Our long-awaited Canadian summer is upon us and everyone is ready to head outside! Summertime brings with it the time-honoured tradition of packing up our bags and heading out into the great Canadian outdoors. For those of us with asthma, a few precautions can ensure a safe and fun-filled trip – give or take a few mosquito bites.

Here’s a camping check-list for asthma and allergy sufferers:

  • Meet with your physician or allergist to ensure you have all the medication you might need. Pack your first-aid kit. Organize your medicines so they are easy to find, in zip-lock bags. Bring a dry-bag pouch so you can carry your inhaler around your neck. Don’t forget to take some extra doses of anti-histamines. If you require a nebulizer, make sure you have access to an electric outlet or have a car adapter.
  • Make an emergency plan with your travel companions to ensure they know what to do in case of an attack. Map out the fastest route to the nearest hospital.
  • Check the weather, pollen count and AQHI forecast.
  • Air out your sleeping bag and tent ahead of time and clean out any dust or mould in your tent.
  • Pack a scarf and toque in case it’s chilly.
  • Be mindful of where you pitch your tent.
  • Don’t sit too close to the campfire because smoke can be a major irritant. Move away if the wind blows smoke your way.
  • Take a shower and change your clothes before bed each night to remove pollen and smoke.
    And last but not least: Stay safe and have fun!