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Altitude Tips

Altitude tips to trek in Nepal

Altitude is height above sea level. It is usually measured in the vertically or up direction. Commonly altitude is used to mean the height above sea level of a location.

Going to the high altitude like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Amadablam Base Camp etc means you will get gorgeous view of high summit. But everything has advantage and disadvantage. So, going in high altitude means there is also risk. We must know all the risk before going to the high altitude. Or you might get altitude sickness. Without giving the body time to adjust changes in air pressure and oxygen level, anyone can be affected by high altitude.

Altitude Sickness

There are three kind of altitude sickness:

  1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the mildest form and it’s very common. Symptoms such as hangover-dizziness, headache, muscle aches, nausea.
  2. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is build up of fluid in the lungs and can be very dangerous even life threatening.
  3. High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) is most severe form of altitude sickness and happens when there is fluid in the brain and it is life threatening and you need to seek doctors right away. Symptoms such as Headache, Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting, Fatigue and loss of energy, Shortness of breath, Problem with sleep, Loss of appetite.

Altitude sickness, known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the negative health effect of high altitude. And is caused due to low amount of oxygen. Moreover, it is usually developed between 6 and 24 hours after reaching altitudes more than 25000 meters above sea level. Our company ensured the minimal risk of being affected by the high altitude to our travelers of course by providing rest days into our trekking itineraries. People starts feeling effect of altitude, sleepless, shortness of breath and light-headed when you are at high altitude.

Our company only prefers well trained and experienced guides who will give you altitude tips to trek in Nepal and help you. Moreover, during trekking, our guide will advise you about health issues as well as altitude sickness too. So that, they can suggest you use of any medication during altitude sickness. Additionally, we suggest to our clients to consult with doctors before leaving the trip too. Here are some altitude tips to trek in Nepal as it can help you about high altitude sickness and how to minimize it:

Altitude sickness and symptoms:

Normal AMS Symptoms:

  1. Periods of sleepless need more sleep than normal.
  2. Occasional loss of appetite.
  3. Vivid, wild dreams especially at around 2400m to 3500m.
  4. Periodic breathing and running nose.
  5. Need of rest and catch your breath frequently while trekking, especially above 3000m.
  6. Increasing urination while moving to or at higher altitudes (a good sign).
  7. Dizziness.

Mild AMS Symptoms – Never go higher:

  1. Weakness.
  2. Nausea.
  3. A runny nose.
  4. Dizziness.
  5. Sleeplessness.
  6. Dry Raspy coughs.
  7. Fatigue/Tired.
  8. Loss of appetite.
  9. Hard to breath.

And if the symptoms mentioned above doesn’t goes away and keep developing while walking then you should rest and relax. Not only rest but also you need to head out of the sun and drink some fluids. Drink frequently and take Diamox 125-250 mg. This medicine usually takes 1 to 4 hours to begin and is safe to take another 250mg Diamox after 6 to 8 hours later.

Likewise, if mild symptoms continue getting worse then try going to lower altitude. Basically staying at same altitude or higher will make worse. Please make sure and share with us whatever you feel on the mountains so our guide can help you during trek.

Prevention of Altitude Illnesses

The Altitude sickness can be prevented by two ways. They are proper acclimatization and preventive medications. For proper acclimatization it is better to start from flying or driving from the low altitude and walk up.

Most of the climbers do “climb high and sleep low” so when you climb high than it is better to came back down and sleep at a low altitude. Better not to go to higher altitude until symptoms decreases.

Stay hydrated and acclimatization is the often accompanied by fluid loss. So, it is better to drink lots of water to remain properly hydrated.
Altitude Tips To trek in Nepal

Don’t over exert and light activity during the day is better then sleeping. Because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, tranquilizers and sleeping pills. This may decrease the respiratory during sleep which may worse the symptoms. While at high altitude it is better to eat high carbohydrate diet. Acclimatization process is happened due to dehydration, over-exertion and alcohol and other depressant drugs.

Preventive Medication

Diamox (Acetazolamide) helps you to breathe faster and metabolizes you to gain more oxygen.  It is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. Mentioned medication helps to decrease headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath that can occur while climbing high altitude.

Dexamethasone (a steroid) is a prescription drug which helps in decreasing brain and other swelling reversing the effects of AMS. It is usually given 4 times a day for a few days starting with the ascent. Advised to use only on the advice of physician because of possible side effects. This can be combined with Diamox. No other medications have been proven valuable for preventing AMS.

First Aid Kit

  1. Bandage for sprains
  2. Plasters/Band-aids
  3. Iodine or water filter (optional)
  4. Moleskin/Second skin – for blisters
  5. Antiseptic ointment for cuts
  6. Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
  7. Aspirin/Paracetamol – general painkiller
  8. Oral rehydration salts
  9. The broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxacin)
  10. Anti-diarrhoea medication (antibiotic)
  11. Diarrhea stopper (Imodium – optional)
  12. Antibiotic for Guardia or similar microbe or bacteria
  13. Diamox 250/500mg (for altitude sickness)
  14. Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
  15. Gel hand cleaner.

Note: First Aid Kit will be also carried by our trekking guide during the trek for the safety but we also recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well. Hope this article helps you and give you guidance and altitude tips to trek in Nepal. Thank you.

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