an oversize asthma inhaler fits awkwardly inside of a tent in front of a campfire

Packing For A Camping Trip

We asthmatics like to be as normal as possible. This asthmatic loves to travel, and that especially includes camping. Yet, packing for a camping trip takes a little more thought when you have a chronic disease like asthma.

My 11-year-old daughter approached me with a bright smile. She was holding her pink backpack.

    She said, "I'm all ready for the camping trip, daddy!"
    I said, "That's great, Laney. Did you pack your toothbrush?"
    She said, "Yes, daddy! I packed everything I need."

Packing the basics

Some people are good packers. My daughter is one of them. My dad was a good packer too. Like many guys, he would often decide on a whim to go to the cabin and he'd just grab a few changes of clothes and he was out the door. I watched him pack many times as a kid. He could do it in less than a few seconds. As far as I know, he's still a good packer (or non-packer for lack of a better term) today.

That's not how it is when you have allergic asthma. I tend to overpack. And this is because I tend to overthink packing, especially when it involves camping. And I never go anywhere without making a packing list. This list involves the basics:

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Shorts
  • Sweatpants (in case it's cold)
  • Sweatshirt (in case it's cold)

Packing for camping with asthma

But my list goes beyond the basics. There's the packing for the asthma.

  • Rescue inhaler (is it full?)
  • Controller inhalers (are there enough doses?)
  • Singulair
  • Headache medicine
  • Migraine medicine (for those bad ones)
  • Allergy medicine
  • Benadryl for allergies and sleeping
  • Any other pills you're taking at the time
  • Flyp Nebulizer and charging cord (yes, do not forget the cord)
  • Albuterol ampules (and some extra ampules in case)
  • Normal saline for cleaning the Flyp nebulizer

So, so much for making a spur of the moment decision and just walking out the door as dad does. No, not this asthmatic.

Don't forget the kids!

Of course, as a solo parent in my house, I also have to pack for my kids. Laney does get headaches from time to time. She's a thinker like me. So, my theory is that we get headaches because we think too much (can you think too much?).

Laney also has a history of asthma. She's been fine the past few years, but we still have to plan for that (just in case). Myles also has terrible allergies. He's been fine too recently. Still, we have to pack for it. There are definitely a lot of triggers when you're camping.

  • Children's clothing
  • Children's sweatpants and shirts in case it's cold
  • Children's allergy medicine
  • Children's headache medicine
  • Nebulizer (they can use my Flyp)

Other preparations for camping with asthma

So, packing is not easy for asthmatics. It's not easy for an asthma/allergy family. I try to keep a list for each type of place I go to. For instance, the same stuff I take camping is not necessarily the same stuff as when I'm going to stay at hotels. Still, the medicine is the same.

    "Laney, did you pack your beach towels and bathing suit?" I said.
    "Yes, Daddy, "She said. "I packed everything I need.'
    "Did you pack your pajamas?"
    "Yes."
    "Did you pack clothing for two days in case we decide to stay?" I said.

I'm just teasing her by now, quite impressed at how good of a packer she is. She certainly did not learn that skill from her dad (or maybe she did!). My kids take every moment they can to tease me about my overpacking. And that's fine, as I tease them every chance I get too.

So, what about you? How do you plan for a camping trip with asthma? Do you tend to overpack like me? Let us know in the comments below.

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