Golden rules to avoid altitude sickness during high altitude treks

“People in Nepal are living at 4500m and I get altitude sickness at 3000m – how is this possible?” It could be the last question you might be asking just before the worst nightmare hits you. Folks this is Nepal and the highlander Nepalese are used to with the high altitude since their birth. Neglecting the early symptoms of Altitude Sickness leads you to suffer the serious consequences like High altitude Pulmonary Edema or High Altitude Cerebral Edema, which ultimately can kill one.


Outdoor adventures are always fun and if these adventures involve high altitudes they are even more thrilling. Whatsoever, with the increase in the level of thrill the risk is directly proportionate.

Every year several hundred thousands trekkers drive in or fly into this beautiful Himalayan country to trek to the elevated regions in Himalayas. Why not, Himalayas are so awesome and widespread Himalayan peaks in the entire northern border from east to west caters diverse and tremendously adventurous walking experiences. However, while undertaking an adventurous trekking holiday in Nepal one should seriously consider over altitude sickness issues.

Clearly stating the article doesn’t aim to discourage anyone to come and enjoy trekking holiday in Nepal; we do need trekkers and we need more every year so that the painful scars we have received because of devastating quake and the blockade needs enough flow of money in the right pockets to bounce back better. All we want is to inform our valued guests to be aware of the risks related to altitude sickness because we want every traveler to Nepal fly back home safe and sound.

Our today’s post enlists five golden rules that can avoid altitude sickness. These are surely the life saving techniques in the higher altitudes. Have a look.

Climb High Sleep Low

Climbing high and sleeping low is the prime rule while trekking in Nepal. This refers to gradual trek uphill at the beginning of day’s trek and eventually downhill trek at the end of the day to sleep in relatively lower altitude.

Gradual gain of elevation

While on trekking, trekker should not rush in gaining altitude. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Hence as the trek begins do not push hard to get higher quickly. Most of the westerners are flatlanders, not used to higher elevation and as the elevation raises the level of oxygen in the air decreases creating respiratory problems. So, to cope with the sudden change in elevation, which is of course the shrink of oxygen level in the air one should first begin to adapt the low oxygen level in relatively lower altitude during the trek. As the trek goes higher, practice gradual acclimatization. Rest a day or couple at a place where your body has begun to adapt the oxygen level. Slowly, the body gets used to with the higher altitude allowing you to enjoy the trek wholly.

Drink plenty of water

While in high altitude one is more likely to get dehydrated that causes more problems while breathing. Hence drinking plenty of water and other liquids like juices, tea and fruits to regularly provide enough water to your body is wisdom here. But strictly avoid alcohols. Moreover, do not forget to use lip balms that avoid the ruptures in your lips, s body ruptures lead to dehydration again.

Carry Life Saving meds and equipments

While on treks to Nepal carrying medicines that multiplies acclimatization is wise decision. We use diamox, which contains acetazolamide. 10 mg tablet before the trek begins would help. Moreover, carrying life saving Gamow Bag, in which after the victim of altitude sickness is kept for a while experiences the altitude almost 1000m low than the real altitude he/she is in. However, you need experts to use the life saving bag.

Descend and rescue

Headache, Lack of Appetite and Nausea, Insomnia, Fatigue, Pins and Needles, Dizziness, Dopiness, Excessive flatulence, General Malaise and Peripheral Edema are ten major symptoms of Altitude sickness. If any three symptoms out of ten are seen it is more likely to altitude sickness. Descend down ASAP. If the situation goes worse beyond these, which is HAPE or HACE continue to descend down and right away make arrangements for immediate rescue.

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