High altitude hiking preparation

If you are planning high-altitude hiking or even an expedition to the Himalayas, including Mount Kilimanjaro or Machu Picchu, you must have some high-altitude hike training. However, trekking doesn’t have to be on par with Everest trekking training, but please ensure that you are well prepared for all your high-altitude trekking experiences. So, to keep things simple, we have curated the ten most crucial altitude hiking training tips to help you prepare well. High altitude hiking preparation involves different precations in total. And some of them is here in this blog.

5/8/20246 min read

a view of a mountain range from an airplane
a view of a mountain range from an airplane

Physical and Mental Preparation

Some severe symptoms, including hamstrings, and muscle cramps, can hamper your trip. For a troubleless hiking experience, you need to be physically and mentally fit.

Physical conditioning

So, our advice is to practice more hiking and hike to higher elevations each time you do different walks. If you are no frequent traveller, then please go for strength training. Another option is to hit the gym. You can hit the gym for more than 30 minutes at least 4-5 times per week, and this will be one of the best exercises for a smooth hiking experience.

If you are an outdoor lover, you can easily prepare your body by doing frequent hikes. Our best recommendation is that you at least keep yourself busy with some physical exercise activity.

You are preparing the body before the actual hike for three months is best. Please stop extreme workouts before 70-8 days of your real flight, which helps with enough rest time for the body.

Mental conditioning

It is also crucial to well prepare your mind for the long trek and expedition ahead. As you have planned the trip to the mountains, it is necessary to prepare yourself mentally. And confidence is the key here. One way of mind-controlling is by practicing yogic breathing techniques. The more you meditate, the more you remain calm, and thus, the less panicky you are and more smooth the experience. You can kick daily with essential warm-ups and yoga, but remember not to overdo it.

Climb Slowly

As you trek at high altitudes, symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness are common. As oxygen level is thin in higher elevations, you must stroll to help the body adapt well to higher elevations.

The recommended average altitude gain each day is 500-700 meters in a day. And this equals to around 5-6 hours of hiking each day. If you move slowly, the acclimatization process becomes more accessible. It would help if you planned the itinerary accordingly so that your body adapts well to the thin air of the mountains.

If this is your first time at a high altitude, then you have all the right to choose the best itinerary that suits your body, time, and budget.

Hydrate yourself

As the air above in the mountainous region is thin, you need to keep one thing in mind, which is drinking plenty of water during the hike. This is to cover moisture loss up in high elevation.

It is advisable to carry two water bottles (1 litre each). Plus, a CamelBak type water bladder with a capacity of 3 litres. You can refill these bottles daily at the tea house before starting the hike for the day. We also recommend carrying some water purification tablets or other water filters to purify water along the trail.

You are not encouraged to buy water during the hike as there is no proper garbage management system up in these high mountains. Under High altitude hiking preparation, one crucial aspect is to keep yourself hydrated. This is because your body needs more oxygen than regular. Thus, to cope up with increased bodily activity, hydrating yourself is much important.

Hydrate Yourself

Keep an eye on your diet

As you will be hiking in high altitudes, significant energy gets burned. So, please intake light but calorie-rich foods.

As most trekkers, you can carry your favourite snacks, which include chocolates, nuts and even sweets, which all help to refill you up.

You need to be extremely careful if there are any food allergies. Menu printed in tea houses includes the local name of the ingredients. So, it is always good to double-check than to be sorry. You will have enough meal options during your trek. But make sure you don’t go out and eat something out of curiosity.

Don’t drink and smoke

If you are a regular drinker or smoker, quit before hitting the mountains. As your body continuously tries adapting to thin air and cold temperature, Cigarettes and alcohol decrease the ability of your body to cope with increasing elevation.

It is best to limit the intake of alcohol and cigarettes during a hiking training session. You need to make sure that you include quitting smoking and drinking so that you can be nicotine and alcohol-free for an actual hike experience.

Proper medications are crucial

You must consult with your doctor before you plan for the hike. Before commencing the walk, you must know the dos and don’ts for your medical conditions. You must carry a prescription to purchase medicines anywhere.

Some standard altitude sickness tablets are Diamox or Acetazolamide. These tablets are vital to prevent Acute Mountain Sickness. It is also advisable for you to carry other medicines, including common antibiotics, pain killers, Paracetamols, Aspirin, Advil, Cough Lozenges, and Ibuprofen.

You should not take any sleeping tablets during the trek as they act as respiratory depressants. You might carry insect repellents, hand sanitisers, and foot powder. Mountains are unpredictable and it always good to be safe than sorry. So, if you are doing High altitude hiking preparation, then bring important medicines with you.

Be with experienced locals

There is always the possibility of Acute Mountain Sickness. So, our simple advice is to be with residents during the entire trek experience. As residents can adapt well to this high elevation, it is in your best interest to be with locals, which in turn will help you more if you generate symptoms of Acute Mountains Sickness.

Local is good with communication and navigation as well. This is added advantage as you reach your destination safely and will be in lodges without communication difficulties.

Tripura Travelcations has a well-experienced team of local guides who are well trained and has done different high-altitude treks and even expedition. So, having local guides for the entire tour is fruitful as you will feel safer and more comfortable.

Warm yourself

High altitude comes with its challenges. Some of them are chilling winds, freezing temperatures and, of course, snowfall. As you hike more at the high altitude, you can even suffer from snow blindness, frostbite and hypothermia. These symptoms are seen if you are doing Everest Base Camp Trek. So, in all these situations, your priority should be keeping yourself warm.

The mountains are icy, but the terrains here also receive bright sunlight, and the sunlight reflects on snow, which can burn your retina and cause snow blindness. So, to prevent all these, you will need a good set of wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection features.

In these mountains, frostbite happens if your skin tissue freezes. Fingers, toes, noses and cheeks are common areas for frost bites. And for your information, hypothermia is an extreme form of frostbite. All these symptoms are preventable with proper clothing. A nice pair of hiking boots, dress in multiple layers, handwear, footwear and headwear are all necessary to keep yourself warm above high mountains. In fact, keeping yourself warm is crucial as one special aspect of High altitude hiking preparation.

Selection of the right equipment

Proper equipment selection is crucial as you travel in extreme situations where the reliability of these gears is tested. Minor things, like water bottles, trekking bag buckles, and jacket zippers, can all affect your overall trek experience. You don’t need to micro-manage everything but do make sure you pack selective equipment to take along on the trek.

Choosing the right gear is of the essence as you trek in the high elevations. Lovely and well-made equipment goes a long way, making trekking hassle less.

Talk if you are facing any problems

Communication in proper time can save your life literally. If you are feeling difficulties, you must immediately communicate with the trek leader or quietly. Altitude sickness is common. You must have basics on how to deal with Acute Mountains Sickness during the hike. Some common symptoms of AMS are:

  1. Dizziness

  2. Headache

  3. Nauseous

  4. Blurry Vision

  5. Vomiting

  6. Shortness of breath

  7. Fatigue

  8. Loss of energy

  9. Breathing difficulty

  10. Sleep Problems

  11. Appetite Loss

Out of these symptoms, mild headaches and falling asleep immediately are common. If you are not feeling comfortable, please report at the exact moment. If altitude sickness increases, you must return to low elevation immediately.

Some advice for high-altitude hiking

  1. Make and follow the proper hiking training plan and engage in strength training before the hike.

  2. Pack the appropriate selection of hiking gear and ensure you have enough time to acclimate.

  3. Remember to keep yourself warm during the trek and avoid smoking and drinking during the tour.

  4. If you start experiencing altitude sickness symptoms, communicate with your guide.

Trekking at a high altitude is an exciting and blissful experience. Please ensure you are well prepared for hiking with the proper training and gear. If you want more information on adapting to high altitudes, feel free to communicate and ask questions to Tripura Travelcations. High altitude hiking preparation is to be taken seriously as one cannot predict, how your body adapts to the changing weather in the mountains.

a man standing on top of a snow covered slope
a man standing on top of a snow covered slope