A Camping With Asthma We Will Go!
For my birthday this year, I wanted to go camping to really enjoy the changing colors of the leaves. Still being relatively new (two years) living in the Midwest where there are actually seasons I am still in awe at the changes that happen throughout the year. For someone with asthma (like myself), going on a camping trip poses a unique set of challenges. Here are some tips to keep you breathing easy while enjoying the wilderness.
Packing and planning
I am a super planner. I have to plan out everything to a "T". My husband appreciates the thorough extensive packing lists that I make before we embark on any sort of vacation. Not that we pack a lot, but just many details and things I don’t want to forget.
I have a book (bullet journal, to be exact, for any other planner people out there) where I write down my lists of things to pack and do before we head out of town.
One thing that I do is have a completely separate page for my “asthma stuff.” On this page, I write down all of my medications I need to pack as well as my portable battery-operated nebulizer.
Do your research before camping with asthma
Once we have decided on a place to go on our camping adventure, I will begin researching as much as I can about the location. I will find where the closest hospital and/or urgent care is as well as pharmacy just in case I might need it. I will also map out and print directions both to the location we are headed as well as hospitals to have on hand if we don’t have cell reception.
Another thing to look into is the campground where you will be staying at. If you are tent camping, consider the distance from your site to the bathrooms and if there are any hills or rough terrain that might be difficult on the lungs.
Bring a mask
I always carry a face mask with me in my purse or bag no matter where I am or what I’m doing. There are many different kinds and styles of masks that can be purchased online and often times in local stores. Since camping usually involves a campfire, wearing my mask and keeping a bit of a distance between myself and the fire helps protect my lungs.
Another tip is to cook with small fuel burners, if possible, to avoid a campfire altogether. Still, be on the lookout for others near you who will more than likely be having asthma-triggering campfires and take the necessary steps to avoid as much as possible.
Take a hike!
I love to hike. We try to hike as much as possible when we are on camping trips. We don’t always take super long treks though, sometimes we opt for a shorter trail with an easy difficulty terrain.
When you're hiking:
- Take it slow and listen to your body
- Stop for plenty of rest and hydration breaks, and
- Be sure to have your rescue inhaler with you should you need it as well as plenty of water. You don’t want to become dehydrated which is easy to do when you are exerting yourself even at a slow speed.
Talk with your doc about your asthma action plan
Before you leave on your trip, have a conversation with your doctor about your trip and go over your asthma action plan to make sure it is updated and ready. Discuss any concerns you might have at that time. Take a copy of your asthma action plan with you (I keep a photo of it on my phone for easy reference) just in case you need to seek medical care.
Get out there and enjoying nature! Having asthma shouldn’t stop you from going on a camping adventure. As long as you are prepared and know what necessary steps to take if your asthma starts flaring up.
For me, being outside in the wilderness and breathing the fresh mountain air is just what the doctor ordered!
What are your best tips for camping with asthma? Share in the comments below!
Have you ever experienced an itchy chin prior to or during asthma attacks?