No Such Thing as “Portable” CPAP
Although manufacturers market and sell things called “portable” CPAP machines, these aren’t really adequate for taking on the trail. They might be reasonable for RV or even car camping, but not backpacking.
Manufacturers say that their machines weigh less than a pound, but that’s not including the hoses, mask, and other supplies. Adding these in brings the weight up to nearly two and a half pounds–without a battery! Add in the battery, and you’re looking at about four pounds for your CPAP machine. That’s about the same as 3 days of food and twice as much as you probably allocated for all the rest of your sleeping gear. (This is a generous estimate. One major CPAP manufacturer touts a five-pound battery pack for camping!)
And even if you decide to lug it along, it won’t do you much good. Even the multiple-night battery for these CPAP machines only lasts about 12 hours. How many nights is that going to help you get a good night’s sleep? Then you’re talking about hauling multiple batteries around, adding even more weight.
In addition, many of the portable CPAP machines are ineffective at elevation. Small portable CPAP machines may have a maximum functioning altitude of only 8000 ft. Much of the Colorado Trail and the campsites along it are above this altitude.