Preparing for High Altitudes-Altitude Acclimatizing Hiking often involves climbing hills and mountains. For some people, this hobby might go as far as crossing over to full scale Mountaineering. As you increase the altitudes that you reach in your hiking adventures, you will want to take the higher altitudes into account and be aware of the possible risks.
In higher altitudes, the oxygen level of the air is lower, making your body work less efficiently. These are some important facts on Higher Altitude Hiking:
- People can feel the effects of higher altitudes as low as 2000 meters above sea level.
- People differ in their tolerance for high altitude conditions and how their bodies react to the changes in air pressure and oxygen level.
- There is no relationship between your overall physical fitness level and your tolerance to high altitudes. Furthermore, an improved fitness level might cause you to push harder and over exert your body which is one of the main causes of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
Acclimatizing to High Altitudes
Acclimatizing to higher altitudes and the need to do so differs per person and you will learn what your body needs by experience. If you have no experience with high altitudes then take extra precautions. If you do not encounter any problems then you can try a shorter and/or more intense acclimatization process. Here are the basic rules on Acclimatizing to Higher Altitudes:
- Start at lower altitudes and walk steadily and slowly to higher altitudes. The acclimatization proces takes at least a few days.
- If you need to drive or fly directly to altitudes higher than 3000 meters, take at least a period of 24 hours of rest before you start your steady ascent and acclimatization.