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GERD prevention while camping?

I have been asked to join friends for a week's backpack camping trip.  Having gone on primitive camping trips extensively in my younger years (I'm still active but 70+ years old), I welcomed the opportunity but currently suffer from Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease.  I am required to take oral medication and sleep on a 'bed-wedge', a large piece of foam 24" x 24" x 6" at night.

For those campers reading this blog with GERD, how do you address this issue?  Do you routinely carry a 'bed-wedge' with you or have you 'adapt and improvised' something which is more convenient to carry in your carry pack or otherwise? 

7 Replies

I don't suffer from that but one thought is to use a hammock.  I'm not that familiar with hammock set ups but it seems to me if the idea is to keep your head end elevated, a hammock might work.  It does depend a bit on where you are going since hammocks don't work everywhere. 


Thank you for your reply.  


One other consideration would be an inflatable GERD pillow. It's hard to tell how lightweight they are, but that might be a good way to pack something down small. If you google 'inflatable portable GERD pillow' a couple options pop up. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they're really designed with camping/backpacking in mind, so they didn't clearly call out weight and size.

Just a thought, hope that helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

My humble gratitude to John J - REI Community Manager who recommended inflatable portable GERD pillows!  This is EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR, but no one in medical supply that I'd contacted had ever heard of them!  WHAT?

I've looked up a number of them on-line and trying to get a handle on reliability and lifespan; I am planning a three-week trip to Ireland in September if we can get through this COVAD-19 pandemic by then.  Worst-case scenario much like the old famous blow-up air bed popping and deflating in the middle of the night, I can always carry a patch kit or an extra inflatable GERD pillow!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!



Hi Musket,
As an occasional sufferer and camper, don't forget the other suggestions - avoid foods that contribute (coffee, chocolate, tomato sauce, sigh). For me I find Zantac more helpful than Prilosec, etc. maybe Zantac will be back on the market by then.

I think it's hard to get the back elevated sleeping on the ground, but I found a cot to be a blessing for car camping. Good luck with the inflatable pillow!


I don't really know anything about GERD, but you might be able to use an inflatable camping pillow in place of the bed-wedge. 24x24x6 is probably larger than than you'll find, but they come in all shapes and sizes so you might be able to find one that's large enough it at least helps a little.


I'm not sure if your issue will be the same as mine but I suffered with GERD symptoms for roughly 2 years. Spent so much time trying to figure out what to do or how to prevent it with no luck. I eventually found out that I can't eat gluten. Once I cut gluten from my diet all the GERD symptoms went away. Just thought I'd throw this out there in case it helps. If you haven't already, try cutting gluten for a week and see how you feel. If that doesn't help then I hope the pillow helps!