With camping comes near-constant exposure to environmental allergies. If you’re tent camping, or have open windows in your camper, you’re breathing in allergens 24/7 — which can irritate even avid outdoor enthusiasts with allergies.
Below are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your next camping trip.
You may not be feeling symptoms yet, but once you reach the great outdoors, you may start to notice the effects. Providers recommend starting your antihistamine regimen two weeks before your usual allergy season starts to avoid an onslaught of symptoms — and the same may be helpful before your big summer camp out, too. Continue to take them consistently throughout your camping trip.
If you take allergy drop immunotherapy, be sure to keep taking your treatment as prescribed. Your provider may also recommend a preseasonal treatment that helps to boost your body’s ability to minimize symptoms to specific allergens during their peak season. For summer, that may be grass, and this preseasonal rush treatment starts eight weeks before grass starts to pollinate. Talk to your provider to see if this treatment is right for you.
Pack for Potential Symptoms
Along with taking regular antihistamines, you may want to bring a few “just in case” items that relate to allergy:
- Benadryl: Benadryl or similar antihistamines work well for more severe symptoms that your regular antihistamine can’t kick.
- Epinephrine: If you’re prescribed epinephrine, be sure to bring it and keep it at a controlled temperature.
- Topical creams: Sitting on grass, brushing against weeds and plants, interactions with insects, and more can call for a topical cream to reduce and soothe skin irritation.
- Inhaler: Those with allergic asthma will want to pack their regular inhaler in case of extended respiratory symptoms.
They shouldn’t take up too much room in your bag and will keep you comfortable in case of unexpected reactions. Always look up the closest emergency room in case of a severe reaction that requires immediate attention.
Prep your Tent
For those tent campers out there, it may have been a while since the last adventure. It’s best to air out your tent for a day or two before use to reduce mold and dust that may have occupied it over the winter.
Air flow is obviously important when sleeping in a tent, but the more there is, the more allergens can pass through. Try to keep the tent zipped up when you’re not in it to reduce this and hopefully sleep a little more peacefully.
Treat the Cause
By next summer, you could start to feel better if you use immunotherapy treat the cause of your symptoms. Allergy drop immunotherapy is an at-home treatment that safely builds tolerance to the allergens that make you sick. Your body slowly learns to not react to these things, and over time, symptoms are reduced — or even eliminated.
Allergy drop immunotherapy can take three to five years, but most patients feel better long before then — sometimes in just a few months — and the benefit can last long after treatment is done. Find a provider near you that offers allergy drop immunotherapy following the La Crosse Method™ Protocol to get ready for symptom-free camping trips to come.