High Altitude Trekking: Top 5 Tips And Tricks For First Timer
All things considered, high altitude trekking is one the most demanding and rewarding outdoors hobbies that you could take up. Nothing beat the pleasure and satisfaction you feel at the moment you stand at the summit of a high mountain. Besides keeping your body in good shape, high altitude trekking also allows you to enjoy natural beauties that you hardly see in your daily life. For people that are in need of a way to improve their physical and mental fitness, taking up high altitude trekking is an excellent choice.
That being said, it’s not like you could go up Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Everest and similar locations on a whim. There are lots of issues and problems associated with high altitude trekking that you must not underestimate in any case. Fortunately, if you are new to high altitude trekking and could use some guidance, you come to the right place. In this article, you would find a couple of helpful tips and trips regarding various aspects of high altitude trekking. Check out the provided information below and see how you could improve your trekking experience.
1/ Set Up A Training Schedule
For novices, training is essential, there is no way you could finish a trek if you don’t train properly. Depending on your stamina and the difficulty of your hike, put together an appropriate schedule in advance of the trip. For most of the time, if you are in a reasonably fit state, the standard training duration is around 3 months. On the other hand, if you are in bad shape, you must train for a much longer period of time. When it comes to high altitude trekking, you could never begin training too early but you could begin too late.
There are a wide variety of methods for you to train for a trek: running, swimming, biking and so on. All you have to do is to select the one that suits your situation and the trip demands the most. At first, the intensity should be kept at a level that matches your current capabilities. Once you get the hang of it, you may start increasing the training intensity up until the day of departure. To be on the safe side, consult your doctor to ensure that your health could keep up with the training.
2/ Think About The Trekking Inventory
At high altitudes, the weather and the temperature tend to fluctuate from time to time. Therefore, it’s widely recommended that you pack several sets of clothes just in case. Take some time to research about the conditions in order to prepare your inventory properly. Aside from trekking clothes, you have to consider other items like bug repellant, med kit, sunglasses, sunscreen, sleeping bag, tent…. After you finish planning your trekking inventory, estimate the total weight so you could train yourself in a realistic manner.
In the case your trek lasts for multiple days and there are few chances to re-supply, pay special attention to your food and water. You should prioritize stuff that you could consume without requiring complex preparation like biscuits, bread, fruits, energy bars and alike. Since the airs at high altitudes contain less oxygen compared to sea level, consuming digestion intensive item is ill-advised. The last thing you want to do in high altitude trekking is to waste precious energy and oxygen on digesting.
3/ Maintain A Sustainable Hiking Pace
As you ascend to the summit, you would feel short of breath and get tired easily which is normal, especially if you are a beginner. Nonetheless, it’s of utmost importance that you don’t accidentally burn all of your energy from the get-go. Take regular breaks in order to recover and modify the hiking pace as situation demand. You have nothing to prove and that is why it’s strongly advised that you keep things slow and steady. When you pass the 6,000 feet mark, take an extended break so your body could adjust.
At all time, you have to keep an eye out for signs such as nausea, dizziness, headache and so on. These could be early symptoms of altitude sickness which may be life-threatening if you decide to ignore them altogether. Notify your fellow hikers about your conditions and whatever you do, don’t try to push yourself over your limits. You may feel better after taking a good rest but if your conditions don’t improve, descend and seek medical attention as soon as possible. The rule of thumb is: “Safety is number one priority”
Important Note: Assume that you are in good health, you must take a break every time you ascend another 1,000 feet. At night, you should not make camp and sleep at an altitude that is 1,000 feet higher than the night before.
4/ Plan Your Route In Advance
Technically speaking, you could always follow the crowd and make your way to the top without requiring any route plan. However, it’s quite useful for you to figure out the best ascending path before you actually have to climb. In this technological age, you should be able to acquire valuable recommendations and suggestions about route planning on the Internet. Bring a map of the area with you so you always know where you are and which way to do. In the case you are good with technology, it’s not a bad idea to carry a GPS while ascending.
5/ Consider Traveling With An Expert
If you don’t have a lot of confidence in your ability and knowledge, you should trek with an expert. Nowadays, there are numerous companies that offer high altitude trekking tours to people in need. These companies shall ensure that you safely reach the end of your journey by pairing you with an expert climber. All you have to do is to follow the climber, obey his/her instruction at all times and everything would turn out to be fine. To get the best deal, you should assess the prices and service of multiple companies before making your final decision.