camping trip. After all, you won’t want to get where you’re going and realize you’ve left something important at home.

It’s best to start with your travel bag and add the necessary equipment as you go. Included on this list should be items like your CPAP machine, power cord, your mask, and CPAP tubing.

There are a few other important details to consider before leaving the house, including bringing a battery pack in case of power outages, bringing an extension cord, and making sure the humidifier chamber on your CPAP machine is completely empty and dry.

Pro Tip: It’s also wise to bring extra filters, tubing and mask cushions just in case anything gets damaged or lost during your trip.

Be Prepared for Camping Conditions

Keep in mind that you’ll need to prepare for camping outdoors. This means there could be a difference in altitude, thus it’s important to check the settings on your machine. 

Pro Tip : Consider putting together a travel only CPAP kit to take on your many expeditions, while keeping your other equipment safe at home.

Cleaning Supplies

You’ll need to pack some basic cleaning supplies to keep your CPAP equipment sanitized. The most important items include:

  • Soap and water – it’s best to use mild soap and warm water.
  • Vinegar – this will serve as a natural disinfect to kill germs and bacteria.
  • Towel – a clean, soft, lint-free towel is important for gently scrubbing your equipment.  
  • Mask wipes – these wipes are ideal for getting your mask as clean as possible.
  • Distilled Water – keep your machine running smoothly and use for cleaning.

Pro Tip: Make sure to check your filter as needed and change it out when you are home from your trip. You can also upgrade your filter to a bacteria filter to give added comfort against outdoor allergens.

How to Clean Your Machine and Mask

One of the most important travel tips for cleaning your CPAP equipment while camping is to provide enough time for everything to dry between uses. That’s because damp equipment can quickly attract mold.

Use a damp cloth to clean the machine, removing any dust or debris on the outside. Then gently dry it with your lint-free towel.

For your mask, gently wash it with mild soap and warm water, allowing it to dry thoroughly. Be sure to wipe down all surfaces of the mask with mask wipes. 

To sanitize the CPAP tubing, create solution of 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts water and run the solution through the entire length of the tubing. Then empty the tubing and rinse thoroughly.

Now allow everything to air dry.

Pro tip: A great portable cleaning solution to have available is packing a CPAP cleaning machine like the Sleep8 or the Clean Z.

The Complete Guide to Camping With Your CPAP

Planning your upcoming camping vacation can be exciting, but you’ll also have to prepare for sleeping. Fortunately, these tips for keeping your CPAP machine clean when traveling with sleep apnea will help you get the rest you need.

Please contact us to learn how we can help with all your CPAP needs.

About the Author


Jason Smith is recognized by the board of polysomnographic technologists (BRPT) as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) since 2003. He is also Director of Clinical Operations for 6 multi-state sleep diagnostic facilities including the nation’s largest 20 bed sleep disorder testing center. Jason has also been a Co-Author with two research publications featured in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.