If you’re planning a camping trip, but are worrying about CPAP camping therapy in the great outdoors, you don’t have to panic.
Not only is it possible to go camping with sleep apnea, but we’re also going to show you how you can get the most out of your experience and make your next trip a delightful one!
You have two options, one is mains electricity, or you go for a portable option.
By the end of this guide, you’ll learn all you need about how to go on your next camping trip into the great outdoors and power your CPAP machine to continue your sleep therapy in comfort without using travel CPAP machines. (Find the Best Camping Shower)
How Do I Power My CPAP While Camping?
Powered campsites have all the electricity for your CPAP therapy without any compromise. Do some research, and you’ll find campsites with electricity. Plugging into the mains is a massive advantage for anyone needing a CPAP machine.
When powering a CPAP machine on battery power, you’ll find a heated humidifier drains a battery faster than usual and can reduce your therapy run-time. Plugging in helps avoid such issues and gives you a full 8 hours of CPAP therapy.
CPAP batteries let you venture further off the track and explore more. You can, however, find you are limited to how long you can go.
Many CPAP battery packs are suitable for one or two nights power before requiring a recharge.
If you wish to trek or hike deep into the woods or up mountains, then you’ll need multiple travel CPAP batteries.
Although tempting to skip CPAP therapy, this can leave you without energy, and you can find your trip less enjoyable.
Travel CPAP battery packs can be expensive, such as the ResMed Power Station. Luckily there are a couple of solutions how you can power your CPAP machine that would offer enough power at night to give you enough pressure for the best night’s sleep.
How Do You Use a CPAP Machine Without Electricity?
A CPAP battery backup offers up to two nights of sleep apnea therapy for one single charge. A CPAP battery pack is essential to make your home CPAP portable for camping or an emergency.
Many CPAP options are light and compact, easy to store until you need them. The issue comes with charging when away from mains electricity or a vehicle. Solar is a great way to top up your battery while away from civilization.
You can find a suitable solar panel that can fold, and itself doesn’t take much space. Leave these during the day, and your CPAP will be charged by night.
Do I Need a Voltage Converter for My CPAP Machine?
All CPAPs operate on DC power using a 12-volt inverter to change the current from DC to AC before reaching your machine.
You can find some that use a DC power source without any inverter being required. All you need is the power cord connected to the CPAP and end terminates in a cigarette lighter plug.
Inverters need lots of power, and they can use around 50% of your battery life as a result.
Can a CPAP Machine Run on Batteries?
When camping or when off grid, powering your CPAP machine can be carried out using batteries specifically designed for CPAP machines. It is also possible to use a deep cycle car or marine battery to make sure you have the necessary cables and converters. (Find the Best Traveling Hammock)
Over the years, there has been a significant increase in interest in having a special portable battery built to manage a CPAP machine’s power needs.
By producing products designed to power portable CPAP machines off-the-grid, manufacturers have replied. Lithium-ion batteries receive a charge from a power source and can power your CPAP machine for a modest amount of time. Two nights of therapy for one charge is often a good average.
If you use humidification or are at altitude, this can impact how long your battery will last.
Also note, using an AC power inverter can reduce battery run times.
Higher elevation means a machine needs to work harder to obtain the right therapeutic pressure, and your battery drains faster as a result.
For campers, humidification is not recommended, as it leads to a considerable drain on the battery, which reduces battery life considerably.
Deep Cycle Car and Marine Batteries
Depending on where you are camping, you can use a car battery, or deep cycle marine battery to power some CPAP machines.
You can easily find a car battery at auto parts stores. Such car batteries are lead-acid deep cycle batteries. They offer a much higher capacity than any CPAP lithium-ion battery, and as such, they can provide power for many more days than your smaller battery option.
The downside, however, is you can’t carry this backpacking.
To make this work, you’ll need either:
- A DC Adapter Cable to connect your CPAP machine with its DC Cable
- An Inverter
Using DC Adapter Cable for CPAP Battery Camping
A DC Adapter Cable utilizes alligator clips to attach to the deep-cycle battery’s positive and negative terminals.
It then passes power via a cigarette lighter connector.
You can now insert the DC cable of your machine to the cigarette lighter socket and use this to power your device.
Using an Inverter for CPAP Battery for Camping
The DC power generated by the battery is converted to AC power by an inverter so that your device can use it.
A few machines need a particular form called a Pure Sine Wave Inverter, and not using it could risk damaging your device.
You’ll have to make sure there are alligator clips you can attach to the deep cycle battery to make the inverter work with a car battery.
It would convert DC to AC power, and you can even plug in your CPAP like you were at home.
There are however a few drawbacks using a car or marine battery for CPAP camping:
Weight: Car batteries are heavy and nearly impossible to take hiking.
FAA Approval: Since deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are filled with toxic chemicals, which can be seen as unstable, they’re not permitted for use in some areas. A good example being on planes, they would be stopped at check-in. (Learn How to Make the Best Camping Coffee)
If you are in an RV or car camping, then battery-powered CPAP for camping makes exploration more accessible and comfortable at night when you can receive your therapy and get a good few hours of sleep at night.