Many consider mountain climbing as a rewarding activity once they revel in the stunning view and solitude of nature in the mountain top. Nevertheless, even though it is an engaging outdoor activity, there are several health and physical challenges to expect when climbing high altitudes. If you want to be prepared to handle health issues during this activity, click here.
Always bring the appropriate gear
It is vital to wear the appropriate gear for hiking including well-fitting shoes that provide ankle stability, support and grip. When hiking on rocky trails, it is best to use one or two walking poles to help maintain balance while trekking on uneven terrain. The pole will also take off some of the physical impact on the knees, ankles, hips and lower back.
Use clothing that allows comfortable movement. It is vital to carry gear suitable for all types of weather. At high altitudes, the air is thinner that can lead to extreme and rapid changes in the temperature. Make sure that you will bring warm weather gear in your pack. Make sure to bring along a hat or sunglasses to protect the eyes. In addition, bring rain and wind-proof exterior layer made out of lightweight material that can be readily used.
Travelling up high in the mountains would require the individual to bring along food and water. Carry all extra gear and food in a backpack with at least 2 straps. Always make sure that the backpack fits snugly with padded straps and a waist belt.
Aside from the hardship during mountain climbing, the high altitude can cause serious health issues. Acute mountain sickness or altitude sickness is the most prevalent altitude-related illness. The main symptom is a severe headache along with the other symptoms such as the following:
Most of the altitude-related concerns are caused by the low concentration of oxygen in the air. Take note that altitude sickness can sometimes be avoided by proper acclimatization. The individual should stay hydrated, eat regularly, stay warm and avoid alcohol.
Acetazolamide is used by some individuals to make ascents without develop altitude-related illnesses. This medication works by stimulating breathing which allows higher intake of oxygen as well as mimics the physiological changes linked with acclimatization.
Those who are prone to iron deficiency anemia should take an iron supplement before and during travel to areas with high altitudes. Since oxygen is transported by the red blood cells, anemia can lead to diminished red blood cell count, thus those who have anemia are likely to suffer from altitude sickness than those who have normal blood counts.
Even sleeping at high altitudes can be hard. The low intake of oxygen during the night can disrupt with sleep and leave the individual tired in the morning. Using acetazolamide can assist with breathing during nighttime. In addition, sleeping at the lowest altitude possible is one way to avoid altitude mountain sickness.