Health and Safety Tips for High-Altitude Trekking in Nepal: How to Avoid AMS and Stay Healthy

By Glorious Himalaya on February 9, 2024 in Travel Tips

High-altitude trekking is a widespread activity in Nepal. Many popular trekking spots in Nepal include Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, and Langtang Valley Trek. However, many factors make trekking at a high altitude difficult.

Some factors, such as altitude, rugged terrain, dynamic weather, and remoteness, are common and make the trek very challenging. The risk of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness is prevalent among trekkers. Also, preparing and planning for the trek before and during the trek is essential. For example, it is wise to research the ideal trekking conditions.

Undoubtedly, health and safety must be the priority for the trekkers. You might want specific tips to stay safe and secure during your trek. So, if you’ll learn some tips for altitude trekking, including the techniques to avoid altitude sickness, let’s get into it.

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Health and Safety Tips for High Altitude Sickness

Understand Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also called acute mountain Sickness, is one of the most common problems that trekkers face during high-altitude trekking. It arises in the mountains of high altitude. The Symptoms of AMS may include nausea, headache, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, and dizziness when the body fails to acclimate to the oxygen, atmosphere, and climate levels. Sometimes, the symptoms of Altitude Sickness worsen if the patient suffers from HAPE or HACE. In the case of HAPE, it affects the patient’s lungs, and HACE affects the patient’s brain. The best way to prevent altitude sickness is by knowing when to acclimatize. It would be best never to rush towards the high altitude and gra, gradually and descend throughout the trek.

Preparing for High-Altitude Trekking:

High-altitude trekking is fun and challenging but not simple. You have to trek for several days, each for five to six hours, for 10 to 15 days. To prepare for the high-altitude trek, you must consider some factors.

Physical Fitness: Before your high-altitude trek, it is essential to focus on your physical fitness. Regularly engaging in exercises that improve strength, cardiovascular core, and breathing will help you in the long run at high altitudes. Raising your stamina and being in good physical condition will reduce exhaustion and make you enjoy your trek even more.

Gradual Ascent:

During a high-altitude trek, trekkers often rush to a high altitude quickly, which is a bad idea. It would be best always to avoid rapid ascents to higher altitudes, as your body can’t cope with the oxygen level and climate, which results in altitude sickness. Always follow the curated itinerary prepared by trekking companies with adequate days for acclimatization.

Stay Hydrated:

Another best advice you’ll receive during your trek in high-altitude trek is always to remain hydrated. Proper hydration is essential at high altitudes, mainly to not tire your body and to prevent acute mountain sickness. You should drink plenty of water, tea, and energy drinks, but avoid coffee and do not take alcohol. Alcohol is a massive reason for dehydration among trekkers.

Balanced Diet:

Besides keeping yourself hydrated and eating good nutrition, a balanced diet is also recommended. Food rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is needed to fuel your body and not be exhausted. You should also always consume food rich in Vitamin C and Iron, which helps you respire and transport oxygen to your body.

Essential Gear and Equipment:

Quality Footwear: Invest in sturdy, well-fitted hiking boots with ankle support to navigate the terrain comfortably. Break them in before your trek to prevent blisters and discomfort.

Layered Clothing: Dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions at different altitudes. A moisture-wicking base layer, insulating mid-layer, and waterproof outer layer are essential to stay warm and dry.

Sun Protection: Protect your skin and eyes from the intense mountain sun with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. UV radiation is more potent at higher elevations, increasing the risk of sunburn and snow blindness.

Sleeping Gear: Invest in a quality sleeping bag rated for cold temperatures to ensure a restful night’s sleep in the chilly mountain lodges or campsites.

Health and Safety Practices on the Trail:

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any symptoms of altitude sickness and communicate openly with your trekking companions and guides. If you experience persistent headaches, nausea, or difficulty breathing, descend to a lower altitude immediately.

Proper Acclimatization: Following a conservative ascent schedule allows your body time to acclimate to higher altitudes. Ascend no more than 300-500 meters per day above 3,000 meters, and include rest days for adaptation.

Stay Warm and Dry: Hypothermia is a real risk in the mountains, even during the trekking season. Keep your clothing dry and change into warm, dry layers if you get wet. Carry a waterproof shell and extra insulation to protect against cold and wind.

Eat Well and Stay Hydrated: Maintain a nutritious diet and drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Soups, teas, and hydrating snacks like fruits and nuts are excellent options to replenish electrolytes and energy.

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Dealing with Altitude Sickness:

Descend if Necessary: If symptoms of AMS persist or worsen despite rest and hydration, descend to a lower altitude immediately. Prompt descent is the most effective treatment for altitude sickness and can prevent serious complications.

Medication: Consult with a healthcare professional before your trek and consider carrying medications such as acetazolamide (Diamox) to prevent and alleviate symptoms of AMS. Ibuprofen can help relieve headaches associated with altitude sickness.

Oxygen Therapy: Some trekking companies provide supplemental oxygen cylinders or portable hyperbaric chambers for emergency use in severe cases of altitude sickness. Before setting out on your trek, please familiarize yourself with their use and location.

Conclusion:

High-altitude trekking in Nepal is a fun activity that has attracted many tourists and trekkers worldwide. The adventure among the stunning mountains also offers fantastic risks and challenges that keep the heart pumping. Trekking in the mountains of Nepal is not always fun, as many factors keep it challenging. Hence, knowing some healthy tips is always recommended to be safe and secure at high altitudes.

Therefore, we hope some of our tips, such as acclimatization, listening to your body, keeping yourself hydrated, and eating nutritious food, benefit you during your trek. Do not rush to the high altitude; always ascent and descend gradually to get acclimatized to less oxygen so that you don’t suffer from altitude sickness.

Absolutely! If you’re considering embarking on a hike in Nepal, look no further than Glorious Himalaya Trekking Pvt. Ltd., a trusted and leading local tour operator in the region. With our expertise and dedication to providing unforgettable trekking experiences, you can rest assured that your journey will be meticulously planned and guided by experienced professionals. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a novice adventurer, Glorious Himalaya Trekking offers a wide range of customizable trekking packages tailored to suit your preferences and fitness level. From the iconic trails of Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit to off-the-beaten-path adventures, they ensure safety, comfort, and unparalleled exploration of Nepal’s majestic landscapes. Contact Glorious Himalaya Trekking today to start planning your dream hike in the Himalayas!

Email: info@glorioushimalaya.com
WhatsApp: +977-9813637616

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