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Altitude sickness #15895313 03/13/21
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Jim1611 Offline OP
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This is something that at times really hammers me. Do any of you have any ways that deal with this that helps.
Thanks
Jim

BP-B2

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15895354 03/13/21
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I live at 4, 500 ft. When I venture to Wy for elk (floor is 7,000 and timberline is about 9,000), I get there three days before the season and do the light chores of getting camp in, a little scouting, and some fishing. For the first couple days one has the sensation that he can quite pull in a full breath. By the end of the 3rd day, that sensation has gone away, and life is good.


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Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15895390 03/13/21
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Rolaids or other calcium carbonate antacids will help. Nothing really fixes it other than acclimation. I live at 4000'. We usually hunt at 6 to 9k. I try to get in good shape during the summer and I haven't had any real problems. I can get tired but not nauseous unless I really overdo it. I have a 5 mile route that I hike at least twice a week during the summer that has a 1000' gain in 1.5 miles. While it only gets up to about 5650', it does help a lot come elk season. I work up to carrying 20 to 30lb in my day pack, too.


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Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15895452 03/13/21
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The above is good advice. Also, staying hydrated is big help. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and not too much coffee. Drink plenty of water during the day, your pee should be no darker than pale yellow. A couple ibuprofin before bed and when you get up in the morning should help with the headache (and achy knees).

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15895844 03/13/21
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Thanks guys. I seem to be more prone that some of the guys I've hunted with. We live at about 700 feet above sea level. I was riding 80 miles a week on my bike when getting ready to go and around here could walk all day but that thin air sure hurts! I had not heard that about the antacids. I never drink so that isn't a factor but I do like my coffee!

IC-A

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15895988 03/13/21
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Atomic-strength Excedrin can help. I've seen it first-hand.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: ryoushi] #15896014 03/13/21
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Originally Posted by ryoushi
The above is good advice. Also, staying hydrated is big help. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and not too much coffee. Drink plenty of water during the day, your pee should be no darker than pale yellow. A couple ibuprofin before bed and when you get up in the morning should help with the headache (and achy knees).


Excellent advice. Keep hydrated! Arrive at that altitude two or three days early if you can.

Good hunting and stay healthy.

L.W.


"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." (William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830s.)
Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15896301 03/13/21
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Unfortunately, nothing really works for altitude sickness other than being there for a while. There's no magic cure or prevention.


Sin wouldn't be so attractive if the wages were paid immediately.
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Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Rock Chuck] #15896307 03/13/21
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
Unfortunately, nothing really works for altitude sickness other than being there for a while. There's no magic cure or prevention.


That's my experience. Way too rough for my lungs
Takes more than a couple of days for me

Last edited by Ranger99; 03/13/21.
Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Rock Chuck] #15896320 03/13/21
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
Unfortunately, nothing really works for altitude sickness other than being there for a while. There's no magic cure or prevention.


You are correct, of course. The other stuff helps mitigate the symptoms though, hopefully enough to make hunting up high tolerable.

IC-B

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15896354 03/13/21
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Shortness of breath or running out of air is pretty normal, and you will never catch your breath like at home.
Headaches, nervous jitters, not sleeping, nausea, chest pains are more what I have witnessed with altitude sickness.
Cramps is more from lack of hydration.
Hydration, Rolaids, arrive a few days early, nothing strenuous for the first few days, all helps.
Some have to sleep 2,000 to 3,000 lower than where they hunt.
Some medical conditions are aggravated by altitude.
Buddy can't go fishing in the mountains anymore, because of high BP and more, doctor's orders.
Another bud has to run his CPAP. Takes him about a week to get any kind of acclimation.
There are small aerosol canisters of oxygen available.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15896441 03/14/21
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It can be rough
I hunted for years around timberline in and around the Maroon Belles in Colorado
Everyone is "In Shape" until you hit that 10,000 foot level where the air and the trees thin out

We used to camp at 7300' and then pitch a spike camp up higher around 9000'





Water lots of water helps, but once you get into the highs it can hit you hard


V/R

Very Respectfully - Glen
Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15896671 03/14/21
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Sounds like I'd better just get out there a few days earlier. That's easy for me but not so much for my hunting buddies as they have different work requirements than I do. I have thought of going alone several days ahead of them and setting the tent up then relax for 3-4 days.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15896705 03/14/21
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How high?

From most of the studies, it seems like both daytime activities and sleeping over 9000 feet have the greatest chance to cause it.

I've used diamox in the past as a preventative. I don't know if it helped, but I didn't have any sickness. I was sleeping at 10500 and hunting around that elevation too.

Start it 2-3 days before you get up to elevation.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15896760 03/14/21
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All sage advice. One must get used to the altitude and keeping hydrated, lay off the booze, is an understatement. One does not realize how poorly hydrated they are until they get to altitude. I drink till I pee clear, always!

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15897060 03/14/21
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It may be worth trying Diamox. A lot of people report that it works very well. Two things I am not good at, I have to remind myself to do at elevation. Hydrate and pace myself. So far, that has worked well for me. Now the altitoots, that's a different story. I'll blow the damn blanket off of me in the middle of the night.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15897085 03/14/21
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+1 on Diamox

When I lived at sea level & had this issue, it worked like a light switch.
Turned the symptoms right off.
Best to start the day before you reach altitude & continue about 3 days.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15897154 03/14/21
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People’s chemistry for altitude sickness are very different. If you are in the worst percentage it can be deadly & should be taken very seriously.
Everyone has trouble with stamina & oxygen until they acclimate but if you’re getting severe headaches & nausea you could be getting brain swelling & lung issues. Sensitivity gets worse with age. Everyone gets cerebral &/or pulmonary edema at 14,000, most at 12,000, some at 10,000 but a small percentage get it as low as 5,000

Worst case scenario is coma & death.
Not trying to be dramatic, but it is no joke.

As above posts advise, hydration, slower ascent (eg. breaking the commute into more days, not driving from 0 to 7k or more in one day), don’t work hard right away when you arrive, no alcohol the first few days all helps.

If you are in the hardest hit percentage a prescription for 125 milligrams of Diamox is a Huge help.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15897172 03/14/21
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Just to clarify, the above applies to the sudden change in altitude. There is no problem once you have time to acclimate. I now live at 7k & have no problems. But could get violently ill when I lived at sea level & traveled to 6k.

Re: Altitude sickness [Re: Jim1611] #15897766 03/14/21
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Jim1611 Offline OP
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I had one hunt that it made me sick enough I had to leave camp for lower altitude. That camp was at 10,600 ft. and we packed in fairly quick with horses. That night I had all the symptoms most get plus being hot then cold and disoriented. The next morning I hiked the 7 miles down to the truck, went to Eagle and got a room. It ruined that hunt. The guys I went with didn't have a clue just how sick I was. They kept hunting. I didn't get to.

My last trip there I had the typical headache and lose of appetite and we camped at 10,200 feet. I managed pretty good. I don't drink any so that's never an issue. My next trip we plan to have our camp at 7200 feet then hunt higher. I've made the same trip before and got along pretty good. I'll look into the Diamox too. I've never heard of it before.

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