OH, BUT YOU CAN SURVIVE HIGH ALTITUDES!?!
We have travelled to a few places and tried different heights before doing this post ! Trust us when we say that the breathtaking views are always worth the trek! Plus it's not like we are taking you to the moon, it's just earth that we are talking about.
Acclimatising and oxygen levels
Everyone keeps talking about how oxygen levels are super low at some places and how one might not survive the terrain. But relax, it's nothing like that. As long as you rest for a few hours following your arrival and "NOT" do over excited cart wheels or such , you are going to be ok. In-fact we went out to the city the same day that we arrived, but we took it real slow and explored without any problems.
Non-Smokers Vs Smokers
Non-smokers will experience comfortable breathing in these areas when compared to their smoking counterparts. There is no reason to worry as oxygen cans are easily available at the chemists which can help you on the go (we got the ones called oxo 99 in Ladakh for a just-in-case situation but never even opened them). One can also get their oxygen levels checked at any chemist. So a good reason to quit smoking aye ?
Ask yourself if you get sick when you travel to local hill stations ?
If the answer is yes, don't sweat! Precaution is the way to go. Some passes in some places can be above 18,000 ft , but you can always consult a doctor before you mark your journey. Also, you must try to acclimatise for more than half a day after you arrive the city. With proper preparation you can have a wonderful trip. Also keep faith in yourself and keep a positive attitude!
Any Fitness Vs No Fitness
Something is always better than nothing. If you exercise regularly or do yoga , High altitudes will be a piece of cake for you because it's all about mental and physical balance. We would suggest you all to start some kind of physical movement. It really makes a difference.
All in all everyone's different, just try and keep an open mind.
Here are some precautions that one can take to avoid or reduce the effects of mountain sickness for a happy trip :
1. Avoid spending too much time at high altitude passes.
2. Drink water at regular interval and water mixed with glucose or electrolytes to keep yourself hydrated and keep your energy levels up.
3. Avoid overexerting and take frequent breaks while walking or climbing stairs.
4. Avoid overeating and eat light yet frequent meals. Keep energy bars and munchies with you at all times.
5. Avoid smoking altogether and try not to drink till you are fully acclimatised, because alcohol causes dehydration.
6. You should immediately approach hospital or an army base if you or a fellow traveler starts showing symptoms of severe Mountain Sickness.
7. One can carry medicines like Aspirin or Crocin etc or can buy an oxygen cylinder which i've mentioned above. In severe cases or to be on the safer side one can consult a doctor who can prescribe you meds like Diamox or Dexamethasone which are generally used to prevent mountain sickness altogether,
7, Last but not the least follow trekker’s mantra of climbing high and sleeping low. This means that even though you might travel across high altitude passes during day, you must try to sleep at lower altitude places at night.