If you’ve had it you know it’s the absolute worst, if you haven’t … just trust us, it is. Altitude sickness can hold you back from experiencing the bird’s-eye view you’re looking for in your Roofnest. With a Roofnest you have the opportunity to sleep wherever you can drive, this has a lot of people Roofnesting at very high elevations. Although it is not completely preventable, here are a few tips for preventing altitude sickness from happening:
1) Hydrate, Rehydrate, then Rehydrate Again
Dehydration happens more easily at higher elevations due to the lower air pressure and drier atmosphere. This causes your perspiration to evaporate faster than normal, meaning that you might not even notice when you are sweating, and you lose water at an accelerated rate. Make sure that you prepare two to three days before your trip by increasing your water consumption and continue this until you are back to your normal elevation.
2) Carb Load
If you’re like us, you don’t need to be told twice to eat more carbs. Eating complex carbohydrates allows the body to more effectively maintain energy levels. While you are out adventuring, you can burn as much as 5000 to 6000 calories a day, depending on difficulty level and performance of your activities. This means you need to fill up on healthy snacks loaded with complex carbs that help keep your body fueled throughout the day to help prevent altitude sickness.
3) Give Yourself Proper Time to Acclimate
When possible, arrive to your high-elevation destination at least 24 hours before you plan on hitting the trails. We know that this isn’t always possible, but if it is, do it. If not, make sure you listen to your body while on the trail. If you experience any signs of altitude sickness, descend to a lower elevation or take a long break, set up camp, rehydrate, and load up on those complex carbs.
4) Don’t Kill the Messenger
Avoid alcohol and caffeine, if possible. We know that is the last thing you want to hear while you’re planning an epic weekend out in the mountains, but alcohol and caffeine can inhibit your bodies ability to absorb water. This can result in much worse altitude sickness. We’re not saying you can’t enjoy that morning cup of joe or a nightcap of whiskey, we’re just saying to make sure that you are hydrated and acclimated to your environment before you crack open that bottle!
Although altitude sickness is not completely preventable, if you follow these four tips, you have a good chance of keeping it in check. Happy Adventuring!