6 Tips to Avoid Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness also known as Acute Mountain Sickness is an illness that can affect hikers, climbers, skiers, and travelers. The symptoms of Altitude Sickness occur at high altitudes generally above 8,000 feet above sea level.

The sickness is caused by a combination of reduced air pressure and lower oxygen concentration present at high altitude. Seriousness can range from very mild headaches to life threatening. The risk increases with the speed in which the individual has gained the elevation.

Tips to avoid altitude sickness:
1. Drink lots of water
2. Avoid alcohol
3. Eat high carbohydrate meals
4. Take some time to get acclimated
5. Get lots of rest
6. Take some Gingko. It increases blood flow. More blood equals more oxygen.


Symptoms of a mild case of altitude sickness include:
Difficulty sleeping
Dizziness or light-headedness
Loss of appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Increased heart rate
Shortness of breath with exertion

The altitude affects everyone differently. Some people get sick right away and others never notice the difference. The key is to drink lots of water and be aware of how you and others in your group are feeling. Don't push on when you aren't feeling well. You don't want to put yourself at risk. Be smart. The mountain will be there tomorrow after you have acclimated.

Vacationing in high altitude:
Whether you are traveling to a high elevation ski town or planning on hiking to high altitude, just follow the tips above and keep an eye on everyone in your group. If you follow the above tips for avoiding altitude sickness you will be more likely to enjoy your ski vacation.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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