The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Camping with Lung Disease

Summer and camping go together. The warmer months are our chance to get out into the beauty of nature and pitch a tent, cast a line over the water, and make memories with loved ones. But for millions who suffer from conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, feeling well enough to spend time outdoors can be challenging. Learning how to manage the effects of debilitating pulmonary conditions can not only help you breathe easier, it could also mean the difference between a day in the sunshine and a day cooped up at home.

No matter what condition you’re in, with a little planning, you can have a great time camping with lung disease. Here are three tips for enjoying a safe and rewarding camping experience in spite of your lung disease.

Tips for Enjoying Your Camping Trip

Tip #1: Stay Hydrated.

Military-canteen-000028862324_DoubleDrink water! Campground well water may not taste the best, so bring plenty of water from home. If you are concerned about filtration, bring a portable Brita   pitcher or water bottle. Minimize sugary soft drinks and alcohol in favor of water while spending time in the heat. Staying hydrated is healthy, and it makes you feel better. Drink up!

Why It Matters:

By increasing water consumption and minimizing coffee, tea, soda and alcohol, you can reduce the risk of dehydration. Children and adults over 65 are at higher risk of dehydration. Lung conditions like COPD are worsened by dehydration. By staying hydrated, sufferers can minimize their symptoms, as additional water will reduce the viscosity of their mucus.

Tip #2: Check the Weather.

Weather-forecast-concept-000056256190_FullPlan camping adventures on cooler summer days. With a little prior planning and a ten-day weather forecast, you can limit the effects of the heat simply by spending your time outdoors when it is cooler. Another tip is to avoid direct sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is most intense.

Why It Matters:

Overheating can cause COPD flare-ups. During the sultry months, symptoms normally well under control could be worsened by summer heat. People with COPD usually experience chronic coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, excessive mucus and wheezing. COPD isn’t curable yet, but symptoms can be managed and flare-ups minimized. COPD sufferers should be aware of what can trigger heat-related flare-ups.

Tip #3: Remember Air Quality.

Morning-on-the-mountain-000037946490_DoubleCheck the air quality index (AQI) for daily ozone and particle pollution conditions in your area. You can also check your local weather report or newspaper for AQI information. Also check the pollen count in your campsite area.

Why It Matters:

For people with any form of lung disease, ozone and pollution can worsen coughing and wheezing, and contribute to shortness of breath. In fact, for lung disease sufferers, exposure to air pollution can mean a trip to the hospital.

Tip #4: Stay as Cool as Possible.

Here are a few ways to minimize heat:

  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor, and have someone do the same for you.
  • Check the local news regularly for health and safety updates.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you or someone you know experiences symptoms of heat-related illness.

Why It Matters:

Anyone, even the healthiest of us, can suffer from heat-related injuries. Know when to slow down and stay cool.

Maximize fun, and minimize side effects of a camping trip. Lung disease shouldn’t stop you from having a good time. With a little preparation, you can freely enjoy nature during the summertime.

Many of those who suffer from COPD have regained their quality of life through cellular therapy. The Lung Institute specializes in cellular therapy to treat lung disease. To learn more about cellular therapy and how it could help you get back into the great outdoors, contact us at 888-745-6697.

*For more information, go to www.LungInstitute.com/Results.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.