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Luggage Transfer Correos

CPAP on the Camino

2020 Camino Guides

Xali1970

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
Hello,

This is purely meant as information for those with Sleep apnea and using a CPAP appliance looking for a hiking/portable sized machine
.
I just finished the Camino Primitivo, and dealing with sleep apnea had to lug a CPAP machine around.

I used the Somnetics Transcend EZEX AutoCPAP, initially carrying the 16h battery pack and solar charging panel. (By the way, I do not work for them nor am i receiving anything for this). There are other ones out there but I have no experience with them.

The machine comes in @ about 700g including power supply (with european plug)
Battery comes in @ 600g and solar panel comes in @ 320g. the total package comes in around 1.6kg and is very compact : I transported the unit, extra filter, power supply and battery (without hose or mask, which went in a different bag or Solar panel) in an XS sized drybag, no extra padding needed.

I didn't bother with the humidifier as it's VERY bulky, turning a travel sized machine into a bedside top machine with the weight to match.

The machine performs fine, but it is LOUD, I had to wear earplugs. also the dustfilter on it is a bit basic, so I supplemented it with Resmed inline tube bacteria filter (which went from brilliant white to dark grey in 2 weeks). I had to switch off the "Pressure Ramp" feature as I couldn't get enough air in the first few minutes of the machine running to fall asleep. (the hose's diameter is smaller for some daft reason)

The battery is advertised for 16h, but the most I get out of it is 8 to 10h (altitude has an effect as well as the working pressure it's set). Charging the battery from flat using the power adaptor takes about 7h. You can daisy chain the power adaptor to the battery to the CPAP machine, this will charge it and ensure the CPAP keeps running should there be a power cut, at the cost of shortening the lifespan of the battery.

The solar panel does top it up some, but you cannot get ideal charge conditions (angle vs sun , not cloudy, etc) while it being strapped to your backpack: you will need to plug it in for a full charge at some point. It does resist some rain, but I wouldn't leave it out when raining as neither the connector nor the battery are rated as water resistant.

In the end I sent both the battery pack and the solar panel home before completing my Camino, being able to sleep close to a plug every evening.

In short: great little machine, bring a bag of earplugs for yourself and whoever sleeps in your close proximity (buy more as they run out), Battery & solar panel nice to have but not necessary
 
Last edited:

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
The machine performs fine, but it is LOUD, I had to wear earplugs.
thank you for such a detailed report. I do have a question--if the machine was that loud, how did you manage in albergues, or did you stay in private rooms?
 

Brian&Deb J.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 18 (2016)
I have severe sleep apnea and this was an issue as I prepared for Camino Frances. My doctor recommended a dental appliance which adjusts the position of the lower jaw. Size wise, it was similar to a sports mouth guard. It worked fine, I got a great sleep as did my wife and albergue partners!
 

Xali1970

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
thank you for such a detailed report. I do have a question--if the machine was that loud, how did you manage in albergues, or did you stay in private rooms?
I stayed in private rooms mostly, due to the noise considerations. The times I stayed in common rooms everybody graciously put up with it.
My wife says she can't hear the difference between my main machine (a sleepcube) and the travel one, but she uses earplugs anyway. Whatever the machine does , it just sounds very loud to me
 

Arn

Veteran Member
I have severe sleep apnea and this was an issue as I prepared for Camino Frances. My doctor recommended a dental appliance which adjusts the position of the lower jaw. Size wise, it was similar to a sports mouth guard. It worked fine, I got a great sleep as did my wife and albergue partners!
Same here. I didn't adjust well to the CPAP...I'm claustrophobic. The solution is this dental appliance: SA.jpeg
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Hello,

This is purely meant as information for those with Sleep apnea and using a CPAP appliance looking for a hiking/portable sized machine
.
I just finished the Camino Primitivo, and dealing with sleep apnea had to lug a CPAP machine around.

I used the Somnetics Transcend EZEX AutoCPAP, initially carrying the 16h battery pack and solar charging panel. (By the way, I do not work for them nor am i receiving anything for this). There are other ones out there but I have no experience with them.

The machine comes in @ about 700g including power supply (with european plug)
Battery comes in @ 600g and solar panel comes in @ 320g. the total package comes in around 1.6kg and is very compact : I transported the unit, extra filter, power supply and battery (without hose or mask, which went in a different bag or Solar panel) in an XS sized drybag, no extra padding needed.

I didn't bother with the humidifier as it's VERY bulky, turning a travel sized machine into a bedside top machine with the weight to match.

The machine performs fine, but it is LOUD, I had to wear earplugs. also the dustfilter on it is a bit basic, so I supplemented it with Resmed inline tube bacteria filter (which went from brilliant white to dark grey in 2 weeks). I had to switch off the "Pressure Ramp" feature as I couldn't get enough air in the first few minutes of the machine running to fall asleep. (the hose's diameter is smaller for some daft reason)

The battery is advertised for 16h, but the most I get out of it is 8 to 10h (altitude has an effect as well as the working pressure it's set). Charging the battery from flat using the power adaptor takes about 7h. You can daisy chain the power adaptor to the battery to the CPAP machine, this will charge it and ensure the CPAP keeps running should there be a power cut, at the cost of shortening the lifespan of the battery.

The solar panel does top it up some, but you cannot get ideal charge conditions (angle vs sun , not cloudy, etc) while it being strapped to your backpack: you will need to plug it in for a full charge at some point. It does resist some rain, but I wouldn't leave it out when raining as neither the connector nor the battery are rated as water resistant.

In the end I sent both the battery pack and the solar panel home before completing my Camino, being able to sleep close to a plug every evening.

In short: great little machine, bring a bag of earplugs for yourself and whoever sleeps in your close proximity (buy more as they run out), Battery & solar panel nice to have but not necessary
Hi Xali1970,

I have carried a Resmed machine with me on 4 overseas trips so far, including my first Camino Frances, May 2016. I didn't stay in hostels partly because of this. I had a separate bag sent ahead to prebooked accommodation. I also carried photographic gear and extra clothes for travel before and after my Camino Frances, so a fair bit of extra bulk and weight to be dealt with (I sent a 5kilo box ahead to Ivar). I didn't bring the humidifier, bulky as you say and not really necessary in warmer weather. I don't carry a battery so plugging in was essential.

BTW, I use a very compact and extremely comfortable mask, which is by far the cleverest one of the many I've used during almost 8 years of road-testing many types. Philips Respironics Dreamwear - can't recommend it highly enough.

I would use a CPAP machine if in hostels out of consideration for other people. Although I use it mainly because I don't get a good night's rest without it. My machine sounds fairly loud to me, (although not earplug loud) but I'm assured that it's very quiet to everyone else.

I did have an interesting experience while on the trail in Galicia (can't recall exactly where). I had stopped for a beer on a sunny afternoon. A man and a woman sat at the next table chatting. She complained in a loud voice about how annoying she thought CPAP machines had been in the hostel the previous night. She said that they sounded like "Darth Vader". She obviously did not appreciate at all that people who use them did so out of consideration for others and also for their own health. I was tempted to speak up and appraise her of this but she seemed to be a fairly hardcore libertarian type so I enjoyed my beer and left her to her Camino.

It takes all kinds.

Buen camino, - Mike
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Same here. I didn't adjust well to the CPAP...I'm claustrophobic. The solution is this dental appliance:View attachment 29556
For those people for whom this works, it is clearly a more portable solution and more practical on the Camino than carrying a CPAP, but there are still some of us who have to fall back on using a machine. I took one for the first time this year, a travel machine, and all the issues already described applied. Mind you, the only person who complained about the noise of the CPAP was the person who had been steadily sampling the local ale during the afternoon and evening, then disrupted everyone when he stumbled into the dormitory after the lights went out. I went back to sleep listening to his snoring!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I like the sound of the CPAC machines - just like sleeping besides the ocean. Lulls me to sleep.

And so much better than listening in fear as the snores start softly, then gradually build in volume, then the terrifying pregnant silence when the breathing stops, then the gigantic snort as the breathing restarts. Repeat.
 

Xali1970

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
Hi Xali1970,

I have carried a Resmed machine with me on 4 overseas trips so far, including my first Camino Frances, May 2016. I didn't stay in hostels partly because of this. I had a separate bag sent ahead to prebooked accommodation. I also carried photographic gear and extra clothes for travel before and after my Camino Frances, so a fair bit of extra bulk and weight to be dealt with (I sent a 5kilo box ahead to Ivar). I didn't bring the humidifier, bulky as you say and not really necessary in warmer weather. I don't carry a battery so plugging in was essential.

BTW, I use a very compact and extremely comfortable mask, which is by far the cleverest one of the many I've used during almost 8 years of road-testing many types. Philips Respironics Dreamwear - can't recommend it highly enough.

I would use a CPAP machine if in hostels out of consideration for other people. Although I use it mainly because I don't get a good night's rest without it. My machine sounds fairly loud to me, (although not earplug loud) but I'm assured that it's very quiet to everyone else.

I did have an interesting experience while on the trail in Galicia (can't recall exactly where). I had stopped for a beer on a sunny afternoon. A man and a woman sat at the next table chatting. She complained in a loud voice about how annoying she thought CPAP machines had been in the hostel the previous night. She said that they sounded like "Darth Vader". She obviously did not appreciate at all that people who use them did so out of consideration for others and also for their own health. I was tempted to speak up and appraise her of this but she seemed to be a fairly hardcore libertarian type so I enjoyed my beer and left her to her Camino.

It takes all kinds.

Buen camino, - Mike
Thanks for the tip on the mask, I'll have a look at it. I use a Mirage Quattro, a tad bulky... The hose connector on it broke during transport, but easily fixed with surgical tape ;-)
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
As I've said elsewhere, I've slept through a rocket attack...pretty much only a sound like a pager or phone will wake me. But--there are phone apps with white noise for those bothered by snoring, CPAP, late arrivals, or early departures. I've had a few wives tell me they'd rather have snoring than my patient's machine, some that would rather have the machine, and some that found separate rooms was the solution. I was just curious how people reacted in albergues...sounds about the same
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Thanks for the tip on the mask, I'll have a look at it. I use a Mirage Quattro, a tad bulky... The hose connector on it broke during transport, but easily fixed with surgical tape ;-)
I've had 2 masks break on me when the hose connector ripped gradually off from around the rotating junction on the front. Poor design, the circular vent was like perforations and tore perfectly along these "perforations" as if designed to do so! The mask I mentioned previously was one of those wonderful times when I instantly thought "of course, it couldn't be done any other way".
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
I plan to walk Sept - Oct 2017 and use a CPAP. I am looking for a small CPAP that I can carry in my backpack. I use a RESMED at home but do not plan to take that big thing. I can not imagine feeling safe with a dental device myself so will use a CPAP. Thanks in advance for am further advice.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
I plan to walk Sept - Oct 2017 and use a CPAP. I am looking for a small CPAP that I can carry in my backpack. I use a RESMED at home but do not plan to take that big thing. I can not imagine feeling safe with a dental device myself so will use a CPAP. Thanks in advance for am further advice.
I have a Resmed machine. I travelled with it after removing the humidifier. Still fairly bulky but much more compact. The hose is the bulky item, very light but its designed to resist crushing, as you know. I checked out some very compact Cpap machines on Ebay while planning my Camino. They looked pretty flimsy so I decided not to spend the money. You might need a battery if you can't always reach a power outlet. More expense and weight there. I suggest you start on Ebay.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I plan to walk Sept - Oct 2017 and use a CPAP. I am looking for a small CPAP that I can carry in my backpack. I use a RESMED at home but do not plan to take that big thing. I can not imagine feeling safe with a dental device myself so will use a CPAP. Thanks in advance for am further advice.
I used a Transcend travel CPAP last year with some success. I bought it from the same supplier as the RESMED machine I use at home, and they adjusted the settings so that the ramp up and final pressures were the same as my other machine. The only thing I missed was the automatic stop feature.

I met one other pilgrim using this machine, and he was using the smaller battery pack that is available for it. This didn't last the full night for him, and he recommended the bigger battery pack, although that was too late to help me at the time. In any case, I wasn't planning to stay anywhere without electrical power once I started walking. There was only one place where I had to ask to change bed allocation because I would otherwise have been too far from a power point, and this was not an issue, although it was early enough so that there were plenty of beds still vacant.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I know Kanga and I have said this many times before, earlier in this thread even, but just to repeat -- if you see someone on the Camino with a CPAP -- RUN, don't walk, to get a bunk nearby. The noise produced by the machine is constant white noise and it is a very effective "snore silencer." I have often thought that albergues should have something like that installed in each bunk room. There would be many better rested pilgrims!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
My husband took his Transcend 2. It weighs not quite 16 oz. He has the battery etc for camping, but did not take it on the CF. He bought a "reconditioned" machine from a company called Second wind CPAP and uses it exclusively for travel, camping, and so forth. It was half the cost of a new machine.

We did not encounter opposition to his use of the machine in albergues. Some people wanted to sleep near him because they knew he would not snore and the sound of the machine covers up some of the sounds of others snoring. He carried a little card in Spanish which asked if he could sleep near an outlet.

Near the end his hose began to leak and we made repairs with duct tape. This worked until we got home.

He was not a candidate for the mouthpiece. He used HME's (heat moisture exchanger) instead of a water reservoir. One lasts about 7 days. Although the extra weight of the machine and supplies was intially about 2.5 pounds (declined as he discarded an HME each week) and required a larger pack, it allowed us to walk for 45 days. He would not have been able to make the trek without it.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
My reading is that this may not work for those with more severe cases. I will hAve my husband ask about it on his next annual machine eval.
 

Jay Campbell

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Sept/Oct 2015
Camino Frances - April/May 2017
Camino Primitivo- Oct 2018
I walked with an intellepap ( no humidifier ) in sept/oct 2015 and stayed mostly in albergues. I never had need for a battery . I carried an extension cord with me. I always mentioned it while checking in and never had any issues. I never collapsed from the extra weight . It is the Camino , you carry what you need and things work out. Going to do it exactly the same this spring , arriving in SJPdP on April 19 . Actually , it did help because the airlines let me carry on my pack rather than checking it, which saved my a$$ on some tight connections getting there .
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
My husband took his Transcend 2. It weighs not quite 16 oz. He has the battery etc for camping, but did not take it on the CF. He bought a "reconditioned" machine from a company called Second wind CPAP and uses it exclusively for travel, camping, and so forth. It was half the cost of a new machine.

We did not encounter opposition to his use of the machine in albergues. Some people wanted to sleep near him because they knew he would not snore and the sound of the machine covers up some of the sounds of others snoring. He carried a little card in Spanish which asked if he could sleep near an outlet.

Near the end his hose began to leak and we made repairs with duct tape. This worked until we got home.

He was not a candidate for the mouthpiece. He used HME's (heat moisture exchanger) instead of a water reservoir. One lasts about 7 days. Although the extra weight of the machine and supplies was intially about 2.5 pounds (declined as he discarded an HME each week) and required a larger pack, it allowed us to walk for 45 days. He would not have been able to make the trek without it.
I had not heard of HME's before so I will look into those. Thank you for the information.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
I came across this advert this morning and thought it might help those of you who use CPAP devices and who also either do Caminos, or are planning to do so.

https://www.easybreathe.com/ResMed-AirMini-114.html

I have no commercial interests in this product and do not use one myself.

I hope this helps...
Thanks t2andreo,
I am also posting the website to the 2nd Wind CPAP company. They have rebuilt machines which are a good value (about half new price) and my husband has used one now for over a year including on the Camino. He uses the Transcend 2, but there is also a HDM z1. Both are available periodically on this site when they are in stock. We have had no trouble with the refurbished machine. The new one you posted also looks promising, but the price is far greater that the referbished older models. (I also have no commercial interest.)
http://www.secondwindcpap.com/Used_CPAP.html
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Caveat Emptor folks. Double-check electricity needs.

Ideally, and given the price points, these portable units will have a universal power supply that is usable on any source that ranges from 110-240 VAC and at 50-60 Hz. In that case, all you would need would be an inexpensive plug tip adapter to fit the two, round pin Schuko style outlets used across Europe.

However, if you are in North America, and the portable unit comes, out of the box with only a 110 VAC, 60 Hz power supply, then you will have to carry along a power converter that will enable you to use the 220 VAC 50 Hz, European power.

In my extensive foreign travel and living in Europe, I sourced 220 VAC electrical stuff in the US from this place. The are reliable.

http://www.world-import.com/search.php?mode=search&page=1

I hope this helps.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
Hubby's Transcend2 bought in North America came with a variety of plug adapters and the unit power supply works with 110-240. Good idea to check this out if you are buying specifically for travel. Thanks for the reminder.
 

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