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  1. #1
    Registered User kjbrown's Avatar
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    Default CPAP machine and thru hike

    I am in the first stages of planning my tru hike in 2017 and I use a CPAP machine every night. I have found some lightweight machines and portable battery packs to power the device. I have two questions has anyone had any experience in using solar chargers on the trail and does anyone have any advice or experience in using a CPAP on the trail. Thanks for the help everyone.

    Kevin






  2. #2
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    Solar chargers don't work well on the AT. It's sometimes called the "long green tunnel".

  3. #3

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    I too use a cpap every night.
    Ask your sleep doc if a mouth piece will work for you.
    Seems most dentist are now providing them.

    How severe is your sleep apnea?
    Are you in any real health danger not using it or do you just sleep better with it.
    There are many different degrees of SA.

    I wanted to give the mouth piece a try but my insurance is not providing coverage yet (many are) and it was going to cost me over 2 grand. I am sure there are less expensive options but I would want to have another sleep study done while using it to be sure I was making a wise choice.

    With the cpap your doc can see how much air pressure you need and make pressure changes if required. Cannot do that with a mouth piece.

    No way would I even consider carrying my cpap into the woods.
    I am usually so tired after hiking all day I sleep well enough.

    I am so addicted to my machine.
    Why I waited so long to start using one is beyond me.

    Good luck and stay healthy.
    I look forward to other comments as I want a solution also.

  4. #4
    Registered User kjbrown's Avatar
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    I have Severe Apnea and I am using the CPAP at about 17 Bars of pressure at this time. I am looking into the mouth piece option and surgery option at this time but are waiting for more of my weight to come off before I pull the gun on the cash or cut options. I started using mine after I fell asleap at a stoplight and rolled out into traffic and totaled my car and the car that hit me in 1999. Thanks for the solar charger answer Rocket Jones.

  5. #5
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    Look into the Duke University Fitness center to help shed the weight and do away with the CPAP.

  6. #6
    Registered User Tundra's Avatar
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    I just a post on Facebook today about a wireless, battery powered mini cpap. It's called "airing." I hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotB View Post
    Look into the Duke University Fitness center to help shed the weight and do away with the CPAP.
    Easy to armchair.....
    Not all sleep apnea is caused by lack fitness or excessive weight.
    Mine is caused by a smaller than normal airway.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra View Post
    I just a post on Facebook today about a wireless, battery powered mini cpap. It's called "airing." I hope this helps.
    That is freaking killer.
    Not available but hopefully soon.

  9. #9
    Registered User kjbrown's Avatar
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    Thanks Swisscross I just looked at the Airing information they have available at this time and will be following closely. I am working on the weight and am down 115 pounds and working on my last 145 before I hit the trail in 2017, but I also have a extremely narrow airway in the back of my throat that is the major cause of my apnea.

    Kevin


  10. #10
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    My husband was diagnosed with severe apnea over 10 years ago and told he had an extremely small airway.

    He successfully used a CPaP for the past 10 years.

    In the last year, he has lost almost 70 pounds and is within 20 pounds of his ideal weight. Last weekend we went away, and he forgot the CPAP. Not only did he not snore, but he also said he felt fully rested.

    For many (NOT all), weight is the big factor. This past week, he called and spoke to the doctor. He was scheduled for a sleep study to see if he has "slimmed out of apnea." They told him that he may have slimmed down to be the right fitt for his airway. (hopefully!).

  11. #11
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    I wonder if Hiking all day everyday, drinking water with somewhat healthy diet, sleeping in Nature, would return one to more natural rhythms... I have found that it works for me, the cumulative affect of a more balanced lifestyle.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    I too use a cpap every night.
    Ask your sleep doc if a mouth piece will work for you.
    Seems most dentist are now providing them.

    How severe is your sleep apnea?
    Are you in any real health danger not using it or do you just sleep better with it.
    There are many different degrees of SA.

    I wanted to give the mouth piece a try but my insurance is not providing coverage yet (many are) and it was going to cost me over 2 grand. I am sure there are less expensive options but I would want to have another sleep study done while using it to be sure I was making a wise choice.

    With the cpap your doc can see how much air pressure you need and make pressure changes if required. Cannot do that with a mouth piece.

    No way would I even consider carrying my cpap into the woods.
    I am usually so tired after hiking all day I sleep well enough.

    I am so addicted to my machine.
    Why I waited so long to start using one is beyond me.

    Good luck and stay healthy.
    I look forward to other comments as I want a solution also.
    you could get a drugstore or amazon oximeter and check your blood oxygen with a mouthpiece. I intermittantly used therasnore I bought on ebay and it was shipped from england where you can get off the shelf. thats a good brand.

  13. #13

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    I use a CPAP but will be talking about my not using it while hiking on the trail. I have done a few short hikes on the AT (5 days or less) and really don't see how I would take it along. Just too heavy and no consistent power source. On the days I have not used the CPAP when on a hike, I have slept fine but I am only moderately affected. I don't really have a concern with not using it during a thru hike attempt, my concern is that because of non-use, my coverage for it may be cancelled.

  14. #14
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    I recently discovered that when I sleep with a backpack on, with a pillow in it prevents me from sleeping on my back. Since I have been doing this no more headaches, no snoring and a much better sleep. I am getting so use to the pack when I sleep, that I hardly know I have it on most of the time.

  15. #15

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    Hopefully you are among the 99% that have obstructive (OSA) or complex sleep apnea so you have multiple options. Those of us with central (CSA) sleep apnea do not have an obstruction or snoring, so we have limited options. We can deal with the fatigue, stay home, or find a unit / battery combination that lasts 6-8 days between recharges. The Transcend Auto with (4) batteries would accomplish this, but add 6+ pounds of weight - bulk - and the risk of taking $1,500+ worth of electronics out into the elements. http://www.mytranscend.com

    Due to the hesitancy of sleep specialists to write a prescription for a CPAP unit they are unfamiliar with - the unwillingness of many medical supply vendors to get information about other product lines - and the requirement of a new prescription to purchase any CPAP unit (even with your own funds), all make gaining access to lighter units designed for travel and battery power much more difficult than it needs to be for existing users. (IMHO)

    Thanks for starting the thread! I'm sure I will learn some new things from the posts.
    Backpacking light, feels so right.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormer View Post
    I recently discovered that when I sleep with a backpack on, with a pillow in it prevents me from sleeping on my back. Since I have been doing this no more headaches, no snoring and a much better sleep. I am getting so use to the pack when I sleep, that I hardly know I have it on most of the time.
    I was diagnosed with position related sleep apnea.... meaning I only had it when I slept on my back. Instead of a Cpap, my prescription was to put a rubber-band a tennis ball into the back of my PJ's to condition me to not sleep on my back. This had a negative effect, in that I woke wide-awake each time I rolled onto my back - and the tennis ball. I switched out to a squishy foam piece attached to my PJ's, which did the job - conditioned me to roll back to my side to avoid the discomfort of having the foam piece underneath me.

  17. #17

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    Don't take this the wrong way but maybe you should stay home .

  18. #18
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    Kevin:
    Thank you for your post. I also use a CPAP machine every night in order to get quality REM sleep. Without my machine I could not function.
    My plans are to use a Remstar CPAP (without vaporizer) weighing 2 lb. 2 oz., the mask and hose weighing 8 oz., and a Battery Geek NC 2000 battery weighing 5 lb.
    Battery Geek is now saying the NC 2000 is good for 3 nights and maybe 4 nights of sleep.
    Being able to stay on the trail for 3 nights is a good starting point. Right now I am only able to take day trips without the machine.
    Carrying the extra weight is better than not being out overnight.
    Later, if I want to stay out longer, I would consider adding a military grade solar charger.
    Even in a wooded section of the trail there are open sections with full sunlight.
    Stopping for an hour or two in the middle of the day to rest and partially recharge my CPAP battery does not seem that much of a sacrifice.
    I usually stop for a rest period about that time anyway.
    Good luck to you and please let us know what works for you.
    Best regards..................Lucky-Dog

  19. #19
    Registered User kjbrown's Avatar
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    Thanks Lucky-Dog I was looking into getting a new machine. I was looking at the trancend EZEX at .9 pounds with 3 of the external batteries that should provide 5-6 days of power for a total battery weight of 4.5 pounds without mask and hose it puts the total at 5.4 pounds. From my planning I should be able to get a recharge in town stops. I am working on a lightweight multi charge that would allow me to use one plug to charge while leaving most of equipment in the pack. I am also looking into moding some of the Anchor batterypacks to be used to power the CPAP machine because they have a better energy density than the ones from the Trancend at a lower weight and about $200 cheaper per pack. I will keep you informed about the progress and how it works if you would like.
    Kevin

  20. #20

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    My last sleep apnea test showed I needed a Bipap set at 26/22. Although when my last Bipap died I was going to use my cpap until my new machine arrived I found out 15 on the Cpap was good enough. Although I awake to roll over all most every hour I still am usually rested. This sleep apnea was going to kill my AT thru hike dream but these portables are giving me some hope. I sure would like to hear from someone that has used the portables. I have adjusted my pack and with an extra battery pack my pack is still around 40 lbs. I dropped some clothing, extra fuel, camp shoes, and got rid of my 100 oz hydration bladder. I will spend a little more on resupplies but if it works it will be worth it. My bottles are cheaper and thinner to save some weight so they may not last the trip but again is it okay. Please PM me or email if you got any good results.
    Rolls
    Rolls down the hill, Kanardly hike up the other hill
    May all your hikes have clear skies, fair winds and no rocks under your pad.

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