How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation: Altitude sickness describes several symptoms that happen to your body when you’re exposed to a higher elevation within a short period of time. It’s pretty common and most people experience altitude Sickness, whenever they are traveling, driving, and hiking to high altitudes. It is because of the light air pressure at higher altitudes, there is a lower oxygen supply. It causes people to inhale less oxygen in their trio, which causes them motion Sickness, vomiting, headaches, and a lot more.
Although it’s pretty common to have altitude sickness, it can be severe in some cases. There are some states of altitude sickness, that led to chronic and life-threatening health problems. But, if you have prepared yourself before your trip you can easily avoid altitude Sickness during your vacation. In this way your vacation will not be ruined with vomiting and creating a lot of mess, you can easily enjoy the wonderful nature.
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So, here are some of the things that help to prepare for High Altitude Vacation.
Steps To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation
When you on a high-altitude vacation, you need to follow few steps that will prevent you from altitude sickness. These are well-proven steps to doctors and hiking experts to avoid ever getting altitude sickness.
Take a Rest for few days prior
You need to in your 100% fit condition if you are going for a high altitude vacation
Your body needs about two to three days slowly going higher to adjust to the changes. Avoid flying or driving directly to high altitudes. Instead, go up higher each day, stop to rest, and continue the next day. If you have to fly or drive, pick a lower altitude to stay at for 24 hours before going all the way up.
When traveling on foot, plan your trip up with stopping points at lower elevations before reaching your final destination. Try to travel no more than 1,000 feet each day, and plan a rest day for every 3,000 feet you go higher.
During climbing to high altitudes, it’s difficult to eat a lot of food. As we go to higher altitudes, the pressure of the airdrops significantly. This causes you to breathe less oxygen than your normal breathing capacity.
When you are climbing you might also struggle with appetite loss and perceived tastelessness of food, which leads to a drop in protein and fats. During high altitude, carbohydrates will make most of your meal as it fuels you with energy and boosts the oxygen uptake in the body at high altitudes.
Eating carbs will give you the fuel to your brain, kidney, heart muscle, nervous system and make you feel lightweight through your high altitude hike. Bring enough snacks that can last all your hikes, as it packs a high amount of calories and you will need them for your hike.
During your hike, you should avoid a large heavy meal, and always go for small meals. Large meals tend to make you sluggish, so go with light meals with high carbohydrates.
Note: During high-altitude hiking, climbers usually suffer from Vitamin C deficiency. It is most common in the long trek, if your hike is going to lay up to few days, a supplement will be a good idea. Ask your doctor for better medication.
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Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol, cigarettes, and medications like sleeping pills must be avoided during high altitude hikes. According to Austrian research, the climbers who drank alcohol, during high altitude hike, has faced slightly impaired breathing ( breathing pattern is ineffective). It can lead to a severe health condition like hypoxia ( oxygen deficiency) to the hiker. It is dangerous, as in high altitude the air pressure is low, which causes low oxygen. It can create a dangerous situation for the climbers, as they wouldn’t able to breathe properly
Also, in higher altitude, there is less moisture, and if it is combined with alcohol can create dehydration.
If you want to drink during your high altitude vacation, wait up to 48 hours after reaching higher altitudes, as during this time your body we’ll be properly adjusted to the environment.
If you are a smoker, you will have difficulty breathing, as smoking decrease the amount of oxygen in the body. At high altitudes, smoking can lead to several health problems and also can cause severe life-threatening problems.
Hiking is an adventurous activity and it can easily sweat out any hiker. It can be worse when you climb at a high altitude. Due to the low air pressure, at high altitudes, there is less moisture in the area. It causes hikers to sweat out faster than their usual rate. It is advised by the experts, to drink two to three liters of water a day on your high altitude vacation.
If you didn’t drink enough water it will harder for your body to fully adapt to the surroundings and will gradually decrease the body’s ability to acclimatize to high altitudes. Packing an appropriate amount of water is one of the few steps that help you prepare and will help you in your high-altitude vacation.
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Slow movement while climbing at higher altitudes
To prevent high altitude sickness is to make your hiking as comfortable as you can. One of the easy steps is to climb at a slow pace. Don’t jumpstart or run or jig when hiking in higher altitudes. If you move slowly during your high altitude hike, you will have the ability to get more air with deep breathes thing your lungs, and allowing more oxygen to flow in your body. This will fuel you to easily hike without sweating too much.
If you try to go too fast or engage in any exercise, you will have a short breath. This will prevent less oxygen in your body and it may lead to severe health conditions.
Altitude sickness gets worse during the night when you are sleeping. So, it better to sleep at a lower altitude during the night. It is due to the fact, with a sudden decrease in air pressure, can cause you fatigue, dizziness, and it will be difficult for you to sleep at night. But, if you want to continue your hiking for the next, a good night’s sleep is important. So it’s better to choose a lower altitude place to sleep during your high altitude vacation. If you plan to hike more than 1000 feet in a day, get ready to look for low altitudes places to stay. It would take a couple of fi days for your body to fully adapt to the environment and air pressure.
There are only a few medications that you can take before the disease. And one of them is taken in situations like flying or going to high altitude. Acetazolamide and dexamethasone are the most common medication for athletes and experienced climbers, but it has several side effects. So before taking any medication, consult your doctor
In addition, you can still experience altitude sickness after taking medication. The medication only people to some people, but if you start showing altitude sickness symptoms, it’s better to go to a lower altitude or visit the nearest hospital.
These are some ways that will help you prepare for high altitude vacation. Don’t miss out on any of the steps before visiting high-altitude mountains.
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How does your body adapt to high altitudes?
When you go to a high altitude, the air is low which causes less oxygen. This creates people to breathe properly and also known as altitude sickness. To counter this, there is a way known as acclimatization, where our body adapts to the environment or we can say to the air pressure. Our body adapts to the surrounding because at higher altitudes the red blood production increase to counteract the lower oxygen saturation in the blood.
Although full adaptation can take months, you’ll feel fine after spending one week at high altitudes. The red blood cells help to deliver oxygen to the body tissues—via blood flow through the circulatory system.
Due to the increase in red blood cells, the oxygen present in our body backs to normal and we don’t have a lower saturation of oxygen supply in the body tissues.