From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Hi! I'm Gregory and I love going to summer camp. I don't let my allergies and asthma get in the way of outdoor fun. Before I head out to camp, I visit my allergist for a complete exam. He prescribes the medications I need to avoid asthma attacks and annoying allergies caused by outdoor allergens.

Picnic Basket
If you have food allergies and you aren't supplying all of the foods for your trip, be sure to bring along some healthy non-allergenic snacks and a list of foods that you are allergic to. Give this list to your camp in advance so they can buy safe, non-allergenic foods for you.


If you are allergic to stinging insects, then stings from insects such as wasps and hornets can cause a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. If you have an allergy to stinging insects and have been given injectable adrenaline (such as Epi-Pen™) be sure to carry it with you at all times. An adult (such as camp personnel) should be trained to give you an injection if you need it.


Smoke is a harmful irritant to people with asthma. It makes it hard to breathe and can trigger an asthma attack. Sit further away from the campfire and ask your friends to toast a marshmallow for you. Move away if the wind blows the smoke in your direction.


Dry areas can create dust that can make it hard to breathe. Set up your tent on a grassy area instead (unless you have a severe grass allergy).


First Aid Kid
Remember to pack all your medications in your first aid kit before leaving for camp, such as an Epi-Pen™ for a food or be sting reaction, an inhaler for asthma, antihistamines for allergies and cortisone for skin reactions.


Nuts, eggs, milk, fish and shellfish are common food allergens for both children and adults. Avoid these if you have a history of allergies to these foods.


Be sure to air out your tent in advance of your camping trip. Clean up any mold with a diluted bleach and water mixture. Mold spores can trigger allergy and asthma attacks.


Poison Ivy
Be on the lookout for plants like poison ivy and poison oak, which can cause a serious itchy rash when touched or brushed against. Pack ointments, lotions and antihistamines to treat potential allergic skin reactions. Wear long pants when hiking through weedy and bushy areas where these plants may be hiding.


Ragweed, a common allergy trigger, typically grows in open areas where wind can spread its pollen. Open meadows could mean trouble if ragweed is present. Ragweed growing season begins in July or August in most parts of the country and lasts until the first hard frost.


Trees can be allergy triggers when they spread their pollen. Tree pollen season typically starts in early spring and ends by June.



American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
555 East Wells Street
11th Floor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-3823

Close-up of pine tree branches in Winter Close-up of pine tree branches in Winter