CPAP on a Multi-Day Rafting Trip: Tips and Tricks for a Restful Sleep

We are regularly asked some version of the question, “is it possible to bring my CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine on my multi-day river trip?”  The answer is yes.  We regularly have folks join us on our trips who need a CPAP machine to enjoy a full night of rest.  Here are some tips we have picked up over the years.

  1. Choose a travel-friendly CPAP machine: Select a compact, lightweight, and portable CPAP machine designed for travel. Look for features like quiet operation, long battery life, and easy packing. Some popular options include ResMed AirMini, HDM Z1 Auto Travel CPAP Machine, and Transcend 3 miniCPAP.

  2. Power options for your CPAP machine: Determine how you will power your CPAP machine during your rafting trip. Consider the following options:

    a. Battery packs: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries can power your machine for 8-10 hours on a single charge. Examples of popular CPAP battery packs include Medistrom Pilot-24 Lite, Freedom V2 CPAP Battery, HDM PowerShell Battery Module, and Transcend P8 Multi-Night Battery. On our lodge trips these batteries can be re-charged at the lodges by plugging them in.  The machines themselves cannot typically be plugged in but the batteries can.

    b. Solar charging (best option on multi-day camping trips): Use solar panels to recharge your batteries or power banks during the day. Some popular solar charging kits compatible with CPAP machines include Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC Power Bank + Goal Zero Nomad 20 Plus Solar Panel, Rockpals 250W Portable Power Station + Rockpals 60W Foldable Solar Panel, Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 + Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel, and Suaoki S270 Portable Power Station + Suaoki 60W Solar Panel. Keep in mind that charging can be slow and dependent on sunlight conditions.

  3. Protect your CPAP machine from water and secure it: Moisture can be a concern, especially during a rafting trip. Using a heated humidifier with your CPAP machine, if possible, can help minimize condensation buildup in any storage option you use. Protect your machine from direct exposure to water, rain, and sand/dirt by securing it in a waterproof bag or dry box, such as a Pelican case. These cases are rugged, airtight, and watertight, providing excellent protection for your CPAP machine and its accessories.

  4. Maintain cleanliness: Keep your CPAP machine, mask, and tubing clean during your trip. Pack a travel-sized bottle of mild soap, a soft cloth, and a small brush to clean the machine and its accessories. Allow them to air dry completely before reassembling.

With careful planning and preparation, you can enjoy a restful sleep using your CPAP machine during your multi-day rafting adventure. By selecting the right equipment, ensuring adequate power supply, and taking precautions to keep your machine dry, clean, and secure, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy a multi-day rafting adventure with Orange Torpedo Trips.

Remember, you should test any of these systems at home before going on the trip to ensure they will meet your unique needs and you may also want to talk with your doctor as newer, better, easier options may exist or the systems mentioned here may not meet your unique needs.