Ever wanted to go camping with your CPAP machine, but didn’t know how? Need to know what CPAP supplies to bring on your next adventure? This article goes over these topics and provides valuable information on how to travel with your CPAP machine, and get the most out of your treatment– even when on-the-go.
Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, you can’t just leave your CPAP machine on your nightstand! Sleep Apnea therapy is an ongoing treatment, so you can’t “take a vacation” from your sleep therapy, but traveling with a CPAP machine doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, portable CPAP machines make traveling with them a breeze! But we’ll get into those later, for now, let’s tackle how to travel with your CPAP machine and what essentials to pack.
Flying with CPAP Machines: Airport Security
Probably the most daunting form of travel nowadays is by plane. You may have immediately ruled out flying with CPAP machines on your next trip simply because you didn’t want to take it through the TSA checkpoint. Well, never fear because we’ve got the tips to get you cleared! The TSA sees several CPAP machines a day and is well aware of what they are. Here are a few tips from them on how to get your CPAP machine TSA-ready:
- Don’t check it –They recommend not putting it in your checked bag because, if lost, you will be without your machine.
- Bring a plastic bag – You’ll need to take your machine out and place it in a bin for inspection, so they recommend you bring a plastic bag to put the parts in so they don’t come in direct contact with the unsanitary bins. After all, people put their shoes in there!
- Leave the CPAP mask and tubing in the case – If you have a traveling case for your CPAP machine, you only need to remove the CPAP machine itself from your case.
Now that you’re through security, you’re just about plane-ready. If you have a long or international flight, you may need to use your CPAP machine on your flight. If so, double check that the plane you’re on has power outlets available. If it does, you’ll be able to plug it in and use it as you would at home. If not, do some research before your flight and consider ordering the optional travel battery for your CPAP machine, if available.
How to Camp With Your CPAP Machine
So you’re taking a trip to the great outdoors? Just because you’re in the wilderness, doesn’t mean your snoring won’t be heard. Trust us, if someone snores in the woods and no one is around to hear it, it still makes a sound! Here’s how to make traveling with CPAP machines easy, even when you’re camping:
1. Bring your battery backups -Unless you’re going glamping, you likely won’t have access to any outlets in your tent. You’ll have to purchase the optional battery for your CPAP machine ahead of time and, depending on the length of your trip, you may even want to buy
2. Don’t risk hooking it up to your car battery and draining the power!
3. Keep it clean – Bring some extra supplies, like an extra filter and some mask wipes to keep your device as sanitary as possible.
4. Strongly consider purchasing a travel CPAP machine -There are so many benefits to having a portable CPAP but, when it comes to camping, the most glaring is its compactable size and weight. Even if you were traveling with “nothing but the clothes on your back”, a portable CPAP would be easy to bring along.
The Essential Equipment to Pack When Traveling
It’s easy to forget what all goes into your CPAP therapy, especially when we mostly just set it up at home and leave it on the nightstand. That’s why having a handy checklist, like the one below, is necessary when you’re traveling with CPAP machines! Here’s a sample checklist for you:
- CPAP Machine
- CPAP Mask
- Power Cords
- Sanitary Needs
- Mask Wipes
- Distilled Water Bottle
- Tube Cleaner
- Extra Filters (especially if you’re camping or outdoors!)
Covering Your Bases:
- Battery (if you’ll be without power or using CPAP on an airplane)
- Extension Cord
- Your physician’s phone number, prescription, and your medical card (just in case!)
- Power Adapter (for international travelers)
- Travel Case (if available)
- CPAP Medical Identification Luggage Tag
If you’re worried something might get damaged when traveling with CPAP machines, you can also bring an extra mask and hose. Now, look at the size of your machine and all of these parts sitting by your bed. Can you easily fit that all in a carry-on bag and keep it sanitary? If not, you must have a travel CPAP machine!
How Are Travel CPAP Machines Different Than Regular CPAP Machines?
We wish all of your questions were this easy! Here’s a quick look at the major differences between the 2 types of machines and why they make traveling with CPAP machines so much easier.
1. They’re smaller and more lightweight! They’re designed to be compact and easy to carry around. Some of these devices even weigh in at under 1lb! They also have simplified style, making airport screenings easy.
2. Quick and easy setup! They’re meant to be used whenever and wherever, so setup and use of these portable CPAP machines is incredibly simple.
3. Super slim tubing! Most travel CPAP devices have a slimmer tube, measuring at just 15mm, and are compatible with any CPAP mask.
4. Most traveling CPAP machines have travel cases that make them easy to pack up and go. Some offer battery packs, travel-sized cleaning solutions, and more.
5. Many manufacturers also make travel accessories. Some travel CPAP machines have waterless humidifiers, Bluetooth connection, USB ports to minimize the need for 2 outlets, auto start features to simplify therapy on the road (or in the sky), and more!
Trying to make sense of travel CPAP machines? Do you have questions about CPAPs in general? You’ll want to check out our comprehensive guide to CPAP machines. In this article, we’ll discuss costs, warranties, features, and much more! We hope it helps you on your journey to CPAP success!
Well, now you have all of the information you need to travel with your CPAP machine! Now all that’s left to do is subscribe to our newsletter for more useful CPAP & Sleep Apnea information, as well as savings on equipment!
David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it’s like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient’s perspective to the CPAP.com blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment.