7 Ways to Weather Allergies While Camping

Camping is a perfect opportunity to get away for a few days and convene with nature. But if you suffer from allergies, heading out to the wilderness can expose you to a series of dangers. Here's how to stay healthy.

Camping with Allergies

While activities such as hiking in the woods, sleeping under the stars, and toasting marshmallows over the open fire can be enjoyable, they can also expose you to series of allergy triggers, such as pollen, mold, stinging insects, and poison ivy. But if you find yourself sneezing, coughing, and itching, you don't have to take down your tent and return to civilization just yet.

Plan ahead by implementing important prevention and treatment strategies. Here are seven tips to help manage your outdoor allergies and enjoy your vacation:

  1. Schedule your camping trip around the allergy seasons. For instance, tree pollen can be a problem from late spring through early summer, while ragweed can be prevalent during July and August. If you know what you're allergic to, you can avoid being outdoors when your triggers will be out in full force.
  2. Check the forecast for pollen count and ozone levels before you head to your camping destination. If the levels are especially high or there's an air quality alert, it's a good idea to reschedule your trip.
  3. Be prepared for insect stings, exposure to poison ivy, and pollen allergies. It's a good idea to pack antihistamines, topical anti-itch creams, and an EpiPen® if you're in danger of experiencing an anaphylactic reaction.
  4. Before you leave, make sure your tent is allergy-free. If it's been stored in a dusty place, plan to air it out and give it a good cleaning to remove dust mites and other allergens lingering in the fabric.
  5. If food allergies are a concern for you, make sure you bring easy-to-prepare "safe" foods. Also be sure not to eat any new foods that could trigger a serious allergic reaction.
  6. Educate yourself on how to recognize poisonous plants, including poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac so you can avoid these triggers. If you do come into contact with any of them, wash off the affected area with soap and water thoroughly to help prevent a reaction.
  7. Think twice before sitting in front of the campfire, since the smoke can trigger a reaction, particularly for people with allergic asthma.




"Allergy & Asthma Issues: Summer 2009; Prepare for summer skin flare-ups." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web, 26 April 2011.

"Patient Update: Avoid allergens to keep asthma controlled." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web, 26 April 2011.

"Tips to Remember: Traveling with Allergies and Asthma." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web, 26 April 2011.