Camping with Allergies
Talk to your doctor a few weeks before your trip. It may be possible that your doctor can temporarily up your dosage or recommend special medications. If your allergies aren’t serious, pack some over-the-counter medicines. If you have severe allergies or asthma, bring a first aid kit with an extra inhaler, epinephrine injectors and anything else you might need in an emergency. Make sure that your fellow campers know about your condition and tell them who to call and what to do if you experience serious symptoms.
Prepare your body
Eating a tablespoon of locally grown honey each day may build your body’s tolerance to local pollen and might provide some extra assistance.
Pick a good camping spot
Find a grassy spot to set up your tent. If you are allergic to grass, find a cleared area, but avoid stirring up a lot of dirt.
Check out your campsite for ragweed, poison oak or poison ivy and other plants that may cause allergic reactions. Be sure to bring along ointments and medications just in case.
One of the best places to camp for people with allergies is an ocean beach, especially when prevailing winds flow onto land, because of the absence of pollen there.
Campfires can be significant irritants for those with asthma and allergies. When building a fire, make sure that people who have asthma sit farther away and out of the wind so the smoke does not irritate their lungs. It’s also a good idea to change your clothes after sitting near the campfire.
Choose the best time of the year for your allergies
People with mold allergies may find that they would be more comfortable camping in a dry area in the summer rather than in damp wooded areas in the fall. Tree pollens are worse in the early spring, while grasses are most predominant in the late spring and early summers. Weed pollens take over in late summer and fall.
Try a modern hypoallergenic tent that has reliable flaps.
Air out your equipment before you leave. Look for mold in tents and tarps, and wash off any you see with a hot water and bleach solution.
Because pollen counts are highest in the early morning, it might be wise to sleep with the tent doors and windows at least partially closed.