How to Prepare When Traveling to Higher Altitudes

Guest post by Emma Willson

Traveling to higher altitudes requires special preparations if, at all, you don't want to spend a huge chunk of your holiday treating altitude sickness. Even though high altitudes come with various challenges, it's quite hard to ignore the advantages of these places. While at high altitude sites, you get to have an incredible view of the surrounding environment. 

If you are lucky enough to find few to no obstruction in the immediate environment, you can have a clear view of the horizon, thus making your travel memorable. Some of the best places that exist on high altitudes include Santa Fe in New Mexico, which sits at 7260ft above, Jungfraujoch in New Zealand, which sits at 11,388ft, and Machu Picchu in Peru which is at 800ft. Here is how you can prepare when traveling to high altitude areas.

Drink plenty of water to dehydrate

One of the best ways to prepare for high altitude is to drink plenty of water. It is often a good idea to drink two times the amount you usually drink. Keep in mind that the most common feature about places that exist on higher ground is that they tend to have low humidity. That means the amount of water vapor or moisture in the atmosphere is quite low, thus making the air dry. Such an environment is going to make you feel thirsty more often.

For you to avoid the effects of dehydration, such as headache, tiredness, and lightheadedness, you may consider drinking plenty of water. Doing so is going to ensure that you don’t end up getting affected too much once you get to higher ground. You may want to start training yourself earlier so that when you get there, it becomes easy to double the amount of water you consume.

Adjust slowly

It is essential that you adapt slowly both onsite and before you leave. Before your travels, you may have to move to a middle ground. Places such as Denver and Vail provide remarkable acclimatizing spots for anyone who wants to travel to a higher altitude. Doing so may reduce the effects of moving to alpine regions. Adapting to the environmental conditions at the middle ground may take you 2 to 3 days. Once you finish, you can proceed with your travels. There will be some advantages of doing so than if you had left for the higher ground without pre-acclimatizing.

Once you reach the high altitude area, you may want to have plenty of rest before you start hopping from one point to another. You will need at least three days for you to acclimatize to the environmental conditions available on higher grounds completely. During those days, make sure that you have plenty of rest and, most importantly, continue dehydrating. Acclimatizing is among the best tips for adjusting to high altitudes. With it, you are going to have an easy time adapting. If you are going to a mountain, try to ascend slowly, preferable 1000ft daily.

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Avoid both caffeinated drinks and alcohol

Most people love spoiling themselves with alcohol when traveling. It is often one of the best ways to feel the trip and enjoy your vacation. You should, however, put a halt to alcohol if you know you are going to high altitudes. Keep in mind that unlike other drinks, alcohol doesn't hydrate, but instead, it does the opposite. The same happens with lattes and many other caffeinated beverages. Replace such drinks with water so that instead of dehydrating your body, you end up getting hydrated, which will, in turn, minimize the effects of being on high ground such as nausea, fatigue, and headache.

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Bring along your sunscreen

Apart from low humidity, people living at higher altitudes tend to get exposed to approximately 25% of the Ultraviolet rays. That means you need to be keen so that you don't end up experiencing problems due to the exposure to ultraviolet rays. With that in mind, make sure you bring along a bottle of sunscreen with high SPF. Since you will be spending most of your time enjoying your travels, you need something easy to apply as well as something that doesn't require you to apply moisturizer under. One can browse the net for heliocare review, a sunscreen that has a high SPF, and is nourishing.

Eat plenty of food

Alpine regions come with an intense cold, which means your body is going to burn calories even when at rest. That is the only way it can be able to generate enough heat to keep you warm. You should thus make food your closest friend. You should eat foods that contain high amounts of carbs. You should also ensure you bring slow-burning energy foods so that you give your body what it wants to generate heat. There are times when you are going to lose your appetite. It is, however, mandatory that you continue consuming the foods mentioned above. Covering yourself which layers of clothes is not going to help if your body doesn’t have enough carbs to generate heat.

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Preparing before traveling to higher grounds is critical, as you can see from the details above. Adequate preparations will enable you to adapt faster and continue enjoying life in the alpine regions. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, drink plenty of water, and have plenty of sleep. Those things will reduce the high altitude sickness and ensure that you have an excellent time enjoying your holidays.

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