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Summer with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator: A Travel Guide

Summer is here once again, which means many people are enjoying more time outdoors and participating in more activities that get them moving. Even with social distancing practices in place and many folks staying at home more than they usually do, getting outside is a welcome change of pace. If you use a portable oxygen concentrator and are wondering how to enjoy your summer activities with a POC, we have compiled some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your summer on oxygen therapy. Thankfully, with an Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator, enjoying your summer will be easy.

Couple with Inogen One G4 Portable Oxygen Concentrator Getting Ready for Car Trip

7 Summer Tips for Using a POC

There is a special feeling of freedom that comes with summer because of the outdoor opportunities it provides for most people. Particularly now, when people across the world have spent a great deal of time indoors and away from other people, summer weather and freedom from strict schedules provide more opportunities for socializing, even at a safe distance. If you would love to hop in the car and take off for a summer jaunt, but worry about your oxygen therapy requirements holding you back, be reassured that you can do just that, with less planning than it takes for a picnic.

If you use a portable oxygen concentrator, getting outside and participating in outdoor activities is no problem the majority of the time, even with minimal planning. Our Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrators make it easy to get the oxygen you need no matter where you are, at home or on the go. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your time this summer, while making sure that you look out for your lung health, too. Whether you want to enjoy a family picnic outside, or want to explore some local parks or trails, keep these tips in mind so that you can make the most of your summer time outdoors.

  1. Get outside when the weather is pleasant. Enjoy your time outdoors whenever the temperature and humidity level are enjoyable. Depending on where you are, conditions may be pleasant all day; if you are in a hotter or wetter climate, you may need to enjoy time outdoors in the morning or later in the evening. Avoid spending time outdoors with your POC if the temperatures reach 95˚F or higher, as that kind of heat can affect the run-time of your battery, as well as wearing you out. Just be aware of how the weather is making you feel, as symptoms for most COPD patients flare on days of high heat and humidity.[1][2]  
  2. Breathe easier outside. Fresh air can improve breathing and the sensation of symptoms. According to a COPD study on movement vs. stagnation, fresh air was the most important aspect to participants for feelings of open airways and improved breathing. Fresh air was also found to have positive psychological effects, such as stress relief and relaxation.[3] Moreover, high temperatures indoors may have more of a negative effect than high temperatures outdoors because of the stagnation effect, so fresh air can offer a myriad of benefits, particularly if you do not have air-conditioning.[2][3]  Regardless of when you get outside, take note of how you feel. If you feel worse outdoors, try a different time of day.
  3. Plan ahead so you stay charged. Many people who use a portable oxygen concentrator worry that it may hold them back, particularly when they are using it for the very first time. However, using a POC actually makes it easy to get outside and get active—particularly when compared with dragging a heavy oxygen tank around with you during a picnic or on a hike. With a small portable oxygen concentrator, like any Inogen One model, you can easily charge your battery before heading out, giving you hours of oxygen to use as you enjoy the outdoors. Just make sure you plan ahead and have a spare battery, or access to your car or an external battery recharger, to recharge.
  4. Travel worry-free. Traveling on oxygen therapy used to be much more complicated, but with a portable oxygen concentrator made by Inogen, you can truly grab and go. If you will be traveling by car, RV or personal boat, just grab your POC and bring it along with you, charging it as you travel. Then, once you arrive, you will be at 100% for whatever lies at the other end! If you will be travelling commercially, whether by bus, train, cruise ship or airplane, contact your travel company ahead of time to inform them of your oxygen therapy needs and to ensure that you will have access to a power outlet whenever possible for recharging purposes. And not to worry, jetsetters—all Inogen One models are FAA approved.
  5. Beat the heat. Keeping your POC away from heat sources is just as important in the summer as it is in the winter, so make sure you keep a safe distance from any source of sparks or flames. In the summer, that can include grills, fire pits, campfires, fireworks, sparklers, outdoor heaters, lighters, cigarettes, cigars and even citronella candles. It is also important to keep your portable oxygen concentrator out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to keep your unit working properly and ensure you do not damage the batteries. Beat all kinds of heat by being aware of sources of heat and flames outdoors, and making sure you have a shady place to rest and keep your POC safe from the sun’s rays. Never leave a portable oxygen concentrator in a car, as it gets very hot very quickly inside a parked car in the summer, which could damage your POC or your battery.
  6. Don’t get doused. Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrators are designed to withstand a little rain, but if you will be near a body of water or around little ones enjoying water play, be cautious. Your Inogen One unit should never be submerged in water or doused with water in order to reduce the risk of electric shock and damage. To protect your POC from getting wet, use a carrying bag, like the one provided with all Inogen One units, and keep your unit off the ground and away from pools, sprinklers and other water sources. If you will be bringing your portable oxygen concentrator on a boat, make sure it is placed somewhere dry and secure. It is also extremely important that your batteries remain dry at all times, or they must be recycled.
  7. Look out for sand and dust. Sandy and dusty environments can clog your POC’s particle filters. If you will be at the beach, in the desert, at a dry campground or in any particularly dusty or dirty environment, keep your portable oxygen concentrator up off the ground and clean your particle filters more often to keep your unit working properly and ensure ease of air flow. 

Woman kayaking with Inogen One G5

Inogen Can Help You Make the Most of Your Summer

Whether you are preparing for a road trip, exploring your city parks or just spending plenty of time outdoors with your loved ones this summer, an Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator makes enjoying summer with a POC easy. Freedom to travel and enjoy the outdoors is one of the benefits of portable oxygen concentrators, and with an Inogen One unit, you will enjoy the ultimate summer of improved freedom, independence and mobility.

Do away with restrictions suffered by those tied to oxygen tanks and find out how much easier it is to get your oxygen therapy with a portable oxygen concentrator from Inogen. No more worrying about oxygen tank delivery schedules or being forced to return home in the middle of an enjoyable event because you are running short on O2 and forgot to pack a spare supply tank. Instead, enjoy endless oxygen with your Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator, as long as your battery is charged or you can recharge with an AC or DC power source. Summertime is supposed to be fun and worry-free, and your oxygen therapy should not change that. Let Inogen help you breathe better so you can take advantage of the weather and enjoy your summer. 

Not sure which portable oxygen concentrator is right for you? Explore our Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator options to see which model fits your lifestyle and your oxygen needs. And, as always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our products or how they can help you make the most of your summer. Inogen offers you an opportunity for mobility and freedom. The rest is up to you, so go ahead and get planning. We look forward to helping you enjoy the season!

Oxygen. Anytime. Anywhere. 


[1] Mu, Zhe, et al. “Synergistic Effects of Temperature and Humidity on the Symptoms of COPD Patients.” International Journal of Biometeorology, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 31 May 2017, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00484-017-1379-0.

[2] McCormack, Meredith C, et al. “Respiratory Effects of Indoor Heat and the Interaction with Air Pollution in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.” Annals of the American Thoracic Society, American Thoracic Society, Dec. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291496/.

[3] Williams, Veronika. “The Importance of Movement for People Living With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Veronika Williams, Anne Bruton, Caroline Ellis-Hill, Kathryn McPherson, 2011.” Qualitative Health Research, SAGE Journals, 21 Apr. 2011, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1049732311405801.


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