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Old 05-06-2014, 03:23 PM   #1
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Altitude sickness preventions

We are leaving flat lanes of Arkansas going to Montana and Wyoming to Yellowstone and Tetons.

Anybody have problems with higher altitude?

Any recommendation to prepare for or during our trip?
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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These altitudes shouldn't cause you any problems. This isn't Everest.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:48 PM   #3
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While some start to feel the effects of altitude as low as 6,000 ft; most with normal health and no respiratory illness do not suffer from altitude sickness until well over 10,000 ft.
As for what you can do to minimize the effects of altitude:
be in reasonable health & fitness, go up slow, drink twice as much water as normal, cut back on coffee, liquor, and heavy meals; take it easy the first few days after a big increase in altitude, and you body will adjust after a few days.
Unless you plan to climb to the summit of the Grand Teton (me on the summit below) you shouldn't have any issues driving & walking around the high country in those states.

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Old 05-06-2014, 05:17 PM   #4
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At about 10k I get a headache and feel crappy. A couple of easy days and it's better. Even at lower alt. I just take my time. No booze (for me) and lots of hydration.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:34 PM   #5
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If you start feeling light headed, headache, suffer vertigo and nausea you may be feeling altitude sickness. Best thing is to go immediately go down in altitude and rest a few days before heading back up. Drink lots of water.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:41 PM   #6
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I've taken hundreds of adults from Ohio out the the area, staying at a ranch at 7,200 ft. A number of them get altitude sickness. As Jim said, drink twice as much water as you normally do and reduce caffeine intake. We always started with a serious talk and passed out "Pee Meters" that shows by urine color how dehydrated you are. You don't realize how drying the air is out there. My sister-in-law, a registered nurse from Denver suggests a Tums also helps. In a few days, everyone adjusts and does O.K.

I've had to make clinic/hospital runs with those that don't keep hydrated, it gets expensive for them that won't drink water. (Some of ladies falsely think it keeps them from having to use the outdoors as a potty on hikes)
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:43 PM   #7
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Altitude Illness - Chapter 2 - 2014 Yellow Book | Travelers' Health | CDC
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:07 PM   #8
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A lot of it has to do with attitude, not just altitude. When we had a group together, their constant talk about it made it worse for some. I grew up on a boat and never experienced sea sickness. We'd have visitors on the boat that got sick while we were still moored in a protected marina!
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:36 PM   #9
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Altitude sickness is caused by reduced oxygen in the air, IF you have any of a laundry list of medical problems, ONE of which I recently was treated for, it can cause you some SERIOUS problems.. (I got lucky).

If you think you or your companion(s) may have problems I would suggest the person worried visit with their Heart and or Lung docotrs, You might wish to carry suplemental oxygen or a concentrator.

But frankly.. I had no problems crossing the continental divide. But I also did not have heart problems then.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:52 PM   #10
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By the time you get from Arkansas to Yellowstone you will have traveled to that higher elevation very gradually. That's the key - do it gradually. Also remember that water is your friend. Drink it. I predict you'll be just fine. If you are planning any climbing hikes, especially in the Tetons, that's when you should be in the park a couple days and getting aclimated before you do the hike. Don't push on if you're not feeling right. It won't get better until you get off the trail. Don't think it'll get better while you continue to climb. It won't. I also agree that the more you worry about it you can bring an uncomfortable feeling on. Try not to dwell on it and have a great trip!
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Altitude sickness is caused by reduced oxygen in the air, IF you have any of a laundry list of medical problems, ONE of which I recently was treated for, it can cause you some SERIOUS problems.. (I got lucky).

If you think you or your companion(s) may have problems I would suggest the person worried visit with their Heart and or Lung docotrs, You might wish to carry suplemental oxygen or a concentrator.

But frankly.. I had no problems crossing the continental divide. But I also did not have heart problems then.
Great advice.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:23 PM   #12
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Yes there is a treatment for high altitude sickness. Have your doctor write a prescription for acetazolamide 500mg er , take one capsule daily starting 3 days before leaving and take for a total of 5 days....My wife has the problem since my daughter lives in Wyoming and we go a couple times a year. It works like a charm.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:04 PM   #13
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I grew into altitude sickness as I got older. I am not pleased. My hobby is hiking in the NPs. I've hiked all over RMNP. No more for the favorite hikes. Don't like hiking in the trees. I like above the tree line. The sickness seems to hit at 10K above sea level. I carry an altimeter with me. Now I hike in Glacier NP. I can hike all over that park, above the tree line and not be above 10K'. My baseline is The Medicine Wheel NHS in north central Wyoming. The wheel is at 10K'. Mile and 1/2 from the ranger station to the wheel (up hill both ways,,, really). If I can do that I'm happy the rest of the way to Glacier.
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