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Thread: CPAP Hammocking

  1. #1
    ggreaves's Avatar
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    CPAP Hammocking

    Here's a look at my sleep system (including cpap machine).

    The hammock is a Hennessey Deep Jungle XL. Between the bottom layers is the Hennessey Double Bubble radiant pad. It wraps nicely around both shoulders. In the bottom of the hammock, I have a folded over poncho liner with a Klymit Intertia X-Frame pad on top of that. The gaps let the poncho liner keep from compressing keeping me warm underneath down to 40 degrees. I haven't tried it any lower but I'm guessing it would go to the low 30's ok. I use a 40 degree summer bag as a top quilt and I have down slippers ready to go above my pillow if needed. The pillow is a Thermarest. I also have a sleeping bag liner (Sea To Summit - Reactor X-Treme) which I rarely use. I have 2 tarps. The stock Hennessey is for warmer nights and when the wind gets up, I use the Hennessey monsoon tarp with the blast doors on. Pitched in tight!!. It creates a little micro-climate and keeps me warm and dry when it's howling outside.

    The CPAP is a Philips REMStar System One. In battery configuration, I don't run it with a humidifier. The battery is a BPS 160 Lithium Ion CPAP battery pack. It will give me 3 nights of 6-7 hour cpap use between charges. The CPAP weighs 3 lbs and it's bulky, but I need to use it. The battery is really light for what it does (1.6 lbs). As an upgrade, I'm looking to purchase a Transcend CPAP unit that weighs less than a pound and is about 1/3 the size of my current machine. I put the whole mess in a mesh bag and hang it from the ridgeline at the head end. The only downside so far is that on really cold nights, the air intake is out in the open and I'm sucking in freezing cold air. That could be fixed by bringing the machine under the topquilt with me.

    Anyone else out there hanging with a CPAP machine? It doesn't have to keep you tethered home and unable to camp.
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    Gresh's Avatar
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    That's the same machine I had...hated that bloody thing.

    The wife told me today that I've started gasping for air in my sleep again. I WILL NOT be tied to that infernal machine ever again. Time to start losing weight. Glad to see you've got it working for you in the hammock, though!
    Vice-Chairman, Palmetto State Hangers

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    This is really interesting. I'm a PICU nurse, so I use ventilators daily at work. First thought was, "how does he humidify?" but I see that you don't which makes sense for short periods. I'd be a bit worried about the use of very cold, dry air for more than a few nights.

    I wonder, if the machine is under the top quilt could it potentially overheat? Vents usually become hot quite quickly and require good airflow around them. The air intake has to stay very clear and there's a risk it could become obstructed.

    Depending on the CPAP circuit you have now, it may be possible to fit it with a disposable HME (heat/moisture exchanger) which would bring the temperature of inhaled gas up a bit... it's what the Transcend uses, looking at their video, although they have kind of an internal version. (Awesome unit by the way, I've never seen such a small CPAP. Very cool.)

    We use HMEs like this one:



    with dry circuits. It's not a replacement for active humidification using water, but it's way better than dry air and it would feel warmer than ambient temperature after a few breaths (you'd still get that initial cold shock). I can't give you any expert advice on whether it would work with your system, so check with your respiratory therapist or whoever services/prescribes your machine. Using the wrong addition to the circuit could result in too much CO2 buildup in the 'deadspace', so it's important to get it right. Still, HMEs are just a light piece of plastic so it might work as a travel/outdoor solution.

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    CPAP Hammocking

    nice.

    I have the transcend and use it for my camping. It works great, but there is not a good humidifier for it. In humid summers, not a problem, and under a bear burrito type cover in winter it is not a problem either. But cool fall or spring times when it is both dry and I am taking allergy medicine it can be a problem. I have found to ways to deal with this, although both have their own problems.

    Wrapping a damp cloth around the machine or putting a sponge in front of the air intakes helps. Not sure what it will do to the electronics over a long time.

    I also use a nasal spray that has aloe in it. It works well and as a side note it works really well during the daytime for allergies. Fewer drugs the better. Down side is it is expensive and yet one more thing to pack and worry about refilling on a long trip.
    "While he lives, he must think; while he thinks, he must dream." --Isaac Asimov (The Complete Stories, 1990)

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    ggreaves's Avatar
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    It took me a while to get used to the machine too. Mostly because of masks. Since I'm a (knuckle dragging) mouth breather, I needed a full face mask. I couldn't find one that didn't leak right into my eyeball. Finally someone suggested I try the Resmed Liberty. It's a hybrid mask that goes over your mouth but also has nasal pillows. Works like a charm. Where I live, if you're diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, you don't have a choice but to stay being treated if you want to keep your drivers licence. Now that I'm used to it, I can't sleep without it. That's why I needed to find a way to use it with my new-found passion... hammocking.

    All the best in your healthy journey. I know that for me, CPAP cleared up a chronic blood pressure problem. I've gone from needing 3 very strong meds to 1 very mild one. Being able to sleep properly also makes it easier to lose weight. If your apnea isn't severe, there may be other treatment options besides cpap. There is surgery, oral appliances and other things that might help. Good luck!

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    CPAP Hammocking

    The trandscend's HME is not very good IMO. There is a limited number of mask choices and the set up is for on top of the head. But it is not long enough for putting at the peak of the hammock.

    I really wish there was an in line HME that was universal fit like they've made the particle filters.

    I have also put the machine under the quilt in hotel rooms, and body heat and humidity works well. But that positioning it does not work well in the hammock if you move around a lot.

    The transcend does not get hot and is pretty rugged. One flaw it has is if there is a leak the machine will continually increase the pressure to compensate, but the increase in pressure can lead to more leaking, and the machine continues until it reaches a maximum pressure and then it turns off. I wish if it there was a leak it would slightly decrease the pressure so the mask would seal again. Overall, I am pleased with the machine.
    "While he lives, he must think; while he thinks, he must dream." --Isaac Asimov (The Complete Stories, 1990)

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    ggreaves's Avatar
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    Basie, thanks so much for the HME info. I will look into that. Between you and SnoreMachine, you've given me some good ideas. The monsoon tarp does keep it a little more humid inside when pitched in tight, but cool air does spill in the top near the blast doors and... cpap intake. Maybe a good hammock sock will help too on those cool dry nights. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoreMachine View Post
    One flaw it has is if there is a leak the machine will continually increase the pressure to compensate, but the increase in pressure can lead to more leaking, and the machine continues until it reaches a maximum pressure and then it turns off. I wish if it there was a leak it would slightly decrease the pressure so the mask would seal again.
    With all the technology we have, it seems like manufacturers still haven't gotten really good at leak compensation! I think that we've made some advances... I remember trying to get mask seals on kids back in the early 2000's, it was a nightmare... but we're still not there yet. I find those double-layer masks with a soft inner seal and more solid outer are good, but if you're stuck with whatever the machine provides that's really frustrating for sure.

    I guess I see where you got your forum name now

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    The last time I used mine, I woke up and couldn't feel my nose it was so cold. (I have a nasal mask). Since then I've just done without. I think the next time I will put an extra length of hose on, route the hose between the hammock and under quilt to try and warm the air before it gets to my mask.
    Talmadge
    "GroundHog"

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    Wow; sorry you guys have to use them; sounds like a real hassle but I respect how determined you are to still get out there! I like that; too many let too little get in the way of living life...good for you!
    Gideon

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