Tips To Avoid Altitude Sickness

  • Penn And Boo Hiking

The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to not travel at altitude or expose yourself to higher elevations.

But that’s no fun! And with our 5th Annual What’s Your Everest Colorado this week we wanted to give you tips to follow before you climb to 14,000 feet.

If you choose to go up in altitude, there are ways to help reduce the odds of getting altitude sickness — chief among them being, Hydrate!

Before you leave home, start drinking lots of water. Decrease the amount of alcohol, because it dehydrates you.

I personally make my own electrolyte builder in my juicer. I throw in four apples, six celery stalks, and fresh juice from two limes. The apples boost my glucose, the celery boosts my sodium and chloride, and the lime boosts Vitamin C. I carry a water bottle of this in my pack on my hikes, along with plenty of water.

Here’s another super simple electrolyte drink if you do not have a juicer: In a blender, throw in 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 cups of filtered water, 2-4 tablespoons raw honey, to taste, and 1/8 teaspoon unrefined salt (to taste).

“Sports” drinks are full of sugar, calories, and chemicals that your body doesn’t know what to do with. Create your own recipes for hydrating that your body will thank you for.

Fuel your body before and during your climb with easy to digest foods. Your body will be working at its max, and you do not need to add more work by adding hard to digest foods to the mix.

Many hikers swear sucking on ginger or peppermint candy reduces nausea due to mountain sickness.

No Barriers Warriors Program Manager, Nick Colgin, says, “The reason myself and my climbing partners chew hard candy such as ginger chews, is because they help you salivate. It gets really dry at altitude and can lead to high altitude cough or bronchitis. Having hard candies reduces this.”

Here are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath during exertion
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling of extremities
  • Social withdrawal

If symptoms worsen, reduce altitude as soon as possible. You can die from altitude sickness so pay attention to your body!

Most people who suffer from altitude sickness begin feeling better quickly as soon as they go down in altitude, hydrate, and rest. If symptoms continue see your doctor.