Trekking at high-altitude is a lifetime experience and gives us unforgettable memories and experiences. It will simply leave you wanting for more however, trekking at high altitude is not as easy and one can suffer from breathlessness headache, nausea, vomiting, BP fluctuations etc when gaining altitude due to low oxygen and/or air pressure. In order to have a memorable relatively trouble -free trek it becomes very important that the body is properly acclimatized to the climatic conditions before embarking the trek. Ideally one should spend a 1-3 days at the base location and at times it is pertinent to give a days rest in between the trek especially if the altitude gain is way high on the next stretch.
As the altitude rises, the atmospheric pressure decreases, delivering less amount of oxygen per breath. Acclimatization helps to increase red blood cells to adjust to the decreased amount of oxygen. It is possible that some people might not feel any problem even when they reach at an elevation of 5000-8000 ft above sea level while some of us experience breathing problems or get down by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). The factors for different people experiencing problems at different altitude depends on their fitness, physiology, preparation and approach.
Since our body is not designed in a manner that it can undergo direct travel from 0 to 10,000 ft without any adverse, so it is very important we follow some tips and take precautions to acclimatize our body.
Research and Plan
Before venturing for thrilling activity, it is must that you do some research about the height and health issues pertaining to the elevation. Also consult your doctor in case you have any breathing or heart problem. This will help you to plan and take precautions accordingly.
The foremost thing for trekking to much higher altitude will require you to increase your fitness and endurance level. It can be easily achieved by regular exercise and aerobics for a month or two. Cycling, running and swimming are good exercises to build up stamina and strength.
Go for Gradual Acclimatization
Take a gradual walk to reach high elevations rather than driving or flying directly there. Climbing the heights gradually will allow your body to adapt to the conditions and acclimatize easily. You can take rest for couple of days at height of 5000 ft before going further. You can also take rest for a day or two before trekking on higher elvations of next 8000 ft and above depending upon your body endurance.
Drink plenty of water as you move higher to avoid dehydration because of dry air up in the mountains and increased breathing rate. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, breathing problems, headache etc. Drink atleast 4-5 litres of water every day and avoid alcohol and smoking.
Ginkgo Extract & Garlic Soup
Consumption of Ginkgo Extract containing ginseng and garlic soaps can help you acclimatize well and you can fight better with mountain sickness.
As you are keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water, same way you need to keep your lips and skin hydrated by applying lip balm and body moisturizer frequently. Do not forget to carry eye glasses, hats and sunscreen lotions to avoid strong rays of the sun.
The above acclimatization tips can help you prepare during your trek to high elevations. One may feel little uneasy when going high for the first time, but you will gradually feel fine if you are following the tips of acclimatization properly.