Whether you are going camping to get away from the every day hustle and bustle, to spend time with your friends and family, or simply to relax in quiet solitude, you should always keep in mind that your allergies are sure to follow wherever you go. Just because you suffer from allergies does not meant you shouldn’t go camping, it just means that you need to take certain extra steps to make sure that allergies won’t ruin your fun.
Before your camping trip, take some time to visit your ENT and find out – if you haven’t already – the allergens that trigger your allergy attacks. If you already know this information, visiting your physician is still a good idea in order to ask if a temporary dosage increase on your current allergy medication would be helpful for your particular case.
Prepare Your Medicine
Don’t forget to pack your allergy medicine! If you suffer from sever allergies make sure to bring an emergency kit with extra medicine, epinephrine injectors and anything else you might need. Talk to your fellow campers beforehand about your condition and let them know who they can call and what to do in case you have a serious allergy attack.
It is also helpful to prepare your body for exposure to allergens by eating some locally grown honey every day for a month before your trip. The honey will help build your body’s tolerance to pollen.
Know the Area
As part of being prepared you should also do a little research on your desired camping area and keep a list of important information, such as the local allergist, the closest ER, and the closest pharmacy, as well as wether or not there will be cellphone reception in the area.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology offers an online resource that shows you local pollen counts in various parts of the United States. If you have no experience interpreting pollen and mold counts, the AAAAI does it for you by labeling each reading according to its severity, whether there is no trace of the allergen in the air or a severe concentration.
Get a Good Tent
We recommend you get a hypoallergenic tent with reliable flaps. Before you leave, air out your tent and wash with hot water and bleach solution to get rid of any mold.
Depending on when you’re camping, you might need to completely close your tent off at night or just allow minimal ventilation to keep allergens out of your sleeping space. Close the tent off entirely when you’re not in it and clean your tent before every camping trip.
At the camp site
Pick a grassy spot to set up your tent. If you are allergic to grass, find a cleared area but make sure to avoid stirring up a lot of dirt. Remember to check the campsite for ragweed, poison oak or poison ivy, as well as other plants that might cause allergic reactions.
If you are planning on having a campfire, make sure that people who suffer from allergies or asthma sit farther away so the smoke doesn’t irritate their lungs.
Lastly, it is important to mention that one of the best places to camp for people with allergies is an ocean beach, especially when winds flow onto land, because of the absence of pollen in those areas.