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woman wearing a mask with reflection of campfire in sunglasses

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 considerations for camping with asthma

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

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.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Shellzoo
    4 months ago

    There can be lots of smoke especially on damp days from other campfires in the campground. We have a State Park in Michigan that you have to walk through to reach a path that takes you to a scenic lighthouse. I experienced quite a bit of campfire smoke on my way to the lighthouse trail. Consider the smoke exposure if you are going to walk around the campground. Also, being a tent camper, your tent can get moldy if it is stored and gets damp. Plus it is good to have waterproof storage for medications as a good storm can lead to stuff in a tent getting wet. I enjoy camping and really love our State Parks. I won’t let asthma keep me from enjoying camping.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi. Shellzoo. Glad you don’t let your asthma stop you from camping. I don’t either. Although, I’ve learned, as I’m sitting around the campfire, the asthmatic seems to be a magnet for the smoke — even if he moves it follows him. Still, it’s great to get out in nature. John. Site Moderator.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi John – it’s so representative (from my perspective) for you to say that. In the years that all this affected me, I used to find the same thing, No matter where I sat, the smoke trigger seemed to waft my way! And, even when changed position, it seemed to follow me!
    Go figure!!
    Leon (site moderator)

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