Trekking simply means a journey on foot, especially in the mountains. It is a type of walking vacation and courageous trip to explore nature and culture. Trekking mostly involves high altitude and natural sites. Trekking sounds really exciting. It’s a thrilling experience. However, some routes of trekking can be arduous and require a certain level of skills and proper experience.
Some expeditions like Everest Expedition, Manaslu Expedition, Amdablam Expedition are very challenging and technical. Therefore, it is a must to learn about health and safety rules prior to trekking. It is a good idea to be prepared as much as possible. This article may help you know better about health, safety, and altitude sickness while trekking.
A walk in nature, walk the soul back. The pleasant experience and excitements of trekking will have their value only when your trekking spends well. Preparation is, therefore, most important to make your trekking successful.
Before you begin your peak climbing expedition, you need to consider the following aspects:
- Make sure that you have clothing for all weather conditions.
- Water may not be clean everywhere. Therefore put some water purifying tablets or carbon filters.
- You must be very careful about your health. Put some hand sanitizer and disinfection gel.
- If you are travelling alone, don’t forget to bring a first aid kit.
- Travel in a group or with a guide.
- Bring a cell phone, extra recharge cards, charger, torchlight and power bank. Not everywhere you may find electricity or shops.
- It is a good idea to bring information booklets, maps, GPS, compass and route information.
- It is not sure there will be cold only. You may have exposure to sunlight during the long hours of travelling. So, put some sunglasses, sunscreen, and sun hats.
- Arrange for all kinds of trekking gears.
A well-organized plan is the completion of half of the activity itself. Besides the above-written aspects, you should also follow some rules while trekking.
These are some keynotes that you need to consider for health and safety while travelling:
- Don’t drink and smoke. Drinking alcohol and smoking dehydrate you and you may suffer from high altitude sickness.
- Drink enough water. It is prescribed that 1-litre water should be consumed after ascending each 1000 m altitude.
- Eat high caloric food.
- Take proper rest.
- Trek with friends or guide.
- Don’t ascends fast. Above 3000 m altitude, you must ascend only 300 to 500 m on a day.
- Don’t forget to put warm clothes and rain Equipment because the weather may change at any time. If possible put weather information and en-rooted.
- Have enough water and snacks during your Trekking and climbing.
- Listen to the advice provided by your guide and always have good food.
- Be careful enough while walking through narrow trails, by the cliff or river.
High Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is a common health effect due to the lack of oxygen in the blood and tissues at a high altitude. It occurs when you travel high altitude too quickly. It is caused due to low oxygen levels in the air and in your blood. Nosebleed and nausea are common symptoms of Altitude Sickness. It also includes headaches, vomiting, tiredness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness.
Altitude sickness should always be taken seriously because it can take the life of the victim. Altitude sickness above 8000 ft manifests itself as Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS) or the more serious condition as High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) is caused due to shifting of fluids into the tissues of the brain which causes the swelling within the confines of the skull and eventually lead to coma.
Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of Breath
Preventing Altitude Sickness
The best way to overcome high altitude sickness is acclimatizing which means slowly letting your body to adapt to the changes in climate and air pressure as you travel to higher altitudes. If you ascend slowly, it will help your lungs to get deeper breath which eventually will help the red blood cell to provide and carry more oxygen to your body parts.
One of the recommended ways to prevent altitude sickness is using Diamox (Acetazolamide) pills which will help your body to acclimatize faster. You can take one pill per day as you ascend higher or else use it only when you feel some of the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Some of the tips to prevent altitude sickness are as follows:
- Make sure you are drinking enough water (lukewarm water 2-3 litres a Day)
- Avoid Drinking Alcohol and Smoking
- Eat light food reach in calories
- Add Ginger and Garlic in your food
- Travel to low-altitude if it is possible (Talk to your guide about your condition)
- Consult a doctor if available
- If the sickness is mild, stay at the place, don’t panic, sleep sufficiently, drink enough water.
- You should start descending your climbing if it doesn’t get better even after acclimatizing.
- If the case is serious, start to descend immediately. Use Diamox pills.
- Use Gamow Bag( a high-pressure inflatable bag) to restore oxygen level and air pressure but please do not forget to see if your organizer (Trekking company ) provides all Altitude Gears or not.
- Acetazolamide to prevent and treat high altitude sickness
- Paracetamol for headaches
- Anti-sickness medication for nausea
- Diamox for high altitude sickness
Travelling to high altitude is not far from risks. The success of entire trekking depends upon how well you plan for it and always organize your high altitude Trekking, Tours and Climbing with one of the experienced company. If we consider health and safety measures, our whole expedition will be pleasant. Always bear in mind “better safe than sorry” and follow precautions.
Note: Our Itinerary is well planned to keep in mind about Acute mountain sickness. Our travellers don’t need to worry about it. We will have enough rest for any ascend or descend while trekking and climbing as well as the expedition.