A family at night walks toward a glowing tent under a starry night sky.

Glamping With My CPAP

Last updated: February 2022

I have some wonderful memories of the camping adventures I had with my family as a child. For my sixth birthday, I got to tag along on a huge Boy Scouts camping trip because my dad was a scout leader. I remember the warm glow of the campfire and a big group of boy scouts singing "Happy Birthday" raucously. Since developing sleep apnea as an adult, my camping reality changed radically.

Problems camping with a CPAP

In the early years, when I was still getting used to CPAP therapy, camping was a comedy of errors. I would show up to the campground, realizing I had forgotten a key piece of my CPAP setup.

On one occasion, I returned home after a sleepless night to discover my newly washed CPAP hose hanging up in the shower to dry where I had left it. Another time, I arrived at the campsite only to discover that there was no power outlet available.

Glamping vs camping with CPAP

For a few years, I just gave camping a miss. Then our family friends invited us along on a glamping trip. They told me there was an actual bed in a canvas tent already set up for us in advance. When I checked the glamping company website, I discovered to my glee that there were multiple power outlets available. That was enough to persuade me to give camping with a CPAP another try.

Arriving to a glowing tent

When our glamping weekend arrived, my children were excited for the change of scene and for time with their friends. The drive to the campsite was more than 5 hours long and we arrived in absolute darkness. After clambering through the undergrowth, we were delighted to see our canvas tent beautifully assembled and lit up from within by 2 bedside lamps that had been turned on in advance.

Setting up my CPAP

Setting up my CPAP was as easy as it is in fully equipped hotel rooms. There were power outlets on both sides of the bed with accompanying bedside tables, the perfect size and height for my CPAP. I was really relieved to get my CPAP set up so easily and not have to worry about extension cords.

Spooky bathroom trip

There is no doubt that I slept better than I would have in a traditional tent. However, as my friend remarked, glamping is still camping! When my 9-year-old daughter needed a trip to the bathroom at 2 AM, it involved coats and shoes and a spooky flashlight journey to the bathroom block.

At home, I have a very specific bedtime routine and sleep only with my husband or alone if the dog is being needy. Sleeping with all 4 of the family in such a  small space meant less sleep for all of us, but that's part of the camping experience.

Camping highlights

Some of the highlights of our trip were cycling along 30A, the picturesque coastal road, one of the most beautiful places in Florida. We ate at a fun restaurant called Stinky's Fish Camp and got to enjoy s'mores around the campfire under a clear star-filled sky.

My kids had a blast running around outdoors and they spotted dear, rabbits, and songbirds. I had ruled out camping as just too difficult with a CPAP. This weekend really reminded me that there are so many options to make traveling with a CPAP easier and more enjoyable.

Have you taken your CPAP camping? Did you need a battery backup, or were you able to find adequate outlets? Have you considered glamping? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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